Monday, November 30, 2009

Andrew: the 'first-called' apostle - National CWL Executive Visits - 40th Anniversary of the Novus Ordo Mass

Saint Andrew was the first disciple of Jesus. He was the younger brother of Saint Peter and was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. The brothers were fishermen by trade. Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that he would make them “fishers of men.”

The Gospel of John teaches us much about St. Andrew who was originally a disciple of St. John the Baptist. When John pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Andrew understood that Jesus was greater and immediately left John to follow Jesus. He visited in Jesus’ home and later brought his brother Simon Peter, who Jesus also called to be an apostle.

It is believed that Saint Andrew and Saint Peter continued their trade as fishermen until Christ called them to a closer relationship, and they left all things to follow Jesus.

After Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, St. Andrew the Apostle preached the gospel in Asia Minor and in Scythia as far as Kiev. Not much is mentioned in the Book of Acts regarding the life of Saint Andrew.

Tradition has it that Saint Andrew was martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achaea in Greece. Because St. Andrew deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ had been crucified, he asked to be tied to a Crux decussata or an X shaped cross. The Apostle Andrew did not die right away but instead he was left to suffer for two days while he continued to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ until he finally died.

Although little is mentioned in the Book of Acts regarding the life of St. Andrew, much can be learned through St. Andrew's life. He and Saint Peter gave up their lifelong careers and lifestyles, leaving everything behind, to follow Jesus. Their undying faith in a difficult world is an inspiration to all Christians.

Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, Russia and Greece. The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew. We should not fail to mention the great influence of St. Andrew in 'New Scotland', the Province of Nova Scotia (cf. St. Andrew's cross on the provincial flag). Scots celebrate Saint Andrew's Day around the world on the 30th of November.
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Yesterday afternoon, the executive committee of the Catholic powerhouse that is the Catholic Women's League of Canada, in town to bring the concerns of its 100,000 members to government officials and those involved in federal public service, dropped by my residence between planning sessions to get caught up on our friendships (I have known three of the four for several or many years and was introduced to the fourth whom I met for the first time).

President Danielle McNeill-Hessian and I frequently collaborated during my days in Halifax; President-elect Velma Harasen and I go back to my sessional lectureship at Campion College, Regina where I taught her son Paul and interacted with her and husband Lorne at St. Martin's Parish when I doubled as a weekend assistant; Chairperson of Resolutions Barb Dowding, who serves as director of stewardship for the Vancouver Archdiocese and I have interacted over the years in aeveral areas of church life; I met the Chairperson of Legislation Judy Lewis, from Prince Edward Island, for the first time today.

We also chatted briefly about the August 90th CWL National Convention slated for the Crowne Plaza Hotel here and toured my digs and the Archbishop's Chapel below Notre Dame Basilica.

The mandatory photo op did not go untaken:

(Left to right): Velma Harasen, Judy Lewis, Danielle McNeill-Hessian, Barb Dowding

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The Novus Ordo Mass began 40 years ago today

On November 30, 1969, the First Sunday of Advent that year, Pope Paul VI (of happy memory--he is one of my heroes) mandated the universal implementation of the Novus Ordo [the new form] of the Mass, an updating of the Mass in light of the directions given by the Second Vatican Council in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum concilium.

While there have been criticisms of the Novus Ordo and the unintended liturgical experimentation its introduction unleashed, abundant blessings have come to us Catholics through praying in the vernacular, having a wider selection of the riches of Scripture for our contemplation and prayer, and a more active (or 'actual') participation in Mass.

For all of this we should continue to give thanks to God.

In 1974, shortly after this inauguration of the new manner of celebrating the Holy Eucharist, a new English translation of the Roman Missal was introduced. We have been using this “dynamic equivalence” translation (not a precise word-for-word or literal translation but one giving the sense of the original) since then, with its limitations in transmitting the riches of the Latin version of the Missal. Its strength is the clarity and simplicity of its wording and phrasing.

With the forthcoming publication of a new English translation (possibly in 2011 or early 2012), in accord with new translation principles (laid out in the document Liturgiam authenticam), it is hoped that the new version will profoundly enrich our public worship.

L.D.S. & M. I.

1 comment:

  1. As we celebrate the Feast of St. Andrew in Eastern Passage - you will be in our prayers.