Thursday after Pentecost

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Thursday after Pentecost

Station at St. Laurence-without-the-Walls

"The Gift of Knowledge is a supernatural light of the Holy Ghost which shows us the credibility and acceptability of revealed truths, even for reasons which are based only on the order of creation".

The Station on this day takes place in the church dedicated to St. Laurence the deacon, whose soul was so consumed with the fire of the Spirit of love that he scarcely felt the flames torturing his body.

"When you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you," Jesus said to His apostles, "you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts of the Apostles 1:8.)

The Mass of to-day tells us how Philip the deacon, filled with the Holy Ghost, preached the Gospel in Samaria, where he worked many miracles (Epistle). And the Gospel reminds us that Christ, in conferring on His apostles the power of healing the sick, commanded them to preach everywhere the Kingdom of God.

"Filled with the Holy Ghost, the Apostles spoke the wonderful works of God" (Communion) and filled the whole earth with the marvellous operations of the Divine Spirit (Introit, Alleluia).

And what the Church did in her earliest days she continues to do through the centuries during the festivities of Pentecost, when the light of the Holy Ghost illumines in a very special manner the souls of the faithful (Collect).

Let us beseech God to grant us the gift of the Holy Ghost, that we may ielish what is right and ever rejoice in His holy consolations (Collect).

The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world, alleluia: and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.
(Wisdom 1:7 and Psalm 67:2 from the Introit of Mass)

O God, who on this day didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of Thy Holy Spirit, grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and ever rejoice in His holy consolation.
(Collect)


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Gospel : Luke 9 : 1-6
THEN calling together the twelve apostles, he gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 2And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. 3And he said to them: Take nothing for your journey; neither staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats. 4And whatsoever house you shall enter into, abide there, and depart not from thence. 5And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off even the dust of your feet, for a testimony against them. 6And going out, they went about through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

A Homily by St. Ambrose the Bishop

We learn from Christ's precepts what manner of men they ought to be who preach the kingdom of God as the Gospel saith: Take nothing for your journey; neither staves nor scrip, neither bread, neither money. Thus let the apostolic preacher (seeking no earthly help, and relying on faith) deem himself able to do all the more, as he needeth all the less. And they who wish to do so, may interpret this passage as referring to the proper interior intention, to wit: A man may be said to have laid aside the encumbrances of the body, not only by abdicating power, and despising riches, but also by truly abandoning the allurements of the flesh. And first of all, Christ gave the Apostles a general precept concerning their manner: they were to be bringers of peace; not gadding about, but observing both the laws and ties of hospitality which were offered to them. To gad about from house to house, and to abuse the rights of hospitality, are things alien to a preacher of the kingdom of heaven.

But as the kindness of hospitality is to be met with courtesy, so also is it said: Whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet, for a testimony against them. Hereby is taught that hospitality doth meet with a good reward; for if, to those who receive us, we bring peace, then also it is true to say that, wheresoever there enter the feet of them that bear the Gospel, there the clouds of sinful vanities do flee away. And so it is not without reason that Matthew saith: Into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence: thus avoiding any possible need of going from house to house. But no such caution is enjoined on him that giveth hospitality, lest his hospitality should be lessened by shewing partiality.

This passage, taken according to its plain meaning, instructeth us in the sacred duties of hospitality, and charmeth us with a hint of heavenly mystery. When the house is chosen, it is asked if the master thereof be worthy. Perchance this is a figure of the Church, and of her Master, Christ. What worthier house can the apostolic preacher enter than holy Church? Or what host is more to be preferred before all others than Christ, who was wont to wash the feet of his guests? Yea, he suffereth not that any whom he receiveth into his house should dwell there with unclean feet. However defiled they be from their former wanderings, he doth vouchsafe to cleanse them for the rest of their journey. From his house ought no man ever to go forth, nor change his roof for any other shelter, for unto him it is well said: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life: and these words of thine we do believe.

R. Deo grátias.
 
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