Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, V.D. (29th April, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial

Acts 6:1-7;
Ps 32:1-2.4-5.18-19. (R. v. 22);
Jn 6:16-21.
St Catherine was born at Siena in 1347. She became a member of the Order of St Dominic. Catherine was filled with an active love for God and neighbour: she strove to bring peace to the quarrelling factions and cities of Italy, and to restore the rights of the papacy, at that time in exile in Avignon. She was a contemplative and ascetic, and her many writings are remarkable for their spirituality and theology.[1]
Topic: Do everything with Jesus.
In today’s gospel, Jesus’ disciples left Him on the mountain and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was dark and the wind made the sea rough for them. They were terrified when they saw Jesus coming towards them walking on the sea after they had rowed about three or four miles. He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”
It is very easy to conclude that the sea became rough for Jesus’ disciples as a result of the wind. It is necessary to look beyond this.
The gospel also tells us that it was dark. We remember the words of Jesus, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12). Again, everything obeys Jesus not excluding the wind and the sea, cf. Mk 4:41; Matt 8:27; Lk 8:25. It is evident that their primarily problem was their leaving Jesus on the mountain while crossing the sea. Hence, the wind and the sea could not obey them. We must also remember His words, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
How often do we remember to involve Jesus as we embark on everything? Sometimes, some only remember Him when things are really bad. Whoever wants his/her journey to be truly assured must involve Jesus from its very beginning to its very end. He is ever ready to help us. Saint Catherine of Siena, a contemplative and ascetic, showed us a good example.
Bible Reading: Jn 15:1-17.
Thought for today: Do everything with Jesus.
Let us pray: Lord, help us always to know how vulnerable we are without you – Amen.
Saint Catherine of Siena – Pray for us.

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[1] The weekday missal: A new edition (1995). London: HarperCollins Religious, p.1481.

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