FROM THE 1ST READING: Heb 9:11 - 14
But now Christ has appeared as the high priest with regard to the good things of these new times. He passed through a sanctuary more noble and perfect, not made by hands that is, not created. He did not take upon himself the blood of goats and bulls but his own blood, when he entered once and for all into this sanctuary after obtaining definitive redemption.
If the sprinkling of people defiled by sin with the blood of goats and bulls or with the ashes of a heifer provides them with exterior cleanness and holiness, how much more will it be with the blood of Christ? He, moved by the Holy Spirit, offered himself as an unblemished victim to God and his blood cleanses us from dead works, so that we may serve the living God.GOSPEL READING: Mk 3: 20- 21
They went home. The crowd began to gather again and they could not even have a meal. Knowing what was happening his relatives came to take charge of him: "He is out of his mind," they said.
Today is the Memorial of St. Agnes of Rome, Virgin and Martyr. She is the Patron Saint of young girls, chastity, rape survivors and of the Children of Mary. Born in AD 291, she was beheaded when she was about twelve or thirteen (AD 304). Her life was simple and pure made complicated and tragic by lust and envy. A lovely young girl, she was coveted by various men. What really happened is not clear, except that she was beheaded presumably because she refused marriage. She loved Jesus and, dedicated to him in heart, mind and soul, for her Jesus was her sole spouse. She was so happy professing her love for Jesus Christ.
Can we imagine the situation in which St. Agnes was and how she was willing to give up her life rather than give up her sole dedication and love for our Lord? How much do we love our Lord and to what extent are we able or willing to show and prove that we love him?
In the first reading from the letter to the Hebrews, we are reminded how Jesus Christ, our eternal High Priest so loved us that he gave up his life for us and our salvation, "He, moved by the Holy Spirit, offered himself as an unblemished victim to God and his blood cleanses us from dead works, so that we may serve the living God."
Such was the love with which St. Agnes loved our Lord. In some way may we learn from the life and death of St. Agnes how to live true love.