Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Irenaeus (130 - 202)
Irenaeus was born in Smyrna, in Asia Minor (now Izmir in Turkey) and emigrated to Lyons, in France, where he eventually became the bishop. It is not known for certain whether he was martyred or died a natural death.
Whenever we take up a Bible we touch Irenaeus’s work, for he played a decisive role in fixing the canon of the New Testament. It is easy for people nowadays to think of Scripture – and the New Testament in particular – as the basis of the Church, but harder to remember that it was the Church itself that had to agree, early on, about what was scriptural and what was not. Before Irenaeus, there was vague general agreement on what scripture was, but a system based on this kind of common consent was too weak. As dissensions and heresies arose, reference to scripture was the obvious way of trying to settle what the truth really was, but in the absence of an agreed canon of scripture it was all too easy to attack one’s opponent’s arguments by saying that his texts were corrupt or unscriptural; and easy, too, to do a little fine-tuning of texts on one’s own behalf. Irenaeus not only established a canon which is almost identical to our present one, but also gave reasoned arguments for each inclusion and exclusion.
Irenaeus also wrote a major work, Against the Heresies, which in the course of denying what the Christian faith is not, effectively asserts what it is. The majority of this work was lost for many centuries and only rediscovered in a monastery on Mount Athos in 1842. Many passages from it are used in the Office of Readings.
Liturgical colour: violet
Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.
|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.