Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint John Paul II, Pp. (22nd October, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 32:1-2.4-5.11-12.18-19. (R. v.5);
Pope Saint John Paul II (the Great) was born Karol Józef Wojtyła (18th May, 1920 – 2nd April, 2005). He was ordained a priest on 1st November 1946, consecrated a bishop on 28th September, 1958, created a Cardinal on 26th June, 1967, and a Pope from 16th October, 1978 to 2nd April, 2005. John Paul II improved the Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. He visited 129 countries during his pontificate, beatified 1,340 people and canonised 483 saints. A key goal of his papacy was to transform and reposition the Catholic Church. He was beatified on 1st May, 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI and was canonized on 27th April, 2014 by Pope Francis. Pope Saint John Paul II is the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Kraków, Young Catholics, Families, among others.
Topic: Cause of division.
Jesus defined His mission in today’s gospel in a way that is often confusing. He said in part,
I came to bring fire to the earth....Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three....
Based on this, some see lack of peace as synonymous with the presence of Christ. However, the bible calls God the God of peace, and also calls on us all to strive for peace with all, cf. Heb 12:14. 13:20; Judg 6:24; 2Cor 13:11; 1Thess 5:13. Isaiah identified the Messiah, as the prince of Peace. And His peace shall be endless, cf. Is 9:6-7. Again, Christ preached peace to all, cf. Eph 2:17.
However, there is no peace for the wicked, cf. Is 48:22. 57:21. True peace comes from God, cf. Jn 14:27. 16:33. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit, cf. Gal 5:22; Rom 8:6. Hence, God keeps those who trust in Him in perfect peace, cf. Is 26:3. The Psalmist wrote, “Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts” (Ps 85:8). Furthermore, peace requires proper disposition, cf. Matt 10:13; Lk 10:6.
Jesus did not call us to cause wars. However, Christian witnessing is often met by opposition, cf. 1Thess 2:14-15; 2Tim 3:8. Borrowing the words of the Psalmist, although Christians are for peace, but others are for fighting, cf. Ps 120:7. Our “God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1Cor 14:33). Saint John Paul II we celebrate today also preached peace to all.
Bible Reading: Eph 2:11-22.
Thought for today: Christ is our peace, cf. Eph 2:14.
Let us pray: God, may we be people of peace all the days of our lives – Amen.
Saint John Paul II – Pray for us.
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