St. Patrick always put the spiritual welfare of others before his own comfort and safety
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Patrick (March 17, 2020): DN 3:25,34-43; PS 25:4-5,6-7,8-9; MT 18:21-35
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Let us imitate St. Patrick in joyfully revealing the love of the Lord to all we meet.
St. Patrick is likely one of the best known of all missionary saints. Born in Britain in the late 4th century, Patrick was the son of a deacon. He was kidnapped by Irish pirates in his youth and spent several years as a slave. While Patrick was tending sheep, he became more and more devoted to his Christian faith and pursued an active prayer life. He eventually escaped to France and studied for the priesthood. His greatest desire was to return to Ireland as a missionary. After becoming a Bishop, Patrick was able to fulfill this longing. Although he faced many difficulties and privations, he succeeded in spreading the faith throughout the island. St. Patrick died in the year 461. In the centuries that followed, Irish missionaries traveled the world sharing the Good News just as Patrick had done.
In the Gospel for today, we witness an important conversation between Jesus and Peter who asked Him, “‘Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times’” (Matthew 18:21-22). Instead of feeling anger and hatred toward the people who had captured and enslaved him, Patrick wanted to offer them the gift of salvation. Through the mercy and guidance of God, he touched the hearts of the Irish people then and now. We need to remember that we have chances each day to express our belief in Christ. Let us imitate St. Patrick in joyfully revealing the love of the Lord to all we meet.