Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Pius X, PP., (21st August, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Deut 32:26-28.30.35-36. (R. v.39);
Pope Saint Pius X (2nd June, 1835 – 20th August, 1914) was born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto at Riese and became Pope in August 1903. His most important reform was to order the codification of the first Code of Canon Law. He was particularly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pius X was the only pope in the 20th century with extensive pastoral experience and implementation at the parish level, which led him to favour the use of the vernacular language in teaching catechesis, while the encouragement for frequent reception of Holy Communion became a lasting innovation of his papacy. He vehemently opposed modernism, which claimed that Roman Catholic dogma should be modernized and blended with nineteenth-century philosophies. Pius X viewed modernism as an import of secular errors affecting three areas of Roman Catholic belief namely, theology, philosophy, and dogma. He combined within himself a strong sense of compassion, benevolence and poverty, but also stubbornness and a certain stiffness. He was the only pope in the 20th century who gave Sunday homilies in the pulpit every week. He was canonized on 29 May 1954.
Topic: Hazards of wealth.
It baffled the disciples to hear that it will be hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus reassured them that nothing is impossible for God, cf. Lk 1:37. In reply to Peter’s question about what they would gain Jesus said,
Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.
Jesus’ words sounded as if it is sinful to be wealthy. However, He had admonished us, “...store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt 6:20). Saint James also writes, “Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days” (Jas 5:3).
Wealth is not a problem but one’s understanding of it. God gives riches, cf. Prov 10:22. Hence Saint Paul writes, “What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” (1Cor 4:7). However, the richer one becomes, the more he/she is expected to give, Lk 12:48. The life of Saint Pius X is a very good example. His last will and testament is: “I was born poor, I have lived in poverty, and I wish to die poor”.
Bible Reading: Ps 112:1-10; Jas 5:1-6; Matt 6:19-21.
Thought for today: My attitude towards wealth.
Let us pray: Lord, heal us of insatiable desire for material things and help us to store up true wealth for the world to come – Amen.
Saint Pius X – Pray for us.
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