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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for January   Leave a comment

Snow in January

Image in the Public Domain

1 (EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Holy Name of Jesus
  • World Day of Peace

2 (NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Gaspar del Bufalo, Founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood
  • Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe, Bavarian Lutheran Minister, and Coordinator of Domestic and Foreign Missions
  • Narcissus of Tomi, Argeus of Tomi, and Marcellinus of Tomi, Roman Martyrs, 320
  • Odilo of Cluny, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Sabine Baring-Gould, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

3 (TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Edward Caswall, English Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Perronet, British Methodist Preacher
  • Elmer G. Homrighausen, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Professor of Christian Education
  • Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China and Taiwan
  • William Alfred Passavant, Sr., U.S. Lutheran Minister, Humanitarian, and Evangelist

4 (ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Angela of Foligno, Italian Roman Catholic Penitent and Humanitarian
  • Elizabeth Ann Seton, Founder of the American Sisters of Charity
  • Gregory of Langres, Terticus of Langres, Gallus of Clermont, Gregory of Tours, Avitus I of Clermont, Magnericus of Trier, and Gaugericus, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • Johann Ludwig Freydt, German Moravian Composer and Educator
  • Mary Lundie Duncan, Scottish Presbyterian Hymn Writer

5 (TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Antonio Lotti, Italian Roman Catholic Musician and Composer
  • Felix Manz, First Anabaptist Martyr, 1527
  • Genoveva Torres Morales, Founder of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels
  • John Nepomucene Neumann, Roman Catholic Bishop of Philadelphia
  • Margaret Mackay, Scottish Hymn Writer

6 (EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST)

7 (François Fénelon, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cambrai)

  • Aldric of Le Mans, Roman Catholic Bishop of Le Mans
  • Jean Kenyon Mackenzie, U.S. Presbyterian Missionary in West Africa
  • Lanza del Vasto, Founder of the Community of the Ark
  • Lucian of Antioch, Roman Catholic Martyr, 312
  • William Jones, Anglican Priest and Musician

8 (Thorfinn of Hamar, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • A. J. Muste, Dutch-American Minister, Labor Activist, and Pacifist
  • Arcangelo Corelli, Italian Roman Catholic Musician and Composer
  • Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei, Scientists
  • Harriet Bedell, Episcopal Deaconess and Missionary
  • Pepin of Landen, Itta of Metz, Their Relations, Amand, Austregisilus, and Sulpicius II of Bourges, Faithful Christians Across Generational Lines

9 (Julia Chester Emery, Upholder of Missions)

  • Emily Greene Balch, U.S. Quaker Sociologist, Economist, and Peace Activist
  • Gene M. Tucker, United Methodist Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Johann Josef Ignaz von Döllinger, Dissident and Excommunicated German Roman Catholic Priest, Theologian, and Historian
  • Philip II of Moscow, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia, and Martyr, 1569
  • Thomas Curtis Clark, U.S. Disciples of Christ Evangelist, Poet, and Hymn Writer

10 (John the Good, Roman Catholic Bishop of Milan)

  • Allen William Chatfield, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Translator
  • Louise Cecilia Fleming, African-American Baptist Missionary and Physician
  • María Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña y Ortega, Founder of the Centers of Instruction, the Association of the Sodality of the Virgin Mary, the Ladies of the Catechetical Institute, the Association of the Apostolic Laymen/the Sopeña Lay Movement, the Works of the Doctrines/the Center for the Workes, and the Social and Cultural Work Sopeña/the Sopeña Catechetical Institute
  • W. Sibley Towner, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • William Gay Ballantine, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Educator, Scholar, Poet, and Hymn Writer

11 (Theodosius the Cenobiarch, Roman Catholic Monk)

  • Charles William Everest, Episcopal Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Ignatius Spencer, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest and Apostle of Ecumenical Prayer; and his protégé, Elizabeth Prout, Founder of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion
  • Miep Gies, Righteous Gentile
  • Paulinus II of Aquileia, Roman Catholic Patriarch of Aquileia
  • Richard Frederick Littledale, Anglican Priest and Translator of Hymns

12 (Benedict Biscop, Roman Catholic Abbot of Wearmouth)

  • Aelred of Hexham, Roman Catholic Abbot of Rievaulx
  • Caesarius of Arles, Roman Catholic Bishop of Arles; and his sister, Caesaria of Arles, Roman Catholic Abbess
  • Anthony Mary Pucci, Italian Roman Catholic Priest
  • Henry Alford, Anglican Priest, Biblical Scholar, Literary Translator, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Bible Translator
  • Marguerite Bourgeoys, Founder of the Sisters of Notre Dame

