Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
The gods have come down to us in human form. (Acts 14:11)
Acts 14:5-18;Psalm 115:1-4, 15-16; John 14:21-26
One of the Church’s most popular saints is St. Anthony of Padua (1195–1231), known for his powerful preaching and miracles. He was so beloved by the people of Padua that when he died, they tried to break into the convent to see his remains. They even destroyed a bridge that had been erected to help take his body away! When Anthony was finally laid to rest, miracles happened immediately. The healings were so dramatic that he was canonized less than a year after his death.
The excessive devotion given to Anthony after his death is similar to the adulation shown to Paul in today’s first reading. If they could have, the people of Lystra would have worshipped Paul for healing a man who couldn’t walk. But Paul tried to steer them away from idolatry. He was a normal human being just like them!
As much as we admire Paul or Anthony, one of the bigger dangers we face is the temptation to put the saints on too high of a pedestal. We may start believing we could never become saints ourselves! But that’s just not true. God created us with the capacity to “share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light” (Colossians 1:12). He designed us with the ability to show forth the glory of God and to be examples of holiness to those around us. You read that right: God has given you exactly the same power that Paul, Anthony, and all the saints had—the power of the resurrection.
How we use that power, of course, may be different for each of us. If you’re at your job today, you can make your work shine—that is, bring it to a level of excellence that shows who you’re really working for. If you are taking care of children, you can be the light that leads them to love God more. If you’re ministering to the sick, you can pray for them, and even pray with them for healing. It’s a simple fact: the more you are open to the fact that God can work through you—yes, you—the more he can use you!
“Lord, I want to be a saint. I want to use the gifts you have given me to the fullest extent possible. Come and let your light shine in me!” ~WAU