DAILY CATHOLIC     THANKSGIVING/ADVENT Special Issue for Wednesday through Sunday     November 24-28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 223-225


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Wednesday, November 24, 1999

      First Reading: Daniel 5: 1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
      Psalms: Daniel 3: 59, 62-67
      Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 12-19

Feast of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, priest, and his companion martyrs of Vietnam

        On June 19, 1988, Pope John Paul II canonized a group of martyrs to the exalted position of saint, as recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. This group of martyrs consisted of 117 people who died for the Roman Catholic Faith in the nineteenth century in Vietnam. Among the group, Saint Andrew Dung-Lac is mentioned my name, most probably because he was a priest and the most visible. The majority of the canonized group remain unnamed. Nonetheless, the fact remains that these people all gave their lives preferring the Eternal Life with Christ to the worldly life that was offered to them. Andrew Dung-Lac was a diocesan priest in Vietnam. He was born around 1839. The information available does not state when, specifically, he died, but the fact of his death - a death by martyrdom - are authenticated by Holy Mother Church. As with all the Saints, we are called to seek the intercession of the person whose feast is celebrated, in some manner taking their life into our own, examining where we can imitate this person best. Not all of us will be called to shed our blood for Christ. All of us are called to die to ourselves and to live in Christ, through total surrender, every day. Let us all, in this final week before Advent, recall in our hearts first and then our minds, the total obedience given by Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions to God. Let us ask his intercession so that, with Godís grace, we, too, may die to self and life in and for Christ alone, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Thursday, November 25, 1999

    Thursday November 25:
    Thirty-fourth and final Thursday in Ordinary Time or

    Green or white vestments
      First Reading: Daniel 6: 12-28
      Psalms: Daniel 3: 59, 68-74
      Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 20-28

or the special Mass for Thanksgiving Day with white vestments:

      First Reading: Joel 2: 21-24, 26-27
      Psalms: Psalm 67: 2-3, 5, 7-8
      Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 9: 6-15
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 6: 31-34

Friday, November 26, 1999

      First Reading: Daniel 7: 2-14
      Psalms: Daniel 3: 59, 75-81
      Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 29-33

Saturday, November 27, 1999

    Saturday November 27:
    Thirty-fourth and final Saturday in Ordinary Time and
    Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

    Green or white vestments
      First Reading: Daniel 7: 15-27
      Psalms: Daniel 3: 59, 82-87
      Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 34-36

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, November 28, 1999

    SUNDAY November 28:
    Beginning of New Liturgical Year using Cycle "B" for the Liturgy of the Word

    Purple or violet vestments

      First Reading: Isaiah 63: 16-17, 19; 64: 2-7
      Psalms: Psalm 80: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19
      Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 3-9
      Gospel Reading: Mark 13: 33-37

Monday, November 29, 1999

      First Reading: Isaiah 2: 1-5
      Psalms: Psalm 122, 1-9
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 8: 5-11

November 24-28, 1999       volume 10, no. 223-225


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