Cry out with joy to God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.
The Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major
The Council of Ephesus in 431 formally proclaimed the mother of Jesus as the Mother of God, and the church (basilica) of St Mary Major on the Esquiline Hill in Rome was built shortly afterwards to celebrate her motherhood. This is the oldest church in the West that is dedicated to Our Lady.
The title “Mother of God” may seem technical or even excessive; but it emphasises the central truth of the Incarnation, that Jesus Christ was not only a true man, but God also; and not only God, but man born of a woman.
St Oswald (c.604 - 642)
Saint Oswald was born at the very beginning of the 7th century. He was the youngest son of the pagan Ethelfrid, the first king of a united Northumbria. After his father’s death in battle, the young Oswald fled to Iona for safety and was baptised there and became a devoted Christian.
In 633 Oswald returned to Northumbria to regain his father’s kingdom. It was said that he set up a wooden cross as his standard and dedicated himself and his people to God’s protection before engaging himself in battle with the occupying Welsh King Cadwallon, not far from the present Hexham. He defeated and killed Cadwallon and at once invited the monks from Iona to begin the evangelisation of his kingdom which extended from the Forth to the Humber. After initial difficulties, the monk Aidan was sent to lead these Irish missionaries and Oswald found him to be both a valued adviser and a good friend. Oswald took seriously the work of bringing Christianity to his people and was even known to accompany Aidan on his missionary expeditions and to act as interpreter during the time Aidan was learning the language of the English. He was also well known both for his personal prayerfulness and his charity to those in need.
Sadly the reign of King Oswald lasted only eight years. In 642 he was killed in battle by Penda the pagan king of the Mercians. It was said that as he fell in death he was heard to pray for those who died with him. Oswald was a popular hero and his reputation as a saint was widespread even into mainland Europe.
Other saints: Blessed Frédéric Janssoone (1838 - 1916)
He was born in Flanders, the youngest of thirteen children. When he was nine years old, his father died, and he left school to help support his mother, until her death in 1861. He then joined the Franciscans and became a priest. After serving as a military chaplain and preaching in the Holy Land, he was sent to Canada on a fund-raising tour in 1881, settling there permanently in 1888. By his preaching and his writing he led many people to bear authentic witness to the Gospel and share his closeness to Christ.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: The 'Epistle of Barnabas'
The so-called Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek epistle written between AD 70 and 132. It was respected enough to be included in early codices of the Bible, such as the famous Codex Sinaiticus. Some early Fathers of the Church ascribed it to the Barnabas who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, but it is now generally attributed to an otherwise unknown early Christian teacher, perhaps also called Barnabas. Like the Epistle of James, the later letters of Peter and John, the Apocalypse and the Shepherd of Hermas, it was accepted as canonical by some people but not by others. As time went on, the status of these various books was settled. Although the Epistle of Barnabas has not in the end been found to be part of scripture, it is still a valuable way of reflecting on scripture itself, especially in the way that it applies specifically Jewish modes of exposition to the events of the New Testament and their prefiguring in the Old. It is used several times in the Liturgy of the Hours.
Liturgical colour: green
The theological virtue of hope is symbolized by the colour green, just as the burning fire of love is symbolized by red. Green is the colour of growing things, and hope, like them, is always new and always fresh. Liturgically, green is the colour of Ordinary Time, the orderly sequence of weeks through the year, a season in which we are being neither single-mindedly penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Deuteronomy 1:16-17 ©|
At that time I told your judges: You must give your brothers a fair hearing and see justice done between a man and his brother or the stranger who lives with him. You must be impartial in judgement and give an equal hearing to small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for the judgement is God’s.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 55:8-9 ©|
My thoughts are not your thoughts,
my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks.
Yes, the heavens are as high above earth
as my ways are above your ways,
my thoughts above your thoughts.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 Samuel 16:7 ©|
God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.