Place yourself at Toledo: in the cathedral’s Mozarabic Rite chapel the faithful, silent, stand; silently, at this penitential season, the priest and his ministers advance to God’s altar; still without speaking, the priest bows awhile in prayer, then ascends the altar steps, kisses it, and goes to stand at his seat, where at length he first opens his mouth and salutes the congregation. All attend to the readings that now begin. A lector reads out the first lessson at the lectern; after he finishes, another takes his place. The Old Testament lessons ended, the choir chants; a third lector reads the Epistle. Next the deacon, with cerifers and thurifer, proceeds to the lectern to read the Gospel, first saluting the people (who stand in reverence), then censing the sacred volume. The deacon having ended, then the priest having preached, again the choir sings God’s praises. Next would come the offering of the Sacrifice…
But let us at the least unite ourselves to the Mass at Toledo by some participation in the Service of the Word, before in prayer making a spiritual communion as our devotion suggests.
To-day, we meet the Woman of Samaria, a type of the Church formed out of the Gentiles, converted by encounter with the Person of Jesus Christ – Whom the Samaritans confess to be the Saviour of the world. The parallel is found in the preceding historical lesson, Joseph is displayed, at first a poor innocent prisoner, then advanced to be Vizier of Egypt, saving the Egyptians from famine, having the second place after Pharaoh himself, and being hailed as a “saviour of the world” – a very type of Christ, Who humbled himself to assume the condition of a servant, being the Second Person of the Trinity, and truly the Saviour of the world.
In this Mass, it may be seen that the essential parallel is between the historical lesson from the Old Testament and the Gospel, the history of Our Saviour, in the New; the sapiential lesson before the former, and the epistle before the latter, are of the nature of introductory passages, with the psallendus marking the transition from the Old to the New. The laudes after the Gospel parallel the psallendus.
Second Sunday of Lent, Mass of the Samaritan Woman
In secundo Dominico Quadragesimæ, missa de muliere samaritana
Sapiential Lesson: Proverbs 14,33-15,8
Historical Lection: Genesis 41,1-45a
Psallendum: Psalm 26,9b-10.7
Apostle: James 2,14-23
Gospel: St John 4,3-42
Laudes: Psalm 68,31.35
The Lord be ever with you. R/. And with thy spirit.
A Lesson from the Book of Ecclesiasticus. R/. Thanks be to God.
In the heart of the prudent resteth wisdom, and it shall instruct all the ignorant. Justice exalteth a nation: but sin maketh nations miserable. A wise servant is acceptable to the king: he that is good for nothing shall feel his anger. A mild answer breaketh wrath: but a harsh word stirreth up fury. The tongue of the wise adorneth knowledge: but the mouth of fools bubbleth out folly. The eyes of the Lord in every place behold the good and the evil. A peaceable tongue is a tree of life: but that which is immoderate, shall crush the spirit. A fool laugheth at the instruction of his father: but he that regardeth reproofs shall become prudent. In abundant justice there is the greatest strength: but the devices of the wicked shall be rooted out. The house of the just is very much strength: and in the fruits of the wicked is trouble. The lips of the wise shall disperse knowledge: the heart of fools shall be unlike. The victims of the wicked are abominable to the Lord: the vows of the just are acceptable.
A Lesson from the Book of Genesis. R/. Thanks be to God.
In those days:
After two years Pharao had a dream. He thought he stood by the river, out of which came up seven kine, very beautiful and fat: and they fed in marshy places. Other seven also came up out of the river, ill favoured, and leanfleshed: and they fed on the very bank of the river, in green places: and they devoured them, whose bodies were very beautiful and well conditioned. So Pharao awoke. He slept again, and dreamed another dream: Seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk full and fair: then seven other ears sprung up thin and blasted, and devoured all the beauty of the former. Pharao awaked after his rest: and when morning was come, being struck with fear, he sent to all the interpreters of Egypt, and to all the wise men: and they being called for, he told them his dream, and there was not any one that could interpret it. Then at length the chief butler remembering, said: I confess my sin: the king being angry with his servants, commanded me and the chief baker to be cast into the prison of the captain of the soldiers: where in one night both of us dreamed a dream foreboding things to come. There was there a young man a Hebrew, servant to the same captain of the soldiers: to whom we told our dreams, snd we heard what afterwards the event of the thing proved to be so. For I was restored to my office: and he was hanged upon a gibbet. Forthwith at the king's command, Joseph was brought out of the prison, and they shaved him, and changing his apparel, brought him in to him. And he said to him: I have dreamed dreams, and there is no one that can expound them: Now I have heard that thou art very wise at interpreting them. Joseph answered: Without me, God shall give Pharao a prosperous answer. So Pharao told what he had dreamed: Methought I stood upon the bank of the river, and seven kine came up out of the river exceeding beautiful and full of flesh: and they grazed on green places in a marshy pasture. And behold, there followed these, other seven kine, so very ill favoured and lean, that I never saw the like in the land of Egypt: and they devoured and consumed the former, and yet gave no mark of their being full: but were as lean and ill favoured as before. I awoke, and then fell asleep again, and dreamed a dream: Seven ears of corn grew upon one stalk, full and very fair. Other seven also thin and blasted, sprung of the stock: and they devoured the beauty of the former: I told this dream to the conjecturers, and there is no man that can expound it. Joseph answered: The king's dream is one: God hath shewn to Pharao what he is about to do. The seven beautiful kine, and the seven full ears, are seven years of plenty: and both contain the same meaning of the dream. And the seven lean and thin kine that