Friday, January 20, 2023

The Feast of St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr.

"Do not worry over things that generate preoccupation, derangement and anxiety. One thing only is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love God." (St Padre Pio).

"Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3: 20 - 21)

Saturday 21st January 2023 in the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Agnes (+ 304). Virgin and Martyr. Agnes who made a private vow of chastity to Jesus Christ resisted the attempt to force her into marriage. She was martyred at the age of 13. St Agnes is the patron saint of young girls and purity.

When we suffer with Christ, we can then shout with joy when His glory is revealed. No birth pang, no joy of nursing. No trials, no triumph. No cross, no crown.
St Agnes whose feast is today suffered deprivation and martyrdom for the sake of Christ. Today she is enjoying her crown and glory in heaven. Her life is still remembered and celebrated throughout the world. Many churches and schools are named after her.
Our Gospel of today gives us a peek into Jesus very busy ministry: teaching, feeding His hungry followers, healing the sick and casting out demons. The demand on His time and energy is relentless. His relatives had little sympathy for His work routine and
when they heard that the crowd made it impossible for Jesus and His disciples to eat, "they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Do you know that one of the greatest obstacles to following Jesus is: "What will the family say about me? What will the neighbors and colleagues think of me?" They may think that personal failure has driven you into religion, or something worse. Does it really matter what they think?

If you have never met the reproach of walking with and standing up to your faith, then you are a novice. Jesus Christ experienced it. He is the Way, the Truth and Life. What he experienced, be prepared. It might come to you one way or another, sooner or later.

St Padre Pio faced all types of trials as a priest. The numerous spiritual warfare he fought and won helped him to develop immense wisdom. He is still healing and helping many of his clients from Heaven.
“Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil. Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will.” (St Padre Pio).

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