Christ has appeared to us: come, let us adore him.
Year: C(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.
Other saints: St Nathalan (-678)
Nathalan, or Nachlan or Nauchlan, was born in the village of Tullich (now in Aberdeenshire), for which he was eventually appointed bishop. As well as the church in Tullich, he also built churches at Bothelim and Colle. He possessed a large estate, which he cultivated and distributed his harvest generously to the poor. He was one of the apostles of the region.
Other saints: St Peter Thomas (1305-1366)
8 Jan (where celebrated)
Peter Thomas was born into a poor peasant family in the southern Périgord region in France. His piety and skill as a teacher attracted the attention of the Carmelite prior of Bergérac, who invited him to join the Carmelite community there at age twenty-one. He taught in various houses of study until he was sent to University in Paris for advanced scholarship. While his studies were still in progress he was elected by the Order as its procurator general to the Papal Court at Avignon in 1345.
Peter Thomas proved to be a brilliant diplomat, all the while committed to an austere, simple and prayerful life of a Carmelite friar. He was known to have a disarming humility that enabled him to converse with peasants, soldiers and sailors just as easily as high government officials. After being made Bishop of Patti and Lipari in 1354, he was entrusted with many papal missions to promote peace and unity with the Eastern Churches. He held positions of Papal Legate for the East, Archbishop of Crete and Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, all the while working for peace and unity between churches of East and West. His work ended in 1366 when he died of a fever at Famagosta on Cyprus, where his body was then buried in the Carmelite church there.
St Peter Thomas lived as a devout Carmelite and was a diplomatic healer and reconciler, reminding us that finding common ground and bringing reconciliation are always possible with God’s help.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Faustus of Riez (405/10 - 490/95)
Faustus was born in Britain, though there is some disagreement as to whether this means the island of Great Britain or Less Britain, that is, Brittany. As a young man he entered the monastery of Lérins, on an island off the coast of the French Riviera, where he was elected abbot at a remarkably young age, in 439, on the elevation of his predecessor, Maximus, to the nearby bishopric of Riez. (St Vincent of Lérins, another monk of this abbey, is another author of a Second Reading: he died in about 445). When Maximus died in about 466, Faustus succeeded him as bishop. He wrote extensively on the Trinity and on grace and free will and took part in the controversies of the time on these subjects. It is heartening to note that the same volume of our Liturgy of the Hours contains readings from both Faustus and one of his opponents, Fulgentius of Ruspe.
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)||Ezekiel 20:41-42 ©|
I will welcome you like an appeasing fragrance when I bring you out from among the peoples. I mean to gather you together from the foreign countries in which you have been scattered and through you I intend to display my holiness for all the nations to see. You will learn that I am the Lord.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Ezekiel 34:11-12 ©|
I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Micah 2:12 ©|
I am going to gather all Jacob together, I will gather the remnant of Israel, bring them together like sheep in the fold; like a flock in its pasture they will fear no man.