The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Saint of the day
Saint Thomas Becket (1118-1170)
Saint Thomas Becket was appointed chancellor of England by his friend, King Henry II. King Henry selected Thomas with the hope that he could encroach on Church affairs. However, Thomas warned Henry that their friendship did not guarantee that he would always listen to him when making decisions. Indeed, Thomas's views and the king's views clashed, and Thomas was exiled to France. When he returned, he still did not see eye to eye with Henry on important clerical issues. Enraged and frustrated, the king cried out, "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!" Four knights took the king's outburst literally, and they stabbed Thomas to death while he was praying in Canterbury Cathedral. For his rage-fueled statement that led to the murder, King Henry II did public penance after Thomas was canonized in 1173. Saint Thomas Becket's holy, steadfast life, and tragic demise, inspired T.S. Elliot's play "Murder in the Cathedral." He is the patron saint of the clergy, Exeter College, and Portsmouth, England.
It must have been difficult for Saint Thomas Becket to fight with his good friend, King Henry II of England. However, King Henry II wished to misuse their friendship to meddle in Church affairs and to get his way. Saint Thomas Becket put what was right and just ahead of his friendship with Henry, and followed God's plan for his life, not Henry's. Ask the Lord to give you the courage to confront others on difficult issues, and especially when confronting friends.
Merciful God, sometimes it’s hard to confront people about difficult issues. Give me the words to help others grow, not to tear them down. Give me the courage to actually challenge others when it is good to do so. (Taken from “Good News Day by Day: Bible Reflections for Teens.”)
Liturgical season information
Place in Year: Christmas
Color of decorations and priest's vestments: White
Reading I: 1 Jn 2:3-11
Responsorial Psalm: 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 5B-6
Alleluia: Lk 2:32
Gospel: Lk 2:22-35View complete readings on USCCB.org