About Today

Christ is risen By Andrey Mironov (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday within the Octave of Easter

Solemnity

“But the angel said to the woman, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay’” (Mt 28:5-6). [1][2]

Today is the second day within the Octave of Easter; which began on Easter Sunday and lasts until the Second Sunday of Easter. In an octave celebration, we honor both the full 7 days in-between liturgical celebrations as well as the 8th day itself – as in the case of Easter, the Sunday of Divine Mercy.

This Hebrew style of festival celebration is mentioned during the Feast of Tabernacles and the Dedication of the Temple in the Old Testament; yet was not originally a Christian tradition. However, in the 4th century, Constantine declared octaves for the dedications of the churches in Tyre and Jerusalem. Celebrating with octaves grew in regularity; but the Second Vatican Council revised the practice to include octaves for Easter and Christmas only (2 Chron 7:9) (Lev 23:36). [3]

Also, from now until Pentecost or the 50 days of Eastertide, Christians are invited into mystagogy. It’s during this time that we “proceed from the visible to the invisible, from the sign to the thing signified, from the ‘sacraments’ to the ‘mysteries’”. [4]

Compiled by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v. “Matthew, The Gospel According To.”
[2] Excerpts from the Lectionary for the Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, 2nd ed., 2001, 1998, 1997, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, D.C.
[3] Paul VI, Missale Romanum [Apolistic Constitution on New Roman Missal], 1969.
[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed.,1076.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Washington Monument by Camera Operator: SSGT. LONO KOLLARS [Public domain]

Independence Day (United States)

Today, in the United States of America, it is on the Fourth of July that we honor, reflect and celebrate our independence.

Our celebration has its own rituals: family picnics, parades, flags and fireworks. Why do we do this? Because a lot of struggle, work, vision and lives went into gaining independence and maintaining it.

One cannot reflect or celebrate anything without praising and thanking our triune God. That is where our trust should be and where our faith should lead.

The forefathers of this country of ours had faith and trust in God to form this one nation under God. Abraham, our father in faith, was willing to do anything and his faith was rewarded.

Let our faith in God lead us to a better celebration than the 4th! Eternal life now that is truly peace and justice for all!

Heavenly Father,
help us to trust that through righteousness,
we may have faith,
and then your Son will be the only way, to lead us,
to forgive us and to guide us!
Amen.

– Deacon James W. Chaufty[1]

[1] Text of About today from the Catholic Calendar and Daily Meditation Archive

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Advent Wreath, Fourth Sunday By 3268zauber [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Fourth Sunday in the Season of Advent

Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-24

A reflection on today’s Sacred Scriptures:

Today’s readings on this Fourth (and last) Sunday of Advent describe how God very dramatically and lovingly intervenes in human history when “there is no way out.”

In the first reading, God directly invites King Ahaz to ask for a sign that God would protect the southern kingdom of Judah from enemies that threaten to destroy it. Now, a wise leader would eagerly grasp at the opportunity. Not Ahaz, who in his pride has already decided on his own political solution! Isaiah decides to give him God’s sign anyway, saying, “The virgin shall conceive a child and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.” Ahaz was not interested in God’s help. He foolishly trusted his own wisdom. As a result, the whole nation was defeated and sent into exile in Babylon.

The Gospel tells us of another man faced with a grave dilemma who did listen to God. Joseph, already bound by a solemn betrothal ceremony to take Mary as his wife, discovers to his dismay that she is with child. He can only suppose that she has been unfaithful to him, and is now subject to very severe laws that could result in her death if he exposes her. He takes the compassionate way out. He will divorce her quietly, exposing himself, not her, to shame. God intervenes through a dream in which an angel tells him the whole story. The angel tells Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, for her child has God Himself as the Father! With incredible trust and humility, Joseph obediently agrees to the plan. What a contrast between this just man and crafty Ahaz!

At Christmas, God is asking of us what He asked of Mary and Joseph–complete trust in His plans. He wants each of us to help Him save His world again! He richly rewards those who say “Yes!” and accept His plans for their lives. It’s even more incredible that Jesus the God-man, in turn, entrusted His life to Joseph and Mary. Again, God entrusts the success of His plans to those who can love enough and sacrifice their plans for His own.

