How does each of us hope to be remembered after we have left this
earth? It is based in what we accomplished, where we succeeded,
who we were or the person we tried to be?
I couldn’t help pondering these questions as I looked at today’s
memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Though listed as religious
on the official church calendar, Elizabeth was the daughter of a
King Andrew II of Hungary, the wife of Landgrave (Count) Ludwig
of Thuringia (Germany), mother of three children, and eventually
a member of the Third Order of St. Francis after her husband died.
However, it was primarily how Elizabeth lived throughout her short
life of twenty four years that calls us to recognize her gift to
us in our daily lives. Elizabeth was a devote prayerful woman who
continuously cared and provided for the poor from her wealth, ministered
to the sick in a hospital she built, and lived the simple life of
St. Francis as best she could.
In today’s passage from Revelation, we are told, ‘blessed
are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is
written… ‘I know your works, your labor, and your endurance…and
(you) have not grown weary.’ But further on, ‘Realize
how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first.’
For me…this somewhat confusing message addresses our everyday
life. How often are we caught up with what needs to be done, deadlines
to meet, and preparations for what is next? In the midst of all
this coming and going, it is very easy to continue to push on ahead…not
taking time out to reflect (or pray) about the ‘how’
we are doing and/or discerning what is important to address or let
In the Gospel, the blind man has decided what is important…and
continues to shout, ‘Son of David, have pity on me’,
even though the crowd tries to silence him. As Jesus responds to
the man’s plea, “Jesus, please let me see”, the
blind man does receive sight, and gives glory to God.
This is a familiar story…and one of the many times that Jesus
responds to the needs of the people around him.
But instead of focusing on Jesus’ response, today I am drawn
to the blind man’s persistence and response. The man knew
that Jesus was near and had faith that Jesus could be with him,
perhaps heal him. And then, the blind man could see because of his
faith, he opened himself to Jesus.
Perhaps this is the message of the day. We must step back in our
lives in the midst of our busy-ness…opening ourselves to God’s
presence in prayer. It is then that we can be renewed in our passion,
in our call to be God’s presence to one another with the gifts
and talents that God has given us.
Elizabeth of Hungary certainly lived her life for and with others,
keeping God as her center in the midst of her privileged life…serving
others in a way that made God present to all she met. I pray that
I also may continue in my day to day works, with a passion that
recognizes God as my center and the spirit of my presence for and