Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, V. (3rd October, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 87:10-15. (R. v. 3);
Therese Martin (2nd January, 1873 – 30th September, 1897) was the last of the children born to Louis and Zelie Martin. Following her mother’s death when she was 4, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a conversion on Christmas Eve in 1886. Therese entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux at the age of 15 and took the name Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. She lived a hidden, simple life of prayer, and she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Therese lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. She wrote, “What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.” Her spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. She died after a long struggle with tuberculosis. Her last words were: “My God, I love You!” She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on 17th May, 1925. Pope Saint John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1997.
Topic: Neither mine nor yours.
Today’s gospel presented to us three categories of would-be disciples of Jesus. Jesus replied the first who opted to follow Him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Yet Jesus said to another, “Follow me.” Despite his excuse, He insisted, “...go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And to the third who wanted to bid farewell to those at his home first, Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Every owner of property ought to have intention for his/her property. And it is the intention of the owner that counts.
The Psalmist writes, “Know that 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; cf. Eph 2:10). Hence Saint Paul tells us that we are God’s property, cf. 1Cor 6:19.
It is God’s intention therefore that counts in our lives and in whatever we do even when one thinks he/she has the best of intentions, cf. 2Sam 7:5-7. In today’s gospel, Jesus literally turned down the intention of the person who volunteered to follow Him. The one who thought it wise to bury his father first was charged to spread the gospel instead. And the last who wanted to say goodbye to those he was to leave behind was judged unfit.
In our lives and in everything we do, it is neither my will nor yours that counts. We ought to seek the will of God in everything just like Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.
Bible Reading: 2Sam 7:1-14.
Thought for today: With God are enduring wealth and prosperity, cf. Prov 8:18.
Let us pray: Lord, direct our hearts to follow your will always – Amen.
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus – Pray for us.
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