Sunday, December 12, 2010


“St. Rose of Lima”
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN


Biographical Information about St. Rose of Lima [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Rose of Lima

Readings and Commentary:

2 Corinthians 10:17-11:2

Brothers and sisters:
"Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord."
For it is not the one who recommends himself who is approved,
but he whom the Lord recommends.
If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me!
Please put up with me.
For 1 am jealous of you with the jealousy of God,
since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Commentary on
2 Cor 10:17-11:2

St. Paul, in these chapters from his second letter to the Corinthians, is in the middle of a defense of his own ministry. He tells them that rather than immodestly boasting about his own forceful proclamation of the Gospel, he boasts only in Christ who accomplishes all good works through those chosen by him, not those who put themselves forward bragging of what they accomplished. The reading concludes reminding the faithful that God has adopted them (St. Paul’s jealousy is of that adoption). His feelings, as he hands them on to Christ in faith, are those of a father who gives his virgin daughter to her husband, in this case Christ.

Used on the feast of a martyred saint, we see in those concluding remarks from Ch. 11 the heroic virtue of a virgin saint as she embraces her martyrdom infused with the love of one betrothed to Christ.

Psalm 148:1bc-2, 11-13a, 13c-14

R. (see 12a and 13a) Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights;
Praise him, all you his angels,
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men, too, and maidens,
old men and boys,
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted.
R. Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

His majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has lifted up the horn of his people.
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones;
from the children of Israel, the people close to him. Alleluia.
R. Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Commentary on
Psalm 148:1bc-2, 11-13a, 13c-14

Psalm 148 is a hymn of praise. In this selection we find it singing of the omnipotence of God, His power and majesty, and His promise of salvation.

Matthew 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells alt that he has and buys that field.
Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."
Commentary on
Mt 13:44-46

The parable of the buried treasure and the parable of the pearl have the same point. One who understands the Kingdom of Heaven and sees its worth joyfully places obtaining that promise before all else. It is the primacy of Christ’s teaching that guides the disciple in all things. While these two parables have generally the same meaning, it is interesting to note they have some subtle differences. The parable of the hidden treasure which is found by accident refers to an abundance of gifts.  The parable of the pearl sought out through diligence refers to the beauty of the Kingdom of God.

“Anyone who understands the Kingdom which Christ proposes realizes that it is worth staking everything to obtain it […]. The Kingdom of heaven is difficult to win.  No one can be sure of achieving it, but the humble cry of the repentant man can open wide its doors” (St. Josemaria Escriva, Christ Is Passing By, 180). [3]

CCC: Mt 13:44-45 546

St. Rose of Lima is the extreme example of humility and love of Christ, accomplished in the solitude of one’s heart. Her life was so dedicated to the Lord that she inspired others to efforts they would otherwise have not undertaken.

This spiritual vigor, hidden as it was by her own humility, is the hidden treasure of great value sought constantly by the faithful of the Church. This treasure brings an interior peace and contentment that is the great gift promised by our Lord. We may use the example of St. Rose and her prayers to see the course we are called to follow (yet only a few are given the grace and strength of spirit to undertake as enthusiastically as she did).

Her first example is single mindedness of purpose. From a young age she dedicated herself to understanding the Lord in prayer, finding there an understanding that reached far beyond her peers and indeed most of those who associated with her. She next, scrupulously participated in the Eucharist, being a daily communicant and finding there the grace and strength to continue her efforts.

So strengthened by prayer and sacrament, St. Rose was able to resist all temptations of mind and body, holding herself pure so that she might be a fitting bride for our Savior. She offered her life and comfort to God and so found passage to the heavenly Kingdom.

On her feast day we ask for her prayers, that we who imperfectly follow the path she trod may be strengthened in our resolve to follow the love of Christ.


[1] The picture is “St. Rose of Lima” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
[2] The readings are taken from the New American Bible with the exception of the Psalm and its response which were developed by the International Committee for English in Liturgy (ICEL). This re-publication is not authorized by USCCB and is for private use only.
[3] The Navarre Bible, “Gospels and Acts”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2002, pp. 136

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