Archive for the ‘July 21-31’ Category

Feast of Horatius Bonar (July 31)   1 comment

Above:  Horatius Bonar

Image in the Public Domain

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HORATIUS BONAR (DECEMBER 19, 1808-JULY 31, 1889)

Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

Horatius Bonar was the greatest Scottish hymn writer.  He wrote them quickly, with more attention to theology than to literary style.  By the time Bonar died the tally of his hymns exceeded 600.

Bonar spent much of his life in Edinburgh.  He, born there on December 19, 1808, was son of Marjory Pyott Maitland and James Bonar, the Solicitor of Excise for Scotland.  Our saint’s mentor was Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), the great Scottish Presbyterian divine.  Chalmers educated Bonar at the University of Edinburgh.  Bonar, ordained into The Church of Scotland in 1838, became the minister of North Parish.  (He had previously been an assistant at Leith.)  Bonar did not remain at North Parish for long, though.  In 1843 the Great Disruption divided The Church of Scotland, and Bonar followed Chalmers into the new Free Church of Scotland.

1843 was also the year our saint married Jane Catherine Lundie (1821-1884).  Jane, daughter of a Presbyterian minister, sister of another Presbyterian minister, and sister of a Presbyterian missionary, was also a poet and a hymn writer.  Her most enduring hymn was “Pass, Pass, All Earthly Joy,” published most frequently as “Fade, Fade, Each Earthly Joy.”  Interestingly, Jane was related by marriage to Josephine Butler (1828-1906).  Horatius Boar and Jane Catherine Lundie wed in the manse at Kelso.  They had nine children, five of whom they buried.

Bonar was active on the denominational level of the Free Church of Scotland.  For many years he edited The Border Watch, the official organ of the Free Church.  In 1866 our saint left Kelso for Chalmers Memorial Church, Edinburgh.  He also served as the Moderator of the Free Church’s General Assembly in 1883.

Biblical prophecy was another interest Bonar pursued.  He developed it in 1855-1856, while traveling in Egypt and Palestine.  For many years he edited The Journal of Prophecy.

Bonar’s catalog of published works included the following:

  1. Songs for the Wilderness (1843);
  2. The Bible Hymn Book (1845);
  3. Hymns, Original and Selected (1846);
  4. Hymns of Faith and Hope (1857, 1861);
  5. The Song of the New Creation (1872); and
  6. Hymns of the Nativity (1879).

Ironically, the Session of Chalmers Memorial Church forbade the singing of hymns and allowed the singing only of metrical Psalms.

Bonar, aged 80 years, died in Edinburgh on July 31, 1889.

Many of his hymns have endured, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, PHILANTHROPIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID JAESCHKE, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND HIS GRANDSON, HENRI MARC VOLDEMAR VOULLAIRE, MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF ENMEGAHBOWN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MISSIONARY TO THE OJIBWA NATION

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH DACRE CARLYLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Horatius Bonar and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Franz Liszt (July 31)   Leave a comment

Above:  Franz Liszt

Image in the Public Domain

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FRANZ LISZT FERENC (OCTOBER 22, 1811-JULY 31, 1886)

Hungarian Composer and Pianist, and Roman Catholic Priest

The life of Franz Liszt can serve as an example of making a major change for the better.

Franz Liszt, born on October 22, 1811, at Raiding, near Sophron, Hungary, was a great composer and pianist.  His father was Adam Liszt, a steward of the Esterházy family.  Our saint’s mother was Anna Lager.  Franz was a child prodigy and a fine pianist.  Adam was an amateur pianist.  The parents nurtured their son’s talent.  They secured an annual subsidy from wealthy patrons and, in 1820, moved to Vienna, where our saint studied under Karl Czerny and Antonio Salieri.  In 1823 our saint played a concert in Paris.  Later that year the family relocated to the City of Lights, where Franz continued his studies.  From 1823 to 1827 father and son traveled in France and England.  Then Adam died in 1827.

Liszt, a composer since 1825, lived in Paris with his mother.  Since he had to earn money, he taught piano students.

As the years passed Liszt built up his reputation as a concert pianist, a composer, and a conductor.  He traveled across Europe and took his messy private life with him.  Mistress #1 (for about a decade), starting in 1834, was Countess Marie d’Agoult, with whom he had five children, including Cosima, who married Richard Wagner.  Mistress #2 (from 1848 to 1865) was Princess Carolyne von Sayn Wittgenstein, whom he had met on tour in Russia.  They settled at Weimar, where Liszt became the center of the Neo-German School of composition as well as a conductor of operas.  The couple could not marry, for Carolyne was already married, and the Roman Catholic Church refused to grant her a divorce.

