Making God Our King

Memorial of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr

Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20; Luke 21:1-4

Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.  We are now in the last week of our church year. Our readings and today’s memorial of St. Catherine give us examples of the lengths to which people are willing to go when they make God their king.

In our first reading, Daniel and his companions risk the wrath of the King of Babylon.  They refuse to eat the food he provides for them from the royal table. They eat only vegetables and drink only water. God rewards them with excellent health, and in the days to come God will rescue them from a fiery furnace.

In our gospel reading, Jesus observes a poor widow who makes her offering at the Temple. She gives everything she has as a gift to God.

Today we remember Catherine of Alexandria. According to tradition, she was a brilliant young woman who lived in the fourth century. When she debated pagan scholars, her intelligence and eloquence confounded them. In the power of the Holy Spirit, she spoke with such power that she converted the wife of the Roman emperor and 200 of his soldiers. She was martyred for her witness to our faith.

We pray for the courage of Daniel and his companions, the generosity of the poor widow, and the fidelity of St. Catherine. –jc