13 (Hilary of Poitiers, Roman Catholic Bishop of Poitiers, “Athanasius of the West;” and Hymn Writer; and his protégé, Martin of Tours, Roman Catholic Bishop of Tours)

  • Christian Keimann, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Edgar J. Goodspeed, U.S. Baptist Biblical Scholar and Translator
  • George Fox, Founder of the Religious Society of Friends
  • Mary Slessor, Scottish Presbyterian Missionary in West Africa
  • Samuel Preiswerk, Swiss Reformed Minister and Hymn Writer

14 (Macrina the Elder, Her Family, and Gregory of Nazianzus the Younger)

  • Abby Kelley Foster and her husband, Stephen Symonds Foster, U.S. Quaker Abolitionists and Feminists
  • Eivind Josef Berggrav, Lutheran Bishop of Oslo, Hymn Translator, and Leader of the Norwegian Resistance During World War II
  • Kristen Kvamme, Norwegian-American Hymn Writer and Translator
  • Richard Meux Benson, Anglican Priest and Co-Founder of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist; Charles Chapman Grafton, Episcopal Priest, Co-Founder of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, and Bishop of Fond du Lac; and Charles Gore, Anglican Bishop of Worcester, Birmingham, and Oxford; Founder of the Community of the Resurrection; Theologian; and Advocate for Social Justice and World Peace
  • Sava I, Founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and First Archbishop of Serbs

15 (Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Leader and Martyr, 1968)

  • Bertha Paulssen, German-American Seminary Professor, Psychologist, and Sociologist
  • Gustave Weigel, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest and Ecumenist
  • John Cosin, Anglican Bishop of Durham
  • John Marinus Versteeg, U.S. Methodist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Nikolaus Gross, German Roman Catholic Opponent of Nazism, and Martyr, 1945

16 (Roberto de Noboli, Roman Catholic Missionary in India)

  • Berard and His Companions, Roman Catholic Martyrs in Morocco, 1220
  • Edmund Hamilton Sears, U.S. Unitarian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Biblical Scholar
  • Edward Bunnett, Anglican Organist and Composer
  • Juana Maria Condesa Lluch, Founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Conception, Protectress of Workers
  • Timothy Richard Matthews, Anglican Priest, Organist, and Hymn Tune Composer

17 (Antony of Egypt, Roman Catholic Abbot and Father of Western Monasticism)

  • Deicola and Gall, Roman Catholic Monks; and Othmar, Roman Catholic Abbot at Saint Gallen
  • James Woodrow, Southern Presbyterian Minister, Naturalist, and Alleged Heretic
  • Pachomius the Great, Founder of Christian Communal Monasticism
  • Rutherford Birchard Hayes, President of the United States of America
  • Thomas A. Dooley, U.S. Roman Catholic Physician and Humanitarian

18-25 (WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY)

18 (CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER, APOSTLE)

19 (Sargent Shriver and his wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Humanitarians)

  • Alessandro Valignano, Italian Jesuit Missionary Priest in the Far East
  • Charles Winfred Douglas, Episcopal Priest, Liturgist, Musicologist, Linguist, Poet, Hymn Translator, and Arranger
  • Henry Twells, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

20 (Fabian, Bishop of Rome, and Martyr, 250)

  • Euthymius the Great and Theoctistus, Roman Catholic Abbots
  • Greville Phillimore, English Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Harold A. Bosley, United Methodist Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Harriet Auber, Anglican Hymn Writer
  • Richard Rolle, English Roman Catholic Spiritual Writer

21 (Mirocles of Milan and Epiphanius of Pavia, Roman Catholic Bishops)

  • Alban Roe and Thomas Reynolds, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1642
  • John Yi Yon-on, Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr in Korea, 1867

22 (John Julian, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymnologist)

  • Alexander Men, Russian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1990
  • Benjamin Lay, American Quaker Abolitionist
  • Ladislao Batthány-Strattmann, Austro-Hungarian Roman Catholic Physician and Philanthropist
  • Vincent Pallotti, Founder of the Society for the Catholic Apostolate, the Union of Catholic Apostolate, and the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate

23 (John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria)

  • Charles Kingsley, Anglican Priest, Novelist, and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Grubb, English Quaker Author, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer
  • George A. Buttrick, Anglo-American Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar; and his son, David G. Buttrick, U.S. Presbyterian then United Church of Christ Minister, Theologian, and Liturgist
  • James D. Smart, Canadian Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Phillips Brooks, Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts, and Hymn Writer

24 (Ordination of Florence Li-Tim-Oi, First Female Priest in the Anglican Communion)