Liszt had discerned a call to the priesthood since his childhood.  In 1865 he accepted it, and became a priest.  For the rest of his life Liszt taught, composed, and conducted.  From 1869 he taught piano in Weimar.  In 1875 he became the director of the new music academy in Budapest.  Along the way he promoted the works of other composers, including Hector Berlioz, Franz Schubert, and Ludwig von Beethoven.

Liszt was a major composer.  He invented the symphonic poem.  His catalog included both sacred and secular works.  His sacred works included oratorios (Die Legende von der Heiligen Elizabeth and Christus) and Masses (Missa Solemnis, Requiem, Missa Choralis, and the Hungarian Coronation Mass).  In the secular realm, his Hungarian Rhapsody #2 stands the test of time especially well.

Liszt, aged 74 years, died at Bayreuth on July 31, 1886.  He was there to attend a festival of operas by his son-in-law, Richard Wagner.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, PHILANTHROPIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID JAESCHKE, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND HIS GRANDSON, HENRI MARC VOLDEMAR VOULLAIRE, MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF ENMEGAHBOWN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MISSIONARY TO THE OJIBWA NATION

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH DACRE CARLYLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Eternal God, light of the world, and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Franz Liszt and all those

who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the

Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 728

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Feast of Blessed Marcel Denis (July 31)   Leave a comment

Above:  Laos, 1971

Scanned from Hammond Contemporary World Atlas–New Census Edition (1971)

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BLESSED MARCEL DENIS (JULY 8, 1919-JULY 31, 1961)

French Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in Laos, 1961

Blessed Marcel Denis, born in Alençon, Orne, France, on July 8, 1919, was a missionary priest and a martyr.  He joined the Paris Foreign Missions Society in 1942.  Denis, ordained a priest on April 22, 1945, went to Laos the following year.  His first assignment was in Dong Makba and its environs.  In 1954, however, the order transferred Denis to Khammouane; his base of operations was at Maha Prom.  Our saint labored faithfully to convert people; he loved them and cared about their needs, as the local lepers affirmed.  Denis eventually succeeded in his evangelistic efforts.

Denis, like many other missionaries, remained in an area while in great danger.  In 1961 communist guerrillas invaded the region where our saint worked.  He stayed long enough to become a prisoner for several months then a martyr in the forest at Kham Hè, Nhommalath, Khammouan, Laos, on July 31, 1961.  He was 42 years old.

Pope Francis declared Denis a Venerable in 2015 then a Blessed the following year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, PHILANTHROPIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID JAESCHKE, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND HIS GRANDSON, HENRI MARC VOLDEMAR VOULLAIRE, MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF ENMEGAHBOWN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MISSIONARY TO THE OJIBWA NATION

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH DACRE CARLYLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr

Blessed Marcel Denis triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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Blessed Vicenta Chavez Orozco (July 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Vicenta Chávez Orozco 

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED VICENTA CHÁVEZ OROZCO (FEBRUARY 6, 1867-JULY 30, 1949)

Foundress of the Servants of the Holy Trinity and the Poor

Also known as Blessed Maria Vicenta of Saint Dorothy

Blessed Vicenta Chávez Orozco, born on February 6, 1867, at Cotija, Michoacan, Mexico, devoted most of her life to serving Christ in the poor and the sick.  Our saint, the youngest of four children, made altars as a girl.  Her parish priest, Father Agustin Beas, hosted Holy Trinity Hospital (actually six beds, with sisters of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society working as nurses) in the rectory of the parish, set in a poor neighborhood.  On February 20, 1892, our saint went to Holy Trinity Hospital; she had pleurisy.  On July 10, 1892, having recovered, Blessed Vicenta returned–as a servant of the poor and the sick.  She made private vows in 1895.

Blessed Vicenta founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Poor (renamed the Servants of the Holy Trinity and the Poor) on May 12, 1905.  From 1913 to 1943 she served as the Superior General of the order.  Many of those years were difficult for the Roman Catholic Church, due to the revolutionary politics.  The seizing of the cathedral at Guadalajara in 1914 led to imprisonment for our saint, sister Servants, and some priests.  And, in 1926, after the government turned St. Vincent’s Hospital into a military headquarters, Blessed Vicenta and the Servants there risked their lives to care for the wounded and to ensure that they could say their confessions, receive absolution, and take communion.

