'Tis the Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin, O.S.C. (1194-1253, of Assisi), foundress of the Poor Clares, formally the Order of Saint Clare: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link O.S.C.
Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Saint Clare was an Italian saint & one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi [4 October]. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, & wrote their Rule of Life, the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman.Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
At eighteen, she escaped one night from her father's home, was met on the road by friars bearing torches, & in the poor little chapel called the Portiuncula received a rough woolen habit, exchanged her jeweled belt for a common rope with knots in it, & sacrificed the long tresses to Francis's scissors. He placed her in a Benedictine convent, which her father & uncles immediately stormed in rage. She clung to the altar of the church, threw aside her veil to show her cropped hair & remained adamant. On her deathbed, Clare was heard to say to herself: "Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for He Who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, & loves you as a mother. Blessed be You, my God, for having created me."'Tis also the festival of Saint Alexander of Comana, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 251, A.K.A. "the Charcoal Burner"), martyred in the reign of the emperor Decius: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.
'Tis also the festival of Blessed John Sandys, Priest & Martyr (circa 1552-1586), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link LXXXV.
Scripture of the Day
The Book of Deuteronomy, chapter four, verses thirty-two thru forty;
Psalm Seventy-seven, verses twelve & thirteen, fourteen & fifteen, & sixteen & twenty-one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter sixteen, verses twenty-four thru twenty-eight.
Commentary: Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel for today Jesus outlines the cost of becoming his disciple: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." We have a very antiseptic view of the cross, for we have seen it for so long as a religious symbol.Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Clare
But for the first nine centuries or so of the Christian dispensation, artists didn't depict the cross, for it was just too brutal. Say what you want about the violence in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, it probably came as close as any work of art to showing the reality of a Roman crucifixion.
But here's the point: we are meant to see on that cross, not simply a violent display, but rather our own ugliness. What brought Jesus to the cross? Stupidity, anger, mistrust, institutional injustice, betrayal of a friend, denial, unspeakable cruelty, scapegoating, and fear. In other words, all of our dysfunction is revealed on that cross. In the light of the cross, no one can say the popular philosophy of our times, "I'm okay and you're okay." This is why we speak of the cross as God's judgment on the world.
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter three, verse eight thru fourteen;
Psalm Sixteen, verse five(a);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nineteen, verses twenty-seven, twenty-eight, & twenty-nine.
Mass Readings—Requiem for Mike Mike
The Book of Proverbs, chapter thirty-one, verses ten thru thirty-one;
The First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter four, verses thirteen thru eighteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses twenty-four thru twenty-eight.