Pastor's Articles

The Pastor of Saint Agnes writes a weekly bulletin article.  They are reposted here.

The Tales of Three Virgin Martyrs

Fr. Edlefsen's Sunday Column
January 17, 2020

The Tales of Three Virgin Martyrs

In Honor of St. Agnes

On Virgins by Saint Ambrose, Bishop

Too young to be punished, yet old enough for a martyr's crown.

Today is the birthday of a virgin; let us imitate her purity. It is the birthday of a martyr; let us offer ourselves in sacrifice. It is the birthday of Saint Agnes, who is said to have suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve. The cruelty that did not spare her youth shows all the more clearly the power of faith in finding one so young to bear it witness.

There was little or no room in that small body for a wound. Though she could scarcely receive the blow, she could rise superior to it. Girls of her age cannot bear even their parents’ frowns and, pricked by a needle, weep as for a serious wound. Yet she shows no fear of the blood-stained hands of her executioners. She stands undaunted by heavy, clanking chains. She offers her whole body to be put to the sword by fierce soldiers....Read more

The Baptism of Christ: Making the Waters Holy

Fr. Edlefsen's Sunday Column
January 9, 2020

In the beginning, the “spirit hovered over the waters” (Genesis 1:2). But Creation “fell” with Adam and Eve. Water lost its innate power to sanctify. But the restoration of water – as means of restoring mankind through Baptism – was foreshadowed in the Law of Moses. For example, Levites – sons of Aaron – were to be washed in water before being consecrated priests (Leviticus 8:6). And they were to be bathed in water before entering the Tent of Meeting and before offering sacrifices. “Whenever they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting a food offering to the LORD...” (Exodus 30:20). The prophet Ezekiel saw water flowing from the Temple – foreshadowing the Holy Spirit being sent to us from the Father after Christ’s resurrection. “Then he brought me back to the entrance of the Temple, and there I saw water flowing out from under the Temple’s threshold toward the east, for the front of the Temple faced east. The water flowed out toward the right side of the Temple to the south of the altar” (Ezekiel 47:1). Christ’s baptism makes...Read more

Three Epiphanies

Fr. Edlefsen's Sunday Column
January 3, 2020

Epiphany #1 – The Magi Visit Jesus

A Word from Pope Saint Leo the Great

(5th century)

The loving providence of God determined that in the last days he would aid the world, set on its course to destruction. He decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ. A promise had been made to the holy patriarch Abraham in regard to these nations. He was to have countless progeny, born not from his body but from the seed of faith. His descendants are therefore compared with the array of the stars. The father of all nations was to hope not in an earthly progeny but in a progeny from above.

Let the full number of the nations now take their place in the family of the patriarchs. Let the children of the promise now receive the blessing in the seed of Abraham, the blessing renounced by the children of his flesh. In the persons of the Magi let all people adore the Creator of the universe; let God be known, not in Judaea only, but in the whole world, so that his name may be great in...Read more

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