20 December 2014

'Let it be with me according to your word. ' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Advent, Year B

The Annunciation, El Greco, 1595-1600
Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

The Annunciation, Gerard David, 1506
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York [Web Gallery of Art]

The Incarnation
by St John of the Cross

Then He summoned an archangel, 
Saint Gabriel: and when he came, 
Sent him forth to find a maiden, 
     Mary was her name.

Only through her consenting love 
Could the mystery be preferred 
That the Trinity in human 
     Flesh might clothe the Word.

Though the three Persons worked the wonder 
It only happened to the One. 
So was the Word made incarnation 
     In Mary's womb, a son.

So He who only had a Father 
Now had a Mother undefiled, 
Though not as ordinary maids 
     Had she conceived the Child.

By Mary, and with her own flesh 
He was clothed in His own frame: 
Both Son of God and Son of Man 
     Together had one name.   

                [Translation by Roy Campbell]

In both paintings above Mary has the word of God, the Hebrew Bible, what we Christians call the Old Testament, open in front of her. And when she says, let it be with me according to your word, she is accepting the Word. The opening words of St John's Gospel, read at the Mass During the Day on Christmas Day and read at the end of every Mass in the Extraordinary Form, tells us who the Word is: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Further on, in Verse 14, St John writes those magnificent words that are at the centre of our faith: And the Word became flesh and lived among us.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church quotes what St John of the Cross said about this: In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.

The Annunciation in an initial R, Fra Angelico, c.1430
Museo di San Marco, Florence [Web Gallery of Art]

'Silence' is not what most of us associate with the days coming up to Christmas. But the Church invites us to enter into an inner silence during these days, difficult though that may be. The above is on a parchment, part of a Missal, which in the old days included the readings during Mass. Fra Angelico, a Dominican friar, was declared 'Blessed' by St John Paul II in 1982. This work again invites us into contemplation of the wondrous event of the Annunciation, the moment of the Incarnation when God became Man in the womb of Mary.

Julian of Vézelay (c.1080 - 1165), a French Benedictine monk, reflects on the silence into which Jesus entered, the silence that Mary bore in our heart, the silence that God invites us to enter at this time:

There came a deep silence. Everything was still. The voices of prophets and apostles were hushed, since the prophets had already delivered their message, while the time for the apostles' preaching had yet to come. Between these two proclamations a period of silence intervened, and in the midst of this silence the Father's almighty Word leaped down from his royal throne. There is a beautiful fitness here: in the intervening silence the Mediator between God and the human race also intervened, coming as a human being to human beings, as mortal to mortals, to save the dead from death.
I pray that the Word of the Lord may come again today to those who are silent, and that we may hear what the Lord God says to us in our hearts. Let us silence the desires and importunings of the flesh and the vainglorious fantasies of our imagination, so that we can freely hear what the Spirit is saying. Let our ears be attuned to the voice that is heard above the vault of heaven, for the Spirit of life is always speaking to our souls; as scripture says, a voice is heard above the firmament which hangs over our heads. But as long as we fix our attention on other things, we do not hear what the Spirit is saying to us.

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord,
your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may by his Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of the Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Gabriel's Message. An old Basque hymn.

1. The angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow his eyes as flame
‘All hail’ said he ‘thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady,’ Gloria!

2. ‘For know a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee,
Thy Son shall be Emanuel, by seers foretold
Most highly favored lady,’ Gloria!

3. Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head
‘To me be as it pleaseth God,’ she said,
‘My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name.’
Most highly favored lady. Gloria!

4. Of her, Emanuel, the Christ was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say:1
‘Most highly favored lady,’ Gloria!

Antiphona ad Communionem  Communion Antiphon  Isaiah 7:14

Ecce Virgo concipiet et pariet filium;
Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son;
et vocabitur nomen eius Emmanuel.
and his name will be called Emmanuel.

18 December 2014

I met St Joseph in Manila

The Dream of St Joseph,  Georges De La Tour, c.1640
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France [Web Gallery of Art]

Gospel for 18 December: Matthew 1:18-24
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
 ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.

