Today, January 21
Feast of the Day
No feast of the day
Saint of the Day
The feast of St Agnes has been celebrated on this day since the 4th century. Little is known about Agnes. She was probably born in the early years of the 4th century, and was martyred at the age of 12 during a Roman persecution. She has been, over the centuries, a symbol of virginal innocence. She is the most highly honoured of the early Roman virgin martyrs and has been pictured with a lamb as a symbol of this innocence since the Middle Ages.©2011 Living with Christ, Novalis - Bayard Press Canada Inc., http://www.livingwithchrist.ca/. Reprinted with permission.
Readings of the Day
Letter to the Hebrews 5:1-10.
Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: "You are my son; this day I have begotten you"; just as he says in another place: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. declared by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.” The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion: “Rule in the midst of your enemies.” “Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor; before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.” The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent: “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:18-22.
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, "Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins."
Lord, I invite you to a wedding banquet in songs. In Cana, there was not enough wine to express our praise. You, the guest who filled the jars with good wine, fill my mouth with your praise! The wine at Cana is symbol of our praise because those who drank of it marveled. At that wedding banquet which was not your own, you, the truly righteous, filled six jars to overflowing with delicious wine. So at the banquet to which I am inviting you, you can fill the ears of a multitude with your sweetness. In times past you were invited to the wedding feasts of others. Here now is your own banquet; it is chaste and beautiful. May it give joy to your people! May your songs delight your guests; may my zither accompany your song! Our soul is your betrothed; our body is your bridal chamber; our senses and our thoughts are the guests. If for you one single person is a wedding banquet, how great will be the banquet for the whole Church!