Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Jerome, P.D. (30th September, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Job 38:1.12-21;40:3-5;Ps 138:1-3.7-10.13-14. (R. v.24);
Saint Jerome (c. 347 – 30th September 420) was a presbyter, confessor, theologian and historian. He was born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. Jerome is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospels. He was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centres such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention to the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. He is recognised as a Saint and Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion.
Topic: God’s goodness.
Jesus used very strong words against Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum because they did not repent after miracles performed in them. He warned, “But at the judgement it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for” Chorazin, and Bethsaida. Again, that Capernaum “will be brought down to Hades.”
It is easier for us to condemn these cities for their unrepentant spirit. However, the Psalm reads, “the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations” (Ps 100:5). Unequivocally, the Psalmist testified that God has blessed us, cf. Ps 67:6, 7. Saint Paul also testified that God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing...” (Eph 1:3).
Repentance is not something abstract. It can be seen and felt. Hence, John the Baptist said to the crowds, “Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’” (Lk 3:8). And for Saint James, faith apart from works is dead, cf. Jas 2:17.
We have seen miracles of which our life is the chief. But just like the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, many have not repented. Saint Jerome did not only respond to God’s goodness but most importantly bore fruits that we still enjoy today. We must remember always that God’s goodness demands positive response from us, the recipients.
Bible Reading: Ps 67:1-7; Eph 1:3-14.
Thought for today: Responding to His goodness.
Let us pray: Lord, help us live lives of testimony to your goodness – Amen.
Saint Jerome – Pray for us.
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