This St. Patrick’s Day, let us contemplate his words, “The Lord is greater than all – I have said enough”
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Patrick (March 17, 2021): 1 PT 4:7-11; PS 96:1-2,3,7-8,10; LK 5:1-11
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In his preaching, Patrick is believed to have used the common shamrock to illustrate the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.
On this day commemorating the life of St. Patrick, let us thank God for the countless men and women through the centuries who have spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Many of them were Irish – spiritual sons and daughters of the renowned missionary who brought the Christian faith to the people of Ireland in the 5th century. Patrick himself was born in Britain. As a youth, pirates kidnapped him and took him to Ireland where he spent several years as a slave. He tended sheep and, in his solitude and misery, his heart was turned to God. Finally escaping, he resolved to become a priest. After a number of years of study in France, Patrick was ordained and later made a bishop. He returned to Ireland and set about his task of converting the people who practiced the Druid religion. In his preaching, Patrick is believed to have used the common shamrock to illustrate the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. Over the years, he converted great numbers of people, ordained priests, and started churches and monasteries. At the request of Pope St. Leo the Great, he also established several dioceses on the island. After several decades of hard work, this brave and unassuming man died, probably in AD 461.
St. Patrick, like many missionaries before and after him, would have identified with Simon Peter who was keenly aware of his own sinfulness. However, the simple fisherman put God’s will first in accepting the commission to share the word of God, no matter the cost. “Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.’ When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Him” (Luke 5:10-11). St. Patrick expressed his own profound trust in God and deep personal humility when he said, “I have a Creator who knew all things, even before they were made – even me, His poor little child.
Suggested missionary action: Let us pray to St. Patrick to look after the Church’s missions and missionaries. Let us ask him to assist the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies around the world today and every day.
Give with heart this Lent. Put resources in the hands of missionaries in the Pope’s missions who are serving the poor and battling COVID-19.