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The Praise of the Father
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin
At that time Jesus said in reply, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, reveal yourself to me that I may know you more deeply, love you more profoundly, and follow you more faithfully.
- The Power of Testimony: Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. She was a Mohawk laywoman who converted and later joined a Jesuit mission, taking a vow of chastity around the age of twenty-two. Even before her conversion she had refused to marry. After her conversion she is said to have expressed her decision to “marry Jesus” and “be his wife.” She is remembered for her purity as a virgin whose heart was given to the Lord. How was her gift of self possible, if not for the missionaries who risked their lives among the native peoples for the sake of converting them to the Christian faith? The Lord revealed himself to this young woman in and through the testimony of a few brave missionaries.
- The Pure of Heart: The purity of heart of Kateri reflects a childlike openness to the Lord. Through her desire to please the Lord she also discovered his desire to make her his own through a spiritual espousal. Her name, Kateri, is Mohawk for Catherine, after Catherine of Siena. Catherine is another great saint, who in her childhood, received a vision and calling from the Lord to dedicate herself to him in a spousal relationship. While we may not be called to such a life, we are called to be pure of heart according to our state of life. As Jesus said on the Mount of the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure, for they shall see God.” The pure of heart are simple. They know “the one thing necessary” for their life: Jesus Christ.
- Reveal Yourself: To become a saint may seem like a childish ideal. But we are never too “grown-up” to learn from them. Their openness to who Jesus was and his invitation, reminds us that we are called to be childlike of heart. Through simplicity and single-mindedness we recall who we are: children of a heavenly Father. Living according to this identity sets us free to be more fully who we are called to be. Let us ask Jesus to reveal himself to us and reveal the Father to us, so we may be more solidly rooted in our true identity as God’s beloved children.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, reveal yourself to me that I may know you and the Father. Help me to live solely focused on who you are to me, so that I may live according to my identity as a beloved child of God.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace, in the complexities of life, I will recall the simple truth of who I am and who is God.
For Further Reflection: Who Do You Think God Is? Ken Yasinski.
Written by Jennifer Ristine.