Tuesday, December 30, 2014
You say you're not familiar with today's saint? Chances are you aren't—unless you're especially informed about Benedictine bishops who established monasteries in medieval England.
Born of royal blood in the 7th century, Egwin entered a monastery and was enthusiastically received by royalty, clergy and the people as the bishop of Worcester, England. As a bishop he was known as a protector of orphans and the widowed and a fair judge. Who could argue with that?
His popularity didn't hold up among members of the clergy, however. They saw him as overly strict, while he felt he was simply trying to correct abuses and impose appropriate disciplines. Bitter resentments arose, and Egwin made his way to Rome to present his case to Pope Constantine. The case against Egwin was examined and annulled.
Upon his return to England, he founded Evesham Abbey, which became one of the great Benedictine houses of medieval England. It was dedicated to Mary, who had reportedly made it known to Egwin just where a church should be built in her honor.
He died at the abbey on December 30, in the year 717. Following his burial many miracles were attributed to him: The blind could see, the deaf could hear, the sick were healed.
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord.
Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you.
Reading 1 1 jn 2:12-17
I am writing to you, children,
Responsorial Psalm ps 96:7-8a, 8b-9, 10
R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel lk 2:36-40
There was a prophetess, Anna,
Listen to audio of this reading
Watch a video reflection
I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to me?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Meditation: Luke 2:36-40
6th Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. (Luke 2:37)
Luke's sketch of Anna—a true daughter of Zion—invites us to reflect on the tremendous impact that the birth of Jesus had on Israel. By telling her story as he did, Luke gave his gentile readers (who were unfamiliar with Israel's history) a glimpse of the way God's plan of salvation unfolded within Israel's history. For example, Anna's great age and her lifetime of prayer represent the many centuries that the Jews spent preparing for and longing for the coming of their Messiah—centuries spent in prayer, intercession, and obedience to God.
Anna must have known much pain upon the death of her husband after only seven years of marriage. Over the years, she probably experienced a great deal of loneliness as well. In ancient times, unmarried women in general, and widows in particular, were often looked down on or forgotten about. By choosing Anna as he did, God shows how little he cares about social stature when it comes to selecting his witnesses!
Despite a lifetime of sorrows, Anna never became bitter. Instead, she found solace as she opened her heart to the Lord in prayer. "She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer" (Luke 2:37). This remarkable woman of faith had transformed her many difficult years into a lifelong ministry of intercession for the redemption of Israel. And God exhibited a special love for this "prophetess" (2:36) by endowing her with a sensitivity and awareness of the Messiah's coming.
What a model for us! Anna's patience and long suffering embody the human heart's longing for salvation. Do you sometimes feel worn out, abandoned, or insignificant to God? Nothing could be further from the truth. If you turn to God, as Anna did, his grace will fill your life. Turn your sorrows over to the Lord. Worship him, and intercede for the redemption of his people. By doing so, you can become a witness of God's presence in our midst. God will fill your life with hope and promise in a way that nothing else in the world can.
"Lord, I offer my life to you. I want to join all your saints in building your kingdom."
1 John 2:12-17