This weekend opening lines of both the first reading and the Gospel are heartwarming and inspiring, but both readings soon turn difficult and serious. Living faithfully to the gospel can be like this. We may leave here enthused and inspired, only to encounter conflict or adversity at home, in our neighborhood, or in the world. Let us pray that the Eucharist strengthens us in our struggles.
Catholic Schools Week begins Sunday, jointly sponsored by the NCEA and the USCCB. Support materials can be found on the website of the NCEA here.
Sister Viola, Superior General of the Eudist Servants, will give her testimony at St. Leo on Sunday, February 6th, at both Masses.
World Marriage Sunday is celebrated February 12-13
Wednesday, February 2nd, is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, a day when the Church blesses candles. The rite of blessing candles is similar to the format for blessing palms. The invitation to the procession, “Let us go in peace to meet the Lord,” is a rich—and even astounding—summary of this feast day. In France, it is traditional to serve crepes on Candlemas. They are so traditional that they call it “Jour de Crepes” or the “Day of Crepes.” Here is a crepe recipe for you! (link). The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is also the Word Day of Consecrated Life (link).
Thursday, February 3rd, is the Memorial of St. Blaise, the traditional day for the blessing of throats (8:15 Mass). The custom comes from a time when the entire year was filled with blessings. As the year unfolded, the Church offered up the whole of creation to bless the Lord. (Without those many other blessings observed throughout the year, the blessing of throats loses an important perspective!)