The Deafening Silence.

In the United States:

The Second Wednesday of Ordinary Time; or, the Memorial of Saint Vincent, Deacon & Martyr.*

Lessons from the primary feria, according to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite:

• Hebrews 7: 1-3, 15-17.
• Psalm 110: 1-4.
• Mark 3: 1-6.

When a Mass for the memorial is taken, lessons from the feria as above, or from the proper:

• II Corinthians 4: 7-15.
• Psalm 34: 2-9.
• Matthew 10: 17-22.

…or, any lessons from the common of Martyrs for One Martyr.

Ourside the United States:

The Second Wednesday of Ordinary Time.

Lessons from the feria as above.

The Third Class Feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort; and, the Commemoration of Saint Emerentiana, Virgin & Martyr.**

Lessons from the common "Os justi…" of a Confessor not a Bishop, according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite:

• Ecclesiasticus 31: 8-11.
• Psalm 91: 13-14, 3.
• Luke 12: 35-40.

When a Mass for the commemoration is taken, lessons from the common "Me exspectavérunt…" of a Virgin Martyr:

• Ecclesiasticus 51: 13-17.
• Psalm 45: 6, 5.
• Matthew 13: 44-52.

9:11 AM 1/23/2019 — Melchizedek, the subject of both our first lesson from Hebrews and our Psalm, is an immensely important figure. As Abraham goes forth to do the Lord’s bidding to create a great nation at God’s command, Melchizedek offers a sacrifice of bread and wine to God for his success. That sacrifice would figure prominently in the Synagogue service of our Lord’s time, prayers from which would find their way into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as we offer it today. “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation….” Today’s Psalm is usually sung at the ordination of priests, so I would suggest that today would be a good day to pray for priests.
     As to our Gospel lesson today: Jesus entered a synagogue and there saw a man who had a withered hand. As we witness the chess game going on between the political parties regarding the current government shut-down, it’s interesting to see the same thing going one in today’s Gospel lesson: Saint Mark tells us that all the onlookers waited to see if our Lord would heal on the Sabbath. Isn’t it interesting that our Lord’s detractors, by their very attention to the event, have already tacitly admitted our Lord’s Divinity; otherwise why would they be waiting to see if our Lord would effect a cure?
     What I offer for your reflection today is that our Lord does not make any attempt to act in secret. He asks the man to stand up in the presence of everyone, and asks the question: “Which is right, to do good on the sabbath day, or to do harm? To save life, or to make away with it? And they sat there in silence” (Mark 3: 4 Knox).
     “They sat there in silence.” Could there possibly be any phrase in Holy Writ more prescient for our Church given recent events?
     Today, let us pray for all our faithful priests, and rededicate ourselves to remaining faithful to the faith of the Church no matter what.

* Born in Huesca, Spain, Vincent was a deacon in Saragosa, and was martyred during the persecution of Diocletian in 304.

** Born in Barcelona, Penyafort (1175-1275) was the third superior general of the Dominican Order. He is famous for his efforts to abolish slavery. He wrote five books of Decretals which were instrumental in the development of canon law. His most famous work is the Summa de Casibus Penitentiæ, which remians to this day a valuable tool to guide priests in the administration of the sacrament of Confession. In the ordinary form, his memorial was observed on Jan. 7th.
  Emerentiana was the foster-sister of St. Agnus. She was stoned to death at Agnus' tomb in the year 304.