Category Archives: Vigils Readings

Vigils readings June 25- July 1

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Biblical Readings for Office and Mass 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Mass Readings: Sunday (A), Weekdays (I) June 25– July 1, 2017
Sun 25 Mon 26 Tues 27 Wed 28 Thurs 29 Fri 30 Sat 1
Office 12th Sunday Weekday Weekday St Irenaeus St Peter & Paul Weekday Memorial of BVM
Vigils Lev 17:1-16 Lev 19:1-18, 31-37 Lev 20:1-8, 22-26 Lev 23:1-14, 26-32 Gal 1:11-2:10 Lev 25:1-22 Lev 26:1-17, 40-46
Lauds Prov 10:1-6 Prov 10:7-12 Prov 10:13-17 Prov 10:18-21 Isa 49:1-6 Prov 10:22-25 Prov 10:27-32
Mass 94 371 372 373 591 375 376
1st Jer 20:10-13 Gen 12:1-9 Gen 13:2, 5-18 Gen 15:1-12, 17-18 Acts 12:1-11 Gen 17:1, 9-10, 15-22 Gen 18:1-15
2nd Rom 5:12-15 2 Tim 4:6-8, 17-18
Gospel Matt 10:26-33 Matt 7:1-5 Matt 7:6, 12-14 Matt 7:15-20 Matt 16:13-19 Matt 8:1-4 Matt 8:5-17
Vespers 1 Pet 5:1-7 1 Pet 5:8-14 2 Pet 1:1-9 2 Pet 1:10-15 Acts 3:1-10 2 Pet 1:16-19 2 Pet 1:20-2:3

Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
June 25-July 1, 2017

SUN 25 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
NT-MT48 St. Augustine
Leviticus 17:1-16

MON 26 Weekday
GN-DIS03 John Tauler
Leviticus 19:1-19,31-37

TUES 27 Weekday
GN-DIS04 John Tauler
Leviticus 20:1-8,22-26

WED 28 St Irenaeus
06SN2801 St Irenaeus
Leviticus 23:1-14,26-32

THUR 29 SS Peter & Paul
06SN2902 St Bernard
Galatians 1:11-2:10

FRI 30 Weekday
GN-DIS12 St Cyprian
Leviticus 25:1-22

SAT 1 Memorial of B.V.M.
MY-19 Pierre de Berulle
Leviticus 26:1-17,40-46



A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew by St Augustine 1

Thanks be to that grain of wheat who freely chose to die and so be multiplied! Thanks be to God’s only Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for whom the enduring of our human death was not a thing to be scorned if it would make us worthy of his life! Mark how alone he was before his passing: his is the voice of the psalmist who said: I am all alone until I depart from this place – a solitary grain that nevertheless contained an inner fruitfulness, a capacity to be multiplied beyond measure.

How many other grains of wheat imitating the Lord’s passion do we find to gladen our hearts when we celebrate the anniversaries of the martyrs! Many members has that one grain, all united by bonds of peace and charity under their one head, our Savior himself, and, as you know from having heard it so often, all of them form one single body. Their many voices can often be heard praying in the psalms through the voice of a single speaker calling on God as if all were calling together, because all are one in him.

Let us listen to their cry. In it we can hear the words of the martyrs who found themselves hard pressed, beset by danger from violent storms of hatred in this world, a danger not so much to their bodies which, after all, they would have to part with sometime, but rather to their faith. If they were to give way, if they should succumb either to the harsh tortures of their persecutors or to love of this present life, they would forfeit the reward promised them by the God who had taken away all ground for fear. Not only had he said: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul: he had also left them his own example. The precept he had enjoined on them he personally carried out, without attempting to evade the hands of those who scourged him, the blows of those who struck him, or the spittle of those who spat on him. Neither the crown of thorns pressed into his head nor the cross to which the soldiers nailed him encountered any resistance from him. None of these torments did he try to avoid. Though he himself was under no obligation to suffer them, he endured them for those who were, making his own person a remedy for the sick. And so the martyrs suffered, but they would certainly have failed the test without the presence of him who said: Know that I am with you always, until the end of time.

