The Church's Year
Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost
The Mass of this Sunday is always the last, even if there are
more than twenty-four Sundays after Pentecost; in that case the
Sundays remaining after Epiphany, which are noticed in the calendar,
are inserted between the twenty-third and the Mass of the twenty-fourth Sunday.
The Introit of the Mass is
the same as that said on the twenty-third
Sunday after Pentecost.
we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, the wills of Thy faithful: that they, more
earnestly seeking after the fruit of divine grace, may more abundantly
receive the healing gifts of Thy mercy. Thro'.
I. 9—14.) Brethren, We cease not to
pray for you, and to beg that you may
be filled with the knowledge of the will
of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding:
that you may walk worthy of God, in all
things pleasing, being fruitful in every
good work, and increasing in the knowledge
of God: strengthened with all might according
to the power of his glory, in all patience
and long-suffering with joy, giving thanks
to God the Father, who hath made us worthy
to be partakers of the lot of the saints
in light; who hath delivered us from the
power of darkness, and hath translated
us into the kingdom of the Son of his
love, in whom we have redemption through
his blood, the remission of sins.
In this epistle St. Paul teaches us to pray for our neighbor, and
to thank God especially for the light of the true, only saving faith.
Let us endeavor to imitate St. Paul in his love and zeal for the
salvation of souls, then we shall also one day partake of his glorious
reward in heaven.
(Matt. XXIV. 15—35.) At
that time, Jesus said to his disciples:
When you shall see the abomination of
desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel
the prophet, standing in the holy place:
he that readeth, let him understand: then
they that are in Judea, let them flee
to the mountains: and he that is on
the house-top, let him not come down to
take anything out of his house: and he
that is in the field, let him not go back
to take his coat. And woe to them that
are with child, and that give suck, in
those days. But pray that your flight
be not in the winter, or on the Sabbath.
For there shall be then great tribulation,
such as hath not been from the beginning
of the world until now, neither shall
be: and unless those days had been shortened,
no flesh should be saved: but for the
sake of the elect, those days shall be
shortened. Then, if any man shall say
to you: Lo, here is Christ, or there:
do not believe him: for there shall arise
false Christs and false prophets, and
shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch
as to deceive (if possible) even the elect.
Behold, I have told it to you before hand:
if therefore they shall say to you: Behold,
he is in the desert, go ye not out; Behold,
he is in the closets, believe it not.
For as lightning cometh out of the east,
and appeareth even into the west, so shall
also the coming of the Son of man be.
Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall
the eagles also be gathered together.
And immediately after the tribulation
of those days, the sun shall be darkened,
and the moon shall not give her light,
and the stars shall fall from heaven,
and the powers of the heavens shall be
moved: and then shall appear the sign
of the Son of man in heaven, and then
shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,
and they shall see the Son of man coming
in the clouds of heaven with much power
and majesty: and he shall send his
angels with a trumpet and a great voice,
and they shall gather together his
elect from the four winds, from the
farthest parts of the heavens
to the utmost bounds of them. And
from the fig-tree learn a parable: when
the branch thereof is now tender, and
the leaves come forth, you know that summer
is nigh. So you also, when you
shall see all these things, know ye that
it is nigh, even at the doors. Amen I
say to you, that this generation shall
not pass till all these things be done.
Heaven and earth shall pass, but my
words shall not pass.
When you shall see the abomination of desolation. The abomination
of desolation of which Daniel (IX. 27.) and Christ here speak, is
the desecration of the temple and the city of Jerusalem by the rebellious
Jews by perpetrating the most abominable vices, injustices and robberies,
&c., but principally by the pagan Romans by putting up their
idols. This destruction which was accomplished in the most fearful
manner about forty years after the death of Christ, was foretold
by Him according to the testimony of St. Luke. (XXI. 20.) At the
same time He speaks of the end of the world and of His coming to
judgment, of which the desolation of Jerusalem was a figure.
Pray that your
flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath. Because, as St. Jerome
says, the severe cold which reigns in the deserts and mountains
would prevent the people from going thither to seek security, and
because it was forbidden by the law for the Jews to travel on the
rise false Christs and false prophets. According to the testimony
of the Jewish historian Josephus, who was an eyewitness of the destruction
of Jerusalem, Eleazar, John, Simon, &c., were such false prophets
who under the pretence of helping the Jews, brought them into still
greater misfortunes; before the end of the world it will be Antichrist
with his followers, whom St. Paul calls the man of sin and the son
of perdition, (II Thess. II. 3.) on account of his diabolical
malice and cruelty. He will rise up, sit in the temple, proclaim
himself God, and kill all who will not recognize him as such. His
splendor, his promises and his false miracles will be such that
even the holy and just will be in danger of being seduced, but for
their sake God will shorten these days of persecution.
the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together.
That is, where the wicked are, who have aimed at spiritual corruption,
there punishment will overtake and destroy them.
shall not pass till all these things be done. By these words Christ
defines the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and says that
many of His hearers would live to see it, which also happened. But
when the end of the world will come, He says, not even the angels
in heaven know. (Matt. XXIV. 36.) Let us endeavor to be always
ready by leading a holy life, for the coming of the divine Judge,
and meditate often on the words of our divine Lord: Heaven and
earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.
account of the Destruction of Jerusalem on the Ninth
Sunday after Pentecost.)
Remove from us, O Lord, all that is calculated to rob us of Thy
love. Break the bonds with which we are tied to the world, that
we may not be lost with it. Give us the wings of eagles that we
may soar above all worldly things by the contemplation of Thy sufferings,
life and death, that we may hasten towards Thee now, and gather
about Thee, that we may not become a prey to the rapacious enemy
on the day of judgment. Amen.
I say to you.(Matt. XXIV. 34.)
The Son of God here, and
elsewhere in the gospel, confirms His word by an oath, as it were,
for swearing is nothing else than to call upon God, His divine veracity,
His justice, or upon His creatures in the name of God, as witness
of the truth of our words. — Is swearing, then, lawful, and when?
— It is lawful when justice or necessity or an important advantage
requires it, and the cause is true and equitable. (Jer. IV.
2.) Those sin grievously, therefore, who swear to that which is
false and unjust, because they call upon God as witness of falsehood
and injustice, by which His eternal truthfulness and justice is
desecrated; those sin who swear in a truthful cause without necessity
and sufficient reason, because it is disrespectful to call upon
God as witness for every trivial thing. In like manner, those sin
grievously and constantly who are so accustomed to swearing as to
break out into oaths, without knowing or considering whether the
thing is true or false, whether they will keep their promise or
not, or even if they will be able to keep it; such expose themselves
to the danger of swearing falsely. "There is no one,"
says St. Chrysostom, "who swears often, who does not sometimes
swear falsely, just as he who speaks much, sometimes says unbecoming
and false things." Therefore Christ tells those who seek perfection,
not to swear at all, (Matt. V. 34.) that they might not fall
into the habit of swearing and from that into perjury. He who has
the habit of swearing should, therefore, take the greatest pains
to eradicate it; to accomplish which it will be very useful to reflect
that if we have to render an account for every idle word we speak,
(Matt. XII. 36.) how much more strictly will we be judged
for unnecessary false oaths! God's curse accompanies him who commits
perjury, in all his ways, as proved by daily experience. He who
commits perjury in court, robs himself of the merits of Christ's
death and will be consumed in the fire of hell, which is represented
by the crucifix and burning tapers, in presence of which the oath
(in some places) is taken. If you have had the misfortune to be
guilty of perjury, at once be truly sorry, weep for this terrible
sin which you have committed, frankly confess it, repair the injury
you may have caused by it, and chastise yourself for it by rigorous