Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

The Month of January Dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Saints: Saint Margaret of Hungary OP (1242-1270); Saint Prisca of Rome, early Christian martyr, Patron Saint of Good Marriages

Readings of the Day

Rule of Saint Benedict: Ch 4:1-21 The Tools for Good Works

Mass: Heb 7:1-3, 15-17; Resp Ps 110; Mk 3:1-6  

In holy splendor.



Stretch out your hand.
(Mk 3:5)

With today's Gospel in mind, it may be a good day to think about our hearts, and whether or not there is any hardness in them. Jesus, not without anger, rightly, is grieved at hardness of hearts (see Mk 3:5). We pray then, for healing for our own hearts, then openness to others in our hearts of flesh, especially to those who have wandered from the fold for one reason or another, those who are stretching out their hands for love, mercy, forgiveness, and kindness. How might you reach out to others and let them know the beauty of God's love and the warmth of His embrace?

By staying with Jesus, we discover that His pastoral heart always beats for the person who is confused, lost, far away. And ours? How many times do we express our attitude about people who are a bit difficult or with whom we have a bit of difficulty: "But it's their problem, let them work it out ..." But Jesus never said this, never. He Himself always went to meet the marginalized, sinners. He was accused of this - of being with sinners that He might bring God's salvation precisely to them ... 
God suffers for those who leave and, while He mourns over them, He loves them even more. The Lord suffers when we distance ourselves from His heart. He suffers for all who do not know the beauty of His love and the warmth of His embrace. 
(Pope Francis, General Audience, January 18, 2023)

We are honored to commemorate Saint Margaret of Hungary today. Thinking first about the beautiful name of Margaret, and then turning to Margaret of Hungary and another Margaret, Saint Margaret of Scotland, my mind went to the universal call to holiness as presented to us in Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. We are all called to holiness, to be saints, no matter our state in life. A wonderful example of this is in Saint Margaret of Hungary (13th century), daughter of the King of Hungary and his wife, Maria Lascaris, daughter of the emperor of Constantinople. Before their daughter was born, both parents vowed to dedicate their child to God if Hungary would be victorious over the invading Tartars. Their prayers answered, the faithful couple placed their daughter Margaret in a Dominican monastery at the age of four. At about the age of 12, Margaret moved to a new monastery built by her father, the King. There she dedicated her life to Christ, works of mercy, pursuit of peace, and humble service. And then there is Saint Margaret of Scotland (11th century) who was princess, queen, a wife and a mother, who devoted her life to charitable works. May we be inspired by these women, and like them, respond to the universal call to be saints. May they intercede for us to lead us on the path to holiness.

Therefore in the Church, everyone belonging to the heirarchy, or being cared for by it, is called to holiness, according to the saying of the Apostle: "For this is the will of God, your sanctification (1 Th 4:3/Eph 1:4) ... Every person must walk unhesitatingly according to his own personal gifts and duties in the path of living faith, which arouses hope and works through charity.
(Lumen Gentium, 39, 41)


Today's photo: One can't get enough of this as far as I'm concerned. From Monday afternoon. Sit at my right hand.

© Gertrude Feick 2023

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