|By Your Perseverance You Will Secure Your Lives.
In the United States:
The Thirty-Fourth Wednesday of Ordinary Time; the Memorial of Saint Clement I, Pope & Martyr; the Memorial of Saint Columban, Abbot; or, the Memorial of Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro, Priest & Martyr.
Lessons from the secondary feria, according to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite:
• Revelation 15: 1-4.
• Psalm 98: 1-3, 7-9.
• Luke 21: 12-19.
When a Mass for the memorial of Pope Saint Clement is taken, lessons from the feria as above, or from the proper:
• I Peter 5: 1-4.
• Psalm 89: 2-5, 21-22, 25, 27.
• Matthew 16: 13-19.
…or, any lessons from the common of Martyrs for One Martyr, or the common of Pastors for a Pope.
When a Mass for the memorial of Saint Columban is taken, lessons from the feria as above, or from the proper:
• Isaiah 52: 7-10.
• Psalm 96: 1-3, 7-8, 10.
• Luke 9: 57-62.
…or, any lessons from the common of Pastors for Missionaries, or the common of Holy Men & Women for an Abbot.
When a Mass for the memorial of Blessed Miguel Pro is taken, lessons from the feria as above, or, any lessons from the common of Martyrs for One Martyr, or the common of Pastors for One Pastor.
Outside the United States:
The Thirty-Fourth Wednesday of Ordinary Time; the Memorial of Saint Clement I, Pope & Martyr; or, the Memorial of Saint Columban, Abbot
Everything as above exluding anything regarding the memorial of Blessed Miguel Pro.
The Third Class Feast of Saint Clement, Pope & Martyr; and, the Commemoration of Saint Felicity, Martyr.*
First lesson from the proper, the rest from the common "Si diligis me…" for One or Several Holy Popes, according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite:
• Philippians 3: 17-21; 4: 1-3.
• Psalm 106: 32, 31.
• Matthew 16: 13-19.
When a Mass for the commemoration is taken, lessons from the common "Me expectavérunt…" of a Martyr not a Virgin:
• Ecclesiasticus 51: 13-17.
• Psalm 45: 6, 5.
• Matthew 13: 44-52.
The Second Wednesday of Philip's Fast; a Postfestive Day of the Entrance; and, the Feast of Our Holy Fathers Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium, & Gregory, Bishop of Agrigento.**
First & third lessons from the pentecostarion, second & fourth from the menaion, according to the Ruthenian recension of the Byzantine Rite:
• II Timothy 4: 9-22.
• Hebrews 13: 7-16.
• Luke 18: 15-17; 26-30.
• Matthew 24: 42-47.
9:05 AM 11/23/2016 — I had mentioned on Sunday last how the Church, during these last days of the liturgical year, focuses our attention on the last things; and, the Gospel lessons we’ve been hearing all this week come from our Lord’s discourse on this very subject. Today’s lesson is that portion of our Lord’s words in which He warns His disciples of impending persecution, summing it all up at the end with the promise: “By your perseverance you will secure your lives” (Luke 21: 19 RM3). It dovetails nicely with the memorial I’ve elected to observe for us today: Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro.
There are, in fact, three memorials offered to us on this day: Pope Saint Clement I, who was the third pope after Peter who was put to death in prison when it was discovered he was converting his fellow prisoners; Saint Columban, an Irish monk who founded a number of monasteries in France, and whose followers established many more in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Father Pro’s memorial is observed only in the United States and Mexico.
He was born in 1891 in the town of Guadalupe, and grew up with a great devotion to the Mother of God under that title. During the Mexican revolution he was forced to flee his own country, and was ordained to the priesthood for the Jesuits in Belgium, but returned to Mexico to minister to his own native people. He suffered from a lot of health problems, but always found a way to press on, always managing to stay one step ahead of the government which was seeking to obliterate the Church; but, they finally caught up with him, and he was executed by firing squad in 1927 at the age of thirty-six. The story of his brave death is quite famous: just before the soldiers fired, he stretched out his arms in the form of a cross, his rosary in one hand, and shouted, “Long live Christ the King!” There is, in fact, a photograph of him in this posture as he stood before the firing squad, taken just moments before he died.
I don’t have to tell you that life presents us with all kinds of problems and trials. Some are big and some not so much; but, with the help of God’s grace, we can be made stronger by them. And this is true, I believe, regardless of whether the trials we face come from without, like the forces that pursued and killed Father Pro, or from within ourselves as the result of our own failures. “No servant can be greater than his master,” said our Lord. “They will persecute you just as they have persecuted me” (John 15: 20 Knox). And that persecution can come in many forms: physical, moral, spiritual, from outside us or even from within ourselves. During these times of darkness, our initial thought is to think of ourselves as alone, but we are never alone. With our faith to guide us, with hope to keep us afloat, we must always keep our minds fixed on our Lord, on the blessed Cross, and rely on Him. That doesn’t mean that things will turn out the way we hope they do, but our Lord doesn’t make empty promises, and we must believe His words to be true: “By your perseverance you will secure your lives”
* Felicity, the mother of seven brothers who were all also matyrs, was beheaded shortly after his sons in the year 150.
** Philip's Fast, the season of penitential preparation for Christmas, so named because it begins on the day after the Feast of the Apostle Philip on the Byzantine Calendar, corresponds to the Roman Rite season of Advent, though it's origins are much later, dating no earlier than the thirteenth century. Lasting for six weeks rather than the four of Advent, what is required during this period varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The traditional observance would be a strict abstinence from both meat and dairy products on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with wine and oil allowed on Tuesdays and Thursdays; then, beginning on December 10th in some Churches and on December 20th in others, the strict abstinence becomes daily except on Saturdays and Sundays on which there is traditionally never a fast. The Particular Law of the Ruthenian Metropolia in the United States (Canon 880, § 2) recognizes Phillip's Fast as a penitential season, states the traditional observance, then requires that it be observed voluntarily according to one's individual ability … not unlike the observance in the Latin Church, in which nothing is specifically required.
Gregory was born in Sicily around 559 and died around 630. Amphilochius was a contemporary of Ss. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and Gregory of Nyssa, assisting them in their struggle against the Arian heresy. He was consecrated Bishop of Iconium by Basil in 374. In 381 he was present at the Second Eccumenical Council in Constantinople, and died in 397.