Wednesday in Passion Week
The Church of St. Marcellus, where to-day's Station is held, was one of the twenty-five parish churches of Rome in the fifth century. Originally the house of the holy matron Lucina, where she received St. Marcellus, it was transformed by her into a sanctuary and dedicated to this holy Pope, whose body rests under the High Altar.
The Mass of to-day shows us the obstinacy of the Jews in rejecting Jesus, as they had already rejected His Father. The divine law given by Him whom the Epistle calls six times "the Lord", "whose word is stable" declared formally "that one may not shed his neighbour's blood, nor hate his father in his heart". The members of the Sanhedrim, on the contrary, hated Christ and sought to stone Him (Gospel). Unfaithful to God "who orders His laws to be kept " (Epistle), they blamed Jesus "whom the Father has sent and who is the Son of God. " The Father and I are one. The miracles that I have worked come from My Father ." "Rejecting the legitimate pastor of their souls, they are no longer His sheep," and will be replaced by the Gentiles, who, baptised or reconciled to God at the Easter Festival, are "the sheep who hear His voice and to whom He gives eternal life " (Gospel).
Let us be faithful to Jesus and pray God "to sanctify our fast and illumine our hearts" (Collect), in order that, delivered from the abyss into which our sins had made us fall (Gradual), we "may wash our hands among the innocent and proclaim the wondrous works of God " (Communion).
Liberator meus de gentibus iracundis: ab insurgentibus in me exaltabis me: a viro iniquo eripies me, Domine. * Diligam te, Domine, virtus mea : Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus.
My deliverer from the angry nations : Thou wilt lift me up above them that rise up against me: from the unjust man Thou wilt deliver me, O Lord. * I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer.
(Psalm 17:48-49,2-3 from the Introit of Mass)
Sanctificato hoc jejunio, Deus, tuorum corda fidelium miserator illustra: et quibus devotionis praestas affectum, praebe supplicantibus pium benignus auditum.
Sanctify this fast, O God, and mercifully enlightening the hearts of Thy faithful, do Thou hear favourably those to whom Thou grantest the grace of devotion.