Christ has appeared to us: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.
Other saints: St Nathalan (-678)
Nathalan, or Nachlan or Nauchlan, was born in the village of Tullich (now in Aberdeenshire), for which he was eventually appointed bishop. As well as the church in Tullich, he also built churches at Bothelim and Colle. He possessed a large estate, which he cultivated and distributed his harvest generously to the poor. He was one of the apostles of the region.
Other saints: St Peter Thomas (1305-1366)
8 Jan (where celebrated)
Peter Thomas was born into a poor peasant family in the southern Périgord region in France. His piety and skill as a teacher attracted the attention of the Carmelite prior of Bergérac, who invited him to join the Carmelite community there at age twenty-one. He taught in various houses of study until he was sent to University in Paris for advanced scholarship. While his studies were still in progress he was elected by the Order as its procurator general to the Papal Court at Avignon in 1345.
Peter Thomas proved to be a brilliant diplomat, all the while committed to an austere, simple and prayerful life of a Carmelite friar. He was known to have a disarming humility that enabled him to converse with peasants, soldiers and sailors just as easily as high government officials. After being made Bishop of Patti and Lipari in 1354, he was entrusted with many papal missions to promote peace and unity with the Eastern Churches. He held positions of Papal Legate for the East, Archbishop of Crete and Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, all the while working for peace and unity between churches of East and West. His work ended in 1366 when he died of a fever at Famagosta on Cyprus, where his body was then buried in the Carmelite church there.
St Peter Thomas lived as a devout Carmelite and was a diplomatic healer and reconciler, reminding us that finding common ground and bringing reconciliation are always possible with God’s help.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Maximus of Turin (- 420?)
Maximus was born in the late 4th century in northern Italy. He is considered to have been the first Archbishop of Turin, and historians put his death around 420, although a wide range of dates have been proposed.
A large number of homilies, sermons and treatises by Maximus survive, covering the seasons of the Church’s year and also the feasts of particular saints. Their ornate late-Imperial style is not always to modern taste, but they are often short and to the point and they provide valuable evidence of Christian practice and belief at that time.
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)||Jeremiah 31:7-8 ©|
Shout with joy for Jacob! Hail the chief of nations! Proclaim! Praise! Shout: ‘The Lord has saved his people, the remnant of Israel!’ See, I will bring them back from the land of the North and gather them from the far ends of the earth.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Jeremiah 31:11-12 ©|
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, rescued him from a hand stronger than his own. They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion, they will throng towards the good things of the Lord.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Zechariah 8:7-8 ©|
The Lord of Hosts says this. Now I am going to save my people from the countries of the East and from the countries of the West. I will bring them back to live inside Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God in faithfulness and integrity.