We share with our Congregational Family the Homily of the Closing Eucharist of the General Chapter CCVI 2022. Thanks for accompanying us!
The Easter Vigil Gospel reminds us of “the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus.” We cannot know how many women there were because, further on, Luke names “Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James and the others who accompanied them,” but what we do know is that they went together. Were they an improvised group, friends, or perhaps even a community? Whatever the case, they needed company to dare to go out early that Sunday morning.
Historians over the centuries have reached a general agreement that St. Patrick was born around 385 A.D., was taken captive in 401 A.D. and returned to his native country in 407 A.D. He came to Ireland in 432 A.D., converted the pagan nation to Christianity and presided over the Church until his death, for which two dates are given in the early records—March 17, 461 and 492. On various grounds, the later date no longer finds acceptance. One significant fact substantiates the former: the High King Loiguire, who died in 462, is said to have outlived Patrick. A second factor favoring this date appears with the date 467 A.D. when Patrick’s successor Bishop Benignus is listed as presiding in Armagh. Setting the Saint’s death around 461 A.D. places his Apostolic work, the evangelization of a pagan nation, within a thirty-year period. 23Patrick was the son of a Roman official Calpurnius of Gaul (France); some historians refer to the location as Roman Britannia (Modern Britain). His father held the position of Roman Decurion, a kind of district commissioner, a burdensome position but one that came with social dignity and Patrick speaks of “the nobility of his birth” and of his father’s “manservants and womanservants” employed at his residence and farm.
Today’s feast is an echo of the past Christmas season and the completion of the mystery of Jesus – born, revealed to Israel, manifested to the nations – is now encountered by the Church in the person of Simeon. In his prophecy Simeon both tells of the “light of revelation” and the sword that will pierce Mary’s heart. We know that Christ’s death will not overshadow the brightness of his light. We live the eternal spring – the new life that is Christ. Through his light, we can help dispel the darkness in this world.
Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland (Irish: Naomh Bríd; Latin: Brigida; c. 451 – 525) is the patroness saint (or ‘mother saint’) of Ireland, and one of its three national saints along with Patrick and Columba. According to medieval Irish hagiographies, she was an abbess who founded several convents of nuns, most notably that of Kildare, which was one of the most important in Ireland. There are few historical facts about her, and early hagiographies are mainly anecdotes and miracle tales, some of which are rooted in pagan folklore. The saint shares her name with a Celtic goddess. She is patroness of many things, including poetry, learning, healing, protection, blacksmithing, livestock and dairy production. Brigid’s feast day is 1 February, which was originally a festival marking the beginning of spring. From 2023 it will be a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, the first named after a woman.
The Holy Innocents are the children of Bethlehem, murdered because a jealous king was threatened.
God comes to us through people, moving them to act on God’s behalf. One such person was Juan Diego who played a very significant part in bringing the Good News of the Gospel to the peoples of Mexico.
We honor and give praise to Mary, conceived without sin, for her “YES” and pray for the grace to bear Christ to the world as she did.
Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. A feast, a fiesta, is a celebration set apart to mark something significant. The Church has Feasts for Saints; Feasts for events that celebrate the life of Mary; for example, the Feast of the Assumption, or; the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.