Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pp. D. (03rd September, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 23:1-6. (R. v.1);
Pope Saint Gregory I (the Great), son of Gordianus and Silvia was born around 540 in Rome. Pope Felix III (483 - 492) was his great-great-grandfather. He was well educated and excelled in all his studies. Gregory was the Prefect of Rome. He converted his family villa in Rome into a monastery (San Gregorio Magno al Celio) after his father’s death. As a monk, he was hard and strict. Gregory was proclaimed pope by acclamation after the death of Pope Pelagius II (579 – 590). He emphasized missionary work and also made many changes in the Mass. His contributions to the development of the plainchant (Gregorian Chant) is under dispute. Pope Gregory generously cared for the poor. He suffered from arthritis in his last years and died on March 12, 604 AD. He was immediately proclaimed a saint by means of popular acclaim and is venerated in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran Christians. Saint Gregory the Great is the Patron Saint of England and Teachers.
Topic: Humble yourself.
Jesus entered one of the boats at the shore of the lake of Gennesaret because the crowd was pressing in on Him. He asked Simon, the owner, to put out a little from the shore. He then sat down and taught the people. He later said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Although they laboured all night in vain, they obeyed Him and caught so many fish. When Simon saw it, he pleaded at His feet, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” However Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” They left everything and followed Jesus.
Simon humbled himself before Jesus by acknowledging that he was a sinner. Jesus did not throw him away instead, He fulfilled His promise, “...whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt 23:12; cf. Matt 18:4; Lk 14:11.18:14). Jesus immediately transformed them from fishermen to fishers of men.
Many claim to know everything, to be the best in everything, ability to do everything, and so on. Only God knows everything, cf. 1Jn 3:20. He alone also is able to do all things, cf. Matt 19:26; Mk 10:27; Lk 1:37. We are but a breath, cf. Ps 62:9.94:11. And apart from God we can do nothing, cf. Jn 15:5. Pride closes the door to every help. Remember, when Simon boasted that he would lay down his life for Jesus, he ended up in humiliation, cf. Jn 13:37-38.
Acknowledging one’s weakness does not make one worse than he/she really is. On the contrary, it makes one better because it opens the doors for help from both God and man. Do you acknowledge yours?
Bible Reading: 2Cor 12:1-10.
Thought for today: Do not boast.
Let us pray: Lord, we are nothing without you. Help us to acknowledge always our lowliness – Amen.
Saint Gregory the Great – Pray for us.
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