BY JACK RASLOWSKY | March 17, 2018
Today’s Readings

Christ’s truth has aroused me… If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God.
St. Patrick

In New York City, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. The hottest ticket in town is for the 8:30 AM mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Hundreds of thousands line Fifth Avenue to march, to cheer and to celebrate their faith, their saint, and their culture. (Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!)

Today’s Gospel acclamation reminds us: “Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield the harvest through perseverance.” Saint Patrick was such a man. He, like the guards in today’s Gospel, would say of Jesus, “never before has anyone spoken like this man.” On our Lenten journey we are asked to listen carefully to what this man says: To hear Jesus’s words and in prayer, reflection, and action, and to make his words ours. For Saint Patrick, listening to those words moved him, at risk to his health and safety, to spread the faith by word and deed with charity for all.  He proclaimed, “Christ’s truth has aroused me… If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God.”

[Giuseppe Milo via Flickr]

On this feast day where legends might crowd out truth, and secular culture appear to one-up faith, the life of St. Patrick, an immigrant to Ireland, invites us back to Jesus, a man who spoke like no other. Patrick persevered in living his life for God. May those we minister with—immigrants, the incarcerated, refugees, the mentally ill—persevere beyond all odds. They “keep the word with a generous heart.” May today serve as an invitation for us to do the same.

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