Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, B., (04th November, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Ps 93:12-15.17-18. (R. v.14);
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: Consider others.
Jesus went to a Pharisee’s house for a meal in today’s gospel. He watched how the guests scrambled for places of honour. Jesus therefore advised them not to take the place of honour when invited for a wedding banquet to avoid being asked to vacate the place for someone more distinguished.
But why do people scramble for places of honour? They include pride, fear of uncertainty, and so on. I would like us to consider only the fear of uncertainty; not being sure that those at the lower places can get anything.
Whenever people have the opportunity of taking directly from anything common, many do either forget that it is qualified by common or the meaning of common. At public functions for instance, it is not uncommon to see people take food, meat, drinks, and so on as if they are for them alone. Those who handle public coffers are even worse because they do not suppose to touch it.
Today’s gospel challenges us to consider our brothers and sisters always. Should everyone be conscious of the feelings of others, the rush for places of honour among other things will drop.
Saint Charles Borromeo we celebrate today is 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: Phil 2:1-11.
Thought for today: Consider the common good.
Let us pray: God, give us a heart that will understand the needs of others – Amen.
Saint Charles Borromeo – Pray for us.
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