Quinquagesima – The Sunday before Lent

Color: Red; Intent: The Holy Spirit as the Fire of Love


O Mighty Power, Wisdom full of Life, first great commander of the hosts of light and love! God of our life, Lord of dear kindness, perfect living Word, we pray Thee to clothe us in the robe of light! The heavenly luminous wheels glorify Thee, the Wind, and the Water and the Fire, which daily ascend from the Abyss. O Love, that drawest forth the sparks of holiness from the earth, lead us to the rose upon the cross of gold! O Love, that art the lifeblood of the universe and the sustainer of our souls, give us strength to ascend unto Thee. Amen.


The Lesson is taken from the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of Angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but where there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love.


The Gospel is taken from the Gospel of the Cathars:
The Son of God said when he returned to heaven: “My little ones, be not sad on this account because you who stand in truth and justice and not as other men shall return otherwise to my Father’s Kingdom.” And having said the above, the Son of God said to bar Yona: “Let no one put his hand to my plough unless he wishes to grasp it firmly. For he who shall give a cup of water to my little ones shall be blessed, because he shall receive a hundredfold more. See, therefore, if the holy Father promises us much, yet he who shall deceive my little ones in the matter of a single penny, his soul shall not be worth another penny. Where there is one who is my little one, I myself shall be with him, and where there are two, likewise, and where there are three, in the same way.”

Homilies for Quinquagesima by Bishop Stephan Hoeller