Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Josephat, B.M. (12th November, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Tit 1:1-9;Ps 23:1-6. (R. cf. v.6);
Saint Josephat was born in the Ukraine of Orthodox parents about the year 1580. He became a Catholic and joined the monks of Saint Basil. Josephat became a priest and was elected Bishop of Polock, and worked strenuously for the unity of the Church. He suffered martyrdom at the hands of his enemies in the year 1623. Culled from The divine office: The liturgy of the hours according to the roman rite. pp. 394-395.
Topic: Leading others astray.
Today’s gospel is taken from the sayings of Jesus on scandal, forgiveness, and faith. Our homily focuses on scandal.
Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.
It is very important to mark the strong words Jesus used in this warning. Death will not even be enough punishment. Such persons are not worthy of having their tombs marked, hence, a millstone around the neck. These words of Jesus can be likened to the words He used about His would be betrayer, cf. Matt 26:24; Mk 14:21.
Stumbling/scandal can come through one’s actions, words, and inactions. Sometimes one is entangled in this mess just to achieve one ulterior motive or the other. One must do, say, and avoid what he/she ought to. All must be very careful to avoid whatever is wrong because what one considers light may not be so for the other person. We ought to follow the example of Saint Josephat who stood firm to the point of dying in the hands of his enemies for the faith.
Bible Reading: Mal 2:1-9.
Thought for today: Neither stumble nor make anyone stumble.
Let us pray: Lord, help us to gather every creature to you through our words, actions, and inactions – Amen.
Saint Josephat – Pray for us.
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