Christ is the chief shepherd, the leader of his flock: come, let us adore him
Year: C(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.
|Other saints: St John of Bridlington (1319 - 1379)|
John of Bridlington was born in about 1319. His family name was Thwing and it is likely that he was born in the village of that name a few miles inland from the east Yorkshire coastal town of Bridlington – or Burlington as it was then called. As a young man he was sent to Oxford to pursue his studies, but after two years he returned home. Soon afterwards, at the age of twenty, he entered the religious life under the rule of the Canons Regular of St Augustine and joined the ancient Priory of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Bridlington.
Though he held various offices in his community, John was unconcerned about his own advancement being totally preoccupied by public prayer and private devotion. When first elected to the office of prior he persuaded his fellow canons to choose someone else. But in time, when the office fell vacant again, he was obliged to accept this position. He was said to be a good and considerate superior to his brethren and a man of compassion and charity to all those in need. He died in 1379 and was buried in his own priory, but already his reputation had spread far beyond the local area. After his death the fame of the miracles wrought by his intercession spread rapidly through the land, and he was canonized by Pope Boniface IX in 1404. He was the last English saint to be canonized before the Reformation.
Saint John of Bridlington was a contemplative, a man of prayer, with a particular devotion to the celebration of the Mass. Although called to public office as prior, he always remained a contemplative at heart, and at various times in his life experienced the gift of ecstasies. He was noted for his self-effacing spirit and a great virtue of humility.
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)||Philippians 2:2-4 ©|
Be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.
|Noon reading (Sext)||2 Corinthians 13:4 ©|
He was crucified through weakness, but still he lives now through the power of God. So then, we are weak, as he was, but we shall live with him, through the power of God, for your benefit.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Colossians 3:12-13 ©|
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.