Below is the beautiful “Exhortation Before Marriage” from the 1962 Roman Ritual. In the Catholic marriage rite before Vatican Council II, many priests used this to form at least part of their sermon.
It was the Alleluia antiphon that stayed with me as I sat in the chapel seeking inspiration for the Scripture readings today. “Let your countenance shine upon your servant and teach me your statues.” In other words, let your face be seen by me and teach me. The prophet Ezekiel was so blessed. God used him to let a rebellious people know that their rebellion was about to end in captivity and exile.
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As a little boy, I remember my mother pointing me in the direction of the night sky to view the moon and the stars. I recall her enthusiasm for me to appreciate the moonlight and the myriad of stars populating the darkness. She told me about moon phases, the North Star, and the Big Dipper. I could tell she found beauty and consolation in the night sky. Her delight in the heavens became mine. In those days, there was less artificial light to interfere with stargazing.
Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons in Rome during the persecution of the Christians by emperor Valerian in the year 258 AD. He was responsible for the church’s monies, and he was in charge of ministering to the poor whose patron saint he has become. He died a very painful death of being grilled on a fire – like goat meat, and somehow, he has become the patron saint of cooks!
Edith Stein, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: a beautiful person, a seeker of truth and love who found her way in Christ. A Martyr for Truth and Love. A great sister for us and a model for our times.
I am at a loss what first to admire in this passage. Is it the foreknowledge that Jesus had that the coin required to pay tax was in the mouth of a fish and that the first fish to be taken? Or is it to admire Peter's faith, who was obedient in no easy matter, to go fishing, catch a fish, open its mouth and find a shekel just enough to pay the tax for two.