Lord, how good it is for us to be here -- Matthew 17

Browsing The Corner Office

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Jan 25, 2019

Dear Friends,

Christmas continues, even if the liturgical season has ended!  Yes, the Christmas season has ended and last week we moved to Ordinary Time, but despite the liturgical change, I pray and hope you continue to embrace the Christmas story of new life and hope in tangible ways in our daily life and always remember that the Lord will not abandon us - ever.  Keeping the Christmas message alive 365 days a year is challenge for all of us, but it is a truly worthwhile challenge to keep before us every moment of our life!

I thought with the changing of the liturgical seasons I would address the colors of the Church seasons.  What is the color thing all about anyway?  The use of color in the liturgy became a common practice in the Church during the fourth century.  It was “institutionalized” by the Church officially during the twelfth century reign of Pope Innocent III.  For those who could not read, the liturgical color quickly conveyed to the lay faithful the emotional flavor of the celebration.  Here is a quick review of the colors.

Purple garments are worn for the seasons of anticipation: Advent and Lent. In our tradition, it is associated with repentance from sin, which, of course, is a large part of our preparation for Christmas and Easter.  We have the option of wearing rose on Gaudete and Laetare Sundays, the midpoints of each of those seasons.  Fortunately, I have never been assigned to a parish that had a pink chasuble; I would have a difficult time wearing them because they would clash with my blue eyes!

White (often replaced by or adorned with gold) symbolizes the brightness of the sun, and is saved for our most important seasons and feasts: Christmas, Easter, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi and most of our holy days of obligation; and are to be worn for funerals.

Red is the color of blood, and is used for the feasts of martyrs, and particularly, on Palm Sunday and Good Friday when the Passion narrative is read.  It is also associated with the color of fire and so is used as a symbol of the presence of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, and at celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Green is the color of new growth, and so we make use of it all during Ordinary Time (when we count the thirty-four Sundays outside of the Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter seasons).  Between Christmas and Ash Wednesday, and from Pentecost through Advent, we read the Gospel of the year, learning about the mission of Jesus the Christ and our own mission in the world as his disciples.  This should be a time of personal spiritual growth for each of us.

Before the Second Vatican Council, black was used for funeral liturgies.  Today we use white on those occasions to emphasize our belief in the Resurrection of the Lord and the Resurrection of our own bodies to be like his on the Last Day.  This way, following the advice of St. Paul, we do not mourn as those who have no such hope of eternal life.  Even through our tears, there is reason to rejoice.

Now on the lighter side...Teacher: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ‘I.’ Millie: I is.. Teacher: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'  Millie: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'

Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!

In peace and courage, 

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