Blessed Vicenta, aged 82 years, died at Guadalajara on July 30, 1949.  For a few years her health had been failing.  Our saint gave up the ghost during Mass, as Cardinal José Giribi Rivera elevated the host.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 1991 then a Blessed in 1997.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 11, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BARNABAS THE APOSTLE, COWORKER OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give up his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Clarence Jordan (July 30)   3 comments

Above:  Part of Southwest Georgia, 1945

Scanned from Monarch Atlas of the World (1945), 41

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CLARENCE LEONARD JORDAN (JULY 29, 1912-OCTOBER 29, 1969)

Southern Baptist Minister and Witness for Civil Rights

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He took the Bible seriously.

–United Methodist Minister James Howell of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Clarence Jordan, 2012

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Deeds reveal creeds.  Orthodoxy is right doctrine.  Orthopraxy is correct practice.  The first necessarily leads to the second.  Such as one thinks, one is.

Clarence Jordan (pronounced JER-dun) came from rural western Georgia.  He, born in Talbotton, Georgia, on July 29, 1912, was a son of James Weaver Jordan and Maude Josey.  While growing up our saint wondered how church-going Christians could support Jim Crow laws.  He studied Agriculture at The University of Georgia, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1933.  While at UGA Jordan edited the Georgia Agriculturalist and served as the state president of the Baptist Student Union.  In 1933 our saint also matriculated at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky (Th.M., 1936; Ph.D., 1939).  He, ordained in 1934, served as a pastor of several rural congregations while pursuing degrees.  In July 1936 Jordan married Florence Kroeger (d. 1987) of Louisville; the couple had four children.

Jordan could have taught on the college level or been minister of a large church, but he chose instead to found (with Martin and Mabel England) the Koinonia Farm south of Americus, Georgia, in Sumter County, in 1942.  Southwestern Georgia has long been a reactionary place (I know; I used to live there.), so Koinonia Farm was especially radical in its setting.  The model for the farm came from the Acts of the Apostles; there was a common treasury.  Jordan and company practiced radical egalitarianism and lived in a racially integrated community.  They were also pacifistic.  Jordan considered racism, discrimination, and economic injustice sinful.  He was truly a counter-cultural figure.  The farm became a target for violence, ostracism, and economic boycotts.  Were they communists?  No.  Were they patriotic?  Yes.  They took the Bible seriously.

Fellowship Baptist Church, Americus, June 13, 2018.JPG

Above:  Fellowship Baptist Church, Americus, Georgia, June 13, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

The presence of a mixed-race group at a church in Americus, Georgia, was controversial into at least the 1970s.  In 1973, for example, the deacons of First Baptist Church voted to bar African Americans from joining the congregation.  Fellowship Baptist Church formed in protest.  (It is still one of the more liberal congregations in town.)  One time in the 1960s the senior pastor of First Baptist Church visited Koinonia Farm and invited the people there to attend that night’s revival service.  They accepted the invitation.  Soon First Baptist Church was looking for a new senior minister.  Meanwhile, across the street, at First Methodist Church, men clad in their Sunday best kept African Americans from attending Sunday morning services.  They turned away Jordan and a group from Koinonia.

In 1968 Koinonia Farm reorganized as Koinonia Partners.

Jordan, a sought-after speaker on the liberal lecture circuit, as well as a friend of Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote the Cotton Patch Versions of New Testament books.  Thus Jerusalem became Atlanta, Nazareth became Valdosta, et cetera.  Jordan was writing another Cotton Patch Version on October 29, 1969, when he died of a heart attack at Koinonia Partners.  He was 57 years old.

Habitat for Humanity, founded by Millard Fuller (1935-2009) and Linda Fuller, is part of the continuing legacy of Clarence Jordan’s radical experiment in Christian community.  (The Fullers were two of the Koinonia Partners.)

Koinonia continues, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 11, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BARNABAS THE APOSTLE, COWORKER OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Clarence Jordan,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of St. Peter Chrysologus (July 30)   2 comments

Above:  The Roman Empire in 450 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT PETER CHRYSOLOGUS (406-DECEMBER 2, 450)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Ravenna and Defender of Orthodoxy

Alternative feast day = July 31

Former feast day = December 4

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Anyone who wishes to dance with the devil cannot rejoice with Christ.

