Universalis
Monday 6 December 2021    (other days)
Saint Nicholas, Bishop 
 on Monday of the 2nd week of Advent

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

Year: C(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.

St Nicholas

He was bishop of Myra, in Lycia (now part of Turkey) and died about the middle of the fourth century. He has been venerated throughout the Church, especially since the 10th century. Because of his help to the poor he is the patron saint of pawnbrokers, whose insignia of three golden balls represent the three purses of gold he is said to have given secretly to a poor man who could not afford dowries for his three daughters. See the article in Wikipedia.

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.

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)(Isaiah 10:20-21) ©
That day, the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the House of Jacob will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.

Noon reading (Sext)(Isaiah 10:24,27) ©
The Lord of Hosts says this: My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid. On that day the burden will fall from your shoulder and the yoke will cease to weigh on your neck.

Afternoon reading (None)(Isaiah 13:22-14:1) ©
Its time is almost up, its days will not last long. Yes, the Lord will have pity on Jacob, and Israel will be saved.
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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