Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious

Today's Mass Readings


As we move from the Epiphany to the Lord’s Baptism, we hear today about the arrest of John the Baptist in the Gospel reading. Jesus “withdrew to Galilee.” John’s arrest seems to have affected Jesus deeply. They were both cousins, and John played an important role in the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

There are times when we all need to withdraw or “retreat” for a time from our active duty. This holds true for parents who need to wake up early for coffee before the morning rush of kids waking up and getting ready for school. I’ve always heard it is good advice for priests to take time for personal meditation so they can serve well in their ministry. We need that time to prepare ourselves to give our all to the service that comes with our state in life.

Elizabeth Ann Seton did exactly that. She was both a wife and a mother. She found herself a widow at just 29 years old. She went on to found the Sisters of Charity after several difficult years. This was the first religious order for women established in the United States. Her order focused on education and she started the beginning of American Catholic education. She helped many of the most underserved people in society. She would go on to be canonized a saint. She is the first US-born citizen to receive that honor. She went out to serve, just as Jesus did. He eventually left Galilee and served people. Seton imitated our Lord in His ministry. She trusted in Christ to provide for her. She lived well the saying of 1st John “We receive (from the Lord) whatever we ask because we keep his commandments…”

Reflection: We all have responsibilities and duties which come with our state in life. How good are you at taking time to rest and reflect before you engage in your responsibilities?

Reflection by Br. Matthew Marie, OSB

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