Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bp., (4th November, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Phil 3:17–4:1;Ps 122:1-5. (R. v.1);
Saint Charles Borromeo (2nd October, 1538 – 3rd November, 1584) dedicated himself to a life of service to the Church at the age of 12. Life sped up for him after his uncle became Pope Pius IV on 25th December, 1559. The new pope invited him to Rome and appointed him a cardinal-deacon that came with the job of assisting and advising the pope. He was made a cardinal a month later. His appointment as the administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan in 1560 helped him decide that the Lord was calling him to the priesthood. Against the urge to preserve the family name after the death of his brother in 1562, he was ordained a priest on 4th September, 1563, consecrated a bishop on 7th December, 1563, and became the Archbishop of Milan on 12th May, 1564. He provided education to many clergy he saw as ignorant as a way of reforming the church, and also founded schools and seminaries, and stopped the selling of indulgences. Charles Borromeo went deep into debt feeding the starving people when famine struck Milan in 1576. Pope Paul V beatified him on 12th May, 1602, and also canonized him on 1st November, 1610. He is the patron saint of bishops, catechists, Lombardy, Italy, Monterey, California, cardinals, seminarians, spiritual leaders, and Sao Carlos in Brazil.
Topic: Use worldly riches.
Jesus taught His disciples in today’s gospel using the parable of the dishonest manager. In this parable, a rich man consequent upon reports of how his manager squandered his money called him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.” The manager reduced the debts of his master’s debtors so as to have people to welcome him when dismissed.
We all are God’s creatures. He has assigned each of us to our different tasks. Hence, the Psalmist wrote, “...the LORD is God! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Ps 100:3). Just like the rich man demanded of his manager in today’s gospel, each of us must one day be called to give account of his/her life to God, our Master, cf. Rom 14:12; Heb 10:30; 1Pt 4:5.
Not minding how long and/or how precious an earthly possession is, none can last for eternity. However, the benefits of using them well can last forever likewise the punishment of their abuse, cf. Matt 25:40, 45-46. Saint Charles Borromeo we celebrate today was a good manager. He did not only use his own fortune but also went into debts to feed the hungry. We must remember always that we shall give account to God.
Bible Reading: Ps 103:1-22.
Thought for today: Each shall give account to God.
Let us pray: God, help us to be ever conscious that we shall render account to you – Amen.
Saint Charles Borromeo – Pray for us.
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