Wednesday, Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Optional Memorial of St. Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr (†1170). Appointed by the king of England, Henry II, as Archbishop of Canterbury and his chancellor, he fearlessly defended the rights of the Church and was a zealous shepherd of souls. He was assassinated in his cathedral for refusing to accept the new Constitutions of the king.
Other featured Saints
St. David, king and prophet, the author of many Psalms, from whose line was born the Saviour. He was anointed in his youth by the prophet Samuel, to replace Saul, with whose son Jonathan he sealed a holy covenant.
St. Marcellus, abbot (†c. 480). Abbot of the Monastery of the Akimetes in Constantinople, where the monks, divided into several choirs, continually sang the Divine Office day and night.
St. Benedicta Hyon Kyong-nyon, martyr (†1839). Young widow dedicated to catechesis in Korea. She refused to apostatise and was beheaded after suffering many tortures.
Blessed José Aparicio Sanz, priest and martyr (†1936). In the parishes in which he exercised his ministry, he erected Eucharistic associations and propagated the devotion of Forty Hours. He was executed in Paterna, during the Spanish Civil War.
Blessed Gerard Cagnoli, religious (†1342). Franciscan endowed with the gift of miracles; he cured many sick in Palermo, Italy.
Blessed Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda, priest and martyr (†1936). A Jesuit professor of moral theology who, at the age of seventy-five was detained with eleven other priests in Valencia during the Spanish Civil War, and died in prison as a consequence of the inhuman conditions and brutal treatment he suffered there.
First Reading – 1Jn 2:3-11
Beloved: The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as He walked.
Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 5b-6 (R.11a)
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name. R.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. R.
The LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty go before Him;
praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary. R.
Gospel – Lk 2:22-35
When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
the parents of Jesus took Him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the Child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to Him,
he took Him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.”
The Child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about Him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this Child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
(and you yourself a sword will pierce)
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”