Saturday 5 August 2017
Dedication of St Mary Major.
Leviticus 25:1, 8-17. Psalm 66(67):2-3, 5, 7-8. Matthew 14:1-12.
O God, let all the nations praise you! — Psalm 66(67):2-3, 5, 7-8.
In the week approaching the feast of St Mary MacKillop, we look at the life of Australia’s first saint through the lens of the daily Gospel stories. As you contemplate the daily Gospel reading, reflect on Mary’s story, and consider how your own faith journey can be enriched by her example.
‘This is John the Baptist himself: he has risen from the dead.’
It takes a lot of courage to speak truth to power, as John the Baptist did. He paid for that with his life.
While working with other Sisters in Adelaide, Mary MacKillop heard disturbing stories about a priest who was allegedly abusing children. She went public, telling Fr Tennison Woods, who reported this to the Vicar General. The priest was sent to Ireland, where he continued to work. Another priest swore vengeance and worked on Bishop Shiel to destroy the Josephites.
When Mary would not change central government, she was excommunicated. She and 51 other sisters were turned out on the streets with no money and nowhere to go. Mary supported and encouraged the sisters in exile. The Jesuits supported her.
Jesus, help me to trust you, whatever happens.