unless otherwise stated.
Second Sunday in Lent.
Station at Saint Mary's-in-Dominica.
Indulgence of 10 Years and 10 Quarantines.
Privilege of The First-Class.
"This is My Beloved Son . . . hear ye Him".
Illustration: UNA VOCE OF ORANGE COUNTY
Artist: Rene de Cramer.
Used with Permission.
English: Interior of the Basilica of Saint Mary's-in-Dominica, Rome.
Français: Intérieur de la basilique Santa Maria in Domnica.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
The Station at Rome is in the Church of Saint Mary's-in-Dominica, because, in former times, the Christians gathered there on Sundays in The House of The Lord (Dominicum). It is said to have been here that Saint Laurence distributed the goods of The Church to The Poor. It is one of the 5th-Century A.D., Parishes of Rome.
Just as on Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays, the subject matter of The Divine Office forms the texture of The Masses for The Second, Third and Fourth Sundays of Lent, in such a way, that past ages still carry on their work of illustrating The Paschal Mystery and so preparing us for it. And, indeed, Our Lord's ancestors, according to the flesh, are types of both Him and His Church.
Today, in The Breviary, we read of The Patriarch, Jacob, model of the most complete trust in God in the midst of all adversities. The Holy Scriptures often call Jehovah The God of Jacob, or Israel, when He is referred to as The Protector of His people. In the Introit, we say "O God of Israel, deliver us from all our tribulations".
It is, then, to The God of Jacob, The God of those who serve Him, that The Church addresses herself, today. In the Introit, we read that he who puts his trust in God will never be ashamed. In the Collect, we ask Almighty God to keep us, both inwardly and outwardly, that we may be preserved from all adversities.
English: Basilica of Saint Mary's-in-Dominica, Rome.
Italiano: Roma - Chiesa di S. Maria in Domnica.
Photo: October 2008.
Source: Own work.
In the Gradual and Tract, we beseech Our Lord that He will deliver us from our troubles and adversities and "visit us with His Salvation". The life of The Patriarch, Jacob, could not be summed up in a better way; he whom God always helped in the midst of his trouble and, in whom, as Saint Ambrose says, "we must acknowledge singular courage and great patience in labours and trials".
Jacob was chosen by Almighty God to be the heir of His Promises, just as, formerly, He had selected Isaac, Abraham, Sem and Noah. The name "Jacob" really means "Supplanter", and he fulfilled the meaning of his name when he bought the first birthright of his brother, Esau, from him for a mess of pottage, and obtained, by a trick, that Blessing of the elder son which his father meant to give to Esau. His father, Isaac (whose sight was impaired), Blessed, indeed, his younger son, Jacob, after having touched his hands, which Rebecca (Jacob's mother) had covered with goatskins. Isaac said to Jacob: "Let peoples serve thee . . . and be thou Lord of thy Brethren".
Further, when Jacob had to flee, to escape Esau's vengeance, he saw, in a dream, a ladder, reaching to Heaven, upon which the Angels ascended and descended. At the head of the ladder was The Lord, Who told him: "In thee and thy seed, all the Nations of the Earth shall be Blessed. And I will be thy keeper whithersoever thou goest, and will bring thee back into this land; neither will I leave thee, till I shall have accomplished all that I have said."
After twenty years, Jacob returned to his own land; then an Angel wrestled with him all night, without overpowering him, and, in the morning, told him: "Thy name shall not be called "Jacob", but "Israel"; for if thou hast been strong against God, how much more shall thou prevail against men ?" Jacob gained his brother's confidence and they were reconciled.
Santa Maria-in-Domnica, Rome.
One of the products of the Carolingian Renaissance of the Mid-9th-Century A.D.,
this mosaic was sponsored by Pope Paschal II, who can be seen kneeling before The Virgin.
Photo: February 2006.
Source: apse mosaic, s. maria in domnica
Author: Anthony M. from Rome, Italy.
Every feature of the history of this Patriarch is typical of Christ and The Church in The Paschal Mystery. Saint Augustine writes: "The Blessing, which Isaac gave Jacob, has a symbolic meaning in which the goatskins represent sins, while Jacob, clothed in these skins, is the figure of Him, Who, having no sins of His own, bore those of others." In somewhat the same way, a Bishop uses Gloves at a Pontifical Mass and says, in effect, that Jesus was offered for us in the likeness of the flesh of sin. Saint Leo, in his exposition, says: "That for the Restoration of the human race, His Unchangeable Divinity stooped to take the form of a slave and that this is why Our Lord promised, in formal and precise terms, that some of His Disciples should not "taste of death till they see The Son of Man coming in His Kingdom," that is, in the Royal Glory which belongs spiritually to His adopted human nature, a Glory which The Lord willed to reveal to His three Disciples; since "although they were aware of The Divine Majesty, which lay hidden within Him, they were ignorant of the possibilities of the very Body which clothed The Divinity".
Again, on the Holy Mountain, where Our Lord was Transfigured, a voice was heard saying: "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased. Hear ye Him." So, God The Father Blesses His Son, clothed with our sinful flesh, as Isaac Blessed Jacob, clothed with the goatskins, which Blessing given to Christ is given also to the Gentiles, just as Jacob was Blessed in preference to his elder brother.
When the Bishop puts on his Pontifical Gloves, he addresses the following Prayer to Almighty God: "Encompass my hands, O God, with the purity of the New Man come down from Heaven, that, as Jacob, who had covered himself with goatskins, obtained his father's Blessing, having offered him meats and good wine, so also may I, offering to Thee The Victim of Salvation at my hands, obtain the Blessing of Thy Grace. Through Our Lord."
It is in Christ that we are Blessed by The Father. He is our elder brother and our Head. To Him must we listen, for He has chosen us for His people. "We Pray and beseech you in The Lord Jesus," says Saint Paul, "that, as you have received from us, how you ought to walk and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more. For you know what precepts I have given you by The Lord Jesus . . . For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto Sanctification in Christ Jesus Our Lord" (Epistle).
English: The Ceiling of Saint Mary's-in-Dominica, Rome.
Italiano: Roma, Santa Maria in Domnica: soffitto.
Photo: September 2006.
Source: Own work.
In Saint John's Gospel, Our Lord applies the vision of Jacob's ladder to Himself, to show that in the midst of the persecutions, of which He was the object, He was constantly under the protection of Almighty God and His Angels. So, Saint Hippolytus says: "As Esau planned his brother's death, so the Jews plotted against Christ and The Church. Jacob must needs fly into a far Country; in the same way, Christ, thrust out by the unbelief of His own Nation, had to depart into Galilee, where The Church, sprung from the Race of Gentiles, is given to Him as His Spouse." Moreover, at the end of time, these two peoples will be reconciled, as were Esau and Jacob.
Today's Mass, then, taken in connection with The Breviary Lessons for this week, acquires its full sense and helps us to understand the true meaning for us of The Paschal Mystery which we are about to Celebrate. Jacob beheld The God of Glory; The Apostles saw Jesus Transfigured; soon, The Church will show us The Risen Saviour.
Every Parish Priest Celebrates Mass for the people of his Parish.
Mass: Reminíscere miseratiónum.