Universalis
Monday 18 March 2019    (other days)
Monday of the 2nd week of Lent 
 (optional commemoration of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop, Doctor)

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Or: O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts.

Year: C(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Violet.

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315 - 386)
Cyril was born in 315 of Christian parents and succeeded Maximus as bishop of Jerusalem in 348. He was active in the Arian controversy and was exiled more than once as a result. His pastoral zeal is especially shown in his Catecheses, in which he expounded orthodox doctrine, holy Scripture and the traditions of the faith. They are still read today, and several of the Second Readings of the Office of Readings are taken from them. He died in 386. He is held in high esteem by both the Catholics and the Orthodox, and he was declared a Doctor of the Church by the Pope in 1883.
Other saints: St Edward the Martyr (962 - 978)
Hallam: 18 Mar
Plymouth: 23 Jun
He was the eldest son of King Edgar of the English, and on Edgar’s death in 975 the kingship was contested, with some supporting Edward’s claim and others supporting his much younger half-brother Æthelred (known to history as ‘Ethelred the Unready’). Edward was chosen as king and was crowned by his main clerical supporters, Archbishops Dunstan and Oswald of Worcester.
  The great nobles of the kingdom quarrelled, and civil war almost broke out. The nobles took advantage of Edward’s weakness to dispossess the Benedictine reformed monasteries of lands and other properties which King Edgar had granted to them. Edward was murdered at Corfe Castle on 18 March 978 in circumstances which are not altogether clear.
  His body was reburied with great ceremony at Shaftesbury Abbey early in 980. In 1001 his remains were moved to a more prominent place in the abbey, probably with the blessing of his half-brother King Æthelred. Edward was already reckoned a saint by this time.

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

Second Reading: St John Chrysostom (349 - 407)
John was born in Antioch. After a thorough education, he took up the ascetic life. He was ordained to the priesthood, and became a fruitful and effective preacher.
  He was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 397, and was energetic in reforming the ways of the clergy and the laity alike. He incurred the displeasure of the Emperor and was twice forced into exile. When the second exile, to Armenia, had lasted three years, it was decided that he should be sent still further away, but he died on the journey, worn out by his hardships.
  His sermons and writings did much to explain the Catholic faith and to encourage the living of the Christian life: his eloquence earned him the surname “Chrystostom” (the Greek for “golden mouth”).

40 Days and 40 Ways: Monday, 2nd week of Lent
Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. (Lk 6:37)
  Dn 9:4b-10
  The first reading is the early part of a long and fine prayer of the prophet Daniel. It is marked by the consciousness of sin and failure which is a characteristic of the spirituality after the Babylonian Exile. The Jews were acutely and miserably aware that they had failed and drawn upon themselves the punishment of the Exile. They had lost everything they valued, their city (God’s own capital and dwelling place on earth) and their king (God’s representative on earth). They had broken the covenant so often and so thoroughly that their beloved Lord had no option but to send them into exile amid strange people, strange gods and strange religious customs. In so doing God had allowed his own precious name to be despised by the surrounding peoples, as though he was a god who could not even protect his own people, whom he had sworn to protect and cherish.
  In fact, of course, the Exile was far from being disastrous, though the learning was painful. It also brought renewal and a fresh start, a fresh hope. The contact with other gods enabled them to understand that their Lord was not simply the God of Israel but was God of the whole world, beside whom no other god had any currency. They learnt that they were not invulnerable and imperishable simply by being God’s own people, but that they must respond as the Servant of God. Ezekiel expresses this in God’s name, “I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you. I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead” (36:26). They began to hope much more vividly for a time when God would transform the world by taking away all sin, suffering and sorrow, when God would be recognised by all people as the Lord and Saviour, when God himself would be truly present among his people in a new way, and all nations would share in that happiness.
  The Gospel reading for the day is Lk 6:36-38.
  Action:
  Show appreciation to a shopkeeper/ delivery person/ public servant.
Henry Wansbrough

This passage is an extract from the booklet “40 Days and 40 Ways” by Henry Wansbrough, published by the Catholic Truth Society and used by permission. “40 Days and 40 Ways” has meditations for each day in Lent. To find out more about the booklet, or to buy it, please visit the CTS web site.

The Universalis Readings at Mass page shows the readings for today’s Mass.


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)Wisdom 11:23-24 ©
Lord, you are merciful to all, because you can do all things and overlook men’s sins so that they can repent. Yes, you love all that exists, you hold in abhorrence nothing of what you have made.

Noon reading (Sext)Ezekiel 18:23 ©
Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?

Afternoon reading (None)Isaiah 58:6,7 ©
Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me – it is the Lord who speaks – to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin?

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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