Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious

(I John 4:7-10; Mark 6:34-44)

“The one who loves much, does much,” the mother told her son. Reinforced by the mother’s example of unselfishness, the proverb echoed in the child’s mind throughout his life. Perhaps St. Elizabeth Ann Seton gave a similar lesson to her five children. She certainly practiced its wisdom. Her accomplishments are almost exhausting to name, much less to realize. St. Elizabeth founded a religious congregation, set Catholic education on firm footing by training teachers and writing textbooks, visited the sick, established orphanages, and wrote spiritual reflections.

The First Letter of John reminds us that love in action is not found naturally in humans but comes from God. The love of the Trinity overflows into creation and has reached its pinnacle in the Incarnation when God the Father’s only-begotten Son came to earth. The Son not only shows us how to help our neighbor but frees us from the glamor of evil. Now we can turn to God with gratitude and to our neighbor with love.