May 2, 2001
volume 12, no. 122

Liturgy for Wednesday and Thursday May 2nd and 3rd

Wednesday, May 2, 2001    Meditation

    Feast of Saint Athanasius, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church
      White vestments
Novus Ordo

Entrance: Ezechiel 34: 11, 23-24
First Reading: Acts 8: 1-8
Responsorial: Psalm 66: 1-7
Gospel Reading: John 6: 35-40
Communion: John 15: 16

Ordinary of the Mass of the Catechumens*

Introit: Ecclesiastes 15: 5, Psalm 41: 2
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 4: 5-14
Alleluia: Psalm 198: 4; James 1: 12
Gospel: Matthew 10: 23-28
Offertory: Psalm 88: 21-22
Communion: Matthew 10: 27

Feast of Saint Athanasius, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church

    Born in Egypt early in the fourth century, Saint Athanasius was chosen to defend His Church against the Arian heresy at an early age, being sent to champion the cause of Holy Mother Church at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. His dedication and writings attracted the attention of all and he quickly was made Patriarch of Alexandria and almost single-handedly fended off the Arian heresy for well over forty years before succumbing peacefully in 373. Though he had been persecuted by the Arians for many, many years, his prayers, writings, preaching and actions won many over to the true teaching through the humility and persistence of this staunch Defender and Doctor of the Church. Despite the sacriligeous acts of the heretic Arius who had forced the emperor to have him reinstated in the Church, God smote the heretic down in the presence of countless witnesses as Arius attempted to enter the church of St. Sophia. Through Athanasius' prayers, the sacrilege was averted and the horrible death Arius met in challenging the authority of God's Church prompted countless Arians to be converted back to Catholicism.

Thursday, May 3, 2001    Meditation

    Feast of SAINT JAMES and SAINT PHILIP, Apostles
      Red vestments
Novus Ordo

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-8
Responsorial: Psalm 19: 2-5
Gospel Reading: John 14: 6-14
Communion: John 14: 8-9

Ordinary of the Mass of the Catechumens**

Introit: Galatians 6: 14; Psalm 66: 2
Epistle: Philippians 2: 5-11
Alleluia: Psalm 95: 10
Gospel: John 3: 1-15
Offertory: Psalm 117: 16-17
Communion: Matthew 13: 54-54


    These two saints were both Apostles hand chosen by Jesus. Sacred Scripture records that when Saint Philip first met Jesus, he went to Nathaniel - "We have found Him of Whom Moses wrote in the Law and the Prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Joseph." Nathaniel's famous reply: "Can any good come out of Nazareth?" Philip, Nathaniel, James and all the other Apostles and disciples would soon discover the answer: YES! After Our Lord ascended, Philip preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and was horribly crucified there in 80 AD. Saint James, known as James the Less to distinguish himself from James the Greater was a cousin of Jesus and a brother of the Apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus. James was also known as James the Just to depict the austere, chaste life he led of penance and prayer. He was one of the first to see Jesus after His Resurrection. Like Philip, he preached the Gospel but was also appointed Bishop of Jerusalem and sat beside Saint Peter and Saint Paul during the Council of Jerusalem. Later, after Paul had escaped the wrath of the Jews by appealing to Caesar the angry Jews turned on James and stoned him, driving him to a tower where he was thrown off and struck his head, dying instantly of a massive concussion. The sword he holds represents his martyrdom, while the cross Philip clutches represents his death.

* = Traditional Latin Mass promulgated by Pope St. Pius V to be said in perpetuity
**= Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross. In the eighth century this feast was transferred to May 3, and on September 14 was and still is celebrated the "Exaltation of the Cross," the commemmoration of a victory over the Persians by Heraclius, as a result of which the relic was returned to Jerusalem. In the traditional liturgy the Feasts of the Apostles Philip and James is celebrated on May 11.

May 2, 2001
volume 12, no. 122
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