SAINT AGNES CATHEDRAL 533 South Jefferson Springfield, MO 65806
EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS (LATIN)
CELEBRANT Rev. Jeffery A. Fasching
December 23rd, 2012; Fourth Sunday of Advent (Rorate Sunday)
Epistle: 1 Cor. 4: 1-5; Gospel: Lk. 3: 1-6
Mass schedule December 24th through December 28th
Monday: Vigil of Christmas—Midnight Mass
Tuesday: The Nativity of Our Lord—Mass at 2:30pm
Wednesday: Saint Stephen * Protomartyr
Thursday: Saint John * Apostle & Evangelist
Friday: Holy Innocents * Martyrs
Mass on New Year’s Day will be at 2:30pm.
*Mass on Sunday, December 30th will be at 7:00pm*
Satan used ambition, pride and arrogance to tempt Adam and Eve. Ambition is what drove Lucifer out of heaven and into Hell. He arrogantly tempted Adam and Eve by telling them not that they would be God’s equal, but that they would be “like God.” After eating the fruit they would know the difference between good and evil. This ambition puffed up their pride. They presumed to share in the divine wisdom and knowledge and allowed themselves to be seduced by Satan.
Some theologians speculate that is was envy that caused the fall of Lucifer and him minions. They knew that the Lord would create humanity. God would communicate Himself to his nature. He would go so far as to become incarnate and unite His Divinity with our humanity! These two natures would form one person! Knowing this, the fallen angels were moved with envy. They didn’t like the fact that the Creator planned to elevate human nature above theirs. They became jealous, ambitious and prideful. Finally, they stumbled miserably.
Now consider the humility of Saint John the Baptist. Remember Saint John the Baptist was sanctified in the womb of Saint Anne when he leaped at the presence of Jesus Christ at the Visitation. His humility was second only to The Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ Himself. Saint John was tempted with one of the most violent temptations to pride and ambition imaginable. Furthermore, the temptation came at the hands of his friends, rather than his enemies. They were sent to him from Jerusalem by the doctors of the Law.
It is very interesting to note that the religious leaders were expecting the Messiah. They saw that all the prophecies had been fulfilled. Jesus Christ came, taught His doctrine, performed miracles and backed up all He said by His works. Despite all this the religious leaders refused to acknowledge Him. Instead, they go looking for somebody else!
Saint John is asked: “Who are you?” Saint John clearly responded: “I am not the Christ.” “Are you Elias?” “No.” “Are you the Prophet?” “No.” Saint John rejected all the honors and titles which did not apply to him. But he even went so far as to reject even those that he had a right to accept! He attained such a degree of humility that he conquered every pride and ambition presented to him!
Let us continue to pray for humility and contrition as we approach the Nativity of Our Lord.
Fr. Jeffery Fasching