For centuries, the Roman liturgy used the term “epistle” (which means the ‘the letter’) to designate the reading which preceded the gospel even when this reading was not taken from the New Testament letter. Now we use it as a designation suitable for all the books of the New Testament, which came down to us from the Church of the apostles.
Today a New Testament text is always given as the second reading on Sundays and major feasts. Although the choice of texts can be made quite independently of the other two readings, during certain seasons, passages have been selected to correspond with the mystery being celebrated at a particular time of the liturgical year. For example during the Christmas season, there is a successive reading of John’s First Letter which recounts the mystery of love made incarnate in Christ.
General Instruction of the Roman Missal (The Church’s Textbook):
23. Silence should be observed at designated times as part of the celebration. Its character will depend on the time it occurs in the particular celebration. Its character will depend on the time it occurs in the particular celebration …. At ……. the conclusion of a reading ………… each one meditates briefly on what has been heard.
Questions for Reflection:
1. Do I have the spirit of the early Church in my life?
Scripture: Eph. 1: 3