An Acknowledgement of Faith

There are times when two Feast Days, one fixed and the other moveable, come together on the same day. Do we celebrate both? Does one take precedence over the other? And if so, which one? Such is the case today.

Catholic teaching tells us that today is the Feast Day of the Presentation of Mary. As a childless couple getting on in years, Mary’s parents prayed earnestly for a child. God heard their pleas and blessed them with a daughter, Mary. So grateful were her parents that they presented Mary to the temple to be raised there. She was maybe three years old when these two faithful parents handed over their only child to God. Mary’s presentation was all part of God’s plan. The Feast Day of the Presentation of Mary is a reminder to us all that wondrous things are possible when we surrender ourselves to the will of God. This feast day is fixed within the Church calendar to November 21.

This year, November 21 falls on a Sunday. And not just any Sunday, but the last Sunday before Advent. The final Sunday of the Church year. It is the Solemnity of Christ the King as our Lord and Savior. This is the last Sunday of Ordinary Times, and brings into focus all that the Church holds to be true – that God walked among us and we knew him as Jesus the Christ.

Within the Church there are three rankings of Feast Days – solemnities, feasts and memorials. Solemnities are days of Obligation, and they take precedence over other days within the Church calendar. A solemnity is reserved to mark a major mystery of faith. Christ the King Sunday is once such major mystery of faith.

So today we celebrate Christ the King Sunday. Yet we cannot help but to acknowledge, if not in the Mass, but in our hearts, the significance of Mary, the sacrifice made by her parents, and the importance of surrendering to the will of God.

As with all Sundays, this is a day of celebration and an opportunity to give thanks to the Lord above.

Christ the King Sunday Supper
Garlic Rosemary Roasted Game Hens
Herbed Bread Stuffing
Buttery Garlic Green Beans

Garlic Rosemary Roasted Game Hens
2 (1-1/2 lb) Game Hens
12 Garlic Cloves
1 Lemon
2 fresh Rosemary Sprigs
3 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1/3 cup White Wine
1/3 cup Chicken Stock
Additional Rosemary Sprigs

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Remove giblets, clean cavities. Rinse hens under cold water. Pat hens dry with paper towels. Season cavities lightly with salt and pepper. Set hens aside.

Peel garlic cloves, set aside.

Cut lemon into 4 wedges. Reserve 2 wedges for serving. Place a lemon wedge and Rosemary sprig in the cavity of each hen. Rub hens with 1 tablespoon oil. Season outside of hens lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange in heavy large roasting pan. Scatter garlic around hens.

Roast hens for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Pour wine, stock and remaining 2 tablespoons oil over hens. Continue roasting until hens are golden brown and juices run clear when thigh is pierced at thickest part, basting every 10 minutes with pan juices, about 30 minutes longer.

Lift hens, one at a time, from the roasting pan. Pour any juices from the cavity into the pan, transfer hens to platter. Tent birds with foil to keep warm.

Pour all the pan juices and garlic to heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil until liquid is reduced to sauce consistency, about 6 minutes.

Bring hens to the table whole, platter garnished with remaining lemon wedges and fresh Rosemary.

To serve, split each hen in half lengthwise. Arrange on a dinner plate. Spoon sauce with garlic around plated birds.

Herbed Bread Stuffing
15 slices Soft Bread
2 Celery Stalks
1/2 White Onion
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh Thyme Leaves
3/4 cup Butter
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Ground Sage

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 3-quart casserole dish, set aside.

Cut bread into cubes, set aside. Clean and trim ends of celery, chop and set aside. Cut onion in half from root to tip, reserve half for another use. Peel and dice remaining half, set aside. Pluck thyme leaves from springs, set aside.

Melt butter in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook celery and onion in butter until tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove Dutch oven from the heat.

Gently toss celery mixture with seasonings. Add bread cubes and toss until bread cubes are evenly coated.

Place stuffing in the prepared casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the heated oven for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.

Note: Stuffing can be made ahead of the chicken, baked for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, leave covered until chicken is resting. Uncover, bake 15 minutes longer.

Buttery Garlic Green Beans
1 lb fresh Green Beans
3 Garlic Cloves
3 tablespoons Butter
2 pinches Lemon Pepper
Kosher Salt to taste

Pick over green beans, trim ends and snap in half. Set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside.

Place green beans into a large skillet; add enough water to cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer until beans start to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain water. Return skillet to medium-low heat. Add butter to green beans; cook, shaking the pan until butter is melted, about 3 minutes.

Add minced garlic to the green beans. Continue to cook until garlic is tender and fragrant,3 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving bowl. Season with lemon pepper and salt. Serve and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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