January 21, 2011
Feast of St. Agnes, Martyr
I Cor. 1: 26-31
Matthew 13: 44-46
Both Saint Augustine and Saint Ambrose tell us that Saint Agnes was 12 years of age when she suffered Martyrdom on orders from the Emperor Diocletian at the beginning of the fourth century.
It is Saint Paul who provides us with a description of the qualities of one who would be a martyr:
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God, chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
(I Cor. 1: 26-31)
Saint Agnes may be associated with the image Jesus uses in today’s Gospel. She is the one who “finds a pearl of great price, sells all that (s) he has and buys it.”
This young martyr found Christ and was willing to give up her life to be united to Him. May you and I be willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary in order to remain faithful to Jesus and to the truths of the Gospel.
May the example and intercession of this young Roman martyr give us the courage to be faithful and courageous witnesses to our contemporaries who themselves are searching for that is true and good.