Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, P. (26th May, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Acts 20:17-27;
Ps 67:10-11.20-21. (R. v.33);
Jn 17:1-11a.

Saint Philip Neri was born in Florence in the year 1515. He abandoned the chance to become a businessman and moved to Rome where he devoted his life and individuality to God. Philip Neri was ordained a priest at the urging of his confessor and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretences and illusions of others. He founded a religious institute, the Oratory. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety. Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. He died in the year 1595.[1]
Topic: Eternal life is God’s gift.
The Jews believed that whoever desires eternal life must work for it. Hence, the rich young man asked Jesus, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?” (Matt 19:16; cf. Mk 10:17; Lk 18:18). A lawyer also asked the same question, cf. Lk 10:25.
And in today’s gospel which is the beginning of Jesus’ prayer for His disciples we read,
Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
However, the first letter of Saint John reads, “He who says ‘I know him’ but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1Jn 2:4). Again, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him” (Jn 3:36). And Saint Peter declared that Jesus has the words of eternal life, cf. Jn 6:68.
Dear friends, “...the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). It is important to remember always that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son, cf. 1Jn 5:11; 1Jn 5:20. Therefore, whoever desires eternal life must truly believe in Him, cf. Jn 3:16; cf. Jn 6:47. Saint Philip Neri we celebrate today is a good example for us all.
Bible Reading: Gal 6:1-10; Rom 6:15-23.
Thought for today: God has promised us eternal life, cf. 1Jn 2:25; Tit 1:2.
Let us pray: Lord, help us work out our own salvation with fear and trembling – Amen (cf. Phil 2:12).
Saint Philip Neri – Pray for us.
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