Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ordinary Time: Mardi Gras

Our Winter postings are now concluded. We will begin posting again in the Spring for Lent on March 1 through Lent and the Easter Season. Until then....

We live in an area of the world that celebrates Mardi Gras. The season of Mardi Gras has many connections with the Catholic Church. First of all, the season starts on Epiphany, or "King's Day," when the 3 kings brought the gifts of gold, frankincense and mur to the Christ Child. It is a time when the 3 liturgical seasons of Christmas (gold), Ordinary Time (green) and Lent (purple) come together. The "baby" in the king cake represents the Baby Jesus. Also, it is a time of celebration before the season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Please refer to the link for more information about the Christian celebration of Mardi Gras.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Friday of the Second Week of Christmas (Traditional Date of Epiphany)

Today we celebrate the traditional Feast of the Epiphany.
A link has been added about this Feast and the tradition of Blessing the Home. January 6 is its traditional date, but this Feast may be celebrated on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8, as it is this year on Sunday.

Today we also celebrate the Memorial of St. Andre Bessette. A link has been added about this saint.

Scripture: "When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled,  and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea,  for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel."

Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,  "Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage." After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,  until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star,  and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,  they departed for their country by another way.."
Matthew 2:1-12

Readings for the Day:
Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Matthew 2:1-12

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Thursday of the Second Week of the Christmas Season 2017

Today is also the Memorial of St. John Neumann.
A link has been added about this saint.

"On the twelfth day of Christmas...
my true love gave to me....
twelve drummers drumming...."

Symbolism: The twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve beliefs stated in the Apostle's Creed.

Scripture: "Now they were persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles, and in the communion of the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers. And fear developed in every soul. Also, many miracles and signs were accomplished by the Apostles in Jerusalem. And there was a great awe in everyone. And then all who believed were together, and they held all things in common."
Acts of the Apostles 2:42-44

Readings of the Day:
1 John 3:11-21
Psalm 100
John 1:43-51

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wednesday of the Second Week of the Christmas Season

Today is also the Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
A link has been added with the history of this saint.

"On the eleventh day of Christmas.....
my true love gave to me.....
eleven pipers piping..."

Symbolism: The "eleven pipers piping" is symbolic of the eleven faithful disciples.

Scripture: "Now the eleven disciples went on to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And, seeing him, they worshipped him, but certain ones doubted. And Jesus, drawing near, spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have ever commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even to the consummation of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-20

Readings for the Day:
1 John 3:7-10
Psalm 98
John 1:35-42

Second Tuesday of the Christmas Season

~Today is also the Memorial for the Most Holy Name of Jesus. A link has been added about this memorial.~

"On the tenth day of Christmas...
my true love gave to me...
ten lords a-leaping..."

Symbolism: The "ten lords a-leaping symbolizes the Ten Commandments."

Scripture: "I was the mediator, for I was in the middle between the Lord and you, at that time, to announce his words to you. For you were afraid of the fire, and so you did not ascend to the mountain. And he said: ‘I am the Lord your God, who led you away from the land of Egypt, from the house of servitude. You shall not have strange gods in my sight.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image, nor the likeness of anything, which is in heaven above, or on earth below, or which abides in the waters under the earth.
You shall not adore and you shall not worship these things. For I am the Lord your God, a jealous God, repaying the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation to those who hate me, and acting with mercy in thousands of ways to those who love me and keep my precepts.
You shall not use the name of the Lord your God in vain. For he will not go unpunished who takes up his name over an unimportant matter. Observe the day of the Sabbath, so that you may sanctify it, just as the Lord your God has instructed you. For six days, you shall labor and do all your work.
The seventh is the day of the Sabbath, that is, the rest of the Lord your God. You shall not do any work in it, nor shall your son, nor daughter, nor man servant, nor woman servant, nor ox, nor donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor the sojourner who is within your gates, so that your men and woman servants may rest, just as you do. Remember that you also were servants in Egypt, and the Lord your God led you away from that place with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. Because of this, he has instructed you so that you would observe the Sabbath day.
Honor your father and mother, just as the Lord your God has instructed you, so that you may live a long time, and so that it may be well with you in the land, which the Lord your God will give to you.
You shall not murder.
And you shall not commit adultery.
And you shall not commit theft.
Neither shall you speak false testimony against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his house, nor his field, nor his man servant, nor his woman servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything out of all that is his.’"
Deuteronomy 5:5-21

Readings for the Day:
1 John 2: 29-3:6
Psalm 98
John 1:29-34

Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas Season: Memorials of St. Basil the Great & St. Gregory of Nazianzen

Today we celebrate the Memorials of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nazianzen.
A link has been added with the history of these saints.

"On the ninth day of Christmas...
my true love gave to me....
nine ladies dancing..."

Symbolism: The "nine ladies dancing" symbolize the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit.
(The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are sometimes listed as 9 subjects and sometimes listed as 12 subjects.)

Scripture: "But the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, forbearance, meekness, faith, modesty, abstinence, chastity. There is no law against such things."
Galatians 5:22-23

Reading for the Day:
1 John 2:22-28
Psalm 98
John 1:19-28

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Today is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
A link has been added with the history of this Feast.

"On the eighth day of true love gave to me...
eight maids a-milking..."

Symbolism: The "eight maids a-milking" symbolizes the eight Beatitudes, given to us by Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount.

Scripture: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be consoled. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who endure persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they have slandered you, and persecuted you, and spoken all kinds of evil against you, falsely, for my sake: be glad and exult, for your reward in heaven is plentiful. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Matthew 5:3-12

Readings for the Day:
Numbers 6:22-27
Psalm 67
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:16-21