Feast of the Holy Name


Today the Church also celebrates the Holy Name of Jesus, where on the eighth day after his birth Jesus was presented at the Temple, was circumcised as a faithful Jewish family would do, and given the name Jesus, “The LORD saves”.


Feast of St. Thomas Beckett


Today is the 5th Day of Christmas.

The Church also remembers St. Thomas Beckett. Born in AD 1118, Thomas eventually became the Archbishop of Canterbury. In AD 1170, Thomas was brutally murdered after he confronted the king for his seeking to exert power over the life of the Church.

“Will someone not rid me of this meddlesome priest”, said the king. Four knights burst into the cathedral at night, and murdered him at the high altar.

For those who stand up to power, who refuse to be bullied, who work for liberty in conscience, and freedom of religion, St. Thomas Beckett, pray for us.

Holy Innocents


On this 4th Day of Christmas, the Church also remembers the Holy Innocents, that otherwise nameless and unremembered group of children who were brutally murdered by a power mad king in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus and so eliminate a possible threat to his continued dominion.

How often do we accept when we are told by those holding the reins of power that “collateral damage” is acceptable or inevitable, or do we turn a blind eye towards the suffering of children, when inflicted in the name of maintaining privilege, luxury, access to cheap goods, or dominion?

How long until we see every human person as our own child, our own most beloved, for whom we have the duty of care? How long until we refuse to serve any power, system, economy, or person that reduces anyone into a commodity, a problem to be eliminated, an alien, or as lacking the same human dignity that we demand for ourselves?

…until the day that we are ourselves transformed by the love of God, and the world is renewed…

For the dawning of that day, please, pray.


Feast of St. John


Happy 3rd Day of Christmas!

Today the Church remembers St. John, Apostle and Evangelist. John, the “beloved disciple”, who as a young man was one of the early disciples of Jesus. Of all the male apostles, John is the only one who did not run away when Jesus was arrested and crucified. He stood with Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the foot of the the cross, and there Jesus commended the duty of care for his mother to him. John cared for Mary until her death many years later.

He lived to old age, even though he faced exile, deprivation, and torture because of his faith in Jesus. He wrote many of the works that are part of the Christian holy scriptures, perhaps most famously the words that begin with “God so loved the world…” and “God is love”.

In gratitude we remember John, faithful witness of Jesus and his astonishing revelation that the nature of God is love.

Feast of St. Stephen


Every year on December 26, the day after we celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. St. Stephen was among the first deacons of the Church. He was “full of faith and power” and “did great wonders among the people.” For this, he was condemned by a council of Jewish leaders and, after preaching publicly to a crowd at the Temple, was stoned to death. The man who presided over his stoning would one day become the most prolific early Christian writer and missionary, Saul of Tarsus, later called St. Paul.

Blessed Stephen, ora pro nobis.