Tuesday, March 16, 2010

MARCH 17 SAINT PATRICK

"St. Patrick"
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
MARCH 17
 
SAINT PATRICK, BISHOP
 

Biographical Information about St. Patrick[1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Patrick

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING
 
1 Peter 4:7b-11

Beloved:
Be serious and sober-minded
so that you will be able to pray.
Above all, let your love for one another be intense,
because love covers a multitude of sins.
Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another
as good stewards of God's varied grace.
Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God;
whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies,
so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
 

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Commentary on
1 Pt 4:7b-11

“The inner life of the eschatological community” (the Christian Community’s focus on the end times) “is outlined as the end (the parousia of Christ) and the judgment draws near in terms of seriousness, sobriety, prayer, and love expressed through hospitality and the use of one's gifts for the glory of God and of Christ.”[3] The concluding doxology may have been the ending of an address, or possibly even the conclusion of a baptismal celebration.


CCC: 1 Pt 4:6 634; 1 Pt 4:7 670, 1806; 1 Pt 4:8 1434
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
 
Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8b, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
 

R, Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
 

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
 

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
 

R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
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Commentary on 
Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8b, 10

Announce his salvation, day after day.” This song of praise to the Lord invites all humanity to participate in God’s salvation. “This psalm has numerous verbal and thematic contacts with
Isaiah ch. 40-55, as does Psalm 98. Another version of the psalm is 1 Chronicles 16:23-33.”[4]
  
CCC: Ps 96:2 2143
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GOSPEL
 Luke 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."
Simon said in reply,
"Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets."
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that they were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
"Depart from me. Lord, for I am a sinful man."
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men."
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.
 

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Commentary on
Lk 5:1-11

St. Luke’s Gospel presents the call of St. Peter, St. James, and St. John to discipleship. The Lord has demonstrated his authority through his teaching, and then through the miraculous catch of fish. We note the similarity of this incident with the post-resurrection incident recounted in St. John’s Gospel (John 21:1-11).
 
At Jesus' summons, Simon and the two sons of Zebedee leave all they have and follow the Lord. No mention is made here of Simon’s (Peter’s) brother Andrew who would also have been there, and in fact, as a disciple of John the Baptist, actually introduced the two (John 1:41 ff). We do hear that James and John, Zebedee’s sons, were also there as Simon’s partners, and are called at the same time.
 
Simon Peter’s response to the Lord’s call is one of being sinful and therefore unworthy of the presence of the Lord. In response to Simon’s fearful humility, Jesus invites them all to leave what they have and become fishers of men.

CCC: Lk 5:8 208
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Reflection:
St Patrick (385 - 461)

He was born in Roman Britain around the end of the 4th century, and died in Ireland about the middle of the 5th century. As a missionary bishop, he endured many hardships and faced opposition even from his friends and fellow Christians. Nevertheless, he worked hard to conciliate, to evangelize, and to educate local chieftains and their families. He is remembered for his simplicity and pastoral care, for his humble trust in God, and for his fearless preaching of the gospel to the very people who had enslaved him in his youth.
[5]

The Patron Saint of Ireland, who is memorialized today, accepted the call to follow in the disciples' footsteps, taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world. He heard a call to service and he accepted it. It is something we all are asked to do. For some it might be as simple as daily prayer for those in need, for those who have rejected Christ, or for those who have never heard of Christ. For others it may mean packing one’s belongings and going to where the Gospel calls. This latter service can be rewarding but is frequently uncomfortable. It seems the Lord likes to test his servants and has a willing helper in this task, the Evil One himself.

Discerning the call to service is an ongoing occupation of the Christian. When those first disciples went out to fish the day Jesus walked by the shore, they probably felt they were doing what they were meant to do. Suddenly the Lord appeared and invited them to follow and that changed everything. Similarly with St. Patrick, he had escaped from captors in the very land he was sent back to serve. We can never guess where the spirit of God will send us. All we can do is be open to the spirit and do our best to respond.

Today we ask for St. Patrick’s intercession. We ask for his prayers, that we might hear the Lord clearly as we are called. We ask also for his prayers for Ireland, that the hearts and minds of her people might be turned constantly toward the peace of Christ.

Pax


[1] The picture is “St. Patrick” 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. 
[3] See NAB Footnote on 1 Peter 4:7-11 
[4] See NAB footnote on Psalm 96 
[5] Universalis. March 17, 2010

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