Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, (17th November, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 14:2-5. (R. Rev 3:21);
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was born in Hungary on 7th July, 1207 to the Hungarian King Andrew II and Gertrude of Merania. Her father arranged for her to be married to Ludwig IV of Thuringia, a German nobleman when she was very young. The marriage was blessed with three children. Ludwig supported all her religious endeavours. She led an austerely simple life, wore simple clothing, practiced penance, and devoted herself to works of charity. Elizabeth used her royal position to advance her mission for charity and also built a hospital that provided for almost a thousand poor people daily. She joined the Third Order of St. Francis in 1228 and passed away at the age of 24, on 17th November, 1231 in Marburg, Hesse and was canonized on 27th May, 1235 by Pope Gregory IX. Saint Elizabeth is the patron saint of bakers, beggars, brides, charities, death of children, homeless people, hospitals, Sisters of Mercy, and widows.
Topic: Still God’s creature.
In yesterday’s gospel, we saw Jesus on His way to Jericho. And today while passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, a rich but short man could not see Him on account of the crowd. He ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road Jesus was to pass. When Jesus reached there, He called him by name and asked him to come down. He welcomed Him as his guest. People grumbled because he was a known sinner. Zacchaeus vowed to give half of his possessions to the poor and to repay everyone he had defrauded four times. Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
Zacchaeus had been marked by the people for Hell. In the Jewish culture, such persons have no room for repentance. However, even the worst sinner still retains God’s trademark (God’s creature). Hence, Jesus even addressed him by his personal name. And God is still interested in the salvation of all even those who have lost the hope of being saved.
Dear friends, what is still holding you down? Jesus is calling you today as He called Zacchaeus to follow the example of Zacchaeus who admitted that he was a sinner. Jesus loves all His children, cf. Jn 13:1. Zacchaeus confessed by telling Jesus the things he was to do to make his path straight. Love the poor in action as Saint Elizabeth we celebrate today did for love covers a multitude of sins, cf. 1Pt 4:8. You are required to do restitution also.
Bible Reading: Ps 51.
Thought for today: God is still waiting for you.
Let us pray: Lord, give us the strength not just to leave our old ways but also to make amends – Amen.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary – Pray for us.
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