Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Childlike Faith

Readings for Wednesday, July 14 - Memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha:
Isaiah 10:5-7, 13-16
Psalm 94:5-10, 14-15
Matthew 11:25-27

Today we celebrate the memorial of Blessed Kateri. She was the first native American to be beatified and stands as a beautiful witness of innocence and purity for each of us. She was born in 1656 and her parents died when she was just a young child. She was taken into the family of her aunt and uncle, who were very much against the Christian faith. For the longest time she desired to be a Christian. At the time, there were many Christian missionaries coming into the territory and she saw them living their faith out and wanted to be a Christian herself. As was the custom of her tribe, her uncle had chosen a man for her to marry and it was then that she told him of her desire to consecrate her virginity to the Lord. And it was after many years of pleading with him that she eventually was allowed to be baptized and enter into the Christian faith.

She was baptized in 1676 and was then ridiculed and cursed by many in the tribe, even her own family member because of her decision to embrace the Christian faith. She died just a few years later in 1680 at the age of 23. But in those few short years she gave us an incredible witness that embodied the words of the scriptures today. Psalm 94 and our response today speak of the Lord not abandoning His people and tells of those who were persecuted and yet persevered, trusting in the Lord. We know that she endured many trials and much persecution because of her faith in those few short years, and in all of that the Lord did not abandon her.

Also, she imitates this childlike faith that Jesus calls us to in the gospel. It is said that the last words on her lips were “Jesus, Mary, I love you.” What more childlike faith can there be when all that is left is the repetition of the names of Jesus and Mary and vow of her love for them. She needed no lengthy, wordy act of faith. Just those five words – Jesus, Mary, I love you. Let us pray that we might have that faith of Blessed Kateri, that we too might have that childlike faith and that everything we do would be a simple act of love for Our Lord.