FRI-SAT-SUN
January 14-16, 2000
volume 11, no. 10
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LITURGY for FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY - January 14, 15, 16 and 17

Friday, January 14, 2000

      First Reading: 1 Samuel 8: 4-7, 10-22
      Psalms: Psalm 89: 16-19
      Gospel Reading: Mark 2: 1-12


Saturday, January 15, 2000

    Saturday January 15:
    First Saturday in Ordinary Time and
    First Observance of the Jubilee Year of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

    Green vestments

      First Reading: 1 Samuel 9: 1-4, 17-19; 10: 1-10
      Psalms: Psalm 21: 2-7
      Gospel Reading: Mark 2: 13-17

Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

          Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary is a custom first promoted by the Benedictine Monk Saint Alcuin back in the days of Charlemagne (see archives December 23, no. 25 issue, volume 7). He composed different formulas for Votive Masses for each day of the week, with two set aside to honor Our Lady on Saturday. This practice caught on with great enthusiasm and eventually the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday became the Common of the Blessed Virgin. This Mass was a favorite with retired priests and those whose sight was failing for most had memorized this Mass and were able to say it by heart without having to read the Lectionary or Sacramentary. One reason Saturday was dedicated to Mary was that Saturday held a special meaning in Mariology. First of all, as Genesis accounts for, God rested on the seventh day. In the Old Testament, the Sabbath was Saturday. Jesus, Son of God rested in the womb and then, when He became incarnate, in the loving arms of Mary from birth until she held His lifeless body at the foot of the Cross. Thus the God-head rested in Mary. It was also on Saturday after Good Friday that Jesus gave His Mother a special gift and reward for keeping her faith in His Divinity intact by making an exceptional appearance to her. Thus, because of these reasons, the devotion spread by St. Alcuin and other liturgies that evolved within the Church, Saturday took on a special Marian significance. Saturday took on even more significance in honoring Mary when Our Lady imparted to visionary Lucia in her third apparition at Fatima on July 13, 1917, "Our Lord wishes that devotion to my Immaculate Heart be established in the world. If what I tell you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace; the war will end...I ask the consecration of the world to my Immaculate Heart and Communion of reparation on the First Saturday of each month...If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace...In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph, and an era of peace will be conceded to humanity." As we draw nearer to that wonderful event, it is more important than ever to honor Mary's request on the First Saturday as well as each Saturday that her feast is commemorated in the Church calendar, not to mention responding to her call daily with the Rosary and attending Daily Mass, nourished by her Divine Son present body and blood, soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. It is in the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary where she remains in the background in the liturgy of the Word so that her Divine Son's words and His Presence take the spotlight as He should while Mary remains the chief intercessor before the Holy Trinity as she should and serves as the ideal for all Catholics to strive for, as we should. The Dictionary of Mary states quite succinctly, "Through these liturgical acts, (honoring Mary on Saturday) Christians exalt the person of Mary in the action that renews the sacrifice of Christ and in the action that prolongs His prayer."

SUNDAY, January 16, 2000

    SUNDAY January 16:
    SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
    Observance of Ecumenical Sunday

    Green vestments

      First Reading: 1 Samuel 3: 3-10, 19
      Psalms: Psalm 40: 2, 4, 7-10
      Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6: 13-15
      Gospel Reading: John 1: 35-42


Monday, January 17, 2000

    Monday January 17:
    Feast of Saint Antony of Egypt, Abbot
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    White vestments

      First Reading: 1 Samuel 15: 16-23
      Psalms: Psalm 50: 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
      Gospel Reading: Mark 2: 18-22

Saint Antony of Egypt, Abbot and hermit

   St. Antony of Egypt was born in the middle of the 3rd Century and decided to become a mendicant hermit after hearing the Gospel reading at Mass: "If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast and give to the poor"(Matthew 19: 21). After searching for the perfect way to do this, he opted to serve God in the desert as a hermit. It was here that he was attacked by a legion of from hell as the devils physically wounded him. This happened so often that at one time even the devils thought they had beaten him to death. But his faith and perseverance won out and he grew to fear no one as he said to the avenging devils: "I fear you not; you cannot separate me from the love of Christ." Finally giving up, the legion of demons fled and Jesus Himself appeared to Antony. He was the epitome of what a poor monk should be, wearing sackcloth and sheepskin, eating only bread and water and kneeling in prayer throughout the night. It's interesting here to note how we sometimes complain about kneeling for one hour in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, or that we can't fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays as our Blessed Mother requests. St. Antony attracted countless souls who flocked to him for spiritual direction and finally, after 20 years of seclusion, he knew Our Lord was calling him to teach these eager souls so the Church would flourish in the future. Like Saint Hilary last week, St. Antony's feast has continued on the same date in the Church Calendar for any, many years


          

January 14-16, 2000
volume 11, no. 10
DAILY LITURGY

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