“God has called us to radiate His grace and love. Respect the gift of difference..”
Joseph was called, under challenging circumstances, to fill the role of Jesus’ father on earth. Described in Matthew’s Gospel as a righteous man, he was planning to dismiss Mary, who was with child before they lived together, but instead obeyed the message given to him by an angel of the Lord to take Mary as his wife. Joseph is honored in Christian tradition for the love he showed to the boy Jesus, who lived under his roof for at least twelve years. His tender affection and care for Mary has, likewise, been long celebrated in the church.
Joseph was a devout Jew, descended from the line of David. A carpenter by trade, he was a man of very modest means, with no education outside the synagogue. It is generally believed that he died quietly and naturally, prior to our Lord’s active ministry. The gospel writers tell us that Jesus was widely known as the “son of Joseph the carpenter,” and Joseph’s influence on him was, of course, inestimable. Though Joseph might not have grasped the importance of his humble life, it stands as a grace-filled model of serving God through simple everyday activities, as a devoted husband and father.
Collect of the day:
O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Cyril is the one we have most to thank for the development of catechetical instruction and liturgical observances during Lent and Holy Week. Born in Jerusalem about 315, Cyril became bishop of that city probably in 349. In the course of political and ecclesiastical disputes, he was banished and restored three times. His Catechetical Lectures on the Christian faith, given before Easter to candidates for Baptism, were probably written by him sometime between 348 and 350.
The work consists of an introductory lecture, or Procatechesis, and eighteen Catecheses based upon the articles of the creed of the Church at Jerusalem. All these lectures (the earliest catechetical materials surviving today) may have been used many times over by Cyril and his successors, and considerably revised in the process. They were probably part of the pre-baptismal instruction that Egeria, a pilgrim nun from western Europe, witnessed at Jerusalem in the fourth century and described with great enthusiasm in the account of her pilgrimage. Many of the faithful would also attend these instructions.
Cyril’s ﬁve Mystagogical Catecheses on the Sacraments, intended for the newly baptized after Easter, are now thought to have been composed, or at least revised, by John, Cyril’s successor as Bishop of Jerusalem from 386 to 417.
It is likely that it was Cyril who instituted the observances of Palm Sunday and Holy Week during the latter years of his episcopate in Jerusalem. In doing so, he was taking practical steps to organize devotions for countless pilgrims and local inhabitants around the sacred sites. In time, as pilgrims returned to their homes from Palestine, these services were to inﬂuence the development of Holy Week observances throughout the entire Church. Cyril attended the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, in 381, and died at Jerusalem on March 18, 386.
Cyril’s thought has greatly enriched the observance of Holy Week in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.
Collect of the Day:
Strengthen, O Lord, the bishops of your Church in their special calling to be teachers and ministers of the Sacraments, so that they, like your servant Cyril of Jerusalem, may effectively instruct your people in Christian faith and practice; and that we, taught by them, may enter more fully into the celebration of the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Excerpt taken from Holy Women, Holy Men …
Patrick of Ireland
Bishop + Missionary + Apostle
17 March c461
Almighty God, who in your providence chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you: Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life.
From the Satucket Lectionary
Patrick was born about 390, in southwest Britain, somewhere between the Severn and the Clyde rivers, son of a deacon and grandson of a priest. When about sixteen years old, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. Until this time, he had, by his own account, cared nothing for God, but now he turned to God for help. After six…
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Emily Malbone Morgan, with the support of Harriet Hastings, was the founder of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross (SCHC), in 1884. Begun as an order of Episcopal laywomen rooted in disciplined devotion, SCHC became a strong force for social justice reform during the social gospel era around the turn of the twentieth century.
Morgan was born on December 10, 1862, in Hartford, Connecticut. Her family were prominent Hartford citizens and her Anglican roots ran deep on both sides of her family. She never married.
A primary inspiration for Morgan was her friendship with Adelyn Howard. Howard was homebound and because of her confinement sought Morgan’s support for both spiritual companionship and as a means by which she could offer intercessory prayer for others. Meeting her friend’s need, Morgan called together a small group of women for prayer and companionship. From that beginning, the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross came into being.
Morgan had a particular concern for working women who were tired and restless and who had little hope for a vacation. In response, Morgan, with the help of a growing number of her Companions, developed summer vacation houses across the northeast where working women and their daughters could have some time away for physical and spiritual renewal and refreshment.
In 1901, the Society established a permanent home in Byfield, Massachusetts. With the construction of new facilities on the site in 1915, it took the name Adelynrood, which continues to exist as the headquarters and retreat center of the Society. At present, SCHC has thirty-one chapters with more than seven hundred Companions, lay and ordained women, serving in six countries.
Emily Malbone Morgan, together with her sisters in the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, lived a life of prayer and contemplation, rooted in the tradition, which led to powerful personal and communal commitments to social justice particularly for women.
Gracious God, you raised up Emily Malbone Morgan to establish the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross and to provide respite for women working in factories: Draw us to follow her example of thanksgiving, intercession and simplicity of life in service of social justice, unity, and mission; through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now for ever. Amen.
(Holy Women,Holy Men)
After a very long and frustrating week, especially this day, I find great comfort in this production by Word Live (Psalm 42 and 43) I hope it brings you comfort as well.
Moses a Servant, Christ a Son
3 Therefore, brothers and sisters,holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also “was faithful in all” God’s house.” 3 Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken later. 6 Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.
Warning against Unbelief
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
as on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors put me to the test,
though they had seen my works 10 for forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
and I said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 As in my anger I swore,
‘They will not enter my rest.’”
Questions of reflection:
- How is Jesus our apostle and high priest?
- Why compare Moses to Christ?
- What do Moses, Jesus and believers have to do with God’s house?
- The rebellion … the time of testing in the wilderness?
- What is God’s rest?