The clear will of God is the light and the salvation of all men. No one can desire anything good unless God desires it. Even the best of intentions, even seemingly worthy projects, are no good if they are not God's will at the moment. Distress, suffering, even death, can be accepted as His mysterious will. His creative love is always at work drawing the greatest possible good out of everything. Be the humble servant of God's will and you will be truly wise and always at peace.
INTROIT Ps. 26:8, 9
My heart has spoken to You; I have sought You. Your presence, O Lord, I will still seek; hide not Your face from me.
Ps. 26:1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
V. Glory be . . .
O Lord, help us keep the holy lenten fast. Teach us our duties and assist us with Your grace to perform them. Through Our Lord . . .
LESSON III Kings 17:8-16 [I King 17:8-16]
In those days, the word of the Lord came to Elias the Thesbite, saying: "Arise, and go to Sarephta of the Sidonians, and dwell there: for I have commanded a widow woman there to feed thee."
He arose, and went to Sarephta. And when he was come to the gate of the city, he saw the widow woman gathering sticks, and he called her, and said to her: "Give me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink." And when she was going to fetch it, he called after her, saying: "Bring me also, I beseech thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand." And she answered: "As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot, and a little oil in a cruise: behold I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it, for me and my son, that we may eat it and die."
And Elias said to her: "Fear not; but go, and do as thou hast said but first make for me of the same meal a little hearth cake, and bring it to me, and after make for thyself and thy son. For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: 'The pot of meal shall not waste, nor the cruise of oil be diminished, until the day wherein the Lord will give rain upon the face of the earth.' "
She went, and did according to the word of Elias: and he ate, and she, and her house: and from that day The pot of meal wasted not, and the cruise of oil was not diminished according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke in the hand of Elias.
GRADUAL Ps. 54:23, 17, 18, 19
Cast your care upon the Lord, and He will support you.
V. When I called upon the Lord, He heard my voice and delivered me from those who war against me.
GOSPEL Matt. 23:1-12
At that time Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not. For they say, and do not. For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men's shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them. And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes. And they love the first places at feasts and the first chairs in the synagogues, And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi. But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master: and all you are brethren. And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, Christ. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 50:3
Have mercy on me, O Lord; in the greatness of Your compassion, O Lord, blot out my sinfulness.
O Lord, sanctify us by this sacred rite so that we may be cleansed from earthly sinfulness and come to our eternal reward. Through Our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 9:2-3
I will declare all Your wondrous deeds; I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High!
O Lord, make us ever obedient to Your commandments so that we may be deserving of Your heavenly gifts. Through Our Lord . . .
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE