Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, B.D., (24th January, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time (II))
1Sam 24:3-21;
Ps 56:2-4.6.11 (R. v.2);
Mk 3:13-19.
Saint Francis de Sales (21st August, 1567 – 28th December, 1622) was born to a noble family at Chateau de Sales[1]. His father destined him to be a lawyer and strongly opposed his desire to become a priest. He was later ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva. Francis set out to convert Calvinists by preaching and distributing the little pamphlets he wrote to explain true Catholic doctrine with remarkable success. He became bishop of Geneva at 35. While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions, and catechize the children. His gentle character was a great asset in winning souls. He practiced his own axiom, “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful of vinegar.” Besides his two well-known books, the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, he wrote many pamphlets and carried on a vast correspondence. He addressed his writings to lay people to make them understand that they too are called to be saints. He collaborated with Saint Jane Frances de Chantal in establishing the Sisters of the Visitation. Saint Francis de Sales is the patron of the Catholic Press[2].
Topic: Unless you are taught.
In today’s gospel Jesus appointed the twelve. The gospel reads in part: “And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons” (Mk 3:14-15).
Worthy of note is that they were to be trained by Jesus before going out to preach what they were taught to others. This helped them to know what and how they were to preach. Otherwise some might end up enemies of the master, cf. Matt 12:30: Lk 11:23.
Before His ascension into heaven Jesus said to the apostles: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21). And Jesus was always faithful to what He learnt from the Father and expects us to do likewise, cf. Jn 8:26.38.
Jesus is the Teacher of all those who truly follow Him, cf. Matt 9:11; 17:24. And there is need for everyone to learn from Jesus before teaching others. One must be docile also, cf. Jn 13:8. And while teaching, one must be faithful to what he/she learnt to remain a friend and brother/sister, cf. Jn 15:14-15; Lk 8:21. In other words, to be saints. And Saint Francis de Sales helped us to understand that it is possible for all.
Bible Reading: 1Tim 4:6-16; Jn 13:1-20.
Thought for today: Jesus is our Teacher.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach us your ways and help us walk always according to your teaching – Amen.
Saint Francis de Sales – Pray for us.
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