–St. Peter Chrysologus

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St. Peter Chrysologus, or the “Golden-Worded,” was a renowned preacher and an opponent of the Arian and Monophysite heresies.  He, born in Imola, Italy, in 406, was a protégé of Cornelius, Bishop of Imola, who baptized, educated, and ordained him.  St. Peter became the Bishop of Ravenna in 433.  (Ravenna was the capital of the Roman Empire at the time.)  Immediately he won the favor and patronage of the Empress Aelia Galla Placidia (c. 390-450), half-sister of Emperor Honorius (reigned 395-423), wife of the Emperor Constantius III (reigned 421), and the mother of the Emperor Valentinian III (reigned 425-455), and the Regent from 425 to 437.  The Empress Regent financed the construction of several beautiful churches in Ravenna.  St. Peter, known for his piety, defended the doctrine of the Incarnation against Arians and Monophysites.  He died on December 2, 450.

Many of the homilies bearing our saint’s name came from other people.

Pope Benedict XIII declared St. Peter a Doctor of the Church in 1729.  Thus our saint joined the elite club among Roman Catholic saints, receiving recognition as a great theologian defined by sanctity.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 11, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BARNABAS THE APOSTLE, COWORKER OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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Almighty God, your Holy Spirit gives to one the word of knowledge,

to another the insight of wisdom,

and to another the steadfastness of faith.

We praise you for the gifts of grace imparted to your servant Saint Peter Chrysologus,

and we pray that by his teaching we may be led to a fuller knowledge

of the truth we have seen in your Son Jesus,

our Savior and Lord, who lies and reigns with you and

the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Proverbs 3:1-7 or Wisdom 7:7-14

Psalm 119:89-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16 or 1 Corinthians 3:5-11

John 17:18-23 or Matthew 13:47-52

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 61

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Feast of Sts. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany (July 29)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Raising of Lazarus

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINTS MARY, MARTHA, AND LAZARUS OF BETHANY

Friends of Jesus

In 2018 July 29 is nearly universally the feast of these three saints, siblings, as well as friends of Jesus.  There are some other feast days associated with them, though.  In the Roman Catholic Church December 17 is an alternative feast day for St. Lazarus.  In the Eastern Orthodox Church June 4 is the Feast of Sts. Mary and Martha while October 17 is the Feast of St. Lazarus.  The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia reserves July 29 for Sts. Mary and Martha, as The Episcopal Church did prior to 2010.  This is not a comprehensive list, so one might identify more exceptions.

The germane chapters of the Bible are Luke 10, John 11, and John 12.

In Luke 10:38-42 we meet Sts. Mary and Martha, who already knew Jesus well.  In this famous story St. Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, as a male disciple would, listening to him as St. Martha, tending to the duties of hospitality, takes offense that she must attend to all those tasks alone.  We should be kind in our evaluations of St. Martha, for somebody had to do the housework.  A now-deceased rector of my parish, I have heard, commented that Jesus should have helped Martha in the kitchen.

We meet St. Lazarus in John 11.  We meet him after his decease.  The faith of St. Martha in Jesus is evident in her conversation with him (verses 20-27).  In the Johannine chronology the raising of Lazarus led directly to the crucifixion of Jesus (see John 12).

We read of one of the four accounts of the anointing of Jesus in John 12:1-11.  One can read the other stories in Luke 7:36-50, Mark 14:3-9, and Matthew 26:6-13.  In John 12 we read of St. Mary of Bethany anointing the feet of Jesus in her home.  Details vary from account to account, due to multiple anointings, among other reasons.  The traditional misidentification of St. Mary of Magdala with the unnamed, sinful woman who anointed Jesus in Luke 7:36-50 led to the conflation of St. Mary of Bethany and St. Mary of Magdala.  Therefore the subsequent legends of St. Mary of Magdala have become legends of St. Mary of Bethany.

One might wonder how many visits to that home in Bethany Gospel writers did not record.  The answer is certainly “many.”  One should also rejoice that Jesus had good friends he could visit and around whom he could relax.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 11, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BARNABAS THE APOSTLE, COWORKER OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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Generous God, whose Son Jesus Christ enjoyed the friendship

and hospitality of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany:

Open our hearts to love you,

our ears to hear you,

and our hands to welcome and serve you in others,

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord; who with you and the

Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ruth 2:5-12

Psalm 36:5-10

Romans 12:9-13

John 11:1-7, 17-44

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 493

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