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Archive for December, 2016

January 8, 2017 – Feast of the Epiphany

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

“Epiphany.”  Now there’s a practically fun word to pronounce as well as a spelling bee challenger!  It comes to us from ancient Greek through Middle English.  Start it off with an upper case letter, and it means today’s feast, commemorating the “manifestation” of Christ to the Gentile world.  Its formerly fixed date of January 6 marked the traditional “Twelfth Day of Christmas.”  It was moved to a Sunday to give it more prominence.  In lower case lettering, the word means “an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity, or a sudden insight into the essential meaning of something.

The story, as Matthew tells it, is a beautiful one, tailor made for a movie.  A group of Gentile travelers, numbering anywhere from three to thirty-three (we don’t know the actual figure), come to the feet of Christ bearing three gifts (hence the fabled number) in tribute to Him.  We can presume they brought their version of shock and awe to the inhabitants of backwater Bethlehem.

Readings for the Week – January 8, 2017

Monday: Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Acts 10:34-38; Ps 29:1-4, 3, 9-10; Mt 3:13-17
Tuesday: Heb 2:5-12; Ps 8:2ab, 5, 6-9; Mk 1:21-28 or Heb 1:1-6 and 2:5-12; Ps 8:2ab, 5, 6-9; Mk 1:14-20 and 1:21-28
Wednesday: Heb 2:14-18; Ps 105:1-4, 6-9; Mk 1:29-39
Thursday: Heb 3:7-14; Ps 95:6-11; Mk 1:40-45
Friday: Heb 4:1-5, 11; Ps 78:3, 4bc, 6c-8; Mk 2:1-12
Saturday: Heb 4:12-16; Ps 19:8-10, 15; Mk 2:13-17
Sunday: Is 49:3, 5-6; Ps 40:2, 4, 7-10; 1 Cor 1:1-3; Jn 1:29-34

Readings for the Week – January 1, 2017

Monday: 1 Jn 2:22-28; Ps 98:1-4; Jn 1:19-28
Tuesday: 1 Jn 2:29 — 3:6; Ps 98:1, 3cd-6; Jn 1:29-34
Wednesday: 1 Jn 3:7-10; Ps 98:1, 7-9; Jn 1:35-42
Thursday: 1 Jn 3:11-21; Ps 100:1b-5; Lk 4:14-22a
Friday: 1 Jn 5:5-13; Ps 147:12-15, 19-20; Mk 1:7-11 or Lk 3:23-28 (23, 31-34, 36, 38)
Saturday: 1 Jn 5:14-21; Sal 149:1-6a, 9b; Jn 2:1-11
Sunday: Is 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13; Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6; Mt 2:1-12

January 1, 2017 – Solemnity of the Mother of God

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

This past Autumn, “Time” magazine chronicled the fact of widespread depression as characteristic of our American teenagers.  This sad news has multiple causes, sure to be an agenda for helpers of all kinds and later discussion.  For today, however, we honor another adolescent, one from another time and place who just happened to be a favorite of God and a unique channel of optimism.  She is Mary of Nazareth, the young girl who would someday be known as Queen of Heaven.

What must it have been like to be visited by an archangel named Gabriel, who brought her a stupendous request?  How did this young girl manage a mysterious pregnancy, with the realization that the Child growing in her womb was the One who would “save His people from their sins?”  We are not entitled to the answers to those questions, but we can learn a lot about her reaction when we read her “Magnificat” prayed in the presence of her older cousin Elizabeth.