Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Agatha, V.M., (05th February, 2019) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Heb 12:1-4;
Ps 21:26-28.30-32. (R. cf. v.27);
Mk 5:21-43.
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[1].
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[2].
Topic: Neither too bad nor late.
Jesus was by the sea with the people who gathered around him when
... one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and... fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live’ (Mk 5:22-23).
On His way, a woman who had suffered from haemorrhages for twelve years, who had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and was not better, but rather grew worse touched His clothes with faith and was healed instantly. When He reached Jairus house, He also raised his little daughter to life.
Jairus and this woman seemed to have realised that “... vain is the help of man” (Ps 60:11; cf. Ps 108:12). The question is ‘Where do you run to when the situation is really critical?’ Christ Himself is telling us: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). We ought to hope for all our needs from God, cf. Matt 6:11; Lk 11:3; Ps 104:27. No situation is either too bad or late for Jesus. Saint Agatha realised that “those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever” (Ps 125:1). Hence, she never wavered even before her torturers. The prophet rightly proclaimed: “Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD” (Jer 17:7).
Bible Reading: Heb 11:1-40; Ps Ps 125; Ps 126.
Thought for today: When the situation looks really bad where do you turn to?
Let us pray: Lord, give us strong faith that will enable us stand firm no matter how bad the situation is – Amen.
Saint Agatha – Pray for us.
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