Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (23rd September, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial

Eccl 3:1-11;
Ps 143:1-4. (R. v.1);
Lk 9:18-22.
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina also known as Saint Padre Pio was born in Pietrelcina, Italy on 25th May, 1887 as Francesco Forgione. His parents were both very religious and also very poor. As a result of this, he took up a job which affected his studies negatively. He took the name Pius (Pio) when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Saint Pio was ordained in 1910 and was allowed to remain at home because of his poor health. He received the gift of stigmata on September 20, 1916 while hearing confessions. Saint Pio was known for his piety, charity and the quality of his preaching. He prophesied in 1947 that Fr. Karol Wojtyla who visited him would become a pope which fulfilled in 1978. He died in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy on 23rd September, 1968. Pope Saint John Paul II beatified him in 1999 and also canonized him on 16th June, 2002. He is the patron saint of civil defence volunteers, adolescents, and the village of Pietrelcina.[1]
Topic: Knowing Jesus.
In today’s gospel Jesus asked His disciples while praying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They thought He was John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets. He asked further, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “The Messiah of God.” He also foretold His death and resurrection.
The timing of these questions (when Jesus was praying), says a lot about their necessity. Jesus came that we may have life in abundance, cf. Jn 10:10. However, believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God is the key, cf. Jn 20:31. The letter to the Hebrews reads, “...without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6).
In the life of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, one sees a person who truly believed in God. Despite the very hard condition in their family, he never wavered. He popularly advised people in these words, “Pray, hope and don't worry.”
Believing in God only needs our cooperation; “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (Jn 6:44). We ought to beseech God earnestly through the intersession of Saint Pio to draw us to Himself.
Bible Reading: Heb 11:4-7.
Thought for today: Who is Jesus?
Let us pray: God, draw us to yourself that we may believe in you – Amen.
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina – Pray for us.

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