came up after them, and the seven thin ears that were blasted with the burning wind, are seven years of famine to come: which shall be fulfilled in this order: behold, there shall come seven years of great plenty in the whole land of Egypt: after which shall follow other seven years of so great scarcity, that all the abundance before shall be forgotten: for the famine shall consume all the land, and the greatness of the scarcity shall destroy the greatness of the plenty. And for that thou didst see the second time a dream pertaining to the same thing: it is a token of the certainty, and that the word of God cometh to pass, and is fulfilled speedily. Now therefore let the king provide a wise and industrious man, and make him ruler over the land of Egypt: that he may appoint overseers over all the countries: and gather into barns the fifth part of the fruits, during the seven fruitful years, that shall now presently ensue: and let all the corn be laid up under Pharao's hands and be reserved in the cities. And let it be in readiness, against the famine of seven years to come, which shall oppress Egypt, and the land shall not be consumed with scarcity. The counsel pleased Pharao and all his servants. And he said to them: Can we find such another man, that is full of the spirit of God? He said therefore to Joseph: Seeing God hath shewn thee all that thou hast said, can I find one wiser and one like unto thee? Thou shalt be over my house, and at the commandment of thy mouth all the people shall obey: only in the kingly throne will I be above thee. And again Pharao said to Joseph: Behold, I have appointed thee over the whole land of Egypt. And he took his ring from his own hand, and gave it into his hand: and he put upon him a robe of silk, and put a chain of gold about his neck. And he made him go up into his second chariot, the crier proclaiming that all should bow their knee before him, and that they should know he was made governor over the whole land of Egypt. And the king said to Joseph: I am Pharao; without thy commandment no man shall move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. And he turned his name, and called him in the Egyptian tongue, The saviour of the world.
Be thou my helper, Lord, forsake me not; do not thou despise me, O God my Saviour. * For my father and my mother have left me: but the Lord hath taken me up.
V/. Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to thee: have mercy on me and hear me. * For my father and my mother have left me: but the Lord hath taken me up.
The Epistle of the Apostle James to the Twelve Tribes. R/. Thanks be to God.
What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: and one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God.
The Lord be ever with you. R/. And with thy spirit.
A Lesson from the Holy Gospel according to John. R/. Glory to Thee, O Lord.
At that time: Our Lord Jesus Christ
left Judea, and went again into Galilee. And he was of necessity to pass through Samaria. He cometh therefore to a city of Samaria, which is called Sichar, near the land which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give me to drink. For his disciples were gone into the city to buy meats. Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: How dost thou, being a Jew, ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans. Jesus answered, and said to her: If thou didst know the gift of God, and who he is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith to him: Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered, and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again; but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him, shall not thirst for ever: but the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting. The woman saith to him: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw. Jesus saith to her: Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered, and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast, is not thy husband. This thou hast said truly. The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers adored on this mountain, and you say, that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore. Jesus saith to her: Woman, believe me, that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, adore the Father. You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith to him: I know that the Messias cometh (who is called Christ). Therefore, when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith to her: I am he, who am speaking with thee. And immediately his disciples came; and they wondered that he talked with the woman. Yet no man said: What seekest thou? or, why talkest thou with her? The woman therefore left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men there: Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not he the Christ? They went therefore out of the city, and came unto him. In the mean time the disciples prayed him, saying: Rabbi, eat. But he said to them: I have meat to eat, which you know not. The disciples therefore said one to another: Hath any man brought him to eat? Jesus saith to them: My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, that I may perfect his work. Do you not say, There are yet four months, and then the harvest cometh? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and see the countries; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting: that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may rejoice together. For in this is the saying true: That it is one man that soweth, and it is another that reapeth. I have sent you to reap that in which you did not labour: others have laboured, and you have entered into their labours. Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in him, for the word of the woman giving testimony: He told me all things whatsoever I have done. So when the Samaritans were come to him, they desired that he would tarry there. And he abode there two days. And many more believed in him because of his own word. And they said to the woman: We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard him, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.
I will praise the name of God with a canticle: * And I will magnify him with praise.
V/. Let the heavens and the earth praise him; the sea, and every thing that creepeth therein. * And I will magnify him with praise.