Saint for the day: Raymond of Penafort (1175 – 1275)
Today’s saint is one of our prominent Dominicans and would have special scriptures from the Dominican Lectionary. However, they give so many options that it was impossible to even get a “link” to print with today’s reflection. So, I’ll use the appointed scriptures of the “Universal, Catholic Lectionary and do my best to give you something to ponder.
1 John 5:14-21 – Psalm 149 – John 2:1-11
Any way you slice it, these days between the celebration of Christmas and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord are meant to give us a deeper sense of what it means to be a Christian. If we hear the scriptures for the Dominican Feast, the reading from Galatians, St. Paul lists out the “fruits of the Holy Spirit” – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If you just worked on one of these at a time – spread throughout this whole year we’d probably be able to canonize you even before your death! Try to do it this way: today, I’m going work on “how do I love?” Tomorrow tries it with saying, “what do I love?” Then, “when do I love? Then why? Try to see which one is most difficult for you and then try to ask yourself, “What do I need to do to make this one really work in my life. The Gospel for this Dominican Feast tells us that we are “the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13ff) We know that salt can be a double-edged sword: a little bit goes a long way to enhance something but too much can kill one way or another! We have to ask ourselves, “How can I flavor my words and actions so that I draw others into the Love of God. Do I radiate light that draws people into Christ’s loving light? I can’t help but think of the saints with their “halos” which portray the brightness of Christ shinning through them to all they meet along the way. If you’re not in a Dominican Parish you’ll hear the Holy Gospel from Mark (1:29-38) with a number of healings and cures. What we have to be carful not to miss is the fact that Jesus attracted the whole town and healed many who were sick and possessed. “Then he went off to a lonely place and prayed. (Mark 1:35) This one verse is key to what is necessary for all of us no matter what our status or rank is: if we don’t have a solid base of prayer in our lives we will only be like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Make a new year’s resolution to work on those “fruits of the Holy Spirit” and to find ways to let the “Light of Christ” into the darkness of our being so that it can shine out to all those who see themselves in some kind of realm of gloom. Can you be a light shining in the darkness for someone. Try it! You might like it! Amen!