Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, B.D., (15th July, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Saturday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Gen 49:29-33; 50:15-26;
Ps 104:1-4.6-7. (R. cf. Ps 68:33);
Saint Bonaventure, known as ‘the seraphic doctor’ was born at Bagnorea in Tuscany, in 1221. At twenty-two he entered the Franciscan Order. He was chosen General of his Order at the age of thirty-five and restored a perfect calm where peace had been disturbed by internal dissensions. Saint Bonaventure composed The Life of Saint Francis, and also assisted at the translation of the relics of Saint Anthony of Padua. Pope Gregory X made him a Cardinal and Bishop of Albano. He died at the Second Council of Lyons on 15th July, 1274. Saint Bonaventure was canonised on 14th April, 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV and declared a Doctor of the Church in the year 1588 by Pope Sixtus V.
Topic: Facts often forgotten.
As we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, many have in mind the miracle-working and glorified Jesus Christ. We often forget that this same Jesus Christ was born in a manger (cf. Lk 2:7), had a carpenter; not a furniture-maker for a guardian (cf. Matt 13:55), and was not ashamed to take-up after His guardian (cf. Mk 6:3). He could not afford a shekel for His and His disciple’s tax (cf. Matt 17:27), had nowhere to lay His head (cf. Matt 8:20; Lk 9:58), was rejected by His people (cf. Matt 13:54-57), accused of being possessed and casting out demons with evil power, (cf. Mk 3:22; Matt 12:24; Lk 11:15), and could not afford a donkey for His journey (cf. Mk 11:1-3). Jesus Christ died the most shameful death, (cf. Gal 3:13), buried in another’s tomb, (cf. Matt 27:57-60) and a lot more facts.
This is the Jesus Christ who is our Teacher and our Master. In today’s gospel He addressed His disciples further on what they would expect in the world,
A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!
Juxtaposing the life Jesus lived and that of many Christians including some leaders today raises a lot of questions. We are in the world but not of the world, cf. Jn 15:19; 17: 11.14.16. Hence Saint Paul wrote, “our commonwealth is in heaven” (Phil 3:20). Our rejoicing must be that our names are written in heaven, cf. Lk 10:20. We need to ask ourselves some basic questions to be certain that we follow Jesus Christ of Nazareth crucified on the cross whom we proclaim with our mouths. Saint Peter admonishes, “rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1Pt 4:13). For one to share in Christ’s glory, the person must first share in His suffering, cf. Rom 8:17. Saint Bonaventure we celebrate suffered from a dangerous illness among other things.
Bible Reading: Phil 3:12-21.
Thought for today: When faced with difficulties, remember Jesus, cf. Heb 4:15.
Let us pray: Lord, give us the grace to follow you with our whole heart – Amen.
Saint Bonaventure – Pray for us.
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