NOTE: This mass was celebrated at the beginning of a day of recollection for the faculty of St. Mary's School that focused on the importance of the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was part of Bishop LaValley's Eucharistic Initiative in the Diocese of Ogdensburg.
The Gospel tells us about a band of women who accompanied Jesus and the twelve apostles. This was a diverse group of women who served Jesus out of their own resources.
We know that Mary Magdalene had lived a very troubled life before Jesus freed her from seven demons. She was privileged to be the first to see Jesus as the risen Lord.
Joanna, who was the wife of King Herod's chief financial officer, was a wealthy lady of the court.
It's unlikely that these two would have ever met under other circumstances. What brought them together and united them in a bond of friendship, service, and loyalty to Jesus?
It was Jesus and his message of the kingdom of God that had transformed these women. Jesus had touched them so deeply that they were grateful to do anything for him. They brought their gifts and resources to Jesus to use as he saw fit.
Are you ready to serve the Lord Jesus and to support the work of the Gospel with your personal resources?
Our privilege as children of God and disciples of Jesus is to serve with humility, selfless love, generosity, joy, and a willingness to do whatever God asks of us.
God, in turn, gives us every good gift and grace we need to carry out our task and mission. God chooses to entrust his work through each one of us. His Holy Spirit equips us with all that we need to love and serve others.
A great example of this is the saint we celebrate today. St. Hildegard was a powerhouse in the medieval church. She is known today as a great mystic, scientist, musician, theologian, and philosopher. She used everything God gave her, including her gifts, talents and intellect, to spread the gospel in her time.
The Eucharist which we are devoting a day to reflect on and which we will be receiving in a few moments empowers us to do this work.
Just like the way Jesus brought these women from different backgrounds together to assist him in his ministry Jesus has brought all of us together through the celebration of the Eucharist to assist him in his ministry today!
And by receiving the Body of Christ we take on his Body (his hands, his feet, his heart, his voice) so that our world can know the power and love of Jesus today!
Lord Jesus, set my heart on fire for you that I may give freely of the gifts, talents, and resources you give me, for your sake and for the work of the Gospel.