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A reading from the Letter of Saint James Jas 2:1-9

My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person with shabby clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please,” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom that he promised to those who love him? But you dishonored the poor. Are not the rich oppressing you? And do they themselves not haul you off to court? Is it not they who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you? However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.


You shall love your neighbor as yourself

It is hard to know what loving your neighbor as yourself means til you actually experience the situation. Just having recently read the book by Father Bonniwell on St Mary Castello, I would like to share a synopsis of this saint's life and how it affected me. It seems that many times we do not realize how harsh we can be to one another and how we maybe don't see it because we have never been there to experience it.

St Margaret was treated in the most harshest way by her parents. She was a hunchback, midget, blind, lame and ugly. Her parents considered her an embarrassment, an inconvenience and left her as discarded trash. Her name was Margaret of Metola (or Castello) (1287-1320). She was canonized on April 24, 2021. She is the Patroness of the Unwanted and the Disabled.

The parents were selfish, prideful and wealthy. It was this combination that made them heartless and led them to imprison their daughter for 14 years because they never accepted her. She would ruin their social status.

Hearing that there was a miracle worker close by, her parents took her there and demanded she pray for a miracle. They acted as if God owed them something. They were quite indignant when the miracle did not happen. So upset were they that they left St Margaret at the church praying and they went back to their castle.

The poor, the beggars and the homeless became her family. And was St Margaret bitter? No, she had such profound faith, love and trust in God that she endured cold weather, hunger, and abandonment, praying that she could become more like Christ. She loved her companions as God wanted her to love.

Have we been uncaring of someone's plight because we are too quick to judge? Are we too full of ourselves that we are more than disappointed when God does not answer our prayers? Do we treat our neighbor as we would like to be treated?

With Lent just a few weeks away, may we look inside our hearts, actually make an examination of conscience hourly when awake to see if the love we choose to be is actually God's love.

May I learn from St Margaret Castello on how to live.


Bonniwell, Rev. Fr. William R., The Life of Blessed Margaret of Castello. TAN Books. Kindle Edition.

God Bless You


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