Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Feast February 2 : Presentation of Child Jesus in the - #Candlemas

Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. or Purification of the Blessed Virgin (Greek Hypapante), Observed 2 February in the Latin Rite.
According to the Mosaic law a mother who had given birth to a man-child was considered unclean for seven days; moreover she was to remain three and thirty days "in the blood of her purification"; for a maid-child the time which excluded the mother from sanctuary was even doubled. When the time (forty or eighty days) was over the mother was to "bring to the temple a lamb for a holocaust and a young pigeon or turtle dove for sin"; if she was not able to offer a lamb, she was to take two turtle doves or two pigeons; the priest prayed for her and so she was cleansed. (Leviticus 12:2-8)
Forty days after the birth of Christ Mary complied with this precept of the law, she redeemed her first-born from the temple (Numbers 18:15), and was purified by the prayer of Simeon the just, in the presence of Anna the prophetess (Luke 2:22 sqq.). No doubt this event, the first solemn introduction of Christ into the house of God, was in the earliest times celebrated in the Church of Jerusalem. We find it attested for the first half of the fourth century by the pilgrim of Bordeaux, Egeria or Silvia. The day (14 February) was solemnly kept by a procession to the Constantinian basilica of the Resurrection, a homily on Luke 2:22 sqq., and the Holy Sacrifice. But the feast then had no proper name; it was simply called the fortieth day after Epiphany. This latter circumstance proves that in Jerusalem Epiphany was then the feast of Christ's birth.
From Jerusalem the feast of the fortieth day spread over the entire Church and later on was kept on the 2nd of February, since within the last twenty-five years of the fourth century the Roman feast of Christ's nativity (25 December) was introduced. In Antioch it is attested in 526 (Cedrenus); in the entire Eastern Empire it was introduced by the Emperor Justinian I (542) in thanksgiving for the cessation of the great pestilence which had depopulated the city of Constantinople. In the Greek Church it was called Hypapante tou Kyriou, the meeting (occursus) of the Lord and His mother with Simeon and Anna. The Armenians call it: "The Coming of the Son of God into the Temple" and still keep it on the 14th of February (Tondini di Quaracchi, Calendrier de la Nation Arménienne, 1906, 48); the Copts term it "presentation of the Lord in the Temple" (Nilles, Kal. man., II 571, 643). Perhaps the decree of Justinian gave occasion also to the Roman Church (to Gregory I?) to introduce this feast, but definite information is wanting on this point. The feast appears in the Gelasianum (manuscript tradition of the seventh century) under the new title of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The procession is not mentioned. Pope Sergius I (687-701) introduced a procession for this day. The Gregorianum (tradition of the eighth century) does not speak of this procession, which fact proves that the procession of Sergius was the ordinary "station", not the liturgical act of today. The feast was certainly not introduced by Pope Gelasius to suppress the excesses of the Lupercalia (Migne, Missale Gothicum, 691), and it spread slowly in the West; it is not found in the "Lectionary" of Silos (650) nor in the "Calendar" (731-741) of Sainte-Geneviève of Paris. In the East it was celebrated as a feast of the Lord; in the West as a feast of Mary; although the "Invitatorium" (Gaude et lætare, Jerusalem, occurrens Deo tuo), the antiphons and responsories remind us of its original conception as a feast of the Lord. The blessing of the candles did not enter into common use before the eleventh century; it has nothing in common with the procession of the Lupercalia. In the Latin Church this feast (Purificatio B.M.V.) is a double of the second class. In the Middle Ages it had an octave in the larger number of dioceses; also today the religious orders whose special object is the veneration of the Mother of God (Carmelites, Servites) and many dioceses (Loreto, the Province of Siena, etc.) celebrate the octave.
Blessing of candles and procession
According to the Roman Missal the celebrant after Terce, in stole and cope of purple colour, standing at the epistle side of the altar, blesses the candles (which must be of beeswax). Having sung or recited the five orations prescribed, he sprinkles and incenses the candles. Then he distributes them to the clergy and laity, whilst the choir sings the canticle of Simeon, "Nunc dimittis". The antiphon "Lumen ad revelationem gentium et gloriam plebis tuæ Israel" is repeated after every verse, according to the medieval custom of singing the antiphons. During the procession which now follows, and at which all the partakers carry lighted candles in their hands, the choir sings the antiphon "Adorna thalamum tuum, Sion", composed by St. John of Damascus, one of the few pieces which, text and music, have been borrowed by the Roman Church from the Greeks. The other antiphons are of Roman origin. The solemn procession represents the entry of Christ, who is the Light of the World, into the Temple of Jerusalem. It forms an essential part of the liturgical services of the day, and must be held in every parochial church where the required ministers can be had. The procession is always kept on 2 February even when the office and Mass of the feast is transferred to 3 February. Before the reform of the Latin liturgy by St. Pius V (1568), in the churches north and west of the Alps this ceremony was more solemn. After the fifth oration a preface was sung. The "Adorna" was preceded by the antiphon "Ave Maria". While now the procession is held inside the church, during the Middle Ages the clergy left the church and visited the cemetery surrounding it. Upon the return of the procession a priest, carrying an image of the Holy Child, met it at the door and entered the church with the clergy, who sang the canticle of Zachary, "Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel". At the conclusion, entering the sanctuary, the choir sang the responsory, "Gaude Maria Virgo" or the prose, "Inviolata" or some other antiphon in honour of the Blessed Virgin. Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Free Catholic Recipe : Candlemas Crepes #Recipe - Easy to Make - with Variations