1Journey with the Fathers – Year A – New City Press – 1992 – pg 100




“You shall be witnesses unto me in all Judea.” Judea means “to confess God” or “to praise God.” We are to be God’s witnesses by confessing God in all our actions, behaviour, and intentions. And this not merely when all goes well with us, when we are full of joy and delight and natural enthusiasm. People find it easy enough at such times to think that they are confessing God very well. They seem to know and love God well enough as long as things go according to their own will; but as soon as they meet with terrible assaults, they begin to wonder what they have been about. They have completely lost their bearings now that suffering has come upon them. Now we can see clearly what has been at the root and foundation of their confession: not God, but their feelings. This is an unstable foundation built on shifting sands. God’s true witnesses, on the other hand, stand firm, rooted in God and in God’s will, in love and in suffering, no matter what God gives or what God takes away. Nor do they set great store by practices of their own.

It often happens that when people have successfully undertaken some pious practices, they give much thought to the business of planning them and carrying them out; and so they place great reliance on them and exercise their own activity to the utmost. But God, in an inalienable love, often breaks down whatever rests on such a foundation as this by frequently arranging things which run contrary to our desires. If we want to keep vigil, we are obliged to sleep, against our will; if we like to fast, we are made to eat; if we would like to be quiet and at rest, we have to do quite otherwise. In this way everything that we cling to crumbles at our touch, so that we may be brought face to face with our own bare and naked nothingness. Thus we should learn to place all our reliance upon God, confessing God alone in a simple and uncompromising faith, and resting upon nothing else at all. For just as worldly and sinful persons are seduced by sensual pleasures, so these people are held back by a complacency in what they do or what they feel, and are thus hindered from an absolute and simple surrender to God and from the true poverty of spirit which God wants of them.

   [1]Spiritual Conferences, John Tauler O.P., Herder: St. Louis 1961. pp.97-98.





There is never any little task, however small, no little skill, however homely, that is not a gift of God, a special grace from God.

Everyone should do for a neighbour what that neighbour cannot do so well alone, and in this way, by love for others we thank God for these graces. Be sure of this: if we are not useful, profitable and helpful to our neighbour, we shall have much to answer for before God. The Gospel says that everyone will have to give an account of their stewardship. Each one of us has an obligation to pay back as best we can what we have received from God, because God gave it to us for the benefit of others.

Why is there so much grumbling, everyone complaining that their work is a hindrance? God gave us our work, and God never hindered anyone. Our work will never give us a troubled conscience if God’s spirit inspires the work in us. It should bring us peace, not trouble. Dear child, you must see that when this sort of thing disturbs your peace, it is not the work which causes the trouble, it is the disordered way in which you go about it. If you did your work, as you easily could, and as you ought to, with an eye to God alone and no thought of yourself, you would not be anxious to please or afraid of displeasing anyone, you would not be asking if your work is useful or pleasant, because you would ask for nothing in it except the glory of God…

If while you are at work you feel God’s secret touch, pay careful attention to it, but without neglecting your work. In this way you will learn to bring God into your work, instead of running away from it to God.

Dear children, this is how we must learn to exercise ourselves in virtue. The only way to learn is to practice. God will not push virtues into you without any effort on your part. Do not think that Father, Son and Holy Spirit will simply flow into people who have never worked at acquiring virtue. Our virtue is worth very little until it has grown strong by exercise, interior or exterior.

[1]Spiritual Conferences, John Tauler OP, Herder, St. Louis 1961. pp280-281.




from the writings of St Irenaeus[1]

So it is within reach of all who want to see the truth to discern the tradition of the apostles which has been manifested in the whole world. All we have to do is to list those who are appointed bishops in the churches by the apostles and their successors up to our own time who neither taught nor recognized anything like that which the heretics rave about. For even if the apostles would have known “secret mysteries” which they used to teach the “perfect” separately and secretly apart from the others, they would especially have passed these things down to those to whom they also were entrusting the churches themselves. For they wanted those whom they left as successors to be quite perfect and beyond reproach in all things, handing over to them their own place as teachers. To those who do what is right this would have great usefulness, but to those who fall away it would be great disaster. But since it would take too long in a volume such as this to list the successions of all the churches, we will indicate only those of the greatest and most ancient church of Rome, recognized by all and founded and established by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul. This church has the tradition handed down to us through successions of bishops. In this way we throw into confusion all who, in whatever way, gather in unauthorized meetings by reason of self-serving evil or vainglory or blindness and evil thought. For it is necessary that every church, that is, persons who are faithful everywhere to the tradition which has been handed down from the apostles which has been conserved by those who are everywhere, agree with this church on account of its more powerful origin [with these two apostles]…

