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Prayer involves all of our senses. It involves being alive to touches of God’s grace everywhere around and within us. Color in a church is more than decoration. In public worship, it has a role similar to music, art and architecture of a church — to teach, to inspire, to help gather our thoughts.

Green is used as a liturgical color during the weeks known as Ordinary Time. Generally, this period of time occurs from the end of the Christmas season until the beginning of Lent, and from the end of the Easter season until the beginning of Advent. Far from being a filler between other liturgical seasons, Ordinary Time has its own meaning, signified by its own color.

At its etymological root, the word “ordinary” has a rich meaning, far beyond the usual understanding of humdrum, commonplace or everyday. The word has its source in a Sanskrit, or Indo-European, word, which entered into Latin as the verb orior, meaning to rise up, to be stirred up and to grow. The word for “east” in Latin, oriens, conveys the same rich meaning: It indicates the rising of the sun. Hence, Ordinary Time is, for Catholics, the opportunity to allow the Lord to stir up our faith, to allow our spirits to rise and to grow in our spiritual life.

The color green brings this meaning to the fore, since it is a color that evokes life and growth.

Taken from Simply Catholic

The Glorious Truth: Created in the Image and Likeness of God

By:  Bishop Donald Hying        Written for:  Simply Catholic

What I came to realize on that cold and sad February morning was that the real challenge is not convincing the abortionists that life in the womb is human — they know that — but rather helping them to see that every life has an inherent dignity which calls for respect, welcome, tenderness and love. The Church’s fundamental stance on so many moral issues flows from the glorious truth that every person is created in the image and likeness of God, but even an atheist can acknowledge the moral absolute “Thou shall not kill,” because such respect for the life of the other is inscribed in our heart and conscience. How will we ever see the homeless, the immigrant, the elderly, those with disabilities, the poor as blessings and not burdens if we cannot welcome precious, innocent life in the fragility of the womb?

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To receive help for those affected by abortion, please contact the following ministries:

Rachel's Vineyard                      Project Rachel

 

We Christians reflect upon and celebrate the baptism of Jesus in significant ways: liturgically, at the conclusion of the Christmas season; devotionally, as the First Luminous Mystery of the Rosary; and theologically, as the scriptural prism for the meaning of Christian baptism.

But if the baptism performed by John the Baptist was meant as a sign of repentance of sin and conversion to a new way of life, it’s reasonable to ask: Why did Jesus, as the sinless Son of God, receive baptism?

Narrated in each of the four Gospels, the baptism of Jesus marks the inauguration of His public ministry — His emergence from a life of seeming obscurity into a life of growing popularity on account of His preaching, miracles, healings and proclamation of mercy and forgiveness.

Jesus steps into the Jordan River and into His mission of redemption through this public religious act. The descent of the dove symbolizes the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus receives as the Christ, Greek for “the Anointed One.”

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When Was Jesus Really Born?

 

Easter has always been the principal feast on the Christian calendar. Christmas was not commonly observed until the fourth century, when Constantine established Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire. At that time, the ancients celebrated a festival, named “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,” to herald the lengthening of days after the winter solstice. The celebration ended around Dec. 25, therefore, many believe Christians simply “took over” the feast and substituted Jesus in their celebrations.

A better case can be made for Jesus’ December birth by consulting Luke’s Gospel, where we learn John the Baptist’s father was chosen by lot “to enter the temple … and burn incense” (Lk 1:9, RSV). Israel had a plethora of priests, so the actual temple service may have occurred only once in a priest’s lifetime. Because an angel appeared to Zechariah during his service, some scholars feel this all-important event may have taken place on the Day of Atonement, which fell then (as now) in late September.

When Gabriel appears to Mary, he says, “Your kinswoman Elizabeth . . . has also conceived … and this is the sixth month with her” (Lk 1:36, RSV), which means it was about March. Mary spends “about three months” with Elizabeth, so this places John the Baptist’s birth late in June, and Jesus’ in December.

Visit simplycatholic.com for more interesting articles.