Universalis
Thursday 7 January 2021    (other days)
Thursday after Epiphany Sunday 
 or Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest 

Christ has appeared to us: come, let us adore him.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.

St Raymond of Peñafort (c.1175 - 1275)

He was born near Barcelona somewhere between 1175 and 1180. He was educated at the University of Barcelona, where he taught canon law for fifteen years. After a spell at the University of Bologna he returned to Barcelona in 1222 and became a Dominican. At the command of Pope Gregory IX he organised, codified and edited canon law, which, when he started, was nothing better than a chaotic accumulation of isolated decrees. He was elected to be General of the Dominicans and gave the order an excellent set of regulations for its better governance. He died in 1275. Among his works, the Summa casuum is noteworthy. This gives guidance as to how the sacrament of Penance may be administered justly and with benefit to the penitent. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.

Other saints: St André Bessette (1845 - 1937)

Canada: 7 Jan
United States: 6 Jan
He was born in Québec and joined the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1872: the parish priest sent this functionally illiterate, frail young man to the Congregation with the words “I am sending you a saint”.
  He had great confidence in Saint Joseph and recommended prayer to him to all who were sick. So many were cured that Brother André himself was acclaimed as a miracle-worker, and when he died on 6 January 1937, a million people filed past his coffin. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on 17 October 2010. See the article in Wikipedia.

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

Second Reading: St Cyril of Alexandria (370 - 444)

Cyril was born in 370 . He entered a monastery, became a priest and in 412 succeeded his uncle as Bishop of Alexandria. Alexandria was the largest city in the ancient world. Rather like Los Angeles, it was a sprawling mixture of races and creeds; and it was a byword for the violence of its sectarian politics, whether of Greeks against Jews or of orthodox Christians against heretics.
  In 428, Nestorius, the new Patriarch of Constantinople (and hence one of the most important bishops in the world) made statements that could be interpreted as denying the divinity of Christ. The dual nature – human and divine – has always been hard for us to accept or understand, and if it seems easy it is only because we have not thought about it properly. Those who dislike problems have had two responses: to deny the human nature of Christ or to deny his divinity: and either leads to disaster, since both deny the Incarnation and hence the divinisation of human nature.
  Cyril fought strongly against the teachings of Nestorius and took the lead at the Council of Ephesus, plunging into the turbulent politics of the time and defending the Catholic faith through to its ultimate victory.
  Cyril wrote many works to explain and defend the Catholic faith. He died in 444.

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 2:3-4 ©
The Law will go out from Zion, and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will wield authority over the nations and adjudicate between many peoples; these will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war.

Noon reading (Sext)Isaiah 9:1 ©
The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.

Afternoon reading (None)Isaiah 60:4-5 ©
O Jerusalem, your sons are coming from far away and your daughters are being tenderly carried. At this sight you will grow radiant, your heart throbbing and full; since the riches of the sea will flow to you, the wealth of the nations come to you.
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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