A light to lighten the Gentiles

Sermon by St Augustine, Bishop,

Sermon 128 on the Birth of Our Lord.

As it was foretold in former times, Sion our Mother saith: He was born in her, the Most High shall stablish her. O omnipotence of him that was born. O magnificence of him that descended from heaven to earth! While he was yet hidden in the womb, he was saluted by John Baptist from his mother’s womb. He was presented in the temple, and was recognized by Simeon, that old man honoured, hoary, esteemed and crowned.

Simeon, a just and devout man, awaited the consolation of Israel: And the Holy Ghost was upon him.

It was revealed unto Simeon by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And the…

Lesson V, Nocturn II, Matins of the Purification of St Mary the Virgin, Monastic Breviary.

Then he knew, then he adored, then he said: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. His departure from this world was put off until he had seen the birth of him who made the world. The old man recognized the infant, he was made a child in that Child: he became young in his old age, yet ripe in devotion. The aged Simeon carried the Infant Christ; yet Christ ruled the aged Simeon.

It was revealed unto Simeon by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he blessed God, and said: Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, O Lord.

When the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he up in his arms. And he blessed…

Lesson VI, ibid.

It was told him by the Lord, that he should not taste of death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Christ was born, and the desire of the old man was accomplished in the old age of the world. He himself came to an old man, and found an aged world. The old man desired not to be long in this world, and yet he desired to see Christ in this world, saying with the prophet: O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us, and grant us thy salvation.

When his parents brought the child Jesus into the temple to do for him after the custom of the law, Simeon took him up in his arms and blessed God, and said: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.

Simeon took the child up in his arms and cried out, saying: Lord, now lettest…

Lesson VII, ibid.

And lastly, that ye may know how great this joy was, he finally said: Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. The prophets foretold that the Maker of heaven and earth should be with men upon earth; the Angel announced that the Creator of flesh and spirit should come in the flesh; John, from the womb, saluted the Saviour in the womb; the old man Simeon knew the Infant God.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.

A light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel. For mine eyes…

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.

Lesson VIII, ibid.

St Comgall, Abbot of Bangor – 10 May 2020

As well as being the Fourth Sunday after Easter, today in the NCC we commemorate St Comgall, Abbot of Bangor. He was born of noble parents between 510 and 520, and placed himself under the guidance of St Finian of Clonenagh, in Leinster. He then returned to Ulster where he founded a famous monastery at Bangor. For the guidance of his monks he wrote a rule of great austerity, which was long held in high esteem in Ireland. Many saintly men including St Columba were members of the community. He journeyed to Brittany, where he founded a monastery, but returned to Ireland where he ruled his monastery until his death in 602. The image shown is that of the Anglican parish church of Bangor Abbey.

Collect

We ask, Lord, through the intercession of blessed Comgall your Abbot: that what we are unable to achieve by our own merits we may accomplish through his protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Postcommunion

With the reception of your holy Sacrament, may your holy Abbot, Comgall protect us by his intercession: that we may share in his wondrous life, and receive the aid of his intercession. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

St Joseph the Worker – 1st May 2020

Please use these readings for reflection if you are not able to join in our Daily Mass.

Epistle

A reading from St Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, chapter 3: 14, 15, 17, 23, 24

Brethren, above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.

Gospel

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St Matthew, chapter 13: 54–58

At that time, He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.

Collect

O God, Creator of all things, who did lay on the human race the law of labour: graciously grant; that by following the example of St Joseph and under his patronage, we may carry out the work you command and obtain the reward you promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Rosary in the Garden

Today, we have had some technical difficulties with the online Rosary and Mass so there will be no livestream this evening. However, the Rosary will still be said by our clergy this evening for the deliverance from the Coronavirus.

The meditations that were to be used in the livestream are shown below so that you may use them yourself.

First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection

This is the day which the Lord has made, let us be rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118.24

In Genesis we read that God rested on the seventh day, and that day was always kept holy by the Jewish people. On Saturday in Holy Week, the body of Our Lord rested in the tomb, and on the first day of the week He rose again, victor over death and sin.

That glorious resurrection was indeed the proof that Jesus was truly God, and He has promised that those who follow Him in this life, taking up their cross daily, shall also share in the resurrection and have life everlasting.

May His sweet Mother be our help, our advocate, and bring us at last to where she reigns in glory, Queen of angels and of men.

Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension

Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.

Psalm 24:7

Although Christ ascended on high, and clouds of glory hid Him from His disciples, we know that His Name is ever mighty on earth, and more, that we have His abiding presence on our altars. He allowed His brethren to witness the Ascension, not only for their consolation, but also for ours; that, believing their testimony, our hope of eternal life, of rising from the dead to reign with Christ in Heaven, might be strengthened and hallowed.

May Mary help us to live for Christ, that we may share the expectation of ascending to the heavenly Kingdom which was her joy and consolation after her Divine Son had left her behind in this world to work for Him here below.

Third Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

… The Holy Spirit, with a sudden sound, came down on the disciples and changed their minds, filling them with love for Himself.

Breviary, Whit Sunday

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, was sent to pour that spirit into the hearts of men. And never, since that first Pentecost, has the world so needed an outpouring of love. A large number of people are cold and indifferent, Christ and His Kingdom do not enter into their calculation; others are tired, exhausted, despondent, the Gospel has no meaning for them. Far worse still are those who are fixed in their hatred of the Cross, of God, of all religion. Let us beg Mary, who longs for the salvation of all mankind, to help us so to fill our own lives with the love of God, that we may be able to shed its warmth on our fellow men, and by prayer and sacrifice help to uphold the Cross which alone can redeem and comfort.

Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption

How should corruption attack that body into which the Lord was received? For her there was prepared a straight, smooth, and easy way to Heaven. For if Christ, the Life and the Truth says, Where I am there also shall My servant be; how much more shall not His Mother be with Him?

St John Damascene

We will beg our heavenly Mother that at the moment of our death our souls may be found worthy to be taken to Paradise, to be joined again to our bodies at the general resurrection. May her intercession be mighty on our behalf, and when we have passed through the gate of death, may she “show to us the blessed fruit of (her) womb, Jesus”.

Fifth Glorious Mystery: The Coronation

Truly happy are you, O holy Virgin Mary, and worthy of all praise, for from you has dawned the sun of justice, Christ, our God.

Breviary

Our sweet Mother, Mary, is crowned by her Son, Queen of Heaven, of the whole hierarchy f angels, and of all those of mankind who have believed in God and followed Christ on earth. May their happy lot be ours.

Hail, then, O Mother … pray without ceasing for us to Jesus your Son and Our Lord, that through you we may find mercy in the day of judgment, and may be able to obtain those good things which are prepared for those who love God.

Breviary

And there, in the joy of the presence of God, and the company of all the saints, we shall keep our true Easter.

Note:

The meditations above are based on those found in the ninth chapter of Simple Rosary Meditations by a Dominican Tertiary, 1951.