January 23, 2013
St. Marianne Cope, O.S.F.
Mark 3: 1-6
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Today the Church for the first time celebrates the feast of St. Marianne Cope (1838-1918).She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 20, 2012 in Rome. Barbara Koob was born in Germany in 1838 and shortly afterwards came with her family to New York. At age 24 she entered the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse NY and took the name of Sr. Marianne at her first vows.
After serving in New York as both teacher and principal, she helped establish the first two Catholic hospitals in the United States. In 1883 she went to Honolulu where she helped those suffering from leprosy. After coming to know St. Damien de Veuster, she moved to Molokai in 1888 and assisted Fr. Damien as he himself suffered from the disease. She continued to work with the Molokai leper community after Fr. Damien’s death. Sr. Marianne died in August 1918 and was beatified in 2005. Her healing ministry continues through the medical centers she helped set up in both New York and Hawaii.
In today’s gospel, Jesus invites the man with the shriveled limb to “stretch out your hand.” Jesus strengthens each of us today in Sr. Marianne’s good spirit to use our energy and faith in service to all those we meet.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, we come to you seeking the healing of our body and soul. Our spirits need renewal; our relationships need strengthening, and our health needs your attention. Lord, we have a sacred lesson to learn from the man with the withered hand. It was his willingness to reach out that opened the possibility of his cure. Lord, please give us the grace to reach out to you, to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and to receive your healing.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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