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April 14, 1999
SECTION ONE vol 10, no. 73
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
The Liturgy begins to take shape in form and function during the embryo years of the Church
We continue today with the abridged History of the Mass and Holy Mother Church over a 2000 year span called 2000 YEAR VOYAGE ON THE BARQUE OF PETER. Today we bring you the fourth installment this week with the fifth tomorrow on the The Embryo Years. For Installment four, click on BARQUE OF PETER
THE EMBRYO YEARS
part one: Forming the Liturgy
The Apostles were charged to carry on what Jesus Christ had instituted. Guided
by His teachings and the Gift of the Holy Spirit, they went out to preach
the Good News and to baptize countless converts, bringing them into the
fold despite the intense persecutions that hounded them wherever they went.
They took refuge in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in its
embryo stage borrowing from both the Judaic rite and customs and traditions
of the Gentiles to build the structure of the New Sacrifice and perpetuate
the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist amidst torture and slaughter of
millions of believers who would not deny that Christ was truly their
Hope and salvation for He would be with His Church always "even to the
consummation of the world" (Matthew 28:20).
Much of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass evolved from Old Testament Law, but
Jesus introduced a New Covenant at the Last Supper and intermingling
Judaic traditions, laws and customs a new rite was born - the New Sacrifice.
In the last few installments, we covered the who, what, when, where
how, and why the Holy Eucharist was instituted.
With Christ's Ascension into Heaven, the Apostles may have felt like they
were "on their own", so to speak, but Christ had promised in Matthew 28:20
"Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world"
and indeed He is. To confirm His Presence of speaking through, to, with
and for them was the invaluable Triune Divinity Emissary given on the feast
of Pentecost the Holy Spirit, Third Person of the Blessed Trinity - to
carry on what He had established on earth - His Church and His Sacraments.
Strengthened by this, the Apostles began to establish a ritual around this
Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which they called the Mass. Within a very
short time, they had developed a rite, which was both distinctive and
meaningful. But it was not easy to maintain or spread for they were living
in an antagonistic atmosphere. Why the hostility? Simple. Here were
twelve men and their disciples who were growing in numbers. Most of them
had come from Jewish roots but among them there were no Jewish priests, no
leaders of the synagogue. They were basically outsiders with no access to
the inner chambers of the temple. Their only training had been as heads of
their families presiding over the Sabbath meals, Seders and Passover meals
in their own homes. Yet, they had been asked to celebrate a ritual "in
remembrance of Jesus." Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the
Gifts of the Sanctifier, they would have been lost and afraid. Oh, there
was still that human fear and apprehension. It still exists in everyone of
us today. But the Apostles and those newly baptized believers went forward
with perseverance in maintaining and sharing the New Sacrifice.
The accounts documented in the Acts of the Apostles verify this. Early on
in Acts 2: 46-47 Saint Luke says: "And continuing daily with one accord in the
temple, and breaking bread in their houses, they took their food with
gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and being in favor with all
the people. And day by day the Lord added to their company such as were to
be saved." Because of their Jewish roots they continued with the
traditions they had been raised with, but because of their conversion to
Christ they also continued with the Eucharist in the breaking of the bread
in their homes. As their ranks swelled, they realized more and more they
were being called to break the liturgical bonds of Judaism and establish
this new religion which their Master had instituted. Therefore, the
Sabbath, originally Saturday, gradually was observed the next day for that
was the day they broke bread together and celebrated the Eucharist. It was
also a remembrance of the day Christ rose from the dead and shared His
first post-resurrection meal with His disciples that evening. This became
a tradition the following Sunday when Christ showed His wounds to Saint Thomas.
From that time on, though they gathered together often, Sunday was the
focal point for celebrating the Eucharist.
In those early days, the Mass was quite primitive - "And they continued
steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles and in the communion of the
breaking of the bread and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). Prayers were added to
the celebration and, as is the custom, repetition took form in creating a
Through the years, a liturgical struggle took shape. First, drawing from
the old rite, the Apostles established a time for reading the Word just as
it had been Jewish tradition to read from the Law and the Prophets in the
synagogue. The Apostles and disciples borrowed from this by establishing
the reading of lessons, which became the Didache and eventually the
Collect. Since they were no longer part of the Jewish faith, the still
felt it was important to carry on this important aspect. As more writings
of the New Covenant became available they were added permanently with first
the epistles and then a passage from the writings of one of the four
evangelists who were, for a time, with them first hand. This became the
essence of the Liturgy of the Word.
Other Jewish traditions remained such as the Amens, Alleluias, and
Sanctus, which proclaims Isaiah's chant with the angels present in all
their magnificence (cf Isaiah 6:3). "Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts,
all the earth is full of His glory." It was a perfect vehicle for passage
from the Offertory to the Consecration of the Eucharist.
