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

April 9

Saturday – A Prelude to Holy Week

Holy Week starts tomorrow, a sacred journey beginning with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and continuing through the Easter Triduum. During this mystical time, we are invited to remember the terminal events of Jesus’ life and prayerfully reflect on their meaning. Therefore, throughout the next week, look for reflective insets as well as sequential scripture highlighting Holy Week. This particular collection journeys through commitment and personal growth.

Today, as a prelude to the week ahead, we see Jesus making an absolute commitment to complete his Father’s work. Speaking to his disciples prior to the Palm Sunday procession, we hear Jesus say,

18Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death,19 and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day” (Matt 20:18-19).[1]

Jesus’ resolute tone helps us understand the importance of commitment. In the week ahead, can we identify and prioritize a singular goal and commit, as Jesus did, to see it through to completion? What are the choices ahead of us? Where in our lives is new life budding forth?

Inherent in decision is an opposing force, a paradox. We know we have to commit to create; yet we oftentimes fear the singular choice. New life can only come through a partnership with dedication, but we long to reserve other options.[2]

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;…” (Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”)[3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v. “Matthew, The Gospel According To.”
[2] Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharistic, “The Mysteries of Holy Week,” Retreat, Pocatello, ID, March 2012.
[3] Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken,” Courtesy of Bartleby.com.

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 – Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, watercolor, detail by Julian Fałat [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ash Wednesday

“Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near,” (James 5:8). [1][2]

Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of a new Lenten season. Pope Francis encourages the faithful to live “in the presence of the Father [who] gives us a much deeper joy than worldly glory can give us. May our attitude this Lent be one of living in secret where the Father sees us, loves us and waits for us. Naturally, exterior things are important too, but we must always choose to live in the presence of God.

Let us do what we can, in prayer, in sacrifice, and in acts of charity, humbly before God. This way we will be worthy of God the Father’s reward.” May each of us have a blessed Lent.[3]

[1] New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
[2] Irish Province of Society of Jesus, Sacred Space for Lent 2015, (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2015).
[3] Pope Francis, Audio-message to the young people of the Prelature of the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii., www.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.

Liturgy of the Hours for December 07