“O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.” ~ Saint Boniface
In today’s 1st Saturday Gospel (Mark 12:38-44), we encounter the poor widow who gave her all to the Lord. Her simple generosity, her offering of her whole livelihood, everything she possessed, was a resounding response to God’s unconditional love. We have seen similar episodes of this nature unfold in Scripture, as captured for instance in the Book of Mings (1 Kings 17:7-16) and the story of the Widow of Zarephath https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Gift-of-Everything.
How fitting that this Gospel Passage would be proclaimed on the eve of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in that Jesus too gave all. His body, his agony, his heartbreak, every single drop of his precious blood...his life. But before conquering death and swinging open wide the Gates of Heaven, he would leave his beloved friends and all those who would follow him from that day forward this most divine of Sacramental Gifts, the Holy Eucharist.
The Solemnity of Corpus Christ could not be more Catholic; it could not be more joyful. For Catholics, the Eucharist is Christ. Through this intimate encounter with the Son of God, we are fortified and made one in Him. In fact we are made one with each and every member of Christ’s mystical body when we partake of Holy Communion, hence in part why it was given its name. The Eucharist gathers us into one by virtue of the power of the Holy Spirit. The Venerable Pope Pius XII discusses this in great length in his 1954 Encyclical Mystici corporis Christi https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Mystici-Corporis-Christi-Revisited.
Today our Church celebrates her fourth martyr in five days by way of the Memorial of the Bishop Saint Boniface. An English Benedictine Monk who devoted his life to the conversion of the Germanic Tribes, Boniface was appointed Archbishop of Mainz by Pope Gregory III. He would eventfully be martyred for the Gospel message he so loved and proclaimed near Dokkum, Frisia in 754. “Let us trust in Him who has placed this burden upon us. What we ourselves cannot bear let us bear with the help of Christ. For He is all-powerful, and He tells us: 'My yoke is easy, and my burden light.'”
Like the widow in today’s Gospel, we too are called to unabashedly place our trust in the same Jesus who not only gave us his all on the cross, but who continues to give us all the blessings we receive on a regular basis.
So on this First Saturday in which we reflect upon the widow who showed us what true charity and faith looked like, let us also give thanks to Jesus, who did the same. He who by his cross and resurrection as well as the eternal gift of the Holy Eucharist, that which keeps us tethered to the heavens, fortified in grace, and true children of the Holy Spirit, seeks to encounter us and in turn strengthen us for the journey home to His Father’s House. For as the great Saint Padre Pio once said "Always remain close to the Catholic Church, because it alone can give you true peace, since it alone possesses Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the true Prince of Peace."
For more on the power of the 1st Saturday Devotion, please revisit my previous Hub on this topic https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/From-Thorns-to-Roses.
Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr, pray for us.
Anand from Pune, Maharashtra on June 07, 2021:
Really, nice article