We have shown how the preaching of the church is consistent everywhere and persists equally and has behind it the testimony of the prophets and the apostles and all the disciples through the beginning, middle, and end and through the whole saving plan (oikonomia) of God and that solid system which is in our faith which lends itself to human salvation. We keep what we have received from the church and what is always from the Spirit of God like some precious deposit growing in a good vase which also makes the vase it is in to grow. For this gift of God has been entrusted to the church, like the breath of creation, so that all the members receiving it may be made alive. And in it has been deposited the means of communicating with Christ, that is, the Holy Spirit, the earnest of incorruption and confirmation of our faith and ladder of ascent to God. “For in the Church,” [Scripture] says, “God has appointed apostles, prophets, teachers” (1Cor 12:28), and all the other working of the Spirit. All who do not gather with the church but defraud themselves of life through evil thought and worse deed do not participate in the Spirit. For where the church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the church and every gift; and the Spirit is truth. Accordingly, those who do not participate in the Spirit are not nourished unto life by the mother’s breasts nor do they receive that brilliant fountain which flows from the Body of Christ. Rather, they dig for themselves broken cisterns in dirty ditches and they drink putrid water from the dirt, fleeing the faith of the church, lest they be convicted, rejecting the Spirit that they may not be instructed.

[1]             [1]UNDERSTANDING OF THE CHURCH, Edited by Glenn Hinson (Fortress Press, Phila. PA, 1986) pp. 40-42.



A reading about Saints Peter and Paul as teachers of how to live well, from a sermon of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. [1]

We keep today a solemn festival, hallowed for us by the glorious death of those noble martyrs and apostolic princes, Peter and Paul. God has appointed those two light-bearers to be to his Body the Church as the light of a pair of eyes. They have been handed down to me as masters and mediators, to whom I may commit myself with safety; for they have not only made known to me the ways of life, they also serve as mediators for me with the Mediator, who makes peace in earth and heaven by his blood. For how shall I, a sinner beyond measure, dare to approach him who is wholly pure in both his natures, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth? If I presume to come to him who is divided from me by so great a gulf, I ought to be afraid of falling into the hands of the living God. So God himself has given me these men, who were both men and sinners, and very great sinners at that, whose experience in and of themselves has taught them how to be compassionate to others. For those who have themselves been guilty of great crimes will readily grant pardon to great crimes, and will measure out to others with the same measure as was sued for themselves.

The apostle Peter sinned a great sin, perhaps the greatest sin that possibly could be; and with what lightning speed and ease did he obtain forgiveness, and in such wise, moreover, as to lose nothing of his peculiar primacy! And Paul likewise, who raged with such singular fury against the very vitals of the infant Church, was brought to faith by the voice of the same Son of God, and all his evil deeds were requited with corresponding benefits, so that he became a chosen vessel to bear Christ’s Name before Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel, a worthy vessel, full of heavenly food for souls in health and medicine for the weak. It was fitting indeed that such pastors and teachers should have been appointed for humankind, as would be at once friendly, powerful and wise. Friendly, I say, so that they might receive me with gentleness and pity; powerful, so that they might afford me strong protection; and wise, so as to lead me to and by the way that leads to the City.

These are our masters, who themselves learnt the way of life completely from the Master of us all ; and they still teach us at the present day. What is it that they teach us? Not the art of fishing or of tent-making, or anything like that; not how to read Plato, or to busy ourselves with the subtleties of Aristotle; not how to be always learning and never reach the knowledge of the truth. No, they have taught me how to live. Is it a small thing, do you think, to know how to live? It is a great thing, the greatest thing there is…

No one lives well, unless he does good. And I think that you who are in a community are living well, if you are living regularly, sociably, and humbly. Regularly in regard to yourself, marking your step at all times lest you offend God by sin or scandalize your neighbor; sociably in regard to your neighbor, seeking both to be loved and to love, being pleasant and agreeable, and putting up with your brethren’s infirmities, whether of mind or body, not patiently only but also gladly; humbly in regard to God, so that when you have done all these things you study to quench the spirit of vanity, which is wont to arise under those conditions, and refuse all consent to it whenever it makes itself felt.

[1] On the Christian Year, trans. & ed. by a Religious of CSMV, London: Mowbray, 1954, pp. 141-143.


