In many liturgical scholars’ thoughts, this feast of the Epiphany of the Lord should begin perhaps its own liturgical season, separate from Christmas and encompassing the next three Sundays. The word ‘Epiphany’ is often referred to as a manifestation, or an experience of striking and sudden realization; its actual etymology comes from Greek and means ‘to appear’. This weekend, with the Three Kings, we have the first of these ‘epiphanies’. The Three Kings symbolize people gathered from the non-Jewish parts of the world at the time to proclaim the importance of the birth of this Holy Chil
Marvels of Mass
This weekend at the 9am mass on Sunday, we celebrate the First Scrutiny with the elect. Who are the elect? These are the people who are preparing to enter our community at the Easter Vigil. Some have been baptized already and are the Candidates; those who are not baptized are the Catechumens. After the Rite of Election during the first week of Lent, they are all now called the elect (technically, the catechumens are just ‘the elect’; the candidates remain as ‘candidates’ – but for our sake, we refer to all of them as ‘the elect’). During the following two weekends, at the 5pm Saturday
This Sunday, as always on the 2nd Sunday of Lent, we have the Gospel reading of the Transfiguration. Our song during the preparation of the altar and gifts is a retelling of the Gospel narrative – “’Tis Good, Lord, to be Here”. We also here the story in a more modern rendition at Communion with ‘Transfigure Us, O Lord”. In this musical piece, the narrative is transformed a bit as we are asking to be transfigured – ‘break the chains that bind us; speak your healing word, and where you lead we’ll follow.’ Once again, we’re asking for our lives to be changed. Remember from last week about
You may have noticed some changes today or on Ash Wednesday when you came to mass. The environment is definitely different. All of the gold that can be removed has been; all the greenery is gone. We have gone back to using a simple wooden cross and wooden candle sticks. Taking it all down a notch. Just getting simpler and down to the basics. We started our mass in silence with a reading of the entrance antiphon. We’re using a different form of the penitential rite that recalls very directly our sinfulness and our need for mercy. So why do we have all these changes?
This is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. This Wednesday begins Lent on Ash Wednesday. Today will be the last time to sing the Gloria and the Alleluia until the Easter Triduum.
We continue hearing from Luke’s Sermon on the Plain where he delves a little further into the ideas of the Beatitudes that we heard last week. The overriding themes of love and service to all come out in this Gospel passage, just as last week. It’s not just enough to love, but you have to show action, too.
Our song at the preparation of the altar and gifts is “The Servant Song”. Reflect for a moment on the first verse and how it may apply in your own life:
In today’s Gospel we hear Luke’s version of the Beatitudes in what is called the Sermon on the Plain. Matthew’s longer version is often referred to as the Sermon on the Mount as is the one most often think of when referring to the Beatitudes. We’ll sing this text during both Communion and the closing song during mass.
The staff at Prince of Peace is currently reading Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation called ‘Gaudete et exsultate – on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World’. In it, Pope Francis has this to say about the beatitudes:
Today in our first reading we hear from Isaiah. It begins with the praise of the angels in Chapter 6, Verse 3.
In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, with the train of his garment filling the temple. Seraphim were stationed above; [each of them had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they hovered.] One cried out to the other:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!”
This weekend in the first two readings we hear of love in all its various forms. In the first reading, we hear one of my personal favorite passages: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you…” (Jeremiah 1:4) Yes, God truly knows and loves us. He created us. In the second reading we also hear about love in a reading that is often proclaimed at weddings: “Love is patient, love is kind…It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
We are now settling down into Ordinary Time for a few weeks between the Christmas season and Lent. We start to hear of Christ’s public ministry which began last week with the first miracle at the wedding at Cana of changing water into wine. Over the next weeks, we’ll start to hear more about who Jesus is, he’ll gather his apostles, and we’ll hear the Sermon on the Mount. We’ll learn how we are to live.