Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, V., (03rd October, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Tuesday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Ps 86. (R. Zech 8:23);
Note that the church in Nigeria celebrates the memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus on 3rd October because of the Solemnity of Our Lady Queen and Patroness of Nigeria we celebrate on 1st October.
Therese Martin (2nd January, 1873 – 30th September, 1897) was the last of the children born to Louis and Zelie Martin. Following her mother’s death when she was 4, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a conversion on Christmas Eve in 1886. Therese entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux at the age of 15 and took the name Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. She lived a hidden, simple life of prayer, and she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Therese lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. She wrote, “What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.” Her spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. She died after a long struggle with tuberculosis. Her last words were: “My God, I love You!” She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on 17th May, 1925. Pope Saint John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1997.
Topic: Not fire for fire.
An unnamed Samaritan town refused to receive Jesus in today’s gospel because He was going to Jerusalem. James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume them but Jesus rebuked them. They instead went on to another village.
The sons of thunder, (cf. Mk 3:17) wanted to match the people power for power. However, it negates the will of the Master. His command is clear, “...whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave” (Matt 20:26-27; cf. Mk 10:43-44). Hence, He did not approve of their proposal.
Jesus never promised us a world where people will be praising His disciples, “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). Again, “...they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake” (Matt 24:9; Matt 10:18, 22). Yet we are required to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves, and to shine as lights in the world, cf. Matt 10:16; Phil 2:15.
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus we celebrate today followed the example of Jesus. Hence, she rightly wrote, “What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.”
Bible Reading: Matt 20:20-28.
Thought for today: Do not fight.
Let us pray: Lord, grant us a heart that can endure every kind of hardship – Amen.
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus – Pray for us.
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