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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

April 29th: Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, patron saint of Europe
1st Reading (1Jn 1, 5-2, 2): Beloved: This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, "We have fellowship with him," while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, "We are without sin," we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
Responsorial Psalm: 103
R/. O, bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul; and forget not all his benefits.

He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He will not always chide, nor does he keep his wrath forever.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him, For he knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust.

But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear him, And his justice toward his children's children among those who keep his covenant.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 11,25): Alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 11,25-30): At that time Jesus said in reply, «I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

»Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light».

«You have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike»

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the church celebrates with joy and gratitude the festivity of St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). With joy because in her the words of Christ became a reality: «because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children» (Mt 11:25). It is moving the degree of inner maturity and of loving union – even the mystical marriage - with Jesus Christ of a girl as young as Catherine.

God himself incorporates in his “DNA” the humility and the discretion. This is how the Messiah acted out: He was born in a barn and resurrected without any triumphalism. He was the King announced and expected since David’s reign, but His Royal Crown is made out of thorns and His throne is the Cross. In one of her mystic visions, Catherine saw Jesus presenting her two crowns, a golden one and another one with thorns. While replying that her repose was the pain of the Lord she chose the thorns... "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28): Catalina rests on the suffering of Christ; Jesus lies in the modesty of the young saint.

Catalina, knowing quite well her beloved, had a vivid awareness of the greatness of man because God himself is in love with each one of us: "what made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly, the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you gave have given her a being capable of fasting your eternal Good»

Finally, the gratitude of the Church to Catherine for her conciliatory task. At that time, the Church was undergoing a sad period of divisions, both internal and external. The most unfortunate thing was the "Avignon exile". From 1305, a total of seven Popes resided in Avignon. The prayers and the efforts of St. Catherine - also from other personalities, as St. Brigitte – made possible that in 1367 Pope Urban V could return to the Eternal City. Thanks may be eternally given to these holy women who have done more than we will ever know for the Church.