Ember Friday in Lent
Station at the Twelve Apostles.
On the Friday in Ember Week the Station was always made in the Church of the Twelve Apostles, situated at the foot of the Quirinal, for the examination of candidates for ordination. Thus were the future priests and deacons put under the protection of the whole Apostolic College. This basilica, one of the oldest in Rome, was built shortly after the time of Constantine by Julius I., on the occasion of the translation of the bodies of the Apostles Philip and James the Less, which rested there. John III made of it a votive monument for the freeing of Rome from the Goths of Totila.
Addressing henelf to the public penitents in the first centuries of Christianity, the Church told them by the mouth of Ezechiel that God was ready to forgive them because they repented (Epistle). Like the sick who assembled in the porches of the pond situated on the north of the Temple in Jerusalem they waited at the doors of the church, and on the great day of the Sabbath, which is the Feast of Easter, Jesus cured them, as He healed the paralytic spoken of in the Gospel.
Our souls, washed in the waters of baptism, but since fallen back into sin, must atone for their faults, and Jesus, through the instrumentality of His priests, will pardon them in the holy tribunal of Penance.
The excuse, "I have no man," will not avail us, for if we remain stricken with the palsy of sin, it is because we do not have recourse to the ministry of priesthood, which is always at our disposal.
Let us pray to Almighty God to "receive us with his kind assistance" (Collect), that our vices being "cleansed away" by penance (Postcommunion), our souls may once more be shown "the light of His grace" (Prayer over the people).
Deliver me, O Lord, from my necessities: see my abjection and my labour, and forgive me all my sins. * To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed.
(Psalm 24:17-18 1-2 from the Introit of Mass)
Be gracious, O Lord, unto Thy people, and even as Thou makest them devoted to Thee, so mercifully revive them with Thy kind assistance.