HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF SAINT AGNES,VIRGIN AND MARTYR.
THEME: Jesus’ relatives were convinced he was out of his mind.
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
Dear friends in Christ, today we celebrate the great commeration of St Agnes. Saint Agnes who is also known as Agnes of Rome. The name “Agnes” similar to the Latin word agnus, means “lamb”. For this reason depictions of Saint Agnes often include a lamb. The name actually comes from a Greek word which means “chaste, pure, sacred”.
She was born in 291 AD and raised in a very rich Christian family. St Agnes was very beautiful, and so hand in marriage was highly sought after, and she had many high ranking men chasing after her. Agnes made a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was great and she hated sin even more than death! – Whenever a man wished to marry Agnes, she would always say, “Jesus Christ is my only Spouse.”This and other reasons made her to be condemned to death. That day, even the pagans cried to see such a young and beautiful girl going to death. Yet, Agnes was as happy as a bride on her wedding day.
She died a virgin-martyr at the age of 12 or 13 on 21 January 304.
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*ABOUT THE GOSPEL OF THE DAY!*
Today’s very short gospel reading from Mark suggests that Jesus was misunderstood by his own family. They had come to hear that so many people were coming to Jesus for help that he and his disciples had no time even to eat. They concluded that Jesus must be out of his mind and they wanted to take him back to Nazareth, back home, for his own good. Jesus’ family meant well, but they completely misinterpreted Jesus. Having set out on his mission of bringing God’s merciful and healing love to all, Jesus was never going to return to Nazareth and live the hidden life he had lived before he left there.
Jesus’ family was no different to most of our human families. The members of Jesus’ family had to learn to let him go to God’s purpose for his life, even if it made little sense to them. We often have to let go of those we care about, even if the path they are taking is very concerning to us. We sometimes just have to let them be. The members of Jesus’ family were trying to control him, but we cannot control Jesus. Our calling is to surrender to Jesus and to try and go where he is leading us. Jesus once said, ‘the Spirit blows where it wills’. What is true of the Holy Spirit is true of Jesus who is full of the Holy Spirit. Far from trying to control Jesus, we invite him to control us, in the sense of becoming Lord of our lives. When Jesus becomes Lord of our lives.
May God continue to guide and strength our families through the intercession of St Agnes.
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