Thursday, February 1, 2007


Notes for a homily

February 1

1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Matthew 6:25-33, Psalm 138 or Psalm 1

Everliving God, we rejoice today in the fellowship of your blessed servant
Brigid, and give you thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with
life and light, and give us perseverance to serve you all our days; through
Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This is the feast of Brigid, abbess of Kildare, patroness [matron saint] of
Ireland, of poets and healers [liaigh, leech], dairymaids and blacksmiths. She
was of humble, or noble, birth. Baptised by Patrick, she founded the first Irish
religious community for women. It was a double monastery, with men too. As
abbess her authority was extraordinary, and not confined by Episcopal orders.

Baptised, as missionaries in the Roman Empire had done, was the local custom of
holding February 1st as a festival: sacred fire, god of spring, or of valor,
poetry, draftsmanship.

A compassionate healer, Brigid was generous to a fault (cf. poem "The Giveaway" by Phyllis Mcginley, 1957).

Providence, faith (Matthew 6:32-33)

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