Wednesday, January 6, 2010


“St. Raymond of Penafort”
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN 


Biographical Information about St. Raymond of Penafort[1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Raymond of Penafort

Readings and Commentary:

2 Corinthians 5:14-20

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us.
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.

Commentary on
2 Cor 5:14-20

This passage from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians has a distinctly sacramental flavor. First he speaks of dying with Christ, becoming one with him in the spirit. This occurs in the sacrament of Baptism. The whole idea of being reconciled to God in Christ is inherent in the Sacrament of Confirmation and concluded in the Eucharist. These of course are the three sacraments of Christian Initiation.

CCC: 2 Cor 5:14 616, 851; 2 Cor 5:15 605, 655, 1269; 2 Cor 5:17 1214, 1265; 2 Cor 5:17-18 1999; 2 Cor 5:18-21 2844; 2 Cor 5:18 981, 1442, 1461; 2 Cor 5:19 433, 620; 2 Cor 5:20 859, 1424, 1442
Psalm 103:1bc-2, 3-4, 8-9, 13-14, 17-18

R. (1) O, bless the Lord, my soul!

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and forget not all his benefits.

R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!

He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!

Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.

R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.

R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!

But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward their children's children
among those who keep his covenant.

R. O, bless the Lord, my soul!
Commentary on
Ps 103:1bc-2, 3-4, 8-9, 13-14, 17-18

This hymn of praise focuses on God’s power and will to heal all ills and to support us in times of trouble. It is through his own will that he does this. The final two strophes reference God as a Father loving his children; his adopted sons and daughters.

CCC: Ps 103 304

 Luke 12:35-40

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master's return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his bouse be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.”

Commentary on
Lk 12:35-40

The selection presented from St. Luke’s Gospel is one of a series that relates specifically to the Lord’s exhortation about the end times, the eschaton. Here he reminds his disciples that they must be constantly focused on God’s work (servants of the master – the one God). We see also in this brief reading an echo of the Last Supper as the master reclines at table. However, in the broader context, the lesson relates more to faithfulness.

The idea of placing constant faithfulness first (most importantly present) is given as the moral of the Lord’s parable.  Peter questions whether the parable is meant for everyone or just for the disciples he is addressing.  The Lord then clarifies that any who would inherit the Kingdom of God must be constantly faithful to the Lord’s precepts.  He goes on to conclude that no one may know the day or the hour that they will be called to account.  Finally he tells the disciples, who have been given much in their association with the Christ, that to those which much is given, even more is expected, essentially telling them that they must be examples to everyone, even each other.

CCC: Lk 12:35-40 2849

St. Raymond’s great gift to the Church might be seen differently by different groups or individuals. The Dominican Order no doubt sees him as one of the great ones of their order. He assumed leadership only long enough to assure they were solidly focused on Christ and his Church. Pope Gregory IX saw him as a great intellect and scholar, a writer of books, having the gift of understanding and communicating God’s revelation. He may have been seen similarly by St. Thomas Aquinas, his friend and contemporary, with whom he collaborated on texts to help missionaries evangelize. Yet to the people of the small parish churches in Spain, where he engaged in the parish work he loved, he was seen as a wise and compassionate priest and gifted confessor.

With all of these gifts, applied to God’s Church from the highest to the lowest of her subjects, it is not remarkable that we venerate him on this, his feast day. What stands out as a shining example for us who did not know him is the clear record of his unfailing diligence in the Lord’s work, his tireless ministry to God’s people. Indeed, he shows us how to live the Gospel passage from St. Luke proclaimed on his day. St. Raymond's efforts bore great fruit and his soul passed to the Heavenly Kingdom where he sits with all the saints God has called to that wondrous court.

Today we ask for his intercession; may he offer his prayers for us and for the Church he loves, that we might be constant in our efforts and diligent in our pursuits in the Lord’s name. We hope and pray that we too might achieve a home with him and all the saints.


[1] The icon is “St. Raymond of Penafort” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN 
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...
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Deacon Jim said...

This comment provided by my collaborator:

He did a lot with canon law, so I view him as a patron of lawyers.
My wife argued a case in the US Supreme Court 25 years ago today with him as her “go-to” saint of the day!

feast day January 7), Catalan Dominican friar who compiled the Decretals ofGregory IX, a body of medieval legislation that remained part of church law until the Code of Canon Law was promulgated in 1917.

He studied canon law at Bologna and taught there from 1218 to 1221. Among his works of this period were unpublished annotations of the Decretum ofGratian (flourished c. 1140; the father of the science of canon law) and an uncompleted treatise on canon law, Summa juris canonici.

After his return to Barcelona in 1222, he joined the Dominican Order and wrote a manual of canon law for confessors, Summa de casibus poenitentiae(“Concerning the Cases of Penance”), one of the most widely used books of its kind during the later Middle Ages.