Today is a feast day for a doctor of the Church: St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). She is best remembered as convincing Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome in 1377, after the papacy’s home being in Avignon, France since 1309. She also nursed lepers, cancer patients, and plague victims; and prayed with condemned prisoners awaiting execution. Her body is still incorrupt!
Today in Catholic History:
† 1380 – Death of Catherine of Siena, Italian saint (b. 1347)
† 1429 – St. Joan of Arc entered Orleans to lead the French army to a victory over the English. (BONUS TRIVIA: On this day, in 1862 (433 years later, during American Civil War, New Orleans falls to Union forces under Admiral David Farragut.
† 1945 – The Dachau concentration camp is liberated by United States troops.
† Roman Catholic Calendar of saints: Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Robert (d.1111), Saint Wilfred the Younger, Saint Peter of Verona, Saint Hugh of Cluny
Today’s reflection is about the slave not being greater than the master.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
When we join our cross to the cross of Christ we gain a sense of purpose for our lives.
Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.’ From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (NAB John 13:16-20)
In this gospel reading from today’s Mass, Jesus is saying, “Yo, Listen. I am saying something extremely important. I AM not greater than God.” But, Jesus is also no less than God in heaven. He is the “I AM,” the SAME deity; only in a different form. In Matthew 10:24, it is written, “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master.” And in Luke 6:40, “No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.”
The verse “The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me” is literally referring to Psalm 41:10 which states, “Even the friend who had my trust, who shared my table, has scorned me.” This prophesy predicted Jesus’ betrayal by Judas Iscariot. It does not mean the betrayal itself will reveal Jesus’ divinity. It refers to the fulfillment of Jesus’ word in the crucifixion.
The last sentence is another “Yo” statement. The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) refer to the reward due those who receive the disciples sent in Jesus’ name. Jesus always spread His graces to those that do His work in this world. Definitely, this includes the Pope and other bishops, and the priests marked with a special grace of the Holy Spirit. But it also includes me and you, when we are doing God’s work, in His name, with a clean and joyful heart.
“Lord, you are my master. I joyful wish to be your slave. Please let me do your will in this world, and the next. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church
The 25th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions of Christ, Mary, and the saints. St. Catherine was one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day, although she never had any formal education. She persuaded the Pope to go back to Rome from Avignon, in 1377, and when she died she was endeavoring to heal the Great Western Schism. In 1375 Our Lord give her the Stigmata, which was visible only after her death. Her spiritual director was Blessed Raymond of Capua. St, Catherine’s letters, and a treatise called “a dialogue” are considered among the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church. She died when she was only 33, and her body was found incorrupt in 1430.
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Prologue to Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule, Chapter 1:
… Oh, how glorious it is to have a great and Holy Father in heaven! Oh, how glorious it is to have such a beautiful and admirable Spouse, the Holy Paraclete.
Oh, how glorious it is to have such a Brother and such a Son, loved, beloved, humble, peaceful, sweet, lovable, and desirable above all: Our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave up his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10:15) and prayed to the Father saying: …