Universalis
Wednesday 28 April 2021    (other days)
Dedication of the Cathedral 
Feast

Christ is the spouse of the Church: come, let us adore him.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: White.

In other years: St Peter Chanel (1803 - 1841)

He was born in France, at Cuet (near Belley), in 1803. He had been a priest for three years when he was accepted by the Marists, a missionary order. He was sent out to evangelize the island of Futuna in the Pacific, where cannibalism had only recently been banned by the local ruler, Niuliki. At first all went well, and Father Chanel and his lay assistants made many converts; but as he learned the local language and gained the confidence of the people, Niuliki became jealous and fearful; and the baptism of his son and his son’s friends was the last straw. While Father Chanel’s companions were away, Niuliki sent men who set upon him and clubbed him to death. His mission had lasted only three years: he is the first martyr of the South Seas. See the article in Wikipedia.

In other years: St Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort (1673 - 1716)

He was born to a poor family in 1673, at Montfort-La-Cane in Brittany, and was ordained at the age of 27. He had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and wrote a book, The Secret of the Rosary, which is the first work to describe the method by which the Rosary is prayed today. He founded the Company of Mary, a missionary band of men, and the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, a religious institute of women devoted to the poor. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.

Other saints: Blessed María Guggiari Echeverría (1925-1959)

28 Apr (where celebrated)
She was born in 1925 in the Guairá province of Paraguay, the first of seven children. She was baptized on 28 February 1929
  In 1941 she became a member of the Catholic Action movement – despite her parents’ opposition to it – and she dedicated herself to the movement and the care of the poor and the suffering, while also serving as a catechist for children. It was during her time with Catholic Action that she met and fell in love with the medical student Saua Angel and she began to wonder if God wanted her to marry, like the parents of Thérèse of Lisieux, who made vows to remain chaste in the married life. She waited for the Lord’s will to manifest itself. In May 1951 Angel told her that he felt called to the priesthood. She decided to offer whatever assistance he needed, and helped him to hide his plans from his father, who was a Muslim.
  In April 1952 she bade farewell to Angel, who departed for Madrid for further studies and to continue to discern his vocation. In November he took the decision to study for the priesthood, and this prompted Maria to discern her own call to the religious life. Her parents were strongly opposed, but she entered the Discalced Carmelite Order on 2 February 1955 and received the habit six months later. She took her initial vows on 15 August 1956 along with her new religious name. During her life as a religious she wrote around 48 letters to Angel, now Father Angel.
  On 7 January 1959 she became ill with infectious hepatitis and was forced to move into a sanatorium to recover. On 28 April 1959, as she was dying, propped on cushions and surrounded by her siblings and parents, she sat up and spoke her final words at 4:10 am: “Jesus, I love you! What a sweet encounter! O Virgin Mary!” She had asked the prioress to read a poem of Teresa of Ávila before she died.
  She was beatified on 23 June 2018.

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: Origen (184 - 254)

Origen is a giant among early Christian thinkers. He was knowledgeable in all the arguments of the Greek philosophical schools but believed firmly in the Bible as the only source of true inspiration. He is thus a representative of that curious hybrid called “Christianity”, which on the one hand maintains (like the Jews) an ongoing direct relationship with the living God, who is the principle and source of being itself, but on the other hand maintains (like the Greeks) that everything makes sense rationally and it is our duty to make sense of it. As the Gospels say (but the Pentateuch does not), “You shall love the Lord your God with all your mind”.
  A first stage in this, when it comes (for example) to disputations with the Jews over their view of Christianity as a recently-founded syncretizing heresy of Judaism, is to decide what Scripture is and what it says. If I argue from my books and you argue from yours, we will never meet; but if we share an agreed foundation, there is some chance. Accordingly Origen compiled a vast synopsis of the different versions of the Old Testament, called the Hexapla. Not all Origen’s specific judgements on soundness were generally accepted, even at the time, but the principle remains a necessary one, indispensable for any constructive meeting of minds.
  Origen’s principle of interpretation of Scripture is that as well as having a literal meaning, its laws, stories and narratives point us to eternal and spiritual truths. The prime purpose of Scripture is to convey spiritual truth, and the narrative of historical events is secondary to this. While we still accept that “Scripture provides us with the truths necessary for salvation”, this view does leave room for over-interpretation by the unscrupulous, and in the controversies of succeeding centuries people would either claim Origen as an authority for their own interpretations or accuse their opponents of Origenizing away the plain truths of Scripture. Even today, the literalist view taken by some heretics of narratives in Genesis which most of us accept as allegorical shows that this controversy will never die.
  As part of his programme of founding everything on Scripture, Origen produced voluminous commentaries – too many of them for the copyists to keep up, so that today some of them have perished. But what remains has definite value, and extracts from his commentaries and also his sermons are used as some of our Second Readings in the Office of Readings.

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)1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ©
Do you not realise that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God is living among you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple.

Noon reading (Sext)2 Corinthians 6:16 ©
The temple of God has no common ground with idols, and that is what we are – the temple of the living God. We have God’s word for it: I will make my home among them and live with them; I will be their God and they shall be my people.

Afternoon reading (None)Jeremiah 7:2,4-5,7 ©
Listen to the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who come in by these gates to worship the Lord. Put no trust in delusive words like these: ‘This is the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord!’ Since if you amend your behaviour and your actions, I will permit you to remain in this place and live in it.
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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