Saturday, February 14, 2009
Valentine's Day & Sts. Cyril and Methodius
I need to say something about the Saints that we celebrate today, but it is also Valentine's day. Cyril and Methodius were born in 9th century Greece. They became missionaries after teaching and holding government positions.They went to what is now Ukraine and then to Moravia. Cyril devised an alphabet to make the liturgy and scriptures available in the Slavonic language. Cyril died on a trip to Rome but Methodius was consecrated a biship and returned to Moravia. Both were declared patrons of Europe by Pope John Paul II in 1980.
I would have loved to have sent more valentines this year as it is a way of showing others that you do care for them and it is always good to feel loved! I arrived in Chile on February 14, 1960 and thought that God sent me as a valentine to show his love to others.
In the Gospel today when Jesus saw the crowd that had followed him had hunger as they had been with him for three days, he said to his disciples: "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance."
Jesus himself tells us that his heart is moved with pity; it is a heart that is full of love and compassion for others. When the disciples say that no one can get bread enough to satisfy them in that deserted spot, Jesus still asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They told him they had seven so he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, "taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute... They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. They ate and were satisfied."
Mark tells us that there were about four thousand people and there were seven baskets of fragments left over!! Then Jesus dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples. He moves on to another region.
These is the second miraculous feeding and the very words describing the actions of Jesus, He gave thanks, broke, gave the bread remind us of the way Jesus feeds us in the Eucharist. His Heart is still moved with compassion and he wants to nourish us to give us strength for the journey.