Cry out with joy to God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Blessed Peter To Rot
He was born in 1912 at Rakunai, a village on the Melanesian island of New Britain, today part of Papua New Guinea. His parents belonged to the region’s first generation of Catholics. He was a pious boy and the parish priest thought that he should study for the priesthood, but his father felt that the tradition of Catholicism in the region was too short and none of the people were yet ready for the priesthood, so Peter became a catechist. He married in 1936 and had three children.
When the Japanese occupied the island during the war, all the missionaries and mission staff were imprisoned in a concentration camp and Peter was the only spiritual guide that Catholics had. He organized prayer services, gave religious instruction, baptized children, preserved the consecrated Hosts and administered them to the sick and dying, and gave help to the poor. The Japanese had destroyed the church when they arrived, so Peter built a new one out of the branches of trees.
After a quiet start, repression grew violent. The Japanese banned all Christian worship, public and private, and decided to reintroduce polygamy among the people. Peter was arrested in April or May 1945 and savagely “questioned” by officials. He was sentenced to two months in prison. A Japanese doctor came and injected him with poison, stuffed his ears and nose with cotton wool, and held him down and suffocated him until he died.
An immense crowd attended Peter’s burial, at which no religious rite was permitted. He has been increasingly revered as a martyr ever since that day.
See also Pope John Paul II’s sermon at Peter To Rot’s beatification, on Vatican web site
Other saints: Saint Maelruain (- c.791)
In 769 he founded the monastery at Tallaght, in County Dublin, Ireland. Together with St Aengus he wrote a detailed Rule for the community, which is an important document in the history of early monasticism.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: The Didache
The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, or (from the Greek) the Didache, is an early Christian document of the first century, perhaps before the year 80, quite possibly earlier than some of the Gospels. It falls into three parts: the first is the “Two Ways”, the Way of Life and the Way of Death; the second part covers baptism, fasting, and Holy Communion; and the third speaks of the ministry. Eusebius judged it not to be part of the canon of Scripture (he was also doubtful of the Apocalypse), while Athanasius and Rufinus place it among the deutero-canonical works. Many of the Church Fathers were aware of it, and referred to it explicitly or implicitly. The text was lost for many centuries: it was rediscovered by a Greek bishop in 1873.
The part of the Didache which appears in the Office of Readings bears witness to a very early stage of the liturgy, long before doctrinal issues such as the meaning of the Redemption had even been thought about. Nevertheless, from a time when some of the Apostles were still living, we already have the core of what is recognisably the Mass.
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)||Deuteronomy 1:16-17 ©|
At that time I told your judges: You must give your brothers a fair hearing and see justice done between a man and his brother or the stranger who lives with him. You must be impartial in judgement and give an equal hearing to small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for the judgement is God’s.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 55:8-9 ©|
My thoughts are not your thoughts,
my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks.
Yes, the heavens are as high above earth
as my ways are above your ways,
my thoughts above your thoughts.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 Samuel 16:7 ©|
God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.