Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, V.D. (29th April, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Acts 8:1-8;
Ps 65:1-7. (R. v. 1);
Jn 6:35-40.

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: Unless one believes.
Today’s gospel started from the last verse of yesterday’s gospel (Jn 6:35). Jesus said to the people that whoever comes to Him will not be driven away in accordance with the will of He who sent Him. He explained the will of His Father,
...that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.
The problem is neither in the will of the Father nor in the one whom He sent. Jesus said to the people, “But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.”
Different parts of the world still witness good number of people in churches. However, the problem remains lack of faith both in God the Father and in the Son whom He has sent. Hence we continue to pursue shadows. And sad enough all these shadows will all come to an end one day, cf. 1Cor 13:8-12. And it is impossible for anyone to please God without faith, cf. Heb 11:6. We know the fate of anyone who does not believe in God: “He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (Jn 3:18). We ought to imitate St Catherine of Siena who put her trust in God alone.
Bible Reading: Heb 11:1-7.
Thought for today: What holds you from believing?
Let us pray: Lord, we believe; please help our unbelief! – Amen (cf. Mk 9:24).
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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