Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Agnes of Rome, V.M., (21st January, 2019) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time (I))

Heb 5:1-10;
Ps 109:1-4. (R. v.4);
Mk 2:18-22.

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[1]. She is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheranism[2].
Topic: Finding others’ faults.
In today’s gospel, people came to Jesus and put this question to Him: “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” (Mk 2:18). In sum Jesus told them that it was not time for His disciples to fast.
The people expected the disciples of Jesus to fast just as those of John the Baptist’s and the Pharisees were doing. They would have made John, the Pharisees, and Jesus to be synonymous first, cf. Mk 2:21-22.
In our everyday lives many spend the greater part of their lives either trying to live other people’s lives or to make others live as they want. Others spend the precious time giving to them by God looking for those who do not live as they should.
The more one focuses on others’ faults the more he or she forgets about his or her own faults which might be much more than the one/s he/she finds in others, cf. Matt 7:3-5. We are to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers but we must first keep ourselves to be able to keep others. One must first keep his/her house in order. Saint Agnes of Rome focused on God. Hence, she pleased God alone.
Bible Reading: Matt 7:1-5.
Thought for today: Focus on correcting yourself first.
Let us pray: Lord, help us in our struggle to be better – Amen.
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