20th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2013
My sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
Since I am being here a little over six weeks, I have been learning so many exciting things that are happening in our parishes: St. Boniface and St. Mary. Just at the first few weeks, I rushed into many things to keep the two parishes running smooth. Thanks to staff and volunteers who help me to get my feet on the ground. I have many opportunities to anoint the sick. I missed the funeral of Viola Boll while I was on the annual retreat. Joyful with the newly marriage couples; I am witnessing their marriages and blessed them with plentiful goodness from God. I am meeting many new faces with excitement. I receive so much encouragement from you when I have a chance to meet or greet you at the church. I also receive many prayer slips and prayers at Mass. So many of you brought fresh food from your Summer-Garden; all of these and more to come, I tell myself that I am living every day as a feast day. I am grateful to God, to the Archbishop, and as I am pastoring to all of you who are my great fellowship Christians. You are making me who I am about to be. Together we will walk side by side in God’s family and to make each day of our day as the feast day.
According to the Modern Catholic Dictionary by Father John Hardon, Feast day is “day(s) set apart by the Church for giving special honor to God, the Savior, angels, saints, and sacred mysteries and events. Some are fixed festivals, such as Christmas and the Immaculate Conception; others are movable, occurring earlier or later in different years.” The feasts we celebrate during the liturgical year can be divided in three levels descending from solemnity, feast and memorial.
Solemnity is the highest feast days to be observed by attending at Mass and rest, as far as possible, from unnecessary servile work. This included all Sunday throughout the liturgical year plus in the United States there are six more days to be called Solemnity or Holy days of Obligation: Mary, the Holy Mother of God, January 1; the Ascension of Our Lord, forty days of Easter; the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, August 15; All Saints’ Day, November 1; the Immaculate Conception, December 8; and Christmas, or the birth of Christ, December 25.
There are many feast days throughout the court of liturgical year. On this particular feast day, the celebrant will wear the colored vestment that is suggested in the Ordo such as the Feast of the Apostle Bartholomew coming up on August 24, which colored vestment for the Mass, will be in Red. I love to celebrate every feast day. It is the Catholic culture that the faithful would honor Saints that shout out our desire to be holy as saints. It is perfectly fitting into our focus this year; the Year of Faith.
Memorials are further classified as prescribed or optional. If you attend a daily Mass, you probably have seen the celebrant is vested in other colors, rather than green colored vestment for ordinary time, on the day the church celebrates the memorial of saints.
All of these represent what is called “sacred times,” whose religious purpose is to keep the faithful mindful throughout the year that we are striving for holiness as we live out our faith in Jesus Christ.
Let us together, we live each day as the Feast Day in this year, the Year of Faith.
Rev. Joseph-Quoc Vuong