27th July Blessed Titus Brandsma, Priest and Martyr
OCD: Optional Memorial
Born in Bolsward (The Netherlands) in 1881, Blessed Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelite Order as a young man. Ordained a priest in 1905, he earned a doctorate in philosophy in Rome. He then taught in various schools in Holland and was named professor of philosophy and of the history of mysticism in the Catholic University of Nijmegen, where he also served as Rector Magnificus. He was noted for his constant availability to everyone. He was a professional journalist, and in 1935 he was appointed ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists. Both before and during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands he fought, faithful to the Gospel, against the spread of Nazi ideology and for the freedom of Catholic education and of the Catholic press. For this he was arrested and sent to a succession of prisons and concentration camps where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners and did good even to his tormentors. In 1942, after much suffering and humiliation, he was killed at Dachau. He was beatified Pope John Paul II on 3rd November, 1985.
Entrance Antiphon - Ps 36:39
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord. He is their strength in time of need.
Lord our God, source and giver of life, you gave to Blessed Titus the Spirit of courage to proclaim human dignity and the freedom of the Church even in the throes of degrading persecution and death. Grant us that same Spirit so that in the coming of your kingdom of justice and peace we might never be ashamed of the Gospel but be enabled to recognise your loving-kindness
in all the events of our lives. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
A reading from the second letter of St Paul to Timothy - 2:3-13
Anyone who tries to live in devotion to Christ Jesus is certain to be attacked.
Put up with your share of difficulties, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. In the army, no soldier gets himself mixed up in vilian life, because he must be at the disposal of the man who enlisted him; or take an athlete-he cannot win any crown unless he has kept all the rules of the contest; and again, it is the working farmer who has the first claim on any crop that is harvested. Think over what I have said, and the Lord will show you how to understand it all.
Remember the Good News that I carry, 'Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David'; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal-but they cannot chain up God's news. So I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen, so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that comes with it.
Here is a saying that you can rely on:
If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.
If we disown him, then he will disown us.
We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithfu, for he cannot disown his own self.
Responsorial Psalm - Ps. 17:2-3a, 3bc-4, 5-6, 7 (R.2 Mc. 1:17)
R/. Blessed in all things be our God.
I love you, Lord, my strength,
my rock, my fortress, my saviour.
My God is the rock where I take refuge;
my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold. R/.
The Lord is worthy of all praise:
when I call I am saved from my foes. R/.
The waves of death rose about me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the snares of the grave entangled me;
the traps of death confronted me. R/.
In my anguish I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears. R/.
Gospel Acclamation - 1 Cor 1-18
The language of the cross may be illogical
to those who are not on the way to salvation,
but those of us who are on the way
see it as God's power to save.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke - 6:27-36
Be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate.
Jesus said to his disciples: 'I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you. Treat others as yowould like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate'.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord, accept these gifts we present in memory of Blessed Titus, for no temptation could turn him away from you. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon - Jn 15:5
I am the vine and you are the branches, says the Lord; he who lives in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit.
Prayer after Communion
Lord, we are renewed by the mystery of the eucharist. By imitating the fidelity of Blessed Titus and by our patience may we come to share the eternal life you have promised. Grant this through Christ our Lord
Office of Readings
Second Reading - From the writings of Bl. Titus Brandsma
Jesus called Himself the head of the Mystical Body, of which we are the members. He is the vine, we are the branches. He laid Himself in the winepress and Himself trod it. He handed us the wine so that, drinking it, we might lead His life, might share His suffering. Whoever wishes to do My Will, let him daily take up his cross. Whoever follows me has the light of life. I am the way, He said. I have given you an example, so that as I have done so you may do also. And when His disciples did not understand that His way would be a way of suffering, He explained this to them and said, "Should not the Christ so suffer, in order to enter into His glory?"
Then the hearts of the disciples burned within them. God's word had set them on fire. And when the Holy Spirit had descended on them to fan that divine fire into flame, then they were glad to suffer scorn and persecution, whereby they resembled Him Who had preceded them on the way of suffering.
The prophets had already marked His way of suffering; the disciples now understood that He had not avoided that way. From the crib to the cross, suffering, poverty and lack of appreciation were His lot. He had directed His whole life to teaching people how different is God's view of suffering, poverty and lack of human appreciation from the foolish wisdom of the world. After sin, suffering had to follow so that, through the cross, man's lost glory and life with God might be regained. Suffering is the way to
heaven. In the cross is salvation, in the cross is victory. God willed it so. He Himself assumed the obligation of suffering in view of the glory of redemption. St. Paul makes it clear to us how all the disasters of this earthly life are insignificant, how they must be considered as nothing and passing, in comparison with the glory that will be revealed to us when the time of suffering is past and we come to share in God's glory.
Mary, who kept all God's words in her heart, in the fullness of grace granted her, understood the great value of suffering. While the apostles fled, she went out to meet the Saviour on the way to Calvary and stood beneath the cross, in order to share His grief and shame to the end. And she carried Him to the grave, firmly trusting that He would rise.
We object when He hands us the chalice of His suffering. It is so difficult for us to resign ourselves to suffering. To rejoice in it strikes us as heroic. What is the value of our offering of self if we unite ourselves each morning only in word and gesture, rather than in thought and will, to that offering which we, together with the Church, make of Him with whom we are in the one body?
Jesus once wept over Jerusalem.
Oh, that this day you had known the gift of God!
Oh, that this day we might realize the value God has
placed on the suffering He sends: He, the All-Good.
R/. God forbid that I glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, * by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
V/. We preach Christ crucified, to others a stumbling block and a folly, but to us the power and the wisdom of God, * by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
He was light to those who sat in the shadow of death, a model for those who sought freedom and justice, doing good even to those who hated him.
He glorified the Lord even in the sufferings of prison; he found traces of God's goodness even in the dregs of inhumanity. Glory to You Who did great things in Your servant!