Elizabeth of Hungary, Princess of Thuringia, Philanthropist, 1231
Text for the Reflection
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!
Today we are commemorating Elizabeth of Hungary and I know one of the Anglican parishes in Belvedere, Harare named after her, and numerous hospitals in the world are also named after her. What are we remembering her for? She was concerned for the relief of the poor and the sick, and with her husband’s consent, she used her dowry money for their relief. During a famine and epidemic in 1226, while her husband was away in Italy, she sold her jewels and established a hospital where she nursed the sick, and opened the royal granaries to feed the hungry. After her husband’s death in 1227, her inlaws, who opposed her “extravagances,” expelled her from Wartburg. Finally, an arrangement was negotiated with them that gave her a stipend. She became a Franciscan tertiary (lay associate) and devoted the remainder of her life to nursing and charity. She sewed garments to clothe the poor and went fishing to feed them. Today´s text continues from yesterday´s story of the cost of discipleship. We ended our reflection when Jesus told his disciples that they should cross over to the other side of the lake. Today they are now in the middle of the sea and Jesus is asleep. He is probably tired after a long busy day. As humans resting is not an option or luxury but a necessity. We are not machines hence we need to rest to maintain good health. While resting a disaster was looming; the boat was now being tossed by waves and they were in danger of sinking. In normal life, they are times when we encounter waves not because we are not faithful but because that is part of life. The good thing is that they cried to Jesus at the right time. Though they had fear, they knew that Jesus could help them from the storm. The lesson for today is that whenever we encountered storms in life we should cry to God who is in control of everything.
Let Us Pray
Almighty God, by whose grace your servant Elizabeth of Hungary Recognized and honoured Jesus in the poor of this world: Grant that we, following her example, may with love and gladness serve those in any need or trouble, in the name and for the sake of through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.