Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, P., (31st July, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 68:5.8-10.14. (R. v.14);
Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491- July 31, 1556) fought several battles as a soldier. In 1521, he was struck by a cannonball in the legs. He underwent several surgeries without anaesthetics. At a point, he was asked to prepare for death. However, on June 29, 1521, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, he began to improve. Ignatius started to read the lives of the saints and Christ. Among his profound realizations was that some thoughts brought him happiness and others sorrow and that two powerful forces were acting upon him. Evil brought him unpleasant thoughts while God brought him happiness. He discerned God's call, and began a new way of life, following God instead of men. On March 25, 1522, he entered the Benedictine monastery. His time in prayer and contemplation helped him to understand himself better. He also gained a better understanding of God and God's plan for him. He became friends with Peter Faber and Francis Xavier while at school in Paris and led them in his spiritual exercises. Other men soon joined their exercises and became followers of Ignatius. Pope Paul III received the group and approved them as an official religious order in 1540. Ignatius was elected as their first leader. They called themselves the Society of Jesus. Some dubbed them “Jesuits” in an attempt to disparage them. By virtue of their good work the label lost its negative connotation. The order was responsible for much of the work of stopping the spread of the Protestant Reformation. They advocated the use of reason to persuade others and combat heresy. Ignatius was beatified by Pope Paul V on July 27, 1609 and canonized on March 12, 1622. He is the patron saint of the Society of Jesus, soldiers, educators and education.
Topic: What is the problem?
Today’s gospel records Jesus’ visit to His hometown. He taught in their synagogue. Although they were astounded, but they had a problem,
Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?
Wait a minute. Assuming all these were true, did any prevent Jesus’ townsmen from accepting Him? However, they did not really know Him, cf. Jn 8:14. They only deprived themselves and others of the miracles Jesus would have performed among them. Hence, the concluding verse reads, “And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we must be careful lest we suffer the same or even worse fate. And you whom people look down on, focus on the good works you are doing after the example of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and his members.
Bible Reading: Lk 9:1-9.
Thought for today: Never reject before confirming it to be a curse.
Let us pray: Lord, help us see your blessings packaged in others – Amen.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola – Pray for us.
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