TOMORROW: Installment Five
Cardinal Carlo Furno: A grand cardinal experienced in diplomatic circles chosen to lead the influential Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem as Grand Master
Today we feature our forty-third red hat in alphabetical order. He is the 78 year-old Cardinal Carlo Furno of Italy who serves as Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome and Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. For more on this Italian cardinal appointed by Pope John Paul II in the Consistory of November 26, 1994, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
43. Cardinal Carlo Furno
Today's featured red-hat, Cardinal Carlo Furno has held down the prestigious office of Grand Master for the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem since December 16, 1995. His entire ecclesiastical career has been dedicated to the Vatican diplomatic corps. Born in the Diocese of Ivrea on December 2, 1921 in the village Bairo Canavese, Italy, he enrolled in the seminary and was ordained at the age of 23 on June 25, 1944. After six years of further studies and pastoral work, Pope Pius XII called him to Rome to enroll in diplomatic service for the Holy See in the early fifties where over the next eleven years or so he steadily climbed the ladder of diplomatic protocol working first in Colombia, then Ecuador and then Jerusalem for the Secretariat of State.. In 1966 Pope Paul VI named him to teach at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome. On August 1, 1973 he was elevated to the rank of bishop, becoming the titular bishop of Abari. On September 16, 1973 he became Archbishop of Abari as well as assigning him as Nuncio in Peru where he remained until 1978 when he was transferred to the office of Apostolic Nuncio to Lebanon, then Brazil in 1982 for the next ten years and finally Apostolic Nuncio to Italy in 1992 until his selection in the November 26, 1994 Consistory of Pope John Paul II as cardinal. He received the rank of cardinal-deacon and was given the titular church of the Sacred Heart of Christ the King.
Less then a year later he was chosen Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a position he still holds at the age of 78. In 1996 he was selected Pontifical Delegate for the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi and had to deal thoroughly and sadly with the terrible Umbrian earthquakes that struck a year later killing some Franciscans and ruining centuries of priceless art and treasures, not to mention terrible damage to structures everywhere, especially the Basilica. In 1998 the Holy Father appointed him Archpriest of the Patriarchal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome where he still resides.
Besides his present duties, Cardinal Furno also enjoys Curial membership in the Second Section of the Secretariat of State, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples as well as the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City and the Institute for Works of Religion. Though he is experienced diplomatically and curia-wise, his age would deter him from any serious consideration were a papal election be held in the near future.
The Magdalene confronts the Roman soldiers
Meditative Lessons on the Glorious Mysteries
In the second part of Chapter 9: "Whom do you seek?" we continue with Mary Magdalen as she searches out Our Lord, confronting first the pagan Roman soldiers who are, to say the least, panicked. But Mary did not panic for she knew that in God's time all would be revealed...as it was. That's faith. These meditative lessons, imparted by Our Lady to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart after Pentecost 1993, are meant to inspire and prompt a greater understanding of the Glorious Mysteries. For part two of Chapter 9, click on "MY LORD AND MY GOD!"
Meditative Lesson 9:
"WHOM DO YOU SEEK?"
So unselfish is her [Mary of Magdala's] love that she has no inkling of how love will repay
love. The Heavens watch with joy as she approaches the tomb, her feet
flying, her arms burdened with the efforts of her labor to prepare spices,
herbs, perfumes, balms, etc. She rounds a corner where an outcropping of
rock blocks her view of the tomb. But once clear of it, Mary stops dead.
Her arms drop to her sides, spilling her precious bundles upon the ground.
She does not even notice. Her eyes are gazing steadily ahead. And I see
as she sees. The heavy stone is now pushed aside, to the left from where I
stand just beside Mary. The entrance to the tomb is clear, wide, and dark.
A cry, one of pain, escapes her lips. "Master!" The word seems to echo
in this quiet garden. It seems to reverberate from within the tomb and
back again. Slowly she moves forward. Her Master! She does not know what
to think. But her single cry and the sound of her feet awaken the three
soldiers who still remain in the same places as when I saw them fall asleep.
Awakened from sleep, the soldiers are instantly brought back to reality.
They have fallen asleep while on duty, a punishable offense.
They are looking at the woman clad in mourning garments who approaches.
They have not yet taken notice of the great stone slab, which has been moved.
"Halt" What business have you here?" The words are harsh, frightening.
Mary is not to be frightened.
"I am Mary, sister of Lazarus. I have come to anoint the body, butů"
"Butů? At this hour? Woman, be gone. We have no orders to allow such a
"The tomb! The stone!" Mary's voice is raised; she points to the opening.
The soldiers see and they all three thrown into disarray, just as Mary's
own heart feels dismay. Hers is sadness. Her human mind has not focused
on the promise of the Master to rise again on the third day. She can but
reason that thieves have come and stolen the body.
The soldiers are truly pitiful. Anger, fear, rage, all well up in them.
They would vent their anger upon this woman, but they see the pure
astonishment on her own features and realize that she has had no part in
whatever trickery has taken place.
