|Last Sunday after Pentecost|
If there should be more than twenty-four Sundays after Pentecost, the Masses after the twenty-third will be of those Sundays after Epiphany which were passed over, and the following is the order that is to be observed:
If there are twenty-five Sundays after Pentecost, on the twenty-fourth is said the Mass of the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany.
If there are twenty-seven Sundays after Pentecost, on the twenty-fourth is said the Mass of the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, on the twenty-fifth, that of the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, and on the twenty-sixth, that of the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany.
If there are twenty-eight Sundays after Pentecost, on the twenty-fourth is said the Mass of the Third Sunday after Epiphany, on the twenty-fifth, that of the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, on the twenty-sixth, that of the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, and on the twenty-seventh, that of the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany.
This Mass, that for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, is always to be said on the last Sunday after Pentecost.
he Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, i. 9-14. Brethren: We cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding: that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God: strengthened with all might, according to the power of His glory, in all patience and longsuffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, Who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins.
This epistle teaches us that we should thank God continually for the infinite grace of calling us to be Christians and members of the Catholic Church. In like manner should we pray, without ceasing, for still greater enlightenment, and greater strength in doing good, until, in our knowledge and in our practice, we attain to likeness with God.
he Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, According to St. Matthew, xxiv. 15-35. At that time Jesus said to His disciples: When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand. Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains. And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house: and he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. And woe to them that are with child, and that give suck in those days. But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the sabbath. For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be. And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say to you: Lo here is Christ, or there, do not believe him. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold I have told it to you, beforehand. If therefore they shall say to you: Behold He is in the desert, go ye not out: Behold He is in the closets, believe it not. For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west: so shall the coming of the Son of man be. Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together. And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty. And He shall send his angels with a trumpet, and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them. And from the fig tree learn a parable: When the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh, even at the doors. Amen I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass, but My words shall not pass.
"The abomination of desolation," of which Christ makes mention, is the desecration of the temple, at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, when it was profaned in the most frightful manner, by robbery, murder, conflagration, and the setting up of idols - about forty years after the death of Christ.
While the Jewish population were perishing, the Christians, following the warning of Christ, fled over the mountains to the city of Pella. Thereby Jesus would indicate how great the danger would be should they be obliged to fly in winter, or on the Sabbath-day, on which they were forbidden to make a journey of more than five hundred paces.
"False Christs and false prophets," like those here spoken of, according to the testimony of Josephus, were Eleazar, John, and Simon, who appeared at the time of the Jewish war, and, under the pretence of helping the Jews, plunged them into still greater misfortunes. Before the end of the world a false Messias will appear, who is the Antichrist. According to the opinion of the holy fathers, he will be born from among the Jewish people, and is called Antichrist because he will claim to be the redeemer and sanctifier of men, and will denounce Christ as an imposter. On account of his malice and cruelty St. Paul calls him the man of sin and the son of perdition (II. Thess. ii. 3), who, out of pride, will sit in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God, and will command all who will not worship him to be put to death. And he will, by his splendor, his promises, his false miracles, succeed so far that not only many Jews (to whom the poor and humble Jesus was too insignificant) will acknowledge him to be the Messias, but even many Christians will deny Christ and adhere to him. Even the elect would be in danger of being deceived by him were it not that for their sake God will shorten those days, as He shortened the days of tribulation at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Jesus now goes on to define the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and says that many of His hearers shall live to see it; which was actually the case. But when the end of the world is to come no one, He says, knoweth; no, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone (Matt. xxiv. 36). Let us, therefore, keep ourselves always ready, by a pious life, for the coming of the divine Judge, and with that purpose let us often think on the significant words of Our Lord: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away."