Advent has been all about getting ready to agree to let Joseph and Mary use our hearts for a manger. From there, Jesus can help our poor country and our poor world to rebuild His kingdom. He needs our witness, our courage in speaking His truth, and sharing His love. He so wants us to be part of a much larger Advent, when all those prophecies we heard read in the last few weeks will be brought to fulfillment. If we can only give a simple, unqualified “yes” as Mary and Joseph did, some amazing things may happen through us in the world we live in.[1][2]

[1] Scripture for Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word
[2] Text of About today from The Journey a Catholic perspective of life’s journey

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Salvator Mundi attributed to Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday within the Octave of Easter

Solemnity

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man that had been healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition…‘But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any one in this name.’…But Peter and John answered, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God, you must judge; for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard’”(Acts 4:13-14,17, 19-20). [1][2]

Compiled by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v. “John, The Gospel According To.”
[2] Excerpts from the Lectionary for the Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, 2nd ed., 2001, 1998, 1997, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, D.C.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes by Konrad Witz / Public domain

Friday within the Octave of Easter

Solemnity

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, have you any fish?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish.” (Jn 21:4-6). [1]

Compiled by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v. “John, The Gospel According To.”
[2] Excerpts from the Lectionary for the Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, 2nd ed., 2001, 1998, 1997, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, D.C.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

The Supper at Emmaus by Jean Baptiste de Champaigne [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

Solemnity

“As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you.’ But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have’” (Lk 24-36-39). [1][2]

Compiled by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v. “Luke, The Gospel According To.”
[2] Excerpts from the Lectionary for the Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, 2nd ed., 2001, 1998, 1997, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, D.C.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Entry into Jerusalem by Pedro Orrente [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary” (Isaiah 50:4).

Today is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. As Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, he humbly embraced his mission to care for all God’s people. Just as Jesus willingly accepted his mission, we too, are asked to accept a mission to care for all God’s creation. As today’s reading from Isaiah highlights, this is the work to which the Lord calls us. As Christians, we have been taught a way to peace and have a duty to uplift those around us.[1][2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Edition, s.v., “Isaiah, The Book of.”
[2] Walter Brueggemann, Isaiah 40-66 (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998) 121-123.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem by Francesco Bartolozzi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

March 18

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Optional Memorial

“Already there is a scent of blessedness upon you. Already you who are soon to be enlightened are gathering spiritual flower from which, to weave heavenly crowns: already the fragrance of the Holy Spirit has breathed upon you: already you have gathered round the vestibule of the King’s palace. May you also be led in by the King! For blossoms now have appeared upon the trees; may the fruit also be found perfect!” [1]

St. Cyril of Jerusalem was a bishop in the fourth century. There survive 24 catechetical instructions that he delivered to prepare catechumens and the newly baptized for life in Christ. St. Cyril was bishop for 35 years, over 16 of which were spent in exile. He was first sent into exile by Acacius, Bishop of Caesarea, an ardent Arian who claimed jurisdiction over Jerusalem. St. Cyril was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1883 by Pope Leo XIII. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] St. Cyril, “The Catechetical Letters,” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893), 1, adapted.
[2] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 369.
[3] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Madonna of the people by Federico Barocci, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Monday after Pentecost

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

Memorial

Having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety, Pope Francis has decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost and be now celebrated every year.

This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed, the Virgin who makes her offering to God. [1]

[1] From the Decree on the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of the Church in the General Roman Calendar, for the full text see press.vatican.va

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Advent Wreath, Second Sunday By PHILIP János (e-mail from the author) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Second Sunday of Advent

“Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God. Put on the robe of the righteousness from God; put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting.” (Bar 5: 1-2).[1]

Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. In today’s readings at Mass, we are reminded of two holy preparations; the preparation of the coming of Christ at Christmas and the preparation of the coming of our Lord on the last day. Both are highlighted in the second week, encouraging us to recognize the life that is to come. We are called to ‘stand upright’ in thoughts and deeds while we wait and as St. Paul suggests, have patient courage to live in harmony with one another. As we light today’s candle on the Advent wreath, may the love of the season fill our hearts, minds, and homes as we prepare the way. [2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “Baruch.”

[1] Adrian Nocent, OSB, The Liturgical Year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany (Collegeville, MN: The Order of St. Benedict, Inc., 1977), 119-137.


The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Liturgy of the Hours for November 29