The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Red.
|Saint Lucy, Virgin, Martyr|
She was martyred in Syracuse, probably during the persecution of Diocletian (which started in 303). Devotion to her spread rapidly across practically the whole Church and her name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass. See the article in Wikipedia
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Ambrose of Milan (340? - 397)|
Ambrose was born in Trier (now in Germany) between 337 and 340, to a Roman family: his father was praetorian prefect of Gaul. Ambrose was educated at Rome and embarked on the standard cursus honorum of Roman advocates and administrators, at Sirmium, the capital of Illyria. In about 372 he was made prefect of Liguria and Emilia, whose capital was Milan.
In 374 the bishopric of Milan fell vacant and when Ambrose tried to pacify the conflict between the Catholics and Arians over the appointment of a new bishop, the people turned on him and demanded that he become the bishop himself. He was a layman and not yet baptized (at this time it was common for baptism to be delayed and for people to remain for years as catechumens), but that was no defence. Coerced by the people and by the emperor, he was baptized, ordained, and installed as bishop within a week, on 7 December 374.
He immediately gave his money to the poor and his land to the Church and set about learning theology. He had the advantage of knowing Greek, which few people did at that time, and so he was able to read the Eastern theologians and philosophers as well as those of the West.
He was assiduous in carrying out his office, acting with charity to all: a true shepherd and teacher of the faithful. He was unimpressed by status and when the Emperor Theodosius ordered the massacre of 7,000 people in Thessalonica, Ambrose forced him to do public penance. He defended the rights of the Church and attacked the Arian heresy with learning, firmness and gentleness. He also wrote a number of hymns which are still in use today.
Ambrose was a key figure in the conversion of St Augustine to Catholicism, impressing Augustine (hitherto unimpressed by the Catholics he had met) by his intelligence and scholarship. He died on Holy Saturday, 4 April 397.
Red is the colour of fire and of blood. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit (for instance, at Pentecost) and the blood of the martyrs.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Jeremiah 29:11,13 ©|
I know the plans I have in mind for you – it is the Lord who speaks – plans for peace, not disaster, reserving a future full of hope for you. When you seek me you shall find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Jeremiah 30:18 ©|
The Lord says this: Now I will restore the tents of Jacob, and take pity on his dwellings.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Baruch 3:5-6 ©|
Do not call to mind the misdeeds of our ancestors, but remember instead your power and your name, for you are indeed the Lord our God.