Time is short today, so I will leave you with a few items related to today’s readings and of recent vintage.
The reading from Job (7:1-4, 6-7) is a perfect one for those suffering from pandemic fatigue. With lines like “I have been assigned months of misery” and “I shall not see happiness again” I can imagine many folks around the world can empathize. But, remember, few have ever had it harder than Job (just read 1:13-19). The good news is that he kept the faith and in the end few have ever had it better (see 42:7-17). Whether or not we will realize such bounty in this life, we are assured that by keeping the Faith we will have riches beyond imagination forever in the next life.
For a contemporary exposition of the Sunday readings one can hardly do better than check out Bp. Robert Barron (check out his YouTube channel). Today he speaks on the second reading (1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23).
Each Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation I read from a book I recently discovered. It is the only one I could find of its kind in that it gives substantial quotes from sermons of the early Church Fathers based on the current lectionary. Anyway, here are its closing words on today’s Gospel () that struck me regarding Jesus healing Simon’s mother-in-law:
At a glance he saw her desperate plight, and at once stretched out his hands to perform their divine work of healing; nor would he sit down to satisfy his human needs before he had made it possible for the stricken woman to rise up and serve her God. So he took her by the hand, and the fever left her. Here you see how fever loosens its grip on a person whose hand is held by Christ’s; no sickness can stand its ground in the face of the very source of health. Where the Lord of life has entered, there is no room for death.St Peter Chysologus, Sermon 18: PL 52, 246-9 as quoted in Stephen Mark Holmes, ed., The Fathers on the Sunday Gospels (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2012), 68. Emphasis mine.
So we must stay close to Christ in physical illness, it is true, but also in all troubles of mind, body, and spirit. More so, the fevered passions that lead to sin are remedied by grasping the Lord tightly and not letting go.
David French, who has been on the front lines of the pro-life movement, provides encouragement for pro-lifers regarding recent positive trends as well as practical advice what we can do right now to support this movement. How To Be Pro-Life in Joe Biden’s America
I will add this. Make no mistake that Joe Biden would not be president today if he held every position he espouses currently with the only difference that he was adamantly pro-life in his public policies instead of militantly pro-abortion in a way unseen in our country’s history. Not to mention the rabid anti-Catholicism that would have arisen from the rank and file of his party (it still lurks just below the surface with some very close to him). The devil is laughing, whether or not Mr. Biden has made a conscious Faustian bargain. I will not tire of asking all readers to pray for his conversion daily, as I do, for the sake of our country and for his precious immortal soul.
GOOD KING RICHARD
A favorite of mine (for obvious reasons).
|St. Richard the King|
|St. Richard the King (c. 720 A.D.), also known as Richard the Pilgrim, was a Saxon king born in Wessex, England, who was related by blood to the royal house of Kent. His brother-in-law was St. Boniface, and three of his children are numbered among the saints: St. Willibald, St. Winnebald, and St. Walburga. When Willibald was gravely ill as a child, Richard’s prayers for his son are said to have saved his life. He wrapped his child in a blanket and took him to the foot of a large crucifix erected near their village, and the child recovered. When Willibald was grown, he convinced his father and brother to accompany him on a missionary pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land. St. Richard agreed, renounced his royal estate, and embarked on the journey with his two sons, while his daughter entered a convent. In Italy he became sick and died, and was buried in Tuscany at the Church of San Frediano. Numerous miracles are reported to have occurred at his tomb. Some of his relics were transported to Eichstatt, Germany, where his son Winnebald would become Bishop. His feast day is celebrated on February 7th.|
NEW CATHOLIC NEWS SOURCE
I’m very excited about The Pillar which was begun by a couple of veteran Catholic journalists at the beginning of the year. Objective and in-depth reporting and analysis that is very welcome.
Sign up (it’s free) and spread the word!
ONE LAST THING
I’m excited about a new Speaker Series that I’ve instituted at my school that is running through May. Check out the first episode (‘The Heart of the Matter”) with Rachel Bulman at this Zoom link.
I will keep you informed about future talks.