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Friday, July 30, 1999

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St. Peter Chrysologus

Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34-37
Psalm 81
Matthew 13:54-58

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"These, then, are the festivals of the Lord which you shall celebrate at their proper time with a sacred assembly." —Leviticus 23:4

The Lord has created us to celebrate His love. In the midst of our life of celebration, the Lord calls us to come together repeatedly for special seasons of celebration. The Church year begins with the celebration of the Advent and Christmas seasons. In the new covenant, we also celebrate the Day of Atonement (see Lv 23:27) on Good Friday, the day Jesus atoned for all the sins which have been or will be committed. Good Friday is the center of the Triduum, the three most important days of the liturgical year. The Triduum is preceded by the celebration of Lent and followed by our greatest celebration, the Easter season, which St. Athanasius called it the "fifty-day Sunday." The Easter season is seven weeks concluding with the Feast of Weeks, that is, Pentecost (see Lv 23:15ff).

We should also be celebrating the holy days and the feasts of Mary and the other saints. We should celebrate our baptismal anniversaries even more than we celebrate our birthdays. Most especially, we should celebrate each Sunday "as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church" (Catechism, 2177).

The Lord calls us to be "caught up in the liturgical worship of the Church" (Vatican II, Laity, 11). We have been created to celebrate together God's love forever. Celebrate!

Prayer:  Father, deepen my faith and love so that they will produce joy and celebration.

Promise:  "Take up a melody, and sound the timbrel, the pleasant harp and the lyre. Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast; for it is a statute in Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob." —Ps 81:3-5

Praise:  Through his preaching of the gospel, St. Peter brought down the strongholds of the evil one.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998