Candlemas Crêpe Recipe (makes about 8 crepes)
1 c. Flour
2 Eggs
1 ¼ c. Milk
2 T. Butter, Melted (unsalted butter can be used for dessert crêpes)
¼ t. Salt for dinner crêpes (only a pinch of salt for dessert crêpes)
1 T. Sugar (for dessert crêpes only)
Butter for cooking
You can either mix all ingredients in a blender, food processor or with a whisk till smooth. It’s best to let the batter sit for ½ hour before cooking. You can add a little more milk or a little water if you find the batter is too thick.
Use a skillet that’s about 6 – 8″ in diameter. (I used an 8″ pan and got 8 fairly large crêpes.) Put about ½ to 1 teaspoon of butter in the bottom of the pan, enough to coat it. Melt on medium high heat. Pour in about 2-3 T. batter and tilt or gently swirl the pan so that the batter covers the whole bottom of the skillet. Cook on one side until golden brown. Flip. Cook the other side till it starts to become golden, which should happen quickly, and remove from heat. Repeat this process until you’ve used all the batter.
Fold the crêpes:
Rolled – Put filling on one end of the crêpe and roll it up, sort of like a candle
Savory Crêpes (or Dinner Crêpes)
  • Ham and Gruyere or Swiss Cheese Crêpes – Cube ham and fry, place in crêpe with shredded cheese and place in warm oven, at 300 F, to melt. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Cover if needed to prevent the crêpes from drying out. (A variation is to make this with chopped tomatoes.)
  • Mushrooms and Swiss Cheese – Sautee mushrooms in a little butter. Place in crêpe and top with cheese. Fold crepe and place in warm oven, at 300 F, to melt cheese. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Cover if needed to prevent the crêpes from drying out. (A variation is to make this with chopped tomatoes.)
  • Spinach and Goat Cheese – Sautee spinach. Spread goat cheese on crêpe, top with spinach and fold.
Dessert Crêpes (some of these could be good for breakfast too!)
  • Apple Cinnamon and Walnut Crêpes – Sautee chopped apples and walnuts in a little butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Scoop mixture onto crêpe and fold.
  • Lemon and Powered Sugar Crêpes – Sprinkle confectioners sugar on crêpe and squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on top. Fold and eat!
  • Your Favorite Jam Crêpes – Simply smear the crêpe with jelly, fold over or roll and top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
  • Nutella and Whipped Cream Crêpe – Spread nutella on crêpe, top with a dollop of whipped cream and fold up.
  • Banana and Nutella Crêpes – Spread nutella on crepe, and top with thinly sliced bananas. Fold crêpe and enjoy!
  • Sugared Crêpes – Sprinkle crêpe with sugar and fold or roll up. These work well if you want to eat them by hand.
  • Ice Cream Crêpe – Put vanilla ice cream on crêpe, some hot chocolate syrup and whipped cream and fold it up.
  • Hot Fudge and Strawberry Crêpes – Clean and slice strawberries and place on crêpe, cover with hot fudge and a dollop of whip cream. Fold. (Shared from Waldorf Homeschoolers/Image SweetasHoney)

#PopeFrancis "...with their testimony of life they can radiate the love of Christ and the grace of the Gospel in the world." FULL TEXT + Video

