Friday, December 18, 2020

December 18

Year of Saint Joseph

Other saints: Saint Flannan of Killaloe, Bishop (7th century);  SS Rufus and Zosimus, Martyrs (c. 107); Saint Gatian, Bishop (?301 or 307); Saint Samthann, Abbess (739); Saint Winnibald, Abbot (761); SS Peter Duong, Peter Truat, and Paul My, Martyrs (1839)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 63:1-9 Community Rank

Mass: Jer 23:5-8; Resp Ps 72; Mt 1:18-25

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds.

O Adonai and Leader of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flames of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come and redeem us with outstretched arm.
(Traditional O Antiphon)

We continue our preparation for Christmas with today's "O"Antiphon, addressing Jesus by His Old Testament title of Adonai, "the name," Universalis tells us, "which is pronounced whenever the too-sacred name 'YHWH' occurs in the Hebrew scriptures. It means 'Sovereignty', and by its use in sacred contexts it itself becomes too sacred to be used in ordinary speech" ("About Today", December 18, 2020).

Speaking of names for Jesus, we hear in today's Gospel narrative about "how the birth of Jesus Christ came about" (Mt 1:18). Fitting during this Year of Saint Joseph, we learn about Joseph, "a righteous man" (Mt 1:19) who took his wife Mary into his home (Mt 1:24). It was Joseph who named the son that Mary bore. Joseph "named him Jesus" (Mt 1:25). Yes, the name of Jesus, as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux writes: "Jesus to me is honey in the mouth, music in the ear, a song in the heart ... it is medicine. Does one feel sad? Let the name of Jesus come into his heart, from there let is spring to his mouth, so that shining like the dawn it may dispel all darkness and make a cloudless sky" (On the Song of Songs, 15, 6). O Jesus, Adonai, come.


© Gertrude Feick 2020

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