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Liturgy of the Day

Liturgy of the Day

Today, November 21

Feast of the Day

No feast of the day

Saint of the Day

Presentation of Mary

This feast originated as a commemoration of the dedication of the basilica of St Mary's the New in Jerusalem in 543. An apocryphal source recounts that Mary's parents brought their three-year-old daughter to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer her to God, as was the custom. Inspired by a priest's vision, they left her there to serve God. This custom continued for centuries (see St Gertrude, November 16).

The feast entered the Western calendar in 1585. Today, the feast celebrates the recognition of Mary as a temple where God lives.©2011 Living with Christ, Novalis - Bayard Press Canada Inc., http://www.livingwithchrist.ca/. Reprinted with permission.

Readings of the Day

2nd book of Maccabees 2:15-29.

The officers of the king in charge of enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein to organize the sacrifices. Many of Israel joined them, but Mattathias and his sons gathered in a group apart. Then the officers of the king addressed Mattathias: "You are a leader, an honorable and great man in this city, supported by sons and kinsmen. Come now, be the first to obey the king's command, as all the Gentiles and the men of Judah and those who are left in Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons shall be numbered among the King's Friends, and shall be enriched with silver and gold and many gifts." But Mattathias answered in a loud voice: "Although all the Gentiles in the king's realm obey him, so that each forsakes the religion of his fathers and consents to the king's orders, yet I and my sons and my kinsmen will keep to the covenant of our fathers. God forbid that we should forsake the law and the commandments. We will not obey the words of the king nor depart from our religion in the slightest degree." As he finished saying these words, a certain Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein according to the king's order. When Mattathias saw him, he was filled with zeal; his heart was moved and his just fury was aroused; he sprang forward and killed him upon the altar. At the same time, he also killed the messenger of the king who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. Thus he showed his zeal for the law, just as Phinehas did with Zimri, son of Salu. Then Mattathias went through the city shouting, "Let everyone who is zealous for the law and who stands by the covenant follow after me!" Thereupon he fled to the mountains with his sons, leaving behind in the city all their possessions. Many who sought to live according to righteousness and religious custom went out into the desert to settle there.

Psalms 50(49):1-2.5-6.14-15.

God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. “Gather my faithful ones before me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." And the heavens proclaim his justice; for God himself is the judge. “Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High. Then call upon me in time of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me.”

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 19:41-44.

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If this day you only knew what makes for peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Daily Reflection

“I rejoiced because they said to me, 'We will go up to the house of the Lord.' And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem” (Ps 122[121]:1-2). What Jerusalem is this? On earth there is a city of this name but it is a mere shadow of that other Jerusalem. What kind of happiness is there in standing in a Jerusalem here below that is unable to stand of itself but which fell to the ground in ruins?... It is not of the Jerusalem here below that someone speaks who has such great love, such great longing, such great desire to come to the Jerusalem, “our mother”, of which Saint Paul says that it is “eternal in the heavens” (Gal 4:26; 2 Cor 5:1)... “O Jerusalem, may your peace be in your strength” (Ps 122[121]:7). That is to say, may your peace be in your love, for your love is your strength. Hear the Song of Songs: “Love is strong as death” (8:6)... And indeed, love destroys what we have been so that we might become, through a sort of death, what we were not... This was the sort of death that was working in him who said: “The world is crucified to me and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). It was of this death that the same apostle was speaking when he said: “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). Yes, “love is strong as death”. If love is strong then it is powerful; it has great strength; it is strength itself... So may your peace be in your strength, O Jerusalem. May your peace be in your love.

Mass of the day