7 Jan – Memorial for St. Raymond of Penyafort, priest
St. Raymond (1175-1275) was of Aragonian nobility. He was educated at the cathedral school in Barcelona, and became a philosophy teacher at the age of 20. He was a priest. He graduated from law school in Bologna, Italy, and joined the Dominicans in 1218. He was summoned to Rome in 1230 by Pope Gregory IX, and assigned to collect all official letters of the popes since 1150. Raymond gathered and published five volumes, and helped write Church law.
He was made Master General of the Dominicans in 1238. He reviewed the Order’s Rule, made sure everything was legally correct, then resigned his position in 1240 to dedicate himself to parish work. The pope wanted to make Raymond an archbishop, but he declined, instead returning to Spain and the parish work he loved. His compassion helped many people return to God through Reconciliation.
During his years in Rome, Raymond heard of the difficulties missionaries faced trying to reach non-Christians of Northern Africa and Spain. Raymond started a school to teach the language and culture of the people to be evangelized. With St. Thomas Aquinas, he wrote a booklet to explain the truths of faith in a way non-believers could understand. His great influence on Church law led to his patronage of lawyers.
- Patron Saint Index
1 Jn 5:14-21
He let his glory be seen…
I went for a retreat last November and one of the messages that stuck with me is that being able to pray is a gift from God. Getting to know God is a gift and a privilege He has given to us. Seeing how miraculously he works in our lives is also a gift. In today’s Gospel, Jesus performed the famous miracle of turning water into wine. What stood out to me this time was that Jesus ‘let his glory be seen’. It was his choice to let the people know that a miracle had happened.
There would probably have been other options of performing a miracle that may leave doubts if a miracle had indeed occurred. Maybe Jesus could have just had someone suddenly appear, bringing wine coincidentally. Maybe Jesus could have slowly had people fall a sleep before they started looking for more wine. Or maybe he could have made the celebration end abruptly by changing the weather, or have a wild animal suddenly appear. All these he could have made happen; which probably could have led to the celebrations being cut short, and hence, not needing more wine (which solves the problem). However, if any of these did occur, people may not attribute the miracle to the work of Jesus. They would probably acknowledge it as the work of God, but they may not connect that Jesus is God.
Not all of us have the awareness that every moment we have is a miraculous gift from God. But sometimes, for some events of our lives, God will make sure that we recognize He has his hands on the wheel. Let’s imagine that God is in the driver’s seat, and we are in the passenger seat. There are times when we’d try to take the wheel away from his hands, and I guess God just lets us. But there are times when God says he really needs to drive. Imagine going through the ever-twisting narrow mountainside road and only God has the skills to manoeuvre that. He needs to let us know that he really needs to take over or we’re doomed. Or maybe we can think of the time when we’d insist on our own way, but God says he wants to show us something. Or maybe when we’re just enjoying the view from the passenger seat and, all of a sudden, a more majestic view shows up. And you’d see God excited because he was able to surprise you.
Why does God make his miracles seen and known? The answer will be different for each of us because we all have a unique relationship with God. There is one thing I am sure of — God allows us to see His miracles so we can get to know Him more, love him more, and draw our happiness from him.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Lord, please help me see where the miracles are in my life.
Thanksgiving: Thank you God, for taking the wheel and performing miracles every time.