They move to block her way as she goes closer to the tomb.
"The Master! What have you done with Him?"
"Done? Are you mad, woman. We are Romans! What have we to do with a
common Jewish criminal?"
"Let me pass. I must see."
It is then that the other Marys reach the spot where the Magdalene has
dropped her precious ointments. The soldiers, now again distracted, are
unable to prevent Mary of Magdala from entering the tomb. They glare
maliciously at her, but she does not know it. Her only desire is to seek
proof of the Master's body.
I go with her into the tomb. The daylight filters in. It is not strong.
Actually, Mary must stand still for several moments until her eyes adjust.
Then she sees that where Our Lord's body was laid, there is no body. The
wrappings so lovingly but hastily placed over and around His Sacred body
are there, neatly folded, and done as if with great care. There is nothing
else. It is empty.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part three: "Whom do you seek?"
April Apologues raining down Food for Thought Appeteasers
What if you were asked to choose a leader, would you look at his characteristics and behavioral patterns? That would seem to be the course of judgment, but don't always believe what you see or hear as we prove in the first vignette Be careful who and how you judge and a second poignant piece that should flood the depths of our hearts and wills and nourish our resolve. It is called Cracked up to be the best it can be: the Crack Pot! For these two Appeteasers, click on APRIL APOLOGUES: FOOD FOR THOUGHT APPETEASERS
Today we bring you two vignettes that should make you think. The first we challenge your political correctness and how far that will take you. It was submitted by GS via e-mail and is called: Be careful who and how you judge. The second comes from NH and is a poignant piece that will buoy all our spirits for it is a story that will flood the depths of our hearts and wills and nourish our resolve. It is called Cracked up to be the best it can be: the Crack Pot! Enjoy.
Be careful who and how you judge
The presidential candidates for 2000 are starting to make some noise in the preliminary phase of election 2000 and with all this political correctness now days, we present three leaders who have led. What candidate's qualities would you most like to see in a leader. Who would you trust to be the most qualified? This little quiz might astound you so be careful in your choice. The answers are at the bottom of the page after the second appeteaser.
Association with ward healers and consultation with astrologists.
Chain smoker and imbiber of 8 to 10 martinis a day.
Kicked out of office twice.
A late sleeper - until noon most days.
Opium user in college.
Known to drink a quart of brandy every evening.
Seminarian in preparation for the priesthood
Decorated war hero.
Only an occasional beer
No known illicit affairs.
Based on this information, which of these candidates would you choose?
The answers are at the bottom of this page.
Cracked up to be the best it can be: the Crack Pot!
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole
which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and
while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water
at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house, the
cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily,
with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his
masters house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments,
perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was
ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to
accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what
it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by
the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."
"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"
"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load
because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to
your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work,
and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said. The water
bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said,
"As we return to the Masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful
flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun
warming the beautiful roses on the side of the path, and this cheered it
some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked
out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice the profusion of flowers all
along your side of the path. Did you notice that the flowers were only on
your side of the path, but not on the other pots side? That's because I have
always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower
seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the
stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these
beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the
way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will
allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Fathers table. In Gods
great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws.
Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our
weakness we find our strength.
Today is the Second Wednesday of Easter while tomorrow we continue Paschaltide with the Second Thusday of Easter. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Wednesday, April 14, 1999
First Reading: Acts 5: 17-26
Psalms: Psalm 34: 2-9
Gospel Reading: John 3: 16-21
Thursday, April 15, 1999
First Reading: Acts 5: 27-33
Psalms: Psalm 34: 2, 7, 9, 17-20
Gospel Reading: John 3: 31-36
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today we begin a short series of Responsory Prayers during Paschaltide adapted from the Byzantine Liturgy:
This day was made by the Lord, Alleluia. Let us rejoice and be glad in it, Alleluia. Behold today is the day of resurrection! Let us glory in the feast. Alleluia.
SIMPLY SHEEN: Gratitude is always cheerful
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"The cheerful person always sees in any present evil some prospective good; in pain he sees a Cross from which will issue a Resurrection; in trial, he finds correction and discipline and an opportunity to grow in wisdom; in sorrow, he gathers patience and resignation to the Will of God. In all things there is thankfulness. "
March 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! I call you to prayer with the heart. In a special way, little children, I call you to pray for conversion of sinners, for those who pierce my heart and the heart of my Son Jesus with the sword of hatred and daily blasphemies. Let us pray, little children, for all those who do not desire to come to know the love of God, even though they are in the Church. Let us pray that they convert, so that the Church may resurrect in love. Only with love and prayer, little children, can you live this time which is given to you for conversion. Place God in the first place, then the risen Jesus will become your friend. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
THE DAILY WORD
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only- begotten Son, that those who believe in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting."
John 3: 16
Click here to go to SECTION TWO click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
April 14, 1999 volume 10, no. 73 DAILY CATHOLIC