Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Agnes of Rome, V.M., (21st January, 2021) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 39:7-10.17. (R. cf. vv. 8.9);
Saint Agnes of Rome was born c. 291 AD in a wealthy Christian family. She was very beautiful. Agnes vowed to God never to stain her purity. As a result she turned all those seeking for her hand in marriage down including Procop, the Governor's son. In great anger he brought her to his father accusing her of being a Christian. Despite all the promises made her by the Governor Agnes did not change her mind. Finally, she was condemned to death. Even the pagans cried to see such a young (12 or 13 years old) and beautiful girl going to death. She prayed and bowed her head for the death-stroke of the sword on 21 January 304.
Saint Agnes is the patron saint of young girls, chastity, rape survivors, gardeners, engaged couples, and the Children of Mary. She is often represented with a lamb, the symbol of her virgin innocence, and a palm branch, like other martyrs. She is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheranism.
Topic: Pressing upon Jesus.
Many people from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond Jordan and the region around Tyre and Sidon followed Jesus in today’s gospel because they heard all He was doing. All who had diseases pressed upon him to touch Him because He had cured many. And to avoid being crushed a boat was prepared for Him.
Today many still look for Jesus because of the challenges they have as can be testified by the rush for both real and fake powerful men/women of God. Most of these in actual fact search not for Jesus but for solutions to their problems both real and imaginary. Many in the house of God today are after the desires of their body. We often forget that we should walk by the Spirit and not gratify the desires of the flesh. The desires of the flesh are against the will of God, cf. Gal 5:16-17.
Most regrettably, many have gone astray in the process of seeking for solutions instead of Christ, cf. 1Tim 6:10. Many are ready for anything including sacrificing their faith on any altar that promises them what they look for. Christ warns us,
...those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them, if they gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?” (Matt 16:26; cf. Lk 9:25)
The only way out is to look for Jesus. He assures us, “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” (Matt 6:33). Saint Agnes of Rome we celebrate today sought for his kingdom above every other thing.
Bible Reading: Jn 21:15-19.
Thought for today: Look for Jesus Christ and not for His signs.
Let us pray: May God help us decide for Him alone – Amen.
Saint Agnes of Rome – Pray for us.
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