Universalis
Thursday 14 January 2021    (other days)
Saint Kentigern (Mungo), Bishop 
 on Thursday of week 1 in Ordinary Time

Christ is the chief shepherd, the leader of his flock: come, let us adore him.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.

St Kentigern or Mungo (518 - 603)

Kentigern was born in about 518. At the age of 25 he went as a missionary on the Clyde. A community grew up around him, known as “Clasgu” (“dear family”), and this is now the city of Glasgow. He was consecrated as bishop in 540. A strong anti-Christian movement forced him into exile in Wales, where he founded a monastery at what is now St Asaph’s. After 573 he spent eight years at Hoddam in Dumfriesshire before returning to Glasgow in 581. He died there on 13 January 603. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: Saint Athanasius (295 - 373)

Athanasius was born in Alexandria. He assisted Bishop Alexander at the Council of Nicaea, and later succeeded him as bishop. He fought hard against Arianism all his life, undergoing many sufferings and spending a total of 17 years in exile. He wrote outstanding works to explain and defend orthodoxy.
  The matters in dispute with the Arians were vital to the very nature of Christianity; and, as Cardinal Newman put it, the trouble was that at that time the laity tended to be champions of orthodoxy while their bishops (seduced by closeness to imperial power) tended not to be. The further trouble (adds Henry Chadwick) is that the whole thing became tangled up with matters of power, organization and authority, and with cultural differences between East and West. Athanasius was accused of treason and murder, embezzlement and sacrilege. In the fight against him, any weapon would do.
  Arianism taught that the Son was created by the Father and in no way equal to him. This was in many ways a “purer” and more “spiritual” approach to religion, since it did not force God to undergo the undignified experience of being made of meat. Islam is essentially Arian. But Arianism leaves an infinite gap between God and man, and ultimately destroys the Gospel, leaving it either as a fake or as a cruel parody. Only by being orthodox and insisting on the identity of the natures of the Father and the Son and the Spirit can we truly understand the goodness of creation and the love of God, and live according to them. For this reason many extracts from the works of St Athanasius have been adopted as Second Readings in the Office of Readings.

Liturgical colour: white

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)Amos 4:13 ©
He it was who formed the mountains, created the wind, reveals his mind to man, makes both dawn and dark, and walks on the top of the heights of the world; the Lord, the God of Hosts, is his name.

Noon reading (Sext)Amos 5:8 ©
He made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns the dusk to dawn and day to darkest night. He summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the land. ‘The Lord’ is his name.

Afternoon reading (None)Amos 9:6 ©
He has built his high dwelling place in the heavens and supported his vault on the earth; he summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the land. ‘The Lord’ is his name.
Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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