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: A(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
|In other years: Saint Francis of Paola (1436 - 1507)|
He was born in Paola in Calabria. He founded an order of hermits which later became the Order of Minims (“minimi,” meaning “least,” because they were to be the least of the religious orders). He died on Good Friday, 2 April 1507, at Plessis in France. See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
|Other saints: St John Payne (c.1550-1582)|
Brentwood: 6 May
John Payne (or Paine) was born in Peterborough into a Church of England family but in his early adult life became a Catholic. He went to the English College at Douai in 1574 and was ordained priest in 1576; the short time he was at the college may suggest that he had studied theology elsewhere. He returned to England in the company of Cuthbert Mayne (1st December). He went to Essex where he stayed at the home of the Petre family in Ingatestone Hall. From here he ministered to local Catholics, while apparently working as an estate steward. In 1577 he was imprisoned for a short time, afterwards returning briefly to Douai. He came back to Essex and continued working as a priest until in 1581 he was once again arrested. He was imprisoned at Greenwich, being charged with conspiracy against the Queen, was racked in the Tower, and was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. He denied the evidence brought against him completely, stating at his trial “that he always, in mind or word, honoured the queen’s majesty above any woman in the world; that he would gladly always have spent his life for her pleasure in any lawful service; that he prayed for her as for his own soul; that he never invented or compassed any treason against her majesty, or any of the nobility of England.” He was executed at Chelmsford on 2 April. He was so well known and respected in the neighbourhood that the crowd compelled the hangman to wait until he was dead before cutting him down.
|Other saints: Blessed Pedro Calungsod (- 1672)|
He was a teen-aged native of the Visayas region of the Philippines, one of the boy catechists who went with some Spanish Jesuit missionaries from the Philippines to the Ladrones Islands – later renamed “Marianas” – in the western Pacific in 1668, to evangelize the Chamorros. On 2 April 1672, while helping Fr Diego Luis de San Vitores, the rector of the Mission, to recover a runaway servant and to perform some baptisms at the village of Tomhon on the Island of Guam, he was killed by two natives for being a Christian, for catechizing the Chamorros and for helping in the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism. His body was thrown into deep ocean together with that of the rector, who was also killed after him.
He was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on 21 October 2012.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: Saint Athanasius (295 - 373)|
Athanasius was born in Alexandria. He assisted Bishop Alexander at the Council of Nicaea, and later succeeded him as bishop. He fought hard against Arianism all his life, undergoing many sufferings and spending a total of 17 years in exile. He wrote outstanding works to explain and defend orthodoxy.
The matters in dispute with the Arians were vital to the very nature of Christianity; and, as Cardinal Newman put it, the trouble was that at that time the laity tended to be champions of orthodoxy while their bishops (seduced by closeness to imperial power) tended not to be. The further trouble (adds Chadwick) is that the whole thing became tangled up with matters of power, organization and authority, and with cultural differences between East and West. Athanasius was accused of treason and murder, embezzlement and sacrilege. In the fight against him, any weapon would do.
Arianism taught that the Son was created by the Father and in no way equal to him. This was in many ways a “purer” and more “spiritual” approach to religion, since it did not force God to undergo the undignified experience of being made of meat. Islam is essentially Arian. But Arianism leaves an infinite gap between God and man, and ultimately destroys the Gospel, leaving it either as a fake or as a cruel parody. Only by being orthodox and insisting on the identity of the natures of the Father and the Son and the Spirit can we truly understand the goodness of creation and the love of God, and live according to them. For this reason many extracts from the works of St Athanasius have been adopted as Second Readings in the Office of Readings.
|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)||(2 Corinthians 4:10-11) ©|
Always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that his life may equally be manifested in our body. While we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown.
|Noon reading (Sext)||1 Peter 4:13-14 ©|
Beloved, if you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, because you will enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed. It is a blessing for you when they insult you for bearing the name of Christ, because it means that you have the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God resting on you.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 Peter 5:10-11 ©|
You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again: he will confirm, strengthen and support you. His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen.
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Office of Readings for 5th Sunday of Lent
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