  • Bob Keeshan, Captain Kangaroo
  • Lindsay Bartholomew Longacre, U.S. Methodist Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Marie Poussepin, Founder of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Virgin
  • Martyrs of Podlasie, 1874
  • Suranus of Sora, Roman Catholic Abbot and Martyr, 580

25 (CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL, APOSTLE)

26 (TIMOTHY, TITUS, AND SILAS, CO-WORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE)

27 (Jerome, Paula of Rome, Eustochium, Blaesilla, Marcella, and Lea of Rome)

  • Angela Merici, Founder of the Company of Saint Ursula
  • Carolina Santocanale, Founder of the Capuchin Sisters of the Immaculate of Lourdes
  • Caspar Neumann, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Mary Evelyn “Mev” Puleo, U.S. Roman Catholic Photojournalist and Advocate for Social Justice
  • Pierre Batiffol, French Roman Catholic Priest, Historian, and Theologian

28 (Albert the Great and his pupil, Thomas Aquinas; Roman Catholic Theologians)

  • Andrei Rublev, Russian Orthodox Icon Writer
  • Daniel J. Simundson, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Henry Augustine Collins, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Joseph Barnby, Anglican Church Musician and Composer
  • Somerset Corry Lowry, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

29 (LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, CO-WORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE)

30 (Lesslie Newbigin, English Reformed Missionary and Theologian)

  • Bathildas, Queen of France
  • David Galván Bermúdez, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in Mexico, 1915
  • Frederick Oakeley, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest
  • Genesius I of Clermont and Praejectus of Clermont, Roman Catholic Bishops; and Amarin, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Jacques Bunol, French Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1945

31 (Charles Frederick Mackenzie, Anglican Bishop of Nyasaland, and Martyr, 1862)

  • Anthony Bénézet, French-American Quaker Abolitionist
  • Menno Simons, Mennonite Leader

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A   Leave a comment

Above:  The Prophet Micah (Russian Orthodox Icon)

What God Requires of Us

JANUARY 29, 2023

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Micah 6:1-8 (New Revised Standard Version):

Hear what the LORD says:

Rise, plead your case before the mountains,

and let the hills hear your voice.

Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD,

and you enduring foundations of the earth;

for the LORD has a controversy with his people,

and he will contend with Israel.

“O my people, what have I done to you?

In what have I wearied you?  Answer me!

For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,

and redeemed you from the house of slavery;

and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised,

what Balaam son of Beor answered him,

and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,

that you may know the saving acts of the LORD.”

“With what shall I come before the LORD,

and bow myself before God on high?

Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,

with calves a year old?

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,

with ten thousands of rivers of oil?

Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,

the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has told you, O mortal, what is good,

and what does the LORD require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?”

Psalm 15 (New Revised Standard Version):

O LORD, who may abide in your tent?

Who may dwell on your holy hill?

Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,

and speak the truth from their heart;

who do not slander with their tongue,

and do no evil to their friends,

nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;

in whose eyes the wicked are despised,

but who honor those who fear the LORD;

who stand by their oath even to their hurt;

who do not lend money at interest,

and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

Those who do these things shall never be moved.

1 Corinthians 1:18-37 (New Revised Standard Version):

The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Matthew 5:1-12 (New Revised Standard Version):

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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The readings for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A, are counter-cultural in the best possible way.  They point to a divine order distinct from the human status quo.  If you have doubts, read the psalm again and ponder the economic order in much of the world.

The Matthew version of the Beatitudes (distinct from the Luke version) fit neatly with the God-centered counter-culture depicted in Psalm 15.  They depict a great reversal of fortune–a world in which those who grieve receive comfort, the meek inherit the earth, and those who are persecuted have reason to rejoice.  Perhaps the traditional, King James rendering of the first Beatitude obscures its meaning.  What does it mean to be poor in spirit?  The late J. B. Phillips, in the second edition of his New Testament in Modern English (1972), got it right:

How happy are those who know their need for God, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs!

Likewise the second edition of the New Living Translation (2004) has Jesus say,

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

All of this is consistent with the excerpt from 1 Corinthians, which reminds us that human standards do not bind God.

The reading from Micah is perhaps most famous for the glorious 6:8, but some references in previous verses require explanation.  God had delivered the people of Israel and led them through the wilderness to the promised land with the cooperation of human leaders.  Shittim was the location of the last camp before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into Canaan; Gilgal was where they camped first after crossing the Jordan.  King Balak had plotted to have Balaam, a prophet-for-hire, curse his (Balak’s) enemies; God made sure that Balaam spoke the truth, regardless of what Balak thought about it.  The capstone of the reading from Micah is 6:8, which contains a brief summary of holiness:  “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly” with God.

