Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Agatha, V.M., (05th February, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time (II))
1Kgs 8:1-7.9-13;Ps 131:6-10 (R. v.8);
Saint Agatha (231 AD – c. 251 AD) was born at Catania or Palermo, Sicily. She dedicated her life to God at a tender age and resisted men who either wanted to marry her or to have sex with her. Quintian thinking he could bend her had her arrested and brought before the judge. She suffered assault and humiliation for one month in a brothel and later to prison. Agatha was tortured in various ways and refused medical care. She died in the hands of torturers.
Saint Agatha is the patron saint of Catania, Molise, Malta, San Marino and Zamarramala. She is also the patron saint of breast cancer patients, martyrs, wet nurses, bell-founders, bakers, fire, earthquakes, and eruptions of Mount Etna.
Topic: The Mighty Healer.
Jesus is seen in today’s gospel as the healer of every form of disease. On His arrival with His disciples to Gennesaret people rushed about the whole region and brought those who were sick to Him wherever He was. They begged Jesus to allow the sick they laid in the marketplaces touch even the fringe of His cloak. And all who touched it were healed.
What people did in today’s gospel depicts what many do today. Often scriptural passages like “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases” (Matt 8:17) are used as back up. Indeed, Jesus healed so many people as one can see both in today’s gospel and so many other passages. But He healed the whole man. Hence sometimes while healing He would say, “your sins are forgiven”, cf. Matt 9:2.
People go far and near in search of bodily healing. Yet Jesus admonished us to fear what can destroy both soul and body in hell, cf. Matt 10:28; Lk 12:4.
How many ever consider the state of their souls today? Even most of the supposed healers preach virtually everything with the exception of repentance. However this is the most important, cf. Matt 16:26; Mk 8:36; Lk 9:25. Sin destroys both soul and body in hell, cf. 1Cor 11:27-30. Whoever succeeds in finding only the bodily health found nothing.
Again, Matthew 8:17 often quoted especially while healing the body refers to Isaiah 53:4. This prophesy primarily refers to Christ’s death for our salvation not simply bodily healing. It is also seen as synonymous with Jn 1:29. As you search for the healing of the body, remember your soul which is the most important. Saint Agatha showed us the way. She forfeited everything just for the sake of God.
Bible Reading: Is 6:9-10; 1Cor 11:27-30.
Thought for today: You are made of BODY and SOUL.
Let us pray: Lord, help us search for the good of both our body and our soul – Amen.
Saint Agatha – Pray for us.
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