Station at St. Balbina's (in the Aventine)
Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent.
The Station is at the sanctuary of St. Balbina, a Roman virgin who lived in the second century and whose remains lie under the altar with those of her father, the martyr St. Quirinus. This church, which stands on the slope of the Aventine, was in the fifth century one of the twenty-five parish churches of Rome. Formerly it was the house of a Roman lady named Balbina, who was martyred during the persecution of Traian. The reason for the choice of this church is explained by the epistle, which speaks of the widow of Sarephta. Thus is celebrated the faith of one who transformed her residence into a church.
Jesus declares in the Gospel that the Jews who taught the law of Moses did not observe it. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God is open to the heathen, who by baptism become disciples of Christ and do His works.
The Epistle tells of Elias going to a heathen widow woman of Sarephta to ask for nourishment when a drought had fallen on impenitent Israel. The widow took two pieces of wood, typical of the cross of Jesus, and prepared a hearth cake for the prophet and one for herself. Her compassion was rewarded, for never after did she want for bread. Whereas the Jews suffer from the scarcity, the Gentiles, as a reward for their fidelity, receive daily the Eucharistic bread, which applies to them the merits gained for them by the Saviour on the Cross.
Let us pray that God may grant us the grace of perseverance in the observance of the fast, "of which He has set us an example (Collect).
My heart hath said to Thee: I have sought Thy face. Thy face, O Lord, will I still seek: turn not away Thy face from me. * The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?
(Psalm 26:8-9,1 from the Introit of Mass)
Of Thy goodness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, continue to help us in the observance of this holy fast, that having learned our duties from Thee, we may accomplish them by the help of Thy grace.
Gospel (Matt. 23 : 1-12)
1THEN Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, 2Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. 3All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not. 4For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men's shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them. 5And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes. 6And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, 7And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi. 8But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master; and all you are brethren. 9And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. 10Neither be ye called masters; for one is you master, Christ. 11He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.