Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, V. (3rd October, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Gal 1:6-12;Ps 110:1-2.7-10. (R. v.5);
Therese Martin (2nd January, 1873 – 30th September, 1897) was the last of the children born to Louis and Zelie Martin. Following her mother’s death when she was 4, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a conversion on Christmas Eve in 1886. Therese entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux at the age of 15 and took the name Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. She lived a hidden, simple life of prayer, and she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Therese lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. She wrote, “What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.” Her spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. She died after a long struggle with tuberculosis. Her last words were: “My God, I love You!” She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on 17th May, 1925. Pope Saint John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1997.
Topic: Known to God.
A lawyer to test Jesus asked Him in today’s gospel, “...what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He told him to love God and his neighbour as written in the law. To justify himself, he asked further, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus told him a parable in which a man who travelled from Jerusalem to Jericho fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him, and left him half dead and went away. A priest and a Levite saw him and passed by on the other side. It was a Samaritan who had pity on him, poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them. He “put him on his animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” He gave the innkeeper two denarii with the instruction to take care of the man and promised to pay whatever more he spent.
It is important to remind ourselves that the Jews and the Samaritans were enemies at the time of this parable. The action of this Samaritan can be likened to someone spending his/her resources on a professed enemy. But he must have seen beyond the man who fell into the hands of the robbers and was certain his good action was known to God who will repay everyone according to their deeds, cf. Is 59:18; Jer 25:14.
Saint Therese’s life stands out in the imitation of the Good Samaritan. Although she desired to be a saint, she sought and found it through the little way.
There is need for us to remember that “What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.” We ought to do the ordinary, with extraordinary love.
Bible Reading: Jas 2:14-26.
Thought for today: Do good to everyone.
Let us pray: May God help us imitate the Good Samaritan – Amen.
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus – Pray for us.
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