A reading about the patience of God, from a treatise by St. Cyprian. [1]

Dearly Beloved in the Lord, when we speak of patience and when we preach on its benefits and advantages, what better way to begin than to point out the fact that now, just for you to listen to me, patience is necessary.  For you could not hear and learn without patience.  Only then is the word of God and the way of salvation effectively learned, if one listens with patience to what is being said.  For nothing is more to be preferred to it in all the ways of heavenly discipline, when it comes to seeking the God-given rewards of our hope and faith.  Patience is the virtue we should maintain in a special way and with extreme care, whether we find it beneficial to our life or to the attainment of glory.  Either way, it befits us who strive to follow the Lord’s precepts with fear and devotion.

How wonderful and how great is the patience of God!  He endures most patiently the profane temples, the earthly images and idolatrous rites that our ancestors set up in insult to His majesty and honor.  He makes the day to rise and the sun to shine equally over the good and the evil. When He waters the earth with showers no one is excluded from His ben­efits, but He bestows His rains without distinction on the just and the unjust alike.  His Patience has an unbroken equality toward the guilty and the innocent, the religious and the impious, the grateful and the ungrateful.  On one and all alike, the seasons obey and the elements serve, the winds blow, fountains flow, harvests increase in abundance, the fruits of the vines ripen, trees are heavy with fruit, the groves become green, and the meadows burst into flower.  And although God is provoked by frequent, yes even continual, offenses, He tempers His anger and patiently waits for the day of retribution which He once foreor­dained.  And although ven­geance is in His power, He prefers to be longsuf­fering in His patience, that is, waiting steadfastly and delaying in His mercy so that, if it is at all possible, the long career of malice at some time may change, and we, however deeply we are infected with the con­tagion of error and crime, may be converted to God even at a late hour, as He Himself warns and says: I have no pleasure in the death of anyone. And again: Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, patient, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil.

[1] De Bono Patientiae, CCL IIIa, cc 1,4; pp. 118-119.



The silence of Mary: a reading from the works of Pierre de Bérulle. [1]

It falls to the Virgin to keep silence. It is her condition, her road, her life. Her life is a life of silence, which adores the eternal Word. Seeing before her eyes, at her breast, in her arms, this same Word, the substantial Word of the Father, to be dumb and reduced to silence by the condition of his childhood, she enters again into a new silence and is transformed by it after the example of the incarnate Word who is her Son, her God and her sole love. And in that way her life goes on, from silence to silence, from a silence of adoration to a silence of transformation.

Mary is in silence, enraptured by the silence of her Son Jesus. One of the sacred and divine effects of the silence of Jesus is to put the most holy Mother of Jesus into a life of silence: a silence that is humble, profound, and that adores the incarnate Wisdom with more holiness and eloquence than the words of either angels or humans. This silence on the part of the Virgin is not a silence of one who hesitates in speech or of one who is helpless: it is a silence more eloquent, in its praise of Jesus, than eloquence itself. And so it is marvelous to see that, in this condition of the silence and the childhood of Jesus, everyone speaks and Mary says nothing at all: the silence of Jesus has more power to hold her in sacred silence than the words of either angels or saints have the power to bring her in and make her speak of things so worthy of praise, things that heaven and earth are at one in celebrating and adoring.

The angels speak of these things among themselves and to the shepherds, and Mary is in silence. The shepherds hurry away and speak, and Mary is in silence. The kings arrive and speak, and make the whole city, the whole state, all the sacred synod of Judea, speak: and  Mary has withdrawn and is in silence. The whole state is moved, and everyone is astonished and speaks of the new king sought by the kings, and Mary is in her repose and holy silence. Simeon speaks in the temple, and Anna the prophetess, and all those who await the salvation of Israel: and Mary offers, gives, receives and brings back her Son in silence; so powerful and secretly impressive is the silence of Jesus on the spirit and heart of the Virgin, keeping her powerfully and divinely occupied and enraptured in silence. For, again, during the time of his childhood, we have nothing but these words which have been brought to us about the conduct of the Virgin and about her holiness in regard to her Son and to the things which are reported of him and accomplished in him: ABut Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart@ (Lk 2.19). There we see the condition and occupation of the Virgin, there are her daily duties and her life in regard to Jesus during his holy childhood.

[1]          Opuscules de pieté, 39, dans Oeuvres complètes de Bérulle, Édit. Migne, Paris, 1856, pp. 988-989; reprinted in ALectures chrétiennes pour notre temps@: 8 1971, Abbaye d’Orval, Belgium (M-77).