Christ is the spouse of the Church: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.
The Dedication of Middlesbrough Cathedral
Each year we commemorate the dedication of our Cathedral, the mother church of our diocese. On this day we celebrate the local Church of the Diocese of Middlesbrough, which is God’s people in this part of the country.
The Cathedral is no mere construction of bricks and mortar, it is a place of salvation where the Gospel is proclaimed and the holy Mysteries are celebrated. It is a ‘sign’ to believers and unbelievers alike that God calls all people to journey in faith on the pilgrimage of life.
In the Cathedral, as in all those other churches where our different communities gather, we find a home where God’s people are nourished by his Word and Sacraments. There the waters of baptism overwhelm the shame of sin so that we may live in grace. There we gather to celebrate the Paschal Lamb and be fed with the Word and the Body of Christ. There the poor find justice, the victims of oppression discover true freedom, and the whole world is invited to enter with gladness into the way of peace (see the ‘Prayer of Dedication of a Church’).
Christ founded the Church in the world so that she might put the world in touch with God. In carrying out this mission she shows us the meaning of our own existence and encourages all those who follow Christ (the perfect human being) to become more fully human themselves. Her one purpose is to lead all people to salvation in the Kingdom of God, and this spiritual mission leads her like her Master to offer herself in service to the whole community of humankind.
On today’s feast, when we recall the day the Cathedral was dedicated to God’s service, may this vision of the mystery of the Church grow in our minds and hearts that we may give him worship and rejoice in his presence.
Other saints: St Isidore the Farmer (1070 - 1130)
Philippines, United States
He was born near Madrid to very poor parents. He was a labourer and later a bailiff on the estates of a landowner called Juan de Vargas. He was noted for his piety. He died on 15 May 1130.
The biographical sources are unreliable, being essentially a catalogue of miracles. There is no reason, however, to doubt that he was a saint: devotion to him started shortly after his death, when many people who had known him were still alive. He is patron saint of Madrid.
Other saints: Saint Carthage (c.555 - 637)
He is also known as Mochuda. He was born in what is now County Kerry, in Ireland. After being a swineherd he joined a monastery and was ordained a priest. In 580 he determined to lead a hermit’s life, but after a few years his hermitage had become a place of pilgrimage and he was expelled from it by the local abbots or bishops. After some time spent travelling and founding churches, he settled at Rahan near Tullamore and in 590 set up a monastery, composing a rule for his monks to follow. In 635 Carthage and his monks were expelled from Rahan at the instigation of jealous neighbours. He founded a new monastery at Lismore, and was the first bishop of the town that grew up round it. See the article in Wikipedia
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)||1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ©|
Do you not realise that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God is living among you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple.
|Noon reading (Sext)||2 Corinthians 6:16 ©|
The temple of God has no common ground with idols, and that is what we are – the temple of the living God. We have God’s word for it: I will make my home among them and live with them; I will be their God and they shall be my people.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Haggai 2:6,7,9 ©|
The Lord of Hosts says this: I will shake all the nations and the treasures of all the nations shall flow in, and I will fill this Temple with glory, says the Lord of Hosts. The new glory of this Temple is going to surpass the old, and in this place I will give peace – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks.