The Lord is the King of apostles: come, let us adore him.
Liturgical Colour: White.
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were nicknamed by Jesus “the sons of thunder.” John is involved in many of the central events of Jesus’ life, including the Transfiguration, the Crucifixion, and the discovery of the Resurrection. He is “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and the one to whom he confided the care of his mother Mary.
He is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles; later he was exiled to the island of Patmos. He is said to have died at Ephesus.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)|
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||2 Corinthians 5:19-20 ©|
God has entrusted to us the news of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Acts 5:12,14 ©|
Many signs and wonders were worked among the people at the hands of the apostles and the numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Acts 5:41-42 ©|
The apostles left the presence of the Sanhedrin glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name. They preached every day both in the Temple and in private houses, and their proclamation of the Good News of Christ Jesus was never interrupted.