Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Ávila, V.D., (15th October, 2019) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 18:2-5. (R.v.2);
Saint Teresa of Ávila (28th March, 1515 - 4th October, 1582) was born in Ávila, Spain. As a teenager, she cared only about boys, clothes, flirting, and rebelling. At the age of 16, she was sent to a convent because her father saw her as one out of control. She started to learn and practice mental prayer when she was installed a permanent member of the Carmelite Order. Everyone liked her and she liked to be liked. This however often led her to ignore God. Although wasn't sinning, but she was very attached to her friends until God asked her to stop. God then always came first in her life. At the age of 43, she resolved to found a new convent that would embrace a simple life of poverty and devoted to prayer. She was opposed from both religious and secular circles. However, soon she had postulants clamouring to get into her reformed convents. Her ideas about prayer swept not only through Spain but all of Europe. She died at the age of 67, beatified on 24th April, 1614 by Pope Paul V, and canonized on 12th March, 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. Teresa was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970 for her writing and teaching on prayer. She is the founder of the Discalced Carmelites and the patron saint of Headache sufferers.
Topic: Beyond materials.
Whenever we hear or speak of charity, minds often go to material things alone. And as a result, many have judged themselves incapable of being charitable. However, in today’s gospel, Jesus shows us another dimension.
A Pharisee was amazed seeing Jesus sat at the table in his house without first washing His hands according to the tradition. He said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.... So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.”
The within Jesus demands that we give for alms what it holds has also what defiles, cf. Matt 15:11, 18; Mk 7:20. Jesus is telling us that God demands much more than the material things. We ought to be charitable with all we have. Again, everybody has something to offer. Find out what you have and be aware that God demands you to be charitable with all.
Bible Reading: Matt 15:10-20.
Thought for today: God demands everything.
Let us pray: Lord, help us to be charitable with everything you blessed us with – Amen.
Saint Teresa of Ávila – Pray for us.
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