Museo de Santa Cruz, Toledo, Spain [Web Gallery of Art]

Today's beautiful gospel, which I read at the third of the novena of pre-dawn Masses celebrated here in the Philippines to honour our Blessed Mother and to ask for the grace of perseverance in the faith, reminds me of Mang Pepe and his daughter Ligaya whom I met in Manila just over 12 years ago. Columba Chang, a Columban lay missionary from Korea who worked for some years in the Archdiocese of Manila with families affected by HIV/AIDS, tells the story of Pepe, his wife Maria and her daughter Ligaya, one that is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Columba is currently based in Hong Kong and will be assigned to Myanmar/Burma in 2015.

Mang and Aling are Tagalog terms of respect used when one is speaking to or about a man or woman older than oneself. Tatay means 'Papa' or 'Daddy' and is used throughout the Philippines. The names have been changed. 'Ligaya' is the Tagalog word for 'joy' and is a common name for girls in the Philippines. The real name of 'Ligaya' was equally beautiful. When I met her we got along famously and from time to time after that I was able to speak to her through Columba's mobile phone. Sadly, 'Ligaya' died less than a year, as I recall, after we met.

'TNT' is from the Tagalog term 'tago ng tago', meaning more or less to hide, and is used for Filipinos who are living illegally in other countries. 'OFW' is the common term for 'Overseas Filipino Worker', of whom there may be as many as nine million now. The article was first published in MISYON, the Columban magazine I edit here in the Philippines, in the November-December 2003 issue.

National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, 'Baclaran Church'

I met St Joseph in Manila

by Columba Chang
There may be as many as 7 million Filipino overseas workers spread all over the world.  They greatly help our country’s economy by the money they send home.  However sometimes we seem to take them for granted, thinking that they have an easy life abroad.  Read Aling Maria’s story below and find out the dangers our OFWs face and the abuses they experience.  We thank ‘Mang Pepe’ for his help in writing this article in which we’ve changed the names.
I met Mang Pepe and his daughter Ligaya through my work with Caritas Manila.  I visit the family regularly.  They live in a poor part of the city and Mang Pepe makes a living by doing odd jobs.  My work takes me to families affected by HIV/AIDS.  I knew Mang Pepe’s story before he shared it with the congregation at the Saturday evening Mass in Baclaran Church on 7 December 2002 at the end of a celebration organized by Caritas Manila for World AIDS Day.
A Greener Pasture
Mang Pepe and his wife Aling Maria were having difficulties putting their five children through school.  This sometimes led to arguments.  Eventually Aling Maria decided to work in the Middle East. She felt happy when accepted as a nursing aide with a two-year contract in the UAE. She prepared her documents. She and Pepe sold their house and lot for her fare and placement fee.  She flew out on 5 February 1989, full of hope for her family’s future financial stability.
Aling Maria soon discovered that her contract as a nursing aid was terminated just a few months after she arrived, without any hope of renewal. But she didn’t want to go back to the Philippines with an empty pocket.  She decided to take the ‘TNT’ route.  She managed to find a series of jobs as a saleslady, cashier and office worker.
Hope turns into a nightmare
As an illegal worker, she was often subjected to different abuses like underpayment, long hours of working without a day off and so on. But the worst thing was when one of Aling Maria’s employers took advantage of her and made her pregnant. When she came home to the Philippines in October 1993 Mang Pepe and the family were very shocked to learn that Aling Maria carried a child in her womb.  She hadn’t mentioned anything about this before.  However, despite this they still welcomed her and the child with joy . . . but deep in their hearts there was a shadow of sadness, fear and uncertainty.
After a few days the tabloids reported that three Filipino overseas workers had been sent home because of being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS – and that one of them was Aling Maria. These stories, and the rumors they spawned, continued for a month. Some relatives, neighbors and friends rejected Aling Maria. The children of Mang Pepe and Aling Maria were torn apart. Some wanted to quit school and leave the area. The family suffered greatly because of the stigma.
Confirmed HIV
Aling Maria and Mang Pepe went to the Department of Health for a series of blood tests.  The tests confirmed what Aling Maria knew already, that she and her ‘little mercy child,’ as Mang Pepe called his wife’s daughter had HIV. The doctor gave them counseling and advice and information about HIV/AIDS.
Ligaya is born
Aling Maria decided not to stay in the hospital and continued to work as a pension plan insurance agent. In time she gave birth to a baby girl whom they named Ligaya. Gradually, however, Mang Pepe saw his dear wife turning into a picture of misery as she suffered from constant headaches and flu. Aling Maria was hoping for a miracle that would ease her agony. It was not to be. The HIV developed into full-blown AIDS. Her appetite disappeared until she couldn’t eat anymore. Mang Pepe and the children saw Aling Maria slowly dying.  He prepared the family to accept her death as the will of God. She died on 15 December 1997, aged 46.
Like everyone else in Baclaran Church, I was deeply touched by Mang Pepe’s story, even though he had told it to me many times.  I was touched by the great love of this simple man who accepted as his own a daughter who was the fruit of the brutal violation of his wife. Mang Pepe is ‘Tatay’  to Ligaya. Her schoolmates sometimes tease her because her features clearly show her Middle Eastern origins. But herTatay stands by her, as do her brothers and sisters.
Proud to be her Tatay
Tatay Pepe is proud of Ligaya’s singing ability and smiled as she sang at the celebration in Baclaran. Ligaya is very proud of her Tatay and knows the depth of his love as a father.  She has very uncertain health and is often in the hospital. The shadow of AIDS hangs over her.
St Joseph named Jesus, the Son of Mary, and thereby became his legal father. He loved Mary, his wife, and raised Jesus as his own son. Mang Pepe has gone through the agony of knowing that his wife was violated overseas, after dishonest employers had taken advantage of her in other ways. When she brought home a child who was not his, he made her his own.  This latter-day St Joseph in Manila has given much joy to his daughter Ligaya as she has given much joy to him and others, like myself, who have come to know and love her.

