Propers of the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Introit   The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? My enemies that trouble me have themselves been weakened and have fallen. Psalm. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. ℣. Glory be to the Father … The Lord …

Collect   Grant us, we beseech You, Lord, that the world may be regulated in its course by Your governance for our peace, and that Your Church may with tranquil devotion rejoice. Through our Lord Jesus Christ …

 Epistle (Romans 8 : 18– 23) Brethren: I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation of the creature waits for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that made it subject in hope; because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that every creature groans, and travails in pain, even till now; and not only it, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body; in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gradual   Forgive us our sins, Lord, lest the Gentiles should at any time say: Where is their God? Help us, O God, our Saviour; and for the honour of Your Name, Lord, deliver us. Alleluia, alleluia. O God, who sits upon the throne, and judges justice, be the refuge of the poor in tribulation. Alleluia. O God our protector, look on Your servants. Lord God of hosts, give ear to the prayers of Your servants. Alleluia, alleluia. In Thy strength, Lord, the king shall joy; and in Your salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. Alleluia

Gospel (Luke 5:1-11) At that time, when the multitude pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, He stood by the lake of Genesareth. And He saw two ships standing by the lake; but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets; and going up into one of the ships that was Simon’s, He desired him to draw back a little from the land: and sitting He taught the multitudes out of the ship.

Now when He had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”

Simon, answering, said to Him: “Master, we have laboured all the night, and have taken nothing, but at Your word I will let down the net.”

And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes; and their net broke. They beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them; and they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of fishes which they had taken: and so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. And Jesus said to Simon: “Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him.

Offertory   Enlighten my eyes, that I never sleep in death; lest at any time mine enemy say: “I have prevailed against him.”

Secret  Accept our oblations, we beseech You, O Lord, and be appeased by them: and mercifully compel even our rebel wills to turn to You. Through our Lord Jesus Christ …

Communion The Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer, my God is my helper.

Postcommunion May the mysteries which we have received, we beseech Thee, O Lord, purify us, and fulfil their purpose by defending us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ …


A Second Extract from Fr P. Joseph: “Healing the Family Tree”

This is a further extract from Fr Peter Joseph’s article “Healing the Family Tree,” at Continuing from last week:

Even within the Old Testament itself, God changed this arrangement. See all of chapter 18 in Ezekiel. God says, “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.” Further on, God says, “Yet you [Jews] say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is lawful and right, he shall surely live. … The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father. … The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” (18:19-20). Jeremiah 31:29-30 says the same. If someone in your family has an illness, there is no need to search your family tree for sinners, as the Apostles were trying to do!

Providence     Instructive in this regard is the reply of Our Lord to St Teresa of Avila. In her Life, chapter 19, she describes how she was meditating on Psalm 119, ‘Righteous are You, O Lord, and upright are Your judgements.’ Then she began to wonder, “how You could with justice allow so many faithful servants to remain without those gifts and mercies that You conferred on me. … You answered me, O Lord: Do not pry into this but serve Me.” We cannot understand or justify the ways of God. To seek a personal explanation for each major thing will lead to obsession and distrust of God. Such things are not among the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Some of this pseudo-charismatic business is really an attempt to unravel and explain the inexplicable. Why was this man born blind? Why was this girl born handicapped? Why did that good woman die so young of cancer? Why does this family have mental illness? Normally, the answer has to be, “I don’t know” or, in a good sense, “God knows.” All these and other mystifying things are the result of the inscrutable designs of Divine Providence.

The good of suffering            Padre Pio was asked once why he did not heal a close relative, a young man, of an ongoing illness. He replied, “If he were cured, he would come to love this life too much and his soul would be lost.” It is not given to ordinary mortals to know the secret designs of Providence, but a simple story like this one gives us a glimpse into God’s ways and into how He draws good from evil, even if we do not see it in this life. The illness of St Pio’s relative was his opportunity to share in the Cross and so save his soul. In the Catholic schema of things, we need to remember that sin is the greatest of all evils. God has not promised to heal us or release us from all ills in this life, but He has promised absolutely to forgive our sins if we repent.

Original sin    The belief in ancestral or generational curses, etc. is a perversion of the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin, which suffices to explain the evils and imperfections in this world. The remedy is baptismal regeneration and the life of Grace, not special exorcisms and healing rites, etc. If people make a good Confession of the past, make reparation for their sins, keep the Commandments, receive the Sacraments regularly, and avoid the occult and superstitions, and so on, then they can be certain that any afflictions are not by reason of some occult cause.

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