Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, P. (31st July, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time (I))

Ex 32:15-24.30-34;
Ps 105:19-23. (R. v.1);
Matt 13:31-35.

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.[1]
Topic: Unless you put them forth.
In today’s gospel, Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed and yeast. Our homily will focus on the parable of the mustard seed. This seed is the smallest of all the seeds but when planted, it becomes the greatest of all shrubs and become a tree, so that the birds of the air make nests in its branches, cf. Matt 13:32.
If a mustard seed is not sown, it remains the smallest of all the seeds. Imagine someone who has just a mustard seed. Often, we lose confidence in ourselves. Some do find it very difficult to believe that they are good for anything. Many things remain in the world of ideas (in the mind) as a result of this. Whatever gift one has can be greater than the biblical mustard seed if it is put into use.
We are all instruments in the hands of God. Every instrument (human being) is meant for something big although, we may not see the magnitude of some of the instruments. What each of us can become is only known to God, cf. Matt 24:36; Mk 13:32. Although Ignatius of Loyola considered himself as an unworthy instrument yet God made out of him something really great.
Bible Readings: 1Cor 6:12-20.
Thought for today: We are instruments in the hands of God, cf. Acts 9:15.
Let us pray: Lord and Master, give us the grace that will enable us to put every gift we have received from you into proper use – Amen.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola – Pray for us.
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