Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Other saints: St Roque González and his companions (-1628)
Saint Roque González de Santa Cruz was born in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, on 17 November 1576. He came from a noble Spanish family but also spoke the local language, Guaraní, from an early age.
He was ordained priest at the age of 22 and joined the Jesuits in 1609 to work as a missionary. He was the first European to enter the region that is now the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Delicate diplomacy was required to convince the local Indian leaders that he, as a priest, was not there to prepare the way for European settlement of the land.
From 1613 onwards he founded several of the Jesuit ‘reductions’ which brought Indians together to learn to live in settlements. The ‘reductions’ later became part of Brazil as a result of a territorial exchange between the Spanish and Portuguese empires, and because of the support they gave the Indians as against the colonial authorities, they were one of the reasons for the suppression of the Jesuits by the Portuguese Empire in the mid-18th century.
In the region of Iyuí (now in Brazil) he had difficulties with the local chieftain and sorcerer (‘cacique’) Nheçu (Spanish ‘Ñezú’), who had him killed on 15 November 1628, along with his Spanish companions Juan de Castillo and Alfonso Rodríguez.
They were beatified in 1934 and canonized by Pope John Paul II on 16 May 1988.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Gregory of Nyssa (335 - 395)
Gregory of Nyssa was the younger brother of St Basil of Caesarea (“St Basil the Great”). He, Basil and Gregory Nazianzen, “Gregory of Nazianzus”, are known as the Cappadocian Fathers. They were active after the Council of Nicaea, working to formulate Trinitarian doctrine precisely and, in particular, to pin down the meaning and role of the least humanly comprehensible member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Basil was the leader and organizer; Gregory of Nazianzus was the thinker, the orator, the poet, pushed into administrative and episcopal roles by circumstances and by Basil; and Gregory of Nyssa, although not a great stylist, was the most gifted of the three as a philosopher and theologian. Together, the Cappadocian Fathers hammered out the doctrine of the Trinity like blacksmiths forging a piece of metal by hammer-blows into its perfect, destined shape. They were champions – and successful champions – of orthodoxy against Arianism, a battle that had to be conducted as much on the worldly and political plane as on the philosophical and theological one.
The works of Gregory of Nyssa whose extracts appear as Second Readings are not as rhetorically beautiful as those of Gregory of Nazianzus, who was an acclaimed orator; but they are helpful and clear. Most of them are commentaries on Scripture passages. They involve the mind and deepen the understanding.
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).
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Amos 4:13 ©|
He it was who formed the mountains, created the wind, reveals his mind to man, makes both dawn and dark, and walks on the top of the heights of the world; the Lord, the God of Hosts, is his name.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Amos 5:8 ©|
He made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns the dusk to dawn and day to darkest night. He summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the land. ‘The Lord’ is his name.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Amos 9:6 ©|
He has built his high dwelling place in the heavens and supported his vault on the earth; he summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the land. ‘The Lord’ is his name.