About Today

August 24

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

Feast

“Nathanael said to him, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ Nathanael answered him, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’” (Jn 1:48-49). [1]

Today marks the Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle. St. Bartholomew, whose name means ‘son of Talmay,’ is listed as one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. He is mentioned sixth in the Gospel’s of St’s Matthew, Mark, and Luke and seventh in Acts. In St. John’s Gospel, Nathanael is listed where St. Bartholomew’s name is in other three lists. Therefore, as there is no central narrative about St. Bartholomew; most scholars believe he may be Nathanael. As for Nathanael, we see his relationship with Christ reflecting a deep and truth faith. He opens his heart and professes that Jesus is the Son of God. As Pope Benedict XVI states, this is, “…an important first step on the journey…to Jesus.” Also, in Nathanael’s proclamation, we hear Jesus’ hypostatic union referenced; Jesus’ divinity as the Son of God and Jesus’ humanity as the King of Israel. We are reminded to honor both of these aspects of Christ as we grow in relationship with Him. [2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v., “John, The Gospel according to.”
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Bartholomew.”
[3] Benedict XVI, General Audience, October 4, 2006.
[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 464-469.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

August 15

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity

“’Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.’ The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians…’”[1]

Today the Church honors the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother’s principal feast and a holy day of obligation. Jesus took up and received His Mother in the sum totality of her being, a joyous union of God-bearer and Son. The earliest record of this is from the 5th -6th century, presumed written by St. John, in a work entitled De Obitu S. Dominae. Additional accounts are written by Joseph of Arimathea, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, and St. Melito of Sardis, with commentaries penned by Albert the Great, St. Aquinas, and St. Bonaventure. Therefore, in 1950, Pope Pius XII issued the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus declaring “… to the glory of Almighty God, who poured into the Virgin Mary in honor of his special favor of his Son… the immaculate Mother of God ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” Our Mother’s Assumption is celebrated in both eastern and western traditions and is perpetually honored as the Fourth Glorious Mystery in the Holy Rosary. [2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 966.
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “The Feast of the Assumption.”
[3] St. John, “The Dormition of the Holy Theotokos,” quoted by Prof. Stephen J. Shoemaker, http://pages.uoregon.edu/sshoemak/texts/dormindex.htm
[4] Pius XII, Deus Munificentissimus [Mary’s Glorification with Taking the Sky in Body and Soul], 1950.
Source: Divineoffice.org Evening Prayer I

About Today

August 6

The Transfiguration of the Lord

Feast

1And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. 2And he transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. 3And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him… 5He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him,’” (Mt.17:1-3, 5). [1]

Today is the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. This scene on Mount Tabor fills today’s believers with wonder, as it did Peter, James and John, when they, “fell on their faces and were filled with awe,” (Mt.17:6). Pope Benedict XVI, in his Sunday Angelus, describes the Transfiguration of Jesus as revealing ‘the splendor of Truth and Love.’ In this splendor was the mystery of light, as Jesus’ face shone like the sun. Jesus confirmed His divinity and expressed an essential aspect of God, light, which appears throughout salvation history when God is near. In the Transfiguration, we are invited to meditate on the ‘mystery of God’s light,’ Jesus’ divinity and our role as children of God and therefore, children of the light. [2][3][4]

“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty, who coverest thyself with light as with a garment, who hast stretched out the heavens like a tent, who hast laid the beams of thy chambers on the waters, who makest the clouds thy chariot, who ridest on the wings of the wind, who makest the winds thy messengers, fire and flame thy ministers” (Ps 104:1-3).[5]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v., “Matthew, The Gospel According to.”
[2] Ibid.
[3] Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, March 12, 2012.
[4] Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, August 6, 2006.
[5] Revised Standard Version, s.v., “The Psalms.”
Source: Divineoffice.org

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