A mighty God is the Lord: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Nothing is really known about St Januarius. The tradition is that he was a bishop of Benevento who was martyred at Puteoli in the early fourth century, but no historical records exist. His body lies in Naples, where his cult is taken very seriously indeed.
Other saints: St Theodore of Tarsus (601 - 690)
He was born in Tarsus, in modern Turkey. A Greek by birth, he became a monk in Italy. He was not ordained priest until at the age of 65 he was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by Pope Vitalian. He arrived in England in 669 and spent the rest of his life reorganising and reforming the life of the Church throughout the country, holding visitations and synods, establishing new dioceses and a great school at Canterbury, and reconciling divisions between the Celtic and Roman ecclesiastical traditions. He died at Canterbury on 19 September 690. He is remembered for his scholarship and for bringing unity and organisation to a divided church.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
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)
|1 John 3:17-18 ©
If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him, how could the love of God be living in him? My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active.
|Noon reading (Sext)
|Deuteronomy 30:11,14 ©
This Law that I enjoin on you today is not beyond your strength or beyond your reach. No, the Word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.
|Afternoon reading (None)
|Isaiah 55:10-11 ©
|The word that goes out from my mouth does not return to me empty
Thus says the Lord: ‘As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.’