The Feast of Saint Cecilia, Virgin, Martyr : 22 November 2008

St. Cecilia by Nicholas Markell

About the Saint:

Saint Cecilia was a martyr of the second century. She is thought to have converted her husband and his brother to Christianity, and they were martyred before her. Saint Cecilia is the patron saint of mucisians. The veneration of Saint Cecilia, in whose honour a bascilica was erected at Rome in the fifth century, has extended far and wide because of the Passion of Saint Cecilia, which presented her as a perfect example of Christian womanhood who preserved her virginity and suffered martyrdom for the love of Christ.

Collect of the Day:

Lord God, in your mercy listen to our prayers,                                                                                           which we offer you under the patronage of Saint Cecilia.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
 who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.

The Daily Readings:

The First Reading: Apocalypse 11:4-12
I, John, heard a voice saying: ‘These, my two witnesses, are the two olive trees and the two lamps that stand before the Lord of the world. Fire can come from their mouths and consume their enemies if anyone tries to harm them; and if anybody does try to harm them he will certainly be killed in this way. They are able to lock up the sky so that it does not rain as long as they are prophesying; they are able to turn water into blood and strike the whole world with any plague as often as they like. When they have completed their witnessing, the beast that comes out of the Abyss is going to make war on them and overcome them and kill them. Their corpses will lie in the main street of the Great City known by the symbolic names Sodom and Egypt, in which their Lord was crucified. Men out of every people, race, language and nation will stare at their corpses, for three-and-a-half days, not letting them be buried, and the people of the world will be glad about it and celebrate the event by giving presents to each other, because these two prophets have been a plague to the people of the world.’
After the three-and-a-half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up, and everybody who saw it happen was terrified; then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here’, and while their enemies were watching, they went up to heaven in a cloud.

The Gospel: Luke 20:27-40
Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’
Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and if’ the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’
Some scribes then spoke up. ‘Well put, Master’ they said – because they would not dare to ask him any more questions.

Daily Reflection:

Today’s Gospel gives us an insight to how Jesus presented His message to those around Him. He talked to the people in their own language; He met them on common  ground; and that is precisely why ordinary people heard Him gladly. When Jesus debated with people He used arguments that the people He was debating with with could understand.

How many times are sermons or homilies so filled with theological terms that they become quite impossible for the non-theological minded of us to fully understand? As we learned above Jesus used language and ideas which people could easily understand. He met people with their own vocabulary, on their own grounds. If we learn to do the same we will become far better witnesses and ambassadors for Christ and His Gospel.






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