Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Easter and Psalm 58

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter.  Readings are here.  I love the Gospel reading for today, from John. 

Psalm 58
To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.

Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.

Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces. As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.

The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fun Story

Did you know that the late Pope John Paul II made over 100 clandestine visits to local ski slopes?  They would sneak him out in a priest's car so as not to alert the Swiss Guard or the media, and then go skiing for the day!

Read more here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Feast of St Mark, Evangelist

Today we celebrate the Feast of St Mark, Evangelist.  He is the author of the Gospel of Mark.  Readings are here.

More information is here.  Something I did not know until I read that is "In AD 43, about 10 years after the ascension of Christ, Mark traveled to Alexandria and founded the Church of Alexandria, which today is claimed by the Coptic Orthodox Church. Aspects of the Coptic liturgy can be traced back to Saint Mark himself. He became the first bishop of Alexandria and he is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Third Sunday of Easter and Psalm 57

Today is the Third Sunday of Easter.  Readings are here.

Psalm 57
To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Zucchettos

A zucchetto is a spherical skullcap worn by members of the clergy.  A priest's is black, the bishop's is purple, a cardinal's is scarlet, and the pope's is white.  But where did this come from?  It is thought to have originated in the early Middle Ages, if not earlier, as a way to help keep their heads warm.

All of the outfits, if you will, have some such meaning or historical reference, even if they have no apparent significance now.  For instance, usually our clergy do not need help keeping their heads warm now with the advent of heaters!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Second Sunday of Easter and Psalm 56

Readings are here.  During the season of Easter, the first reading is taken from the book of Acts.  Easter season extends to Pentecost.

Psalm 56
To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.

Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fun Info

Did you know that the penitent thief who asked Jesus to remember him has a name?  Well, of course he had a name.  But we actually have something we call him.  We call him Saint Dismas.  This comes from a 4th century work.  Is it accurate?  Probably not, but it is a fun little fact nonetheless.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Resurrection of the Lord & Psalm 55

I apologize for the lack of posts.  It has been a busy month.  Not too busy to remember Easter though!

Readings for today are here. I also found an interesting blog post regarding why Jesus Rose from the Dead here.  Happy Easter!

Picking up where we left off, here is Psalm 55
To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David.

Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.

My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.

For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.