after Easter—3 May AD 2020
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Ordinary of the Mass
Latin Mass Text-3rd Sunday
English Mass Text-3rd Sunday
(May 5th) will be the
feast of Pope Saint Pius V, who in 1570, codified the traditional rite
of Mass as it was celebrated in Rome, extended it throughout the Latin
Church, and decreed that no priest could ever be forced to use another
rite, “in perpetuity” — in other words, “forever.”
Read the Pope’s
Decree Here. Please attend Mass on Tuesday if you are able—and be sure to
pray for the universal restoration of the Mass, and of all of the
teachings of the Catholic Faith that go along with It.
Arms of Pope Saint Pius V
Today's Gospel has
our Lord telling us that “in a little while you shall not see me, and
again a little while and you shall see me.”
This has several meanings that we should be aware of.
First, it was
spoken to mean that Christ would be with the Apostles for a brief period
between the Resurrection and His Ascension into heaven. Then, from the
human perspective, the Apostles would be “on their own” until they were
again united with Him in the glory of heaven.
another sense, He is saying that after His Ascension into heaven, they
would be “on their own” for just a few days, and then He would send the
Holy Ghost to be with and guide them for the rest of their lives. He
was saying, in effect that He would be “represented” by the Holy Ghost
during their time on earth. And certainly, that they would see Him
again after a time—each and every time that they renewed His sacrifice
of the Cross in the Lord's Supper, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Finally, we can
view this passage as a promise made to us. Just as the Apostles, we are
promised the company of our Lord in heaven, after a relatively brief
period of struggle on our own here on earth. And too, just like the
Apostles, we have the twin gifts of the Holy Ghost and the Blessed
Sacrament, so that we are never left truly alone or without God.
There is a
suggestion in our Lord's words that we can expect some degree of
difficulty and struggle in our lives. But, if we put up with and
patiently accept that struggle, a reward waits for us in the end. Just
like the woman in labor who is ultimately rewarded with the joy of
having her baby, our earthly struggle is promised a reward that will
make all of our difficulties seem insignificant.
epistle carries this a bit further, clarifying it in more specific terms
for our lives.
He tells us that we must refrain from carnal desires. This is similar
to our Gospels saying that we must not be “of” the world even though we
must be “in” it. Simply stated we must not become enslaved by the
material things around us. We may use them for legitimate purposes, but
must not allow them to dominate our lives.
Peter tells us to
be subject to “the king or to the governors sent by him.” He speaks of
being “subject to our masters,” even if they are not particularly nice.
He is reminding us to be humble. There will be people who have
authority over us—this is natural and should not cause us to chafe under
By the way—you will
notice that when Peter talks about authority, it is legitimate
authority, doing good things. He is not telling us to cooperate with
those who usurp authority for evil purposes.
He tells us to be
of good behavior. Even though the pagans around us may enjoy greater
wealth and influence, the testimony of our good behavior is powerful
enough to silence their foolish teachings.
In fact he says
that our good works can even bring the pagans around to glorifying God
in the end.
So, the Mass today
should give us a great deal of encouragement. There will be
difficulties. But if we adopt a spirit of humility, and detachment from
the world—if we adopt a spirit of doing good for the love of God and the
edification of those around us, we will be delivered from those
difficulties and receive our reward.
“Now, indeed, you
have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice; and
your joy no man shall take from you.”
Subject to “every
human creature,”: he is reminding us that we are no better than anybody
else, and have no right to make ourselves look greater at the expense of
another. When we have liberty, or any other advantage over those around
us, we are not to use them as a “cloak for malice”—that is as an excuse
for doing evil and harming others.
And, finally, Saint
Peter is suggesting the need for good example. As Catholics we must not
give those around us any excuse for mocking our Faith because of our
personal bad behavior.
“[It] is the will
of God, that by doing well
you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men…”