About Today

July 25

Saint James, Apostle

Feast

19 And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’… 21And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him,”(Mt 4:19-22).[1]

Today is the feast of Saint James ‘the Greater’, to be differentiated from James, son of Alphaeus, ‘the Lesser.’ Saint James and his brother, John were Galilean fisherman endeared with the title, ‘sons of thunder.’ They are mentioned, along with Peter, as the three privileged disciples to witness the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the Transfiguration, and the Agony in the Garden. Sadly, Saint James was killed with the sword by Herod but not before leaving the legacy as a strong, impassioned disciple of Christ. Lastly, The Way of St. James (El Camino de Santiago) remains a popular pilgrimage route in northern Spain, where tens of thousands journey each year. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “Matthew, The Gospel According to.”
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. James the Greater.”
[3] Benedict XVI, General Audience, June 21, 2006.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

July 03

Saint Thomas, Apostle

Feast

God calls us. When we hear it, we answer in faith and begin to experience an authentic Christian journey. At times, many of us doubt the path laid out before us. As Thomas did, we find ourselves longing for proof. Moments of courage are interrupted by moments of fear. In John’s Gospel, we hear Thomas’ courage as he spoke to the other disciples, “…’Let us also go, that we may die with him.’” Yet, shortly after, we hear Saint Thomas’ anxiety, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Thomas’ human emotions remind us that we need a Savior. In this, we remember Jesus’ mighty answer to Saint Thomas when He said, “…I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14: 5-7). [1][2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “John, The Gospel According to.”
[2] Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, Intervention at the Pontifical Oriental Institute Meeting, Dec. 7, 2002.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

June 29

Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Solemnity

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide;” (Jn 15:16). [1]

Today is the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles. These holy men are celebrated together in Christian brotherhood, yet also, within their own individuality. Peter, the first to profess, and Paul, who deepened the faith, would come to lead Christ’s Church through their own unique charisms. In today’s Preface: The Twofold Mission of Peter and Paul in the Church we hear, “And so, each in a different way gathered together the one family of Christ; and revered together throughout the world, they share one Martyrs crown.” In these saints, we see Christ Jesus forming friendship, carefully calling His disciples by name. He elevated Saul to Paul and Simon to Peter, just as He lovingly befriends, calls, and elevates us today. Saints Peter and Paul honored Christ with the totality of their lives, modeling for us what our response to Jesus’ friendship can be. [2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “John, The Gospel According to.’
[2] Benedict XVI, Homily, June 29, 2011.
[3] John Paul II, Homily, June 29, 2003.
[4] “Preface: The Twofold Mission of Peter and Paul in the Church,” Magnificat, 14:4 (2012): 406.
Source: Divineoffice.org Evening Prayer I

About Today

Friday After the Second Sunday After Pentecost

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Solemnity

“…an unending spring of life, giving hope to every person, has streamed precisely from the Heart of God’s Son, who died on the Cross. From the Heart of Christ crucified is born the new humanity redeemed from sin. The man of the year 2000 needs Christ’s Heart to know God and to know himself; he needs it to build the civilization of love.”[1]

Today is the solemnity of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The feast dates back to the 11th century, but prior to the 17th century the devotion was embraced mainly by mystics such as St. Bernard of Claivaux and Gertrude of Helfta. In 1673, Margaret Mary Alacoque, received a vision of Jesus’ compassionate heart, pierced by the sins of the world, which gave impetus to the devotion. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated humanity to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He explained the Sacred Heart as both, “a symbol and living image of the infinite love of Christ.” [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 15 June 1994, p. 3.
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
[3] John Paul II, 100th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Divine Heart of Jesus, 1999.
Source: Divineoffice.org Evening Prayer I

About Today

June 24

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Solemnity

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light” (Jn 1:6-9). [1]

Today the Church celebrates the birth of Saint John the Baptist, the last of the line of prophets sent to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. As the Catechism teaches us, “The coming of God’s son to earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over centuries. He makes everything converge on Christ; all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the ‘First Covenant.’ He announces him through the mouths of the prophets who succeeded one another in Israel.” [2]

As such, we recognize Saint John the Baptist as surpassing all the other prophets. In the fullness of time, the prophetic cycle starting with Elijah came to completion; for in Saint John the Holy Spirit completed his work of making a people ready for God’s Son. Also, Saint John abundantly welcomed Christ into the world; he leaped for joy in his mother’s womb, foreshadowed Christ’s coming in his preaching, baptized and bore witness to Jesus in the Jordan, and gave his life in holy martyrdom. We celebrate Saint John the Baptist’s birth as a triumph to the hope and joy present in Christ’s coming. [3][4][5]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “John, The Gospel According to.”
[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 522.
[3] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 717.
[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 523.
[5] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. John the Baptist.”
Source: Divineoffice.org