Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Agnes, V.M. (21st January, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial)


1Sam 18:6-9;19:1-7;
Ps 55:2-3.9-14 (R. v.5);
Mk 3:7-12.

St. 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.

St. 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[1]. She is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheranism[2].

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. And 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 as can be seen in the rush for both real and fake powerful men/women of God. Although in actual fact, most of these search not for Christ but for solutions to their problems both real and imaginary. Unfortunately, many have gone astray in the process of seeking solutions instead of Christ. Many are ready for anything including sacrificing their faith on any altar that promises them what they look for.

Saint Agnes we celebrate today searched for Christ. Hence, she did succumb neither to the promises made her by the Governor and his son nor to their threats. She preferred Jesus Christ above all, cf. Col 3:14.

She has left for us a good example. It is left for us to declare for Jesus Christ if we truly love Him.

Bible Reading: Jn 21:15-19.

Thought for today: Look for Jesus Christ and not for the signs He performs.

Let us pray: May God help us decide for Him alone – Amen.

Saint Agnes – Pray for us.

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