DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / PURPLE
The emphasis today has ceased to be upon the joys of Christ’s coming or upon the peace and wonder of possessing Him. Now the stress is on what it cost Our Lord to atone for the sins of men, on how much everyone needs His atoning death, and on what everyone can do to have a part in atoning for sin.
Every Christian without exception must enter into the warfare between Christ and Satan — the warfare that begins to be dramatized and lived anew in these weeks.
This Season, then, is a prelude to the penitential mortifications of Lent — a time that ends with the Passion of Christ and leads to the glorious Resurrection and Ascension that end our exile. It’s as if during Septuagesima, we recognize our exile and the reasons for it; during Lent we repent of those reasons; during Passiontide, Our Lord assuages the Father’s wrath at those reasons; and then, during Easter, we rejoice that, through the Cross, we can avoid the eternal price of sin.
For now, though, exile it is, and to indicate this, we eliminate the alleluia — which means "All hail to Him Who is" — from the Mass. Just as at Requiem Masses (and also the Mass for the Holy Innocents), the alleluia isn’t heard and will be heard no more until the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. ~Fisheaters
Gospel Reading on Septuagesima Sunday
The kingdom of heaven is like to an householder, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And having agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going about the third hour, he saw others standing in the market place idle. And he said to them: Go you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just. And they went their way.
And again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did in like manner.
But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing, and he saith to them: Why stand you here all the day idle?
They say to him: Because no man hath hired us.
He saith to them: Go you also into my vineyard. And when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the labourers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first.
When therefore they were come, that came about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first also came, they thought that they should receive more: and they also received every man a penny. And receiving it they murmured against the master of the house, Saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, that have borne the burden of the day and the heats.
But he answering said to one of them: Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny? Take what is thine, and go thy way: I will also give to this last even as to thee. Or, is it not lawful for me to do what I will? is thy eye evil, because I am good? So shall the last be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.
“But if it be thy will to be busy about the things of other men also, busy thyself about their good works, not their sins, that both by the memory of our negligences and by our emulation for the good works they have done, and by setting before ourselves the judgment-seat from which no prayers can deliver, wounded each day by our conscience as by a kind of goad,we may lead ourselves on to humility, and a greater diligence, and attain unto the good things to come, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ; with whom be to the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, glory, might, honor, now and always, and world without end. Amen.” ~ St. John Chrysostom on Matthew 20:1-16