So we need to recognize our need for God, cease exploiting each other, and to extend kindness to each other.  This ethic negates much of the economic orders of the world.  As I write these words there is an ongoing corporate competition to decrease wages (and therefore the standard of living) due to lower wages elsewhere on the planet.  Then people cannot afford to keep the economy healthy or to purchase quality items, which have become too expensive for diminished budgets.  U.S. President William McKinley, in office  (whom I quote favorably rarely) stated correctly:

Cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country.

(Historical note:  President McKinley was in office 1897-1901, assassinated early into his second term.)

I have learned of bail bondsmen in communities across the United States making deals with local judges to send non-violent accused to people to jail (not release them, bypassing jail and trusting them to keep their court dates), so that the bail bondsmen can bail these individuals out.  This, of course, is good business for the bail bondsmen, but what about the accused who are poor?  The wealthy accused can afford bail.  And this packing of local jails increases the public costs of incarceration, which is bad for communities.

Much of politics has relied for a very long time on impulses which run contrary to kindness.  Indeed, the great indifference, aversion, or even hostility to objective reality, hence leading to a “don’t confuse me with the facts” mentality proves destructive to the community and the nation.  And what would 24-hour alleged news channels do if they had to report only hard news–you know, the kind rooted in confirmed facts?  Kindness would kill their business model of stirring up the reptilian brain within their viewers–and facts be damned.  What matters most to these purveyors of punditry is a good mad.

Acting kindly can prevent many unnecessary problems for others.  This is not “rocket science;” much of this falls into the Lutheran category of “civic righteousness,” or good deeds we have the power to undertake on our own strength yet which cannot save us from our sins, or ourselves.  We can go far toward making the vision of Micah 6:8 reality, if only we will do so.  Selfishness is not a predetermined condition, for we can be altruistic.  Indeed, there is an evolutionary advantage inherent in altruism; it serves the common good, increasing the odds of the survival of the species.  (I like to listen to science programming on the radio via the Internet.)  So self-interest can take us far.  The missing piece is the one only God can provide.  Then, by grace, we can have a beloved community marked by true justice.

KRT

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/week-of-proper-5-monday-year-2/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/third-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

Feast of Sts. Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, Holy Women (January 29)   13 comments

Above: Healing of the Cripple and Raising of Tabitha, by Masolino da Panicale, 1425

Image in the Public Domain

Giving Women Their Due

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The Assigned Readings for This Feast:

Acts 15:11-15 or Acts 9:36-42

Psalm 112:1-9 or Psalm 23

John 10:1-10

The Collect:

Almighty God, who inspired your servants Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe to uphold and sustain your Church by their loving and generous deeds: Give us the will to love you, open our hearts to hear you, and strengthen our hands to serve you in others for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

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The Pauline attitude toward the proper role of women in the Church is a subject of frequent misunderstanding and distortion.  The much-quoted restrictions against female ministers is actually specific to certain kinds of women and is grounded in culture, time, and space.  It is not a universal principle.

And the Apostle Paul worked with women in his ministry, affirming their ministerial worth.  I think of Prisca, a.k.a. Priscilla.  Unfortunately, misogyny has become a tradition within certain forms of Christianity, so the value of women continues to be discounted.

Yet Biblical stories contradict this tradition.

Dorcas, a.k.a. Tabitha, appears in Acts 9:36-42.  A resident of Joppa, on the Mediterranean coast, and leader in her church, she devoted herself to helping widows.  Acts tells how after Dorcas/Tabitha died, St. Peter restored her to life.

Phoebe was a deacon or deaconess at the Church in Chenchreae, near Corinth, Greece.  At some point she moved to Rome and joined that church, to which St. Paul commended her.

According to Acts 16:11-15 Lydia was a Gentile sympathetic to Judaism.  A resident of Thyatira, she earned a good living as a seller of purple cloth, a luxury item.  Converted to Christianity by St. Paul, she invited the Apostle and St. Silas to stay in her house.  They accepted the invitation.  Shortly thereafter, Sts. Paul and Silas were in prison on trumped-up charges until an earthquake occurred and they converted the jailer and baptized his family.  Then Sts. Paul and Silas returned to Lydia’s home for a brief visit.

Women were often the most faithful people who assisted Jesus and St. Paul.  They functioned as deacons/deaconesses, financiers of ministry, Christian leaders, and doers of good deeds.  Women are just as good as men.  And for denominations and congregations to deny women equal access to all levels of Holy Orders is a sin and a denial of male-female equality through the Holy Spirit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 15, 2010

THE FEAST OF EVELYN UNDERHILL, ANGLICAN MYSTIC

Posted June 15, 2010 by neatnik2009 in January 29, Saints of the Bible

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