Collect (OF): Remember your compassion, O Lord, and your merciful love, for they are from of old. Let not our enemies exult over us. Redeem us, O God of Israel, from all our distress.
Collect (EF): O God, who seest that we are wholly destitute of strength, keep us within and without: that we may be defended in body from all adversity: and cleansed in mind from evil thoughts.
Ah, the Extraordinary Form. There are few things for man as beautiful as a Solemn High Mass. Everything is done out of focus for God and God alone. There is no applause for man’s actions; there is just united focus and internal participation for God. On a random note, sometimes I have dreams that the high altar will be used in St. Peter’s, New Brunswick, but alas, at this point, ’tis only a dream.
The Gospel was on the Transfiguration, and the homily reflected on how even experiencing the ideal on Earth, it is proper to go back to reality and work, just as the Apostles saw Jesus in all his holy splendor, but then they went down the mountain to eventually face Gethsemane. We are called to work and bear our cross. Of course, we need times to recharge and rest, but in the end, we must not let that prevent us from doing what we are called to do.
After Mass, St. John’s always invites everyone to lunch. There are few communities I can think of that as are generous and welcoming as that group of people. A group of people who will dedicate their entire selves toward God, then after that, dedicate their entire selves to welcoming and loving the people around them. This is our job as Catholics: love God, and love your neighbor. Even in this less than ideal world, we must do that. Even when we are scorned, hated, and portrayed as things we are not, we must love. Only then, will the world know of the love of Jesus Christ.
Have a blessed second week of Lent.