Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Cornelius, Pp, and Saint Cyprian, B, Mm., (16th September, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Saturday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Ps 112:1-7. (R. v.2);
Pope Saint Cornelius (251-253) battled among other problems reconciling apostates and schism. Contrary to those who said that they should not be forgiven and those with the opinion that they should be forgiven but without heavy penance, Cornelius decreed that they must be welcomed back and insisted that they perform adequate penance. He was exiled to Civitavecchia where he died a martyr probably of hardships.
Saint Cyprian of Carthage was born to wealthy pagans around the year 190. He was converted at the age of 56, ordained a priest a year later, and made bishop two years after. Cyprian was a close friend of Pope Cornelius. He supported him both against the anti-pope Novatian and in his views concerning the re-admittance of apostates into the Church. He was martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Valerian on September 14, 258.
Topic: A must do.
Tree determines the fruit. What comes out of one’s mouth defines the person. Jesus questions, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you?” He likens anyone who hears His words and acts on them to one who laid the foundation of his/her house on the rock. Arising of the flood and bursting of the river do not shake it. One who does not act on His words is like someone who builds a house without a foundation. And “When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”
The word of God is preached today through various means that were not available during the time of historical Jesus. Yet putting it into practise is more challenging today than ever.
We read from Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans, “...it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified” (Rom 2:13). Saint James also writes, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Jas 1:22).
Some fan themselves that God will understand their inability to do some of His words because of the ones they do. It is important to remind ourselves that God requires us to conform fully; “...whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (Jas 2:10). Saint Cornelius and Saint Cyprian we celebrate today are good examples. They followed the word fully. Where do you build – on the ground without a foundation or on a foundation laid on the rock?
Bible Reading: Jas 1:19-27.
Thought for today: Do His words.
Let us pray: Lord, we need your help to put your word fully into action for we cannot achieve it on our own – Amen.
Saint Cornelius and Saint Cyprian – Pray for us.
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