St. Patrick, the Irish, and the Faith

StA St Patrick window
St. Patrick window in St. Andrew’s transcept

The Kingdom of God will be given to a people that will produce its fruit. (Matthew 21:43)

A people that will produce the fruit of the Kingdom of God. Maybe the Lord referred here to the sons and daughters of Ireland.  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.

newly renovated St. Patrick’s in New York

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 they renovated St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York–God established this covenant of faith.  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.

And the faith has spread from Ireland to the four corners of the earth. It’s no fluke that we have a large stained-glass window of St. Patrick in our church. If Irish men and women hadn’t come to Roanoke in the late nineteenth century, we wouldn’t have a St. Andrew’s.

We can rest assured that St. Patrick takes a great interest in helping us get to heaven, one day at a time. Today he himself died, 1,524 years ago. St. Patrick is more interested in helping us get to heaven than he is in turning anyone’s beer green. I guess he is mildly interested in helping the Notre Dame basketball team. His help got them past Princeton yesterday. We’ll see how interested St. Patrick is tomorrow, against West Virginia.

Anyway: faith. St. Patrick lived and died for the Christian faith. Let’s live that faith patiently and lovingly, in his honor. We never got a dispensation from Bishop DiLorenzo, so we have to live our faith today by abstaining from corned beef, and sticking to tomato soup with soda bread instead. Praised be the Lord!

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