AT THE SERVICE OF THIS GRACE

Here is the old antiphon on the Magnificat (Gospel Canticle) for today, Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

“Now do we celebrate a holy day adorned by three miracles: today a star led the wise men to the manger; today water was made wine at the wedding feast; today Christ vouchsafed to be baptized of John in Jordan that he might save us, alleluia.”

This year it all got scrunched up.  Yesterday the Church kept the 12th Day of Christmas (on the 14th day!) aka The Epiphany.  Now all of a sudden, today we are at the Feast of the Baptism.  Well, go figure.  It shouldn’t ought to be so.  Today’s feast will slip by most folks.  If we had kept Epiphany on the 6th of January, then yesterday would be Baptism.  However, in the mystic world of this antiphon, notice that it is all TODAY!  TODAY!

Just to turn your mind down another twist, listen to this from Morning Prayer of the Epiphany:  “Today, the Bridegroom claims His bride, the Church, since Christ has washed away her sins in the Jordan waters; Today, the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding feast; Today, the guest are regaled with water made wine, Alleluia.”  Picture this scene in the timelessness of the Eternal Banquet!

So this is not about liturgies.  It’s about a PARTY!  St Leo the Great, writing of the grace (gift) that calls all people to the Christ Child, as the Magi were called and led by that Star – “…we should be at the service of this grace which invites all men to Christ.”

AMEN, may it be so!

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8th DAY OF CHRISTMAS

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Has it been eight days already???  Thank goodness no one gave us “8 maids a milking”!  Or for that matter “a Partridge in a pear tree.”  For many folks this is the end of the Christmas vacation; however, it is only the 8th day out of 12.  And there is not much “end” to Christmas, at least that season of the heart which loves to give and give again, a season without a calendar.  Unto us a Child is born.  A gift.  Being a Jewish boy, He was circumcised and given his name on this day – whenever it really was.  He first shed his blood for us, as the ancient writers would say.  May this First Day of the New Year of Grace bring all of us the gift of hope and interior Joy which is celebrated in this holy season.

Take a lesson from Bennie the Cat who waited for the Christ Child.   Rest in your Saviour!

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