Friday, January 21, 2011

They Came to Him

January 21, 2011
Memorial of Saint Agnes, virgin and martyr

By Melanie Rigney
Now our high priest has obtained so much more excellent a ministry as he is mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)

Show us, Lord, your love; grant us your salvation. (Psalms 85:8)

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. (Mark 13:3)

Jesus, sometimes I am overwhelmed that I am among those You want. Thank You. Thank You.

Do you or did you ever despair of finding “the one,” the man or woman who would love you forever? Maybe you found that person at an early age and are celebrating your first, fifth, twenty-fifth, or fiftieth wedding anniversary. Or maybe you thought you found that person, only to have the relationship change, the love and commitment fade. Or maybe you’re wishing and hoping, planning and praying, even today, that he or she will appear in the next three weeks, because Valentine’s Day is a difficult day not to be romantically involved.

A slew of legends have grown up around Saint Agnes, whose feast day we celebrate today. All we really know about her is that she was young—twelve or so—when she was killed. Whether she actually was sent to a house of prostitution or protected her body with her beautiful long hair is lost to the mists of time. A slew of myths/rituals/superstitions also have grown up around her. Some believe that a young woman will see her future husband in a dream if on St. Agnes Eve she goes to bed without supper and sleeps with her hands under the pillow. Are the superstitions ever borne out? It depends on who you ask.

When it comes to searching out human love, we work on putting our best foot forward, at least in the beginning. When we’re trying to impress someone on a first date or before, we wear clothing we believe flatters us. We take special care with our grooming. We’re careful about what we say, keeping positive, at least attempting to take an interest in what the target of our affection is saying. The longer we’re with our beloved, however, the more our true selves come out. And, we hope, they’ll somehow still love us.

Agape—God’s love for us—is different. He wants us. We don’t have to wear red because it’s our color, or dye our hair. He’s out there, summoning us, offering salvation. What will your answer be? Will you come?

The Arlington Cursillo Communications Committee tomorrow will be working on a statement of work for a redesign of We ask for your prayers for thoughtful discernment… and your thoughts about how the site might better serve you. We will ask the community to complete a survey on this subject in the coming months, but any comments in the meantime may be directed to me at editorforyou(at)