Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

Today's Mass Readings


A friend of mine recently welcomed her first child—a baby boy. She was filled with absolute joy and delight in her child. She expressed the joy of praying for her son and loving him whether he was crying or sleeping. What struck me most was when she expressed her desire to help her son grow up to know and love God. It reminded me of what parents are asked when their child is baptized. The priest addresses the parents: “You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?”

The first reading from the Second Book of Maccabees recounts the horrific pain of a mother witnessing her seven sons being tortured and killed on account of their faith, but it also serves as an example of what it is to train children in the practice of the faith. In the passage, she affirms that her sons are all a gift from God when she said: “It was not I who gave you the breath of life” but it was “the Creator of the Universe.” Thus, she rightly exhorts her sons to remain steadfast in faith to God the Creator, even in the midst of persecution and the threat of losing their earthly lives.

This life will inevitably endure hardships and suffering, but fidelity to God is the most important thing. When we embrace suffering well, we express our faith and hope in Resurrection. Our primary goal is not to achieve material prosperity and comfort in this life, but to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us by loving God and our neighbor.

Reflection Question: How might you renew today your commitment to following Christ more faithfully?

Reflection by Fr. Paul Sheller, OSB

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