Feast of St Albert of Trapani, Carmelite Priest
Albert was born in Trapani, Sicily, in the 1240s. He joined the Carmelite Order and was ordained priest, becoming Provincial in Sicily in 1296. Due to his piety and holiness many came to hear him preach and to be cured of their illnesses. He took part in missionary journeys. During the Siege of Messina in 1301 the authorities asked Albert and his companions to pray for an end to the siege. The story is told that as Albert finished Mass some ships ran the blockade with food for the people and soon after the siege was lifted. He died at Messina in 1306/1307
Isaiah 58:6-12; Psalm 1; 2Corinthians 4:1-6; Mark 10:17-30
Our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah exhorts us to live a life of integrity and to be a light that leads people out of darkness towards the light of Jesus Christ. The text speaks very much about the life of Albert of Trapani for he did give his bread to the hungry, he did clothe the poor, he was a man of great integrity and the people came to him to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ from his lips.
The second reading from St Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians reminds us to be faithful to Jesus Christ and to the full message which he preached: we are not to shy away from proclaiming ourselves to be his disciples and we are not to water down the message to make it acceptable to those who are unhappy with parts of it. Albert fulfilled the second reading by preaching about Jesus Christ throughout his life.
The gospel from St Mark sees a rich young man asking Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life and Jesus tells him that he must keep the commandments, give to the poor from his abundant wealth, and follow him. The young man was able do two of the three but, for eternal life, all three are required. This is a reminder that there are obstacles which we place between ourselves and God and which we must overcome if we are to be his true disciples. Albert is an example for us for he was able to live out all three showing that it is possible.