17 December 2014

'Merry Christmas' from Japan

Musée Ingres, Montauban, France  [Web Gallery of Art]

 A priest-friend in Canada expressed his thoughts about the present and coming liturgical seasons in a recent email: It’s Advent again. It’s too bad that the beauty of Advent is lost in the Christmas hype. Sometimes I think that we should give Christmas back to the pagans (from whom we hijacked it) and join the Oriental Churches in celebrating the birth of Jesus on January 6.

I'm not quite sure that it would be practical to attempt that, though the Church should consider restoring the Epiphany as a mandatory holyday of obligation throughout the Church. It is such on the universal calendar of the Church but the reality is that in so many countries the bishops have opted for a Sunday celebration of the feast, thereby, I think, diminishing its importance.

For as long as I can remember I've heard people each year lamenting the 'commercial aspect' of Christmas. But when I was in kindergarten I knew why we celebrated Christmas. Santa Claus and Christmas shopping didn't distract me from that. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer came on the scene in 1949, when I was six and I can't imagine the season without him. And Santa Claus was part of the whole excitement of the celebration, not in the least undermining for me the celebration of the birth of our Saviour.

My Columban confrere from New Zealand, Fr Barry Cairns, went to Japan in 1956 as a young priest and is still there. In the current issue of MISYONonline.com, the Columban magazine in the Philippines of which I am editor, has a couple of Christmas reflections which I'll share here.

Two Reflections by Fr Barry Cairns

The author is from New Zealand and was ordained in 1955. He has been in Japan since 1956.Christmas: on looking at the crib first appeared in the November-December 2013 issue of The Far East, the magazine of the Columbans in Australia and New Zealand. Christmas in Japanwas first published in the November-December 2012 issue.

