Friday, November 14
LITURGY






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vol, 8
no. 31

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GOSPEL Reading and Reflections for the Mass of the day

FRIDAY, November 14, 1997

Thirty-second Friday in Ordinary Time, November 14:
    First Reading: Wisdom 13: 1-9
    Psalms: Psalm 19: 2-5
    Gospel Reading: Luke 17: 26-37


SATURDAY, November 15, 1997

Thirty-second Saturday in Ordinary Time, November 15: and
Feast of Saint Albert the Great, Bishop, Religious and Doctor of the Church

      First Reading: Wisdom 18: 14-16; 19: 6-9
      Psalms: Psalm 105: 2-3, 5, 36-27, 42-43
      Gospel Reading: Luke 18: 1-8

    Feast of Saint Albert the Great

        The 13th Century-born Saint Albert the Great was a product of the Dominican dominance of that period. Born in the family castle at Lauingen, Bavaria in 1206, Albert was sent to the University of Padua in Italy to study and where he entered the Dominican seminary in 1223. After ordination, Albert began teaching at the Order's priory in Cologne, Germany. From there it was on to teach at Freiburg-im-Breisgau, then Regensberg, followed by Strassburg, and finally the University of Paris. There he received his doctorate at the age of 39. Shortly after he was named regent at the University. Among his students was a young Dominican who hung on his every word. Thank God he did for that young man was none other than Saint Thomas Aquinas one of the most learned holy men in the history of the Church. Albert discerned how great Thomas would be and personally tutored the young priest. Albert was the Dominican Provincial of Germany from 1254 to 1257 when he resigned to draw up, along with Thomas Aquinas, a new study curriculum for the Dominican Order in 1259. A year later, though he declined the honor, he was still appointed bishop of Regensburg. In 1262 he resigned the bishopric in order to go back to teaching at the University in Cologne. He took an avctive role in the Council of Lyons held in 1274. That same year his pupil St. Thomas died and for a few years after Albert was the learned saint's greatest defender, specifically of his great work "Summa Theologica". Albert traveled to Paris in 1278 to staunchly defend Thomas' teachings. There had been a group of theologians at the University of Paris, headed by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris, who, followers of Saint Augustine and Plato, disagreed with the techniques used by Albert and Thomas. The two saints had pioneered the "Scholastic" method and applied the principles of Aristotle in revealing Church Doctrine. Albert wrote numerous works on Sacred Scripture as well as countless thesises on the Blessed Mother, more than anyone to that time in Church annals. Less than a year later at the age of 72 Albert contracted, what many believe was Alzheimer's Disease and his acumen for teaching and writing greatly diminished until on November 15, 1280 God took him home. He was canonized in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. At that same time Pius proclaimed Albert "Albertus Magnus" "the Universal Doctor" - now a Doctor of the Church. Ten years later Pius XI's successor Pope Pius XII proclaimed Albert as the "Patron of Students and Natural Sciences."


    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 16, 1997

Sunday, November 16:
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

      First Reading: Daniel 12: 1-3
      Psalms: Psalm 16: 5, 8-11
      Second Reading: Hebrews 10: 11-14, 18
      Gospel Reading: Mark 13: 24-32
    See "Reflections" on today's Gospel in this weekend's issue.

MONDAY, November 17, 1997

Monday, November 17: and
Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Wife, Mother, and Religious

    First Reading: 1 Maccabees 1: 10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-64
    Psalms: Psalm 119: 53, 61, 88, 150, 155, 158
    Gospel Reading: Luke 18: 35-43

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

        The daughter of Saint Hedwig and King Andrew II, Catholic ruler of Hungary, Saint Elizabeth was born in 1207. At the age of four she was promised in marriage to Louis IV from Thuringia. Ten years later she was married to him in an elaborate royal ceremony. Early in their marriage her husband, who had become King, rebuked her because she was always serving people. "That's no work for a queen" he reprimanded her, demanding to know what she was carrying in her cloak. He pulled open her cloak and instead of finding provisions for the poor as he expected, out cascaded lovely red and white roses. He knew then that she was indeed a holy woman and from that point on he dedicated his life to sharing in her ministry. They lived their vows above reproach, conceiving three children. While in labor with her third child, word reached her that her husband Louis had been killed in battle during the Cursade led by Holy Roman Emperor King Frederick II. At twenty years of age Elizabeth, now Queen and widow, went into mourning. Rather than accepting the offers of several suitors, she opted to remain a widow and turned her attention to the poor and ill, vacating the luxurious castle at Wartburg to dedicate the rest of her life to helping others. She founded a hospital at Marburg, dedicating it to Saint Francis who had just been canonized and took up the gray habit of the Francican tertiaries to work in the hospital she had established. Her charitable works became well-known and the fruits of that love and charity spread far and wide after her death at the tender age of 24. Falling ill from the plague that had claimed many of the hospital patients, Elizabeth herself, not one to rest, contracted the disease and died in the hospital on November 16, 1231. Almost immediately miracles were attributed to her by those who touched her tomb. Four years later the clamor and evidence was so solid that Pope Gregory IX canonized her, three years after making Francis a saint. Since the thirteenth century she, along with Saint Louis IX have been the patron saints of Franciscan tertiaries. She is also patron saint of bakers.


    November 14-16, 1997 volume 8, no. 31    LITURGY



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