January 21, 2015

Agnes

January 21, 2015:  St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr


  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Melchizedek, 'king of Salem' = 'king of peace' (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  “Sit at my right hand” (psalm); man with withered hand (gospel)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  "Before the daystar I've begotten you” (psalm)
  • White and red shirt:  St. Agnes, virgin and martyr
  • 'Blood drop' pin, red socks:  St. Agnes's martyrdom

Listen to Christian unity music


Read
  • Heb 7:1-3, 15-17  Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God, met and blessed Abraham.  He was “king of Salem (peace).”  Resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.  It's even more obvious if another priest is raised up by the power of an indestructible life.  You are a priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
    'Hand' cloud
    (animate)
  • Ps 110:1-4  "You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."  The Lord said: “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.”  Your princely power will stretch from Zion.  “Before the daystar, I've begotten you.”
  • Mk 3:1-6  They watched Jesus to see whether he'd cure the man with a withered hand on the sabbath.  He told him, “Come up,” then asked the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good and save life on the sabbath?”  He told the man, “Stretch out your hand”; the man did and was restored.  The Pharisees took counsel against Jesus...

Reflect
    • Creighton:  Rules (like what to do on the sabbath) can bring out absolutism or relativism.  Use them to help achieve the purpose we were created for; don't when they hinder you from it.  God is the only real absolute.
    • One Bread One Body:  "How we became priests":   Jews, like others, believed sacrifice was essential to deal with sin and set people free.  Since those who offer sacrifice to God are called priests, priests were seen as essential to salvation. So Jesus, Savior of the world, must be a priest.  How can he, since he's from the tribe of Judah, vs. Levi whence priests descended?  Hebrews proclaims Jesus is a priest in the line of pre-Israel Melchizedek.  Jesus sacrificed himself on the altar of the cross.  He's Savior of the world, and we who are baptized into him share his priesthood.
    • Passionist:  The St. Agnes story is like that of David and Goliath:  As Goliath saw David as puny but David didn't care, Agnes saw God at her side and didn't cower before her executioner.  Agnes and David had better sight than their opponents.  The one who saw land with buried treasure and the one who saw the pearl at the bazaar had great instincts, leading them to trust what they saw.  What do we see?  Faith helps us see clearly.  Today the pope presents new metropolitan bishops the pallium, named from sheepskin/cloth, from the agnus; may it give them faith to see as clearly as David and Agnes.
    • DailyScripture.net:  The scribes and Pharisees wanted to catch Jesus breaking the Sabbath so they could accuse him.  They were ensnared in their legalism, not understanding God's purpose.  Jesus points to God's intention for the Sabbath:  doing good and to saving life.  We celebrate Sunday as the Lord's Day, commemorating God's work of redemption and new creation, but our sabbath rest doesn't exempt us from loving our neighbor.
    • Universalis:  We don't know much about St. Agnes, partly because she died at 12.  Agnes was filled God's love from an early age, vowed herself to celibacy, and didn't shy away from martyrdom; see Wikipedia.