16 Monday St Margaret of ScotlandÂ (Opt. Mem.); St Gertrude, virgin (Opt. Mem.)
1st Reading: Revelation Apocalypse) 1:1-4; 2:1-5
Encouragement to the churches in Asia Minor
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near.
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne.
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands:
“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
The Word of the Lord
Responsorial: from Psalm
R./: Those who are victorious I will feed on the tree of life
Happy indeed is the one
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night. (R./)
He is like a tree that is planted beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper. (R./)
Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.
For the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom. (R./)
Gospel: Luke 18:35-43
Jesus cures the blind man, who then becomes a disciple
As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.
The Gospel of the Lord
Reflections – Return to your former ways
Hoping that sight could be restored to allow him to live a normal life, the blind man at the Jericho gate called out in prayer, “Son of David, have mercy on me!!” If he somehow could get his sight back he knew it would change things for him and he would again have to work for his living, but he seemed eager to face whatever new horizons might open up for him. When Jesus asked him to state his request, he said simply, “Lord, let me see again!” and once he regained his sight, he began to follow Jesus, with a new focus to his life. He could now see his wife and children and his neighbours, all of whom thanked God for the healing miracle.
Our own vision may be excellent, even without Specsavers, but we too can benefit from a version of the blind man’s prayer, “Lord, let me see your will more clearly. Help me to follow you along the road.”
Perhaps we may need some kind of conversion, like the Christians in Ephesus who were gently reproached by Our Lord, “You have turned aside from your early love. Repent and return to your former deeds.” By examining our conscience we can discern whether this call to conversion applies to us too. Those murmured words may revive the memory of some early ideals, now discarded, to which we should return. This awakening of conscience can be welcomed by married people, by religious and priests, by men and women in all walks of life, “You have turned aside from your early love. Repent, and return to your former ways.”
Saint of the Day for November 16 |(1045 – November 16, 1093) |Saint Margaret of Scotland
Margaret of Scotland was a truly liberated woman in the sense that she was free to be herself. For her, that meant the freedom to love God and serve others.
Not Scottish by birth, Margaret was the daughter of Princess Agatha of Hungary and the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling. She spent much of her youth in the court of her great-uncle, the English king, Edward the Confessor. Her family fled from William the Conqueror and was shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland. King Malcolm befriended them and was captivated by the beautiful, gracious Margaret. They were married at the castle of Dunfermline in 1070.
Malcolm was good-hearted, but rough and uncultured, as was his country. Because of Malcolm’s love for Margaret, she was able to soften his temper, polish his manners, and help him become a virtuous king. He left all domestic affairs to her and often consulted her in state matters.
Margaret tried to improve her adopted country by promoting the arts and education. For religious reform, she encouraged synods and was present for the discussions which tried to correct religious abuses common among priests and laypeople, such as simony, usury, and incestuous marriages. With her husband, she founded several churches.
Margaret was not only a queen but a mother. She and Malcolm had six sons and two daughters. Margaret personally supervised their religious instruction and other studies.
Although she was very much caught up in the affairs of the household and country, she remained detached from the world. Her private life was austere. She had certain times for prayer and reading Scripture. She ate sparingly and slept little in order to have time for devotions. She and Malcolm kept two Lents, one before Easter and one before Christmas. During these times she always rose at midnight for Mass. On the way home, she would wash the feet of six poor persons and give them alms. She was always surrounded by beggars in public and never refused them. It is recorded that she never sat down to eat without first feeding nine orphans and 24 adults.
In 1093, King William Rufus made a surprise attack on Alnwick castle. King Malcolm and his oldest son, Edward, were killed. Margaret, already on her deathbed, died four days after her husband.