In the first reading at Holy Mass today, we hear the Lord promise our father in faith that He would make Abraham “exceedingly fertile.”
“Exceedingly fertile.” When the Lord said that phrase, He could have been referring to the beautiful, fertile sod of the Emerald Isle. Or to the sons and daughters of Ireland themselves, who have peopled the ends of the earth with Guiness-drinking U2 fans.
St. Patrick’s Day is not a bad day to spend watching four or five college basketball games in a row. But, of course, the best thing is to consecrate ourselves anew in our alliance with God–which is what we do when we celebrate Holy Mass.
The triune God made an irrevocable covenant with the sons and daughters of Abraham, based on one simple thing: Abraham’s pure faith. Before Moses, and way before the potato famine, God established this covenant. Abraham, full of faith, awaited the Messiah. And he rejoiced when the Christ finally came. St. Patrick expressed the pure faith of Abraham and the mystery of Christ with an eloquence that made Ireland a fertile ground for Christianity.
Let’s call to mind one particular sign of the covenant today. Some people over-indulge and take risks they shouldn’t take on March 17. So let’s remember this:
The covenant between God and the human race has many signs in this world. Like the way God sends apostles to the four corners of the earth. Or the way He keeps the sun shining and the fields moist.
But one of the most beautiful signs of the covenant between God and man is this: Fidelity in marriage.
If we want to raise a glass to keep St. Patrick’s day, let’s raise it in honor of faithful spouses. God is faithful, and when husbands and wives stay faithful, they give us all a beautiful sign of God’s love.