Friday, January 27, 2017
St Angela Merici (1470 – 1540)
(Hebrews 10:32-39; Mark 4:26-34)
Professor Heraclitus who is my ancient friend and classmate in Ephesus Philosophical School between the year 535-475 BCE, once told me that, “Benjah, you cannot step into the same river twice.” In short, he meant in this life nothing is permanent. Things keep on changing. This render the future uncertain and unpredictable. This motion shakes a certain stability but whatever the changes might be, one thing is certain, and that is there will be growth.
The gospel parables of today talk about growth – the seed sprouting and growing, the mustard seed growing into a big shrub.
How these changes occur, we are not that certain, yet in the end, the results are obvious – there is growth.
The first reading also talks about changes. But those changes were rather distressful and even painful.
People who embraced the faith and became Christians were exposed to insults and violence and stripped of belongings. Pope Paul VI when he visited Uganda he said, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity.”
But just as the seed was sprouting and growing and growing into a beautiful tree, then we must also believe that situations can change and change for the better along with time.
As the first reading puts it, “Only a little while now, a very little while, the one that is coming will have come; he will not delay. The righteous man will live by faith.”
Let us face the changes in life with faith, and let us persevere in our faith and await the blessings of the Lord.
St Angela Merici was born in Desenziano, in Lombardy, in about 1470. She became a Franciscan tertiary and set up a school to instruct girls in Christanity and good works. In 1535 she founded the Ursulines, an order of nuns devoted to giving a Christian education to girls from poor families. She died in 1540.
Through her intercessions and the intercessions of St. Theresa of Lisieux, may we experience spiritual growth.