Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Cecilia, V.M., (22nd November, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Wednesday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Ps 16:1.5-6.8.15. (R.v.15);
Saint Cecilia was born in Rome to an extremely rich family and was given in marriage to a youth named Valerian. When she told Valerian that she had taken a vow of virginity and had an angel protecting her, he asked to see the angel. Following his baptism as instructed by Cecilia as a condition, he returned and found an angel at her side. The angel crowned Cecilia with a chaplet of rose and lily and when Valerian's brother, Tibertius, heard of the angel and his brother's baptism, he also was baptized and together they were burying the saints murdered by the prefect of the city, Turcius Almachius. They were arrested and executed. Cecilia was also later arrested and condemned. After unsuccessful trial to suffocate her in the baths, she was struck three times on the neck. She bled for three days preaching or praying. Saint Cecilia’s body was found in 1599 to be incorrupt and was transferred to Cecilia's titular church in Trastevere and placed under the high altar. She is the patroness of music and the first of all incorrupt saints.
Topic: That third slave.
Jesus told those listening to Him a parable in which a nobleman before going to a distant country to get royal power for himself shared ten pounds to his slaves for business. On his return, the first slave came with extra ten pounds. The second also came with more five pounds. These were praised and given ten cities and five cities respectively to rule as rewards. However, the third slave came forward and reported,
Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.
His sentence went thus,
Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.... I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
A good number of people like the third slave do not invest their talents/gifts for various reasons especially for the fear of the unknown. Just like the slaves in today’s gospel, each and every one of us must give account of every single talent/gift we have been blessed with. And just like in the case of the third slave, fear is not and can never be an excuse. Saint Cecilia is a very good example not even death could deter her.
Bible Reading: Rom 2:1-16.
Thought for today: Every gift must be accounted for.
Let us pray: Lord, help us to realise all you have blessed us with and to put them into good use – Amen.
Saint Cecilia – Pray for us.
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