Monday after Epiphany
Memorial Feast: Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-+1821) Patron Saint of Catholic Education in America
First Letter of Saint John 3:22-4, 6; Psalm 2:7-8, 10-11; Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25
Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton
In 1774 Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was born into a wealthy, distinguished Episcopalian family in New York City. Elizabeth was married in 1794 and raised five children. While traveling in Italy with her husband, she became acquainted with the Catholic faith. After her husband, William, died in 1805, she made a Profession of Faith in the Catholic Church. She moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland in 1809. There and for the remainder of her life, Mother Seton worked and established the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph's, the first community for religious women established in the United States. She also began St. Joseph's Academy and Free School, planting the seeds of Catholic education in the United States. She died in Emmitsburg on January 4, 1821, and is considered the patron of Catholic Education in America.
"When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew to Galilee."
Jesus, you were cousins. You knew each other from even before you were born. Your mothers, each in her own way, were given you as special gifts from God. Your fathers were faithful and God-conscious men, aware of an interior spiritual life and an external world of plans, problems, and family duties. You may have even played together when you were children. Maybe you even shared your unique, even "quirky" perspectives before you went out on your individual ministries. Maybe, just maybe, you were both communing with each other for years.
Jesus, you paused, however briefly, to take it all in; John's calling, his faithfulness to it, and your own. You paused to feel, to reflect, to ponder, to discern, and finally to say YES. In Mark and Matthew's Gospel, you begin your ministry upon John's arrest. You took up where John left off. Jesus, you were friends with another John, the one you called the Beloved Disciple, the one who survived you. The Apostle John was the leader of the early Christian community, the Evangelist, and entrusted to take care of your Mother.
This scenario is enough to make even the bravest of us stop, ponder, and feel. Throughout the centuries, the world has had its share of prophets, false and true. The true prophet is any voice that has called us to live in trust of the One whom John the Baptist grew up with. The One whom John the Evangelizer knew both before and after His death. The one whom Mary mothered and loved with all her heart and soul.
Lord Jesus, throughout the centuries, we, your children, your brothers and sisters, have been given the responsibility to follow You and live your Holy Word. We proclaim our faith in You by loving You and serving others. We live, and we die, and there is always someone that will take our place.
Question of the Day: How did you and will you proclaim Jesus in our midst, yesterday, today, and forever?
Prayer: "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand."