Homily for the Memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha
I found this first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah to be really beautiful because it speaks to the reality of our souls. As Catholics, we hear this so often, but it something that is so important for us that it bears repeating time and again.
All of us are made in the image and likeness of God and, because of that, there is a desire on each of our hearts and our souls for God. Our souls yearn for communion with Him. The desire for God is written in the human heart because we have been created by God and for God. And, just as this reading reminds us, God never stops drawing us to Himself. It is only in God that we will find the truth and happiness that we long for. We are not complete unless that desire for Him is being fulfilled.
And yet, most of the time, we look to fill that void within us with things that can never satisfy, things that will never be able to fulfill us. We look for peace, we look for satisfaction, we look for happiness, we look for joy in things that will never truly be able to provide those things.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the saint whose feast day we celebrate today, knew that well. At a young age, she had been introduced to the faith of the Church from Jesuit missionaries. Because of their witness, Kateri encountered the Lord in and through the faith of the Church and was brought to a moment where she decided to dedicate her entire life to the Lord.
Kateri lived a life of virtue while many within her tribe engaged in a way of life that was far from virtue. She didn’t let that stop her from following the Lord. Kateri was extremely devoted to the Lord in the Eucharist and would wait hours outside of the chapel in her tribe for Mass and remained there until the last Mass. When Kateri died, devotion to her within her tribe began to immediately be expressed and many were converted to Catholicism as a result. She continues to be an example for the faithful today.
For each of us she is a witness, she is an example that we should follow. This morning, may we embrace that same life of virtue that St. Kateri demonstrated. May we also ask the Lord for an increase in grace so that we can never stop responding to that desire on our hearts for communion with Him. God is drawing us to Himself. Let’s respond to that invitation today with faith and with trust.
 Catechism of the Catholic Church, art. 27.
Photo: St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Santa Fe, NM, in the courtyard approaching the entrance to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Milomingo on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)