Christ is the son of Mary: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: White.
The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Holy Scripture celebrates the beauty of Mount Carmel, where the prophet Elijah defended Israel’s pure faith in the living God. In the 12th century some hermits took up residence on this mountain and eventually set up the Carmelite Order, which is dedicated to living a contemplative life under the patronage of the Holy Mother of God.
Other saints: St Helier (-555)
St Helier was a 6th-century ascetic and hermit. He was born to pagan parents in Tongeren in what is now Belgium. His wanderings led him across Normandy to the monastic community of St Marculf at Nantus (now Nanteuil, St-Marcouf-de-l’Isle). However, the contemplative life did not bring him the peace that he sought, and he was sent with St Romard to Jersey where he settled on a tidal island, today known as the Hermitage Rock, next to L’Islet. He was killed on the beach there by robbers or infidel barbarians, traditionally in AD 555.
While he is known in Jersey as the saint who brought Christianity to the Island, in Normandy and Brittany he is better known as a healing saint. Today he is invoked for diseases of the skin and eyes.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Pope St Leo the Great (- 461)
Leo was born in Etruria and became Pope in 440. He was a true shepherd and father of souls. He constantly strove to keep the faith whole and strenuously defended the unity of the Church. He repelled the invasions of the barbarians or alleviated their effects, famously persuading Attila the Hun not to march on Rome in 452, and preventing the invading Vandals from massacring the population in 455.
Leo left many doctrinal and spiritual writings behind and a number of them are included in the Office of Readings to this day. He died in 461.
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)||Wisdom 19:22 ©|
Lord, in every way you have made your people great and glorious. You have never disdained them, but stood by them always and everywhere.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Deuteronomy 4:7 ©|
What great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him?
|Afternoon reading (None)||Esther 10:3 ©|
The single nation, mine, is Israel, those who cried out to God and were saved. Yes, the Lord has saved his people, the Lord has delivered us from all these evils, God has worked such signs and great wonders as have never happened among the nations.