Saturday and Sunday,
January 13 and 14


Saturday, January 13, 2001

    Meditation for Saturday January 13:
    Weekday in the First Week of the Ordinary Year and
    Feast of Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church and
    First Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday in the New Church Year

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Hebrews 4: 12-16
      Psalms: Psalm 19: 8-10, 15
      Gospel Reading: Mark 2: 13-17

Feast of Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

        Born in 315 in Poitiers, Gaul, Saint Hilary was a bishop who lived in the 4th Century in Aquitaine which is today Southwest France. Though he was raised a pagan, life's journey brought him to Christianity at middle age through reading Sacred Scripture. In 353 he became the bishop of his home town of Poitiers and fought hard to support the orthodox cause against the growing threat of Arianism prevalent among his peer bishops. The majority of Arian bishops succeeded in getting him expelled to Phrygia where he spent time in exile. He dedicated his life to stopping this Arian menace within the Church, becoming a thorn in the side to all heretics as he preached love, not hate for those ignorant of the true teachings of Holy Mother Church. For his dedication and contributions, he was called the "Athanasius of the West." While in exile he wrote his most famous treatises De Trinitate, De synodis, and Opus historicum. Finally, after a long battle against Arianism, he returned to the place of his birth Poitiers where he later died in 368 in total peace. We can learn from St. Hilary in that though we are soldiers for Christ, we also need to show compassion and love while never compromising our faith. Pope Pius IX declared St. Hilary a Doctor of the Church on January 13, 1851.

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). 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 14, 2001

      First Reading: Isaiah 62: 1-5
      Psalms: Psalm 96:1-3, 7-10
      Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11
      Gospel Reading: John 2: 1-12


January 13, 2001
volume 12, no. 13
DAILY LITURGY



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