Christmas: on looking at the crib

Some time ago I was travelling by train from Yokohama to Odawara. In the carriage sitting opposite me I watched a young mother cuddling her baby. The baby was so tiny, so vulnerable, so dependent on its mother.
I wonder if any of us, given the choice, would come into this world in such a fragile condition. I doubt it.
But that is exactly what Jesus was willing to do for us. The Son, the second Person of the Trinity, chose to put aside the power and glory of God and become a weak, fragile human just like us. Jesus was a baby and like the baby in the train was completely dependent on his mother, Mary.
Let us look at the Christmas Crib and ponder this: our God deliberately took on our human weakness and consequent reliance on another. Jesus did this because he loves each one of us in our human frailty. That frailty which Jesus willingly accepted made him one of us and also made him our human representative before God.
This is what led him to offer his life for us, his brothers and sisters, on the Cross. The Crib and the Cross are intimately connected.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Japan!
Jesus says to each of us: ‘Unless you become as a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven’ (Matt: 18:3). Jesus does not mean that we become childish. He means that as adults we acknowledge our human weakness and become completely dependent on God. He calls on us in our powerlessness to rely on God's strength.
But we humans like to be in control. Christmas is a time when we look at the human infant Jesus in the crib. He is asking us to give up control and put ourselves into the hands of God. ‘Into your hands, Abba, Father-God, I give my life’ (cfLk 23:46).
Our Abba-God is gentle and understanding towards us his children. He wants our happiness. We can trust him when we put our lives in his hands. Let us look at the infant Jesus in the crib and realize how utterly dependent and weak he was.
If we ourselves acknowledge our human powerlessness and hand ourselves over to God we will become free, and more truly human. When God chose to become a weak human like us, he chose to be very close to us.
Our God has experienced the human condition. He accepts as we are in our human frailty.
That is love. That is the meaning of Christmas.
Silent Night sung in Japanese by a choir of Japanese children with André Rieu and his Orchestra

Christmas in Japan

How Japan has put meaning into Christmas for me.

The author in seasonal dress, with some young friends!
Christmas in Japan has caused me to dive into depths of pondering into which I would never have plunged had I not left my own culture.
A Japanese Christmas is so 'Jingle Bellie' so 'Santa Clausie.' Many would not even connect the festivities with Christ. My first reaction as a young priest was to become critical at the gross commercialization. In reaction I emphasized a spiritual Christmas.
But just a minute. This is where I started to ponder. This is when, I feel, a spot of wisdom came with age. There is no such thing as a purely spiritual Christmas.
Our God took on real human flesh. He did not become a pure spirit angel. The birth of Jesus in a drafty stable is not a purely spiritual event. That is the meaning of John 1:14, ‘The word was made flesh’ isniku, which is the common word for meat. Now that is thought-provoking.
In the third century the Gnostics said that the spirit and soul are good, but the body and material things are bad. Threads of this insidious heresy were revived in 18th century Jansenism, traces of which still persist today. We should not belittle the body and material things as if they distract us from the spiritual.
On the contrary the material is the normal gateway to the spirit. The Incarnation means that we humans meet God through the human Jesus. His human heart shows us divine love.
Jesus came for the whole human person. Christmas shows us that there is a mysterious but real unity between the human and the divine, between the spiritual and the secular, between the body and the soul. So let us rejoice in our humanity and in the material. That is the hidden message of Christmas.
I live in Yokohama, a city of 3.7 million people. Even in the suburbs private houses are bedecked with blinking colored lights. Santa Claus too is everywhere. For example a half marathon is run with all wearing red Santa hats. Railing against the absence of Christ in Christmas gets nowhere. I can't beat them, so I join them. I, too, have lights around the Church - they surround a life-size crib, made and painted by three of the parishioners.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town, in Japanese. Karuizawa Junior Chorus
After Christmas Masses I take off the vestments and don a Santa Claus outfit. (From October my white beard is untrimmed and is a genuine Santa length by 25 December). Crowds of children from the local kindergartens and grade schools line up and receive a small gift from Santa Claus Barry Cairns. I tell them about the real Saint Nicholas who was noted for his kindness. I ask the children to do one act of kindness to others. Kindness is essential to Christmas.
I see the surface celebration of Christmas as a modern expression of 'there was no room at the inn.' Two thousand years ago people did not receive Jesus, but he still came. He still comes today. We know the true meaning of Christmas so let us prepare the manger for him in the stable of our hearts.
Let us really share with others the material joys of Christmas. Our warmth can transmit the true message of Christmas to the world.
Angels We Have Heard on High, in Japanese. Karuizawa Junior Chorus
A final thought of my own. Each time we say Merry Christmas to someone we are expressing a wish that the Mass on the occasion of the celebration of the birth of Christ may be a source of joy and happiness to the other. What other greeting in English mentions both Christ and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Each time we listen to White Christmas or to The Christmas Song or many other secular songs connected with the Season we are reminded of both Christ and the Mass.