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! In the past catecheses we began our course on the theme of hope by rereading in this perspective some pages of the Old Testament. Now we want to put in light the extraordinary scope that this virtue assumes in the New Testament, when it meets the novelty represented by Jesus Christ and the paschal event: Christian hope. We, Christians, are women and men of hope. 
It is what emerges clearly from the first text that was written, namely, the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians. Perceived in the passage we heard, is all the freshness and beauty of the first Christian proclamation. The Thessalonian community is a young community, recently founded, yet despite the difficulties and many trials, it is rooted in the faith and celebrates enthusiastically and joyfully the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. So the Apostle heartily rejoices with all, in a much as those that are reborn at Easter truly become “sons of light and sons of the day” (5:5), in virtue of their full communion with Christ. 
When Paul writes to them, the community of Thessalonika had just been founded, and only a few years separate it from Christ’s Pasch. Therefore, the Apostle tries to make them understand all the effects and consequences that this unique and decisive event, namely, the Lord’s Resurrection, implies for history and for the life of each one. In particular, the difficulty for the community was not so much to acknowledge Jesus’ Resurrection, all believed in it, but to believe in the resurrection of the dead. Yes, Jesus is risen, but the difficulty was to believe that the dead will rise again. In this connection, this Letter is revealed all the more timely. Every time we find ourselves in face of our death, or that of a loved one, we feel our faith is put to the test. All our doubts arise, all our frailty, and we wonder: “But will there truly be life after death …? Will I be able to see again and embrace again the persons I loved …? A lady asked me this question a few days ago in an audience, manifesting a doubt: “Will I meet my own?” In the present context, we are also in need of returning to the root and foundation of our faith, so as to become aware of all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus and what our death means. We all are somewhat afraid of this uncertainty of death. I remember a little old man, and elderly good man, who said: “I’m not afraid of death. I’m a bit afraid to see it coming.” He was afraid of this. 
In face of the fears and perplexities of the community, Paul invites to have firmly on the head as a helmet, especially in trials and in the most difficult moments of our life, “the hope of salvation.” It is a helmet. See what Christian hope is. When there is talk of hope, we can be led to understand it according to the ordinary meaning of the term, namely, in reference to something good that we desire, but which can or cannot be realized. We hope it will happen; it is like a desire. One says, for example: “I hope the weather will be good tomorrow!” ; but we know that, instead, the weather could be bad the next day … Christian hope is not like this. Christian hope is the expectation of something that has already been accomplished; the door is there, and I hope to arrive at the door. What must I do? I must walk to the door! I am certain I will arrive at the door. Christian hope is like this: to have the certainty that I am on the way to something that is, not that I wish it to be. 
This is Christian hope. Christian hope is the expectation of something that has already been accomplished and which certainly can be realized for each one of us. Therefore, our resurrection also, and that of our dear deceased, is not something that might or might not happen, but it is a certain reality, in as much as it is rooted in the event of Christ’s Resurrection. To hope, therefore, means to learn to live in expectation; to learn to live in expectation and to find life. When a woman realizes she is pregnant, she learns to live every day in the expectation of seeing the gaze of that child that will come. So we must also live and learn from these human expectations and live in the expectation of seeing the Lord, of encountering the Lord. This is not easy, but it can be learned: to live in expectation. To hope means and implies a humble heart, a poor heart. Only a poor one knows how to wait. One who is already full of himself and of his possessions does not put his trust in anything other than himself. 
Again, Saint Paul writes: “He [Jesus] died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him” (1 Thessalonians5:10). These words are always a motive of great consolation and peace. Therefore, we are also called to pray for loved ones who have left us, so that they will live in Christ and be in full communion with us. Something that touches my heart very much is an expression of Saint Paul, again addressed to the Thessalonians. It fills me with the certainty of hope. He says thus: “and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Something beautiful: everything passes but, after death, we will always be with the Lord. It is the total certainty of hope. The same that, much earlier made Job exclaim: “For I know that my Redeemer lives […] whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold Him” (Job 19:25.27). And so we shall always be with the Lord. Do you believe this? I ask you, do you believe this? To have some force, I invite you to say it three times with me: “And so we shall always be with the Lord.” And we will meet there with the Lord. 
[Original text: Italian] 
(c) Translation by ZENIT, Virginia Forrester
I give a warm welcome to the delegation of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and I thank it for its commitment to look after our common home in these times of grave socio-environmental crisis. I encourage you to continue to weave networks so that the local Churches respond with determination to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. 
I receive joyfully the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I greet the participants in the Congress of the Marian Priestly League  promoted by the Silent Workers of the Cross and the guests of the Saint Lucy Foundation, exhorting them to assiduousness in prayer, effective remedy in sickness and in suffering. 
I greet the officers of the Command of the Guardia di Finanza of Parma and the members of the Center of Spirituality of Mercy, with the Bishop of Piazza Armerina, Monsignor Rosario Gisana, who have come with the icon of the Mother of Mercy, which will be exhibited in Saint Peter’s Basilica. I invite each one to continue the exercise of the works of mercy, so that they become habitual virtues of daily life. 
A greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Tomorrow we will celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day for Consecrated Life. I entrust to your prayers all those who have been called to profess the evangelical counsels, so that with their testimony of life they can radiate the love of Christ and the grace of the Gospel in the world. 
[Original text: Italian]  
Translation by ZENIT, Virgina Forrester

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. February 1, 2017 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 325

Reading 1HEB 12:4-7, 11-15

Brothers and sisters:
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.

Endure your trials as "discipline";
God treats you as his sons.
For what "son" is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

Strive for peace with everyone,
and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God,
that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble,
through which many may become defiled.

Responsorial PsalmPS 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18A

R. (see 17) The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward children's children
among those who keep his covenant.
R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, "Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?"
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house."
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.