Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, V.D. (29th April, 2021) on the Gospel and the Memorial


Acts 13:13-25;

Ps 88:2-3.21-22.25.27. (R. cf. v.2);

Jn 13:16-20.

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: Those truly blessed.

Today’s gospel is part of Jesus’ teaching that followed His washing of His disciples’ feet. It reads in part, “Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

And while Jesus was teaching a woman raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” (Lk 11:27). Jesus replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Lk 11:28).

Jesus is our Lord, Master, and Teacher, cf. Jn 13:13; Jude 1:4. He washed His disciples’ feet as an example for all, cf. Jn 13:14-15. But no one can follow Him unless he/she is of the same mind with Him. Hence, Saint Paul correctly admonishes,

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being found in human likeness (Phil 2:5-7).

We put on Christ at baptism, cf. Gal 3:27. And the old self was also crucified with Christ, cf. Rom 6:6. Christ did not only talk but most importantly concretized His words in actions. He calls on all who wants to be blessed to follow Him and be doers of the word, cf. Rom 2:13; Jas 1:22.

Bible Reading: Lk 11:27-28; Jas 1:19-27.

Thought for today: Be doers of the word.

Let us pray: May God help us put into action every bit of His word – 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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