The Sandwich Saint

Therefore, whoever breaks one of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.

These are the concluding words of our Gospel for today’s Mass. They are a sober reminder from Our Lord of our opportunity and responsibility to pass on Jesus’ teachings clearly and fully. Which leads me to our discussion for today.

If you were to ask most Catholics whose feast day falls on March 17th, they would answer St. Patrick – all Irish would!

If you were to ask most Catholics whose feast day falls on March 19th, they would hopefully answer St. Joseph – any Italian would!

But, how about March 18th?

Few people are quick to answer. St. Cyril of Jerusalem has the distinct honor of being sandwiched between two well-known saints. And yet, he should not be overlooked as he lived the Faith in a tumultuous time – the 300s.

Cyril was a priest and bishop who was exiled three times from his diocese. (He most likely offered Mass a good many times by himself.) Why? He taught fearlessly the truth of Jesus Christ and His Church. In particular, he clashed with many secular leaders and other bishops over a key doctrine of our Faith: Jesus is true God and true man. His writings are still with us today. He is a reminder that the teachings of our Catholic Faith were not invented in the middle ages. They have always been held by the Church that Jesus founded and to which He gave the Fullness of the Truth.

Perhaps, some of us may have a little more time on our hands these days. Could we take a lesson from Cyril and read or listen a bit on the truths and teachings of our Faith?

God bless