Friday of the 18th week in ordinary time year A

Deut.4:32-40            Mat.16:24-28

Theme: Holiness of life

The church celebrates the memorial of St. Clare today, a virgin, religious and a foundress of a female religious order, known as “The order of poor ladies”. After her death, the order changed its name to the order of St. Clare, to honour her. She lived an austere life, and this reflected in all that she did in her daily life. Today as we celebrate her memorial, it is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves about the need for us to embrace purity and holiness of life, just like St. Clare did. She was an upright and devoted Christian, and she was also very prayerful.

There is this popular story about St. Clare. When Frederick 11 sent soldiers to attack Assisi. Clare courageously went out to meet the soldiers that came to attack them, holding the blessed sacrament in her hand. She placed the Blessed Sacrament where they can see it and went on her knees to pray for Gods protection for the sisters. We are told that a voice seems to answer her prayer and said, “I will keep them always in my care”, the attackers were struck with freight, and they fled, and the sisters were saved. This is what our faith can do for us in times of difficulty and the challenges of life. It is important to point out the fact that what worked of saint Clare in this situation was both her faith and good works. A combination of both is what we need in our lives as children of God.

The lifestyle of St. Clare will be more meaningful to us when we reflect on the gospel reading of today. Jesus said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”. This is exactly what St. Clare did during her lifetime, and we are all encouraged today to emulate her way of life, by striving to live a life of purity and holiness. If we can live our lives conscious of this fact, it will go a long way towards guiding our word and actions. Never think it is too difficult and you cannot achieve it in your life, trust in God and in his grace. Remember the saying that “with God everything is possible”. The most important thing is our resolve to do our best, trusting on God’s grace. May almighty God bless his words in our hearts in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Memorial of St. Clare year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp