Feast of St. Agnes
Have you ever said or heard someone else say: “He or she is out of his or her mind”. In today’s gospel the crowd that had gathered to hear Jesus said that of him. Yet, when people state something that doesn’t make sense to us we say or at least think: “He or she is out of his/her mind.” Today’s gospel on this the feast of St. Agnes affirms those, like St. Agnes, who are willing to stand up for what they believe. The gospel would suggest that we think positively and respond compassionately to those courageous people.
In the first reading from the Hebrews cites the construction of a tabernacle behind the second veil called the holy of holies. Their tabernacle was moveable so that the Holy One journeyed with them. In our Catholic churches we have tabernacles but they are stationary. We bow or genuflect to show reverence. Sr. Joyce Rupp, O.S.M. in a reflection on today’s Hebrews reading writes: “What I did not learn, until later in life, is that each of us is also a tabernacle, a sacred dwelling place…The Holy One moves along with us throughout our lives. The challenge is to remember this wondrous Presence daily. (Living Faith, Sr. Joyce Rupp, O.S.M. “The Tabernacle of the heart, Saturday, January 21, 2023, January, February, March 2023.)
Psalm 47:2 instructs us : “All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness…” The psalm is expressing wonder, awe and gratitude for the giftedness of life and its magnificent beauty. The psalm reminds me of Simon and Garfunkel’s song: “Slow down you move too fast, you got to make the morning last…”. 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy) 1966 Album: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
Today, Lord give me the grace to refrain from rash judgment of others, the grace to experience myself as a sacred dwelling place for the Holy One and stop to savor the wonders of life.
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.