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Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, R. (21st June, 2016) on the Gospel and the memorial

 

2Kg 19:9-11.14-21.31-36;
Ps 47:2-4.10-11. (R. cf. v.9);
Matt 7:6.12-14.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (March 9, 1568 – June 21, 1591) was an Italian aristocrat who became a member of the Society of Jesus after a four-year contest with his father who wanted him to be a military hero. While caring for the victims of an epidemic that struck Rome in 1591, he caught the disease and died a student. He was beatified on October 19, 1605, by Pope Paul V and canonized on December 31, 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII, all in Rome. He is the patron Saint of young students, Christian youth, Jesuit scholastics, the blind, AIDS patients, and AIDS care-givers.

Topic: Standards upon standards.

Today’s gospel consists of teachings on what is holy (Matt 7:6), the golden rule (Matt 7:12), and the narrow gate (Matt 7:13-14). Our reflection will focus mainly on the golden rule. It reads: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (cf. Tob 4:15).

Irrespective of colours, tribes, qualifications, status, and so on, we all have the same father and one God, cf. Mal 2:10; Matt 23:9. Saint Paul rightly advised, “Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven” (Col 4:1). Again, “Do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as to a father, to young men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters – with absolute purity” (1Tim 5:1-2).

However, starting from the family, often one notices different standards even for children born of the same father and mother. While wealthy ones are treated as princes and princesses, others who might even be older are treated as outcasts. The case of maids is even worse. Sometimes one wonders whether they are really seen as human beings. As one moves from the nuclear families to the wider society and sadly in some churches, the problem becomes more complicated. Examples can go on and on.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga is a good example for all. He nursed, washed and made the beds of patients. We are to be good to others irrespective of status, colour, race, and so on.

Bible Reading: Col 3:18 – 4:1; 1Tim 5:1-21.

Thought for today: Reflect on how you treat others starting from your family.

Let us pray: Lord, help us to be humble enough to see others as better human beings than ourselves – Amen (cf. Phil 2:3).

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga – Pray for us.

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