Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, B.M. (17th October, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Eph 2:1-10;Ps 99. (R. v.3);
Saint Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 – c. 108), was an Apostolic Father, student of the Apostle John, and the third bishop of Antioch. En route to Rome for his martyrdom, he wrote seven letters to different Christian communities in which he discussed among other topics, ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops. Saint Ignatius was the first to use the term “catholic” to describe the whole Church. He was martyred during the reign of Emperor Trajan, because he refused to renounce the Christian faith and was brutally devoured by wild beasts in a public spectacle.
Topic: What consists life.
Someone begged Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But Jesus replied, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” He then warned the crowd, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Jesus also told them the parable of a rich man whose land produced abundantly. He planned how to store up his grain and goods for himself. However, “God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”
These words of God to the rich man ought to ring bell continually in our ears. We are after so many things in this world. Most regrettably, some of them have nothing to offer us even in this present life. Yet we fall headlong in pursuit of them and are sometimes even ready to die for them.
It is crucial to question ourselves from time to time of the essence of the things we pursue and the ones already in our possessions. Again, it is also necessary to consider if we will leave this world with any.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch preferred Jesus to every other thing. This is summarised in his words, “I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.” What about you?
Bible Reading: Matt 13:44-50.
Thought for today: What consists life?
Let us pray: Lord, direct our hearts and minds after only the things that consist life – Amen.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch – Pray for us.
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