We are the people of the Lord, the flock that is led by his hand: come, let us adore him, alleluia.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Ignatius of Antioch (- 107)
He was the second bishop of Antioch after St Peter (the first being Evodius). He was arrested (some writers believe that he must have been denounced by a fellow-Christian), condemned to death, and transported to Rome to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena. In one of his letters he describes the soldiers who were escorting him as being like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.”
In the course of his journey he wrote seven letters to various churches, in which he dealt wisely and deeply with Christ, the organisation of the Church, and the Christian life. They are important documents for the early history of the Church, and they also reveal a deeply holy man who accepts his fate and begs the Christians in Rome not to try to deprive him of the crown of martyrdom.
He was martyred in 107.
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).
Other notes: Quinquagesima Sunday
Today is the last Sunday before Lent. Ash Wednesday is only three days away. It is a good time to make sure that you are ready for Lent. At some times, and in some parts of the world, Quinquagesima had a semi-lenten character, because Lent started gradually rather than, as now, all at once on the Wednesday. The liturgy also reflected the coming start of Lent, and the liturgical colour was already violet.
The modern calendar has curbed this tendency of Lent to spread backwards, and there is no sign at all that this is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time for quite a few months. Nevertheless, it is still worth reflecting that Lent is coming very soon and we should make our plans for it.
Incidentally, Quinquagesima means ‘fiftieth’, and indeed if you count Easter as 1, and count backwards, you will reach exactly 50 when you get to today.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Romans 5:1-2,5 ©|
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith we are judged righteous and at peace with God, since it is by faith and through Jesus that we have entered this state of grace in which we can boast about looking forward to God’s glory. This hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Romans 8:26 ©|
The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words.
|Afternoon reading (None)||2 Corinthians 1:21-22 ©|
Remember it is God himself who assures us all, and you, of our standing in Christ, and has anointed us, marking us with his seal and giving us the pledge, the Spirit, that we carry in our hearts.