Saturday, January 31, 2015

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Accordingly the blessed apostle draws a contrast between Moses and Christ to our comfort. “The Law,” he says, “was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” In him God is fully and truly seen, so that he is absolutely the way, and the truth, and the life. All our duties are summed up for us in the message he brings us.

Those who look towards him for teaching, who worship and obey him, will by degrees see “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in his face, and will be changed into the same image from glory to glory.”

John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons

Rembrandt, Head of Christ

Sunday, January 25, 2015

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

In today’s gospel, beloved, we heard the exhortation to repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. We must recognize the greatness of God’s love for us; so generous is it that he is willing to be appeased by the amends we make for our evil deeds, provided only that we freely admit them before he has himself condemned them. Yet no matter how many wounds our human nature has sustained, we’re never justified in given ourselves over to despair, for the Lord is magnanimous enough to pour out his compassion abundantly on all who need it.
From a Sermon by St. Caesarius of Arles

Detail of St. Mary Magdalene kissing the feet of Jesus, by Mattana.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

From John’s disciples Jesus summoned two to follow him, and one of them, Andrew, led his brother Peter to him also. According to the spiritual sense, it is clear what it means to follow the Lord. You follow the Lord if you imitate him. You follow the Lord, if, insofar as human weakness allows, you do not abandon those examples of humility that, as a human being, the Son of God demonstrated. You follow the Lord if, by showing yourself to be a companion of his sufferings, you painstakingly long to attain communion in his resurrection and ascension.

From St. Bede’s Homilies on the Gospels

The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew by Caravaggio

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Feast of the Baptism

Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.

Today let us do honor to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received—though not in its fullness—a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

From a Sermon by Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, bishop (330-389 AD)


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Feast of the Epiphany

Stars cross the sky, wise men journey from pagan lands, earth receives its savior in a cave. Let there be no one without a gift to offer, no one without gratitude as we celebrate the salvation of the world, the birthday of the human race. Now it is no longer, Dust you are and to dust you shall return, but “You are joined to heaven and into heaven you shall be taken up.”
From a homily by Saint Basil the Great

Adoration of the Magi. Panel from 4th century AD Roman sarcophagus, cemetery of St. Agnes in Rome.



Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 1

On this Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, to whom our church is dedicated, we remember you in our prayers, and wish you a blessed and grace-filled New Year.

Jesus and Mary rest, St. Joseph blows on the fire.
Detail from Wildung Altarpiece by Konrad von Soest

In the Bleak Midwinter
by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

In the bleak mid-winter,

Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign.
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.


Enough for Him, whom cherubim,
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
but His mother only,
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved
With a kiss.


What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man,

I would do my part;
Yet what can I give Him -
Give him my heart.