Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Ávila, V.D., (15th October, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Eph 1:15-23;Ps 8:2-7. (R. cf. v. 7);
Saint Teresa of Ávila (28th March, 1515 - 4th October, 1582) was born in Ávila, Spain. As a teenager, she cared only about boys, clothes, flirting, and rebelling. At the age of 16, she was sent to a convent because her father saw her as one out of control. She started to learn and practice mental prayer when she was installed a permanent member of the Carmelite Order. Everyone liked her and she liked to be liked. This however often led her to ignore God. Although wasn't sinning, but she was very attached to her friends until God asked her to stop. God then always came first in her life. At the age of 43, she resolved to found a new convent that would embrace a simple life of poverty and devoted to prayer. She was opposed from both religious and secular circles. However, soon she had postulants clamouring to get into her reformed convents. Her ideas about prayer swept not only through Spain but all of Europe. She died at the age of 67, beatified on 24th April, 1614 by Pope Paul V, and canonized on 12th March, 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. Teresa was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970 for her writing and teaching on prayer. She is the founder of the Discalced Carmelites and the patron saint of Headache sufferers.
Topic: Acknowledging Christ.
Jesus told us in today’s gospel, “...I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.”
These words of Jesus sound so sweet that often we forget that the call has a price tag. Jesus also told us, “...they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake” (Matt 24:9; cf. Matt 10:22a; Mk 13:13a; Lk 21:17).
Saint Teresa of Ávila we celebrate today is a very good example. The papal nuncio described her as “a restless disobedient gadabout who has gone about teaching as though she were a professor.” And the nuns who voted her in as prioress in her former convent were excommunicated by the leader of the Carmelite order. She was opposed by other religious orders.
Today, we celebrate her not just as a Saint of God but also as a virgin and a Doctor of the church. This confirms the words of Jesus, “...he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt 10:22b; cf. MK 13:13b).
Dear friends, while deciding for Jesus, know it that it involves weeping and lamenting. But we should not be discouraged because the sorrows of His disciples will certainly turn into joy, cf. Jn 16:20.
Bible Reading: Matt 10:16-25. 24:9-14.
Thought for today: Between temporal sorrows and eternal damnation.
Let us pray: Lord, assist us to damn every temporal sorrow that will come our way as we acknowledge you before our brothers and sisters – Amen.
Saint Teresa of Ávila – Pray for us.
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