12 December 2014

'O felix culpa; O happy fault.' Sunday Reflections, 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year B

St John the Baptist, Donatello, 1438
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said,
“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’”
as the prophet Isaiah said.
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know,  the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
Mary, Queen of Heaven, Master of the Legend of St Lucy, c.1485-1500
National Gallery of Art, Washington [Web Gallery of Art]

Here in the Philippines we will begin the the Misas de Gallo, also known as Simbang Gabi or Aguinaldo Masses, the novena of pre-dawn Masses leading up to Christmas, or Tuesday the 16th. These are votive Masses in honour of our Blessed Mother and in thanksgiving for the gift of our faith. The Spanish word 'Aguinaldo' means 'gift' and in this context refers to the gift of faith.

The Church over the centuries has reflected on gifts we have received from God that we could not have received had our First Parents never sinned. A song included among poems for Advent and Christmas in the Breviary published by the hierarchies of Australia, England & Wales, and Ireland is one of those reflections, Adam lay y-bounden. In the Breviary it is given the title O Felix Culpa, 'O Happy Fault'.

This particular song, written in England in the 15th century, marvels at the fact that but for the reality of the sin of Adam we would have had Our Lady as Queen of Heaven.

The poem reflects part of the Exultet, the Easter Proclamation: O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, /quod Christo morte deletum est! O truly necessary sin of Adam,/destroyed completely by the Death of Christ. O felix culpa,/quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptionem! O happy fault/that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer.

At Easter we proclaim the great reality that God has given us a Redeemer and that he is now risen from the dead.

Coming up to Christmas we reflect on the birth of our Redeemer through the consent of Mary, his and our Mother. Mary is part of God's eternal plan and if we sideline her we distort that reality, as we also do if we put her in the centre and sideline her Son. In the painting above Mary, while being honoured as Queen of Heaven by the angels and saints is adoring God with her whole being, inviting us to do the same. The song too invites us to sing Deo gratias! Thanks be to God!

That is what the Church invites us to do every time we celebrate the Eucharist, the Thanksgiving. It invites Filipinos in particular at this time of the Aguinaldo Masses to thank God for the great gift of faith and to share it with others. One way n which Filipinos have been doing that is introducing this centuries-old practice to other countries, adapting the custom to local circumstances.

O Felix Culpa (O Happy Fault)

Adam lay y-bounden,
Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter,
Thought he not too long.
And all was for an apple,
An apple that he took.
As clerkes finden written
 In theiré book.
Ne had the apple taken been,
The apple taken been,
Ne hadde never our Lady,
A been heaven’s queen.
Blessed be the time
That apple taken was,
Therefore we may singen.
Deo gratias!

This song from England dates from the 15th century. The text here is an adaptation of the original Middle English and the musical setting is by Boris Ord.

Scottish poet Edwin Muir's One Foot in Eden, included in the Breviary for Lent and Easter, also reflects on the theme of felix culpa. 

What had Eden ever to say
Of hope and faith and pity and love
Until was buried all its day
And memory found its treasure trove?
Strange blessings never in Paradise.

Antiphona at introitum  Entrance Antiphon (Philippians 4:4-6)
Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. 
Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus:
Let your gentleness be known to everyone: 
Dominus enim prope est. 
for the Lord is near.
Nihil solliciti sitis:
Do not worry about anything 
sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrre innotescant apud Deum.
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be maked known to God.

Ps. 84 [85]:2 Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.
Lord, you were faorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. 
Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus:
Let your gentleness be known to everyone: 
Dominus enim prope est. 
for the Lord is near.
Nihil solliciti sitis:
Do not worry about anything 
sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrre innotescant apud Deum.
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be maked known to God.

The text in bold above is the Entrance Antiphon in the Ordinary Form of the Mass (the 'New Mass'). The longer text is the Entrance Antiphon in the Extraordinary Form (the 'Old Mass').