Friday, January 4, 2013

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious

(I John 3:7-10; John 1:35-42)

“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 carry out. St. Elizabeth founded a religious congregation, set Catholic education on firm footing, visited the sick, established orphanages, and wrote spiritual reflections.

The First Letter of John reminds us that such love in action is not found naturally in humans but comes from God. The love of the Trinity overflows into creation and reaches its pinnacle in the Incarnation. There God the Father’s only-begotten Son comes to shows humans how to love one another. In the gospel Jesus invites two of John’s disciples to “come and…see.” Taking up the offer, they no doubt saw how Jesus enables us to love everyone, including themselves.