Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint John Bosco, P., (31st January, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time (II))
2Sam 24:2.9-17;
Ps 31:1-2.5-7 (R. cf. v.5);
Mk 6:1-6.

Saint John Bosco, also known as Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco and Don Bosco (16th August, 1815 – 31st January, 1888) was born in Becchi, Italy. He lost his father at the age of two, leaving him and his two older brothers to be raised by his mother, Margherita. John was very devout. He later discerned the call to become a priest which requires education, something he lacked because of poverty. He was only 12 when he left home and laboured for two years in a vineyard before he met Jospeh Cafasso, a priest who helped him. He entered the seminary in 1835 and was ordained a priest in 1841. The large number of boys, between the ages of 12 and 18 he saw in deplorable conditions in the prison moved him to do more to help other boys from ending up there. He went into the streets and started to meet young men and boys where they worked and played. He used his talents as a performer, doing tricks to capture attention, then sharing with the children his message for the day. Fr Bosco worked tirelessly seeking work for boys who needed it, and lodgings for others. He fought for the rights for boys who were employed as apprentices and also encouraged those he thought would make good priests to consider a vocation to the priesthood. He established the Society of St. Francis de Sales in 1859 to carry on his charitable work, helping boys with their faith formation and to stay out of trouble. The call for his canonization came immediately after his death. Pope Pius XI declared him a blessed on 2nd June, 1929 and also canonized him on 1st April, 1934 (Easter Sunday). He was given the title, “Father and Teacher of Youth.” Saint John Bosco is the patron saint of apprentices, editors and publishers, schoolchildren, magicians, and juvenile delinquents.[1]
Topic: Do not be deterred.
In today’s gospel, Jesus came to His hometown with His disciples and taught in their synagogue on the sabbath. His teaching left strong impression on many who heard Him. Yet they took offence at Him because they knew His background too well, cf. Mk 6:2-3. Jesus was amazed at their unbelief and did not do much deeds of power there.
You may have suffered rejection or other forms of ill-treatment just because of your background, look unto God. Human’s rejection cannot strip you of the things God has blessed you with, cf. 2Cor 3:5. Go ahead and thank God who has blessed you so much, cf. Job 7:17. God will continue to be gracious to you and to bless you and to make His face shine upon you, cf. Ps 67:1. God’s judgement is final, cf. Job 12:14.
Finally, remember that whoever rejects his brother or sister denies him/herself lots of good things God has commissioned him/her to convey. Be wise and open your arms to your brothers and sisters just like Saint John Bosco did.
Bible Reading: Ps 67:1-7.
Thought for today: Do not be deterred.
Let us pray: May God help us discover more and more of His blessings in our lives even as people reject us – Amen.
Saint John Bosco – Pray for us.
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