Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, B., (04th November, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Phil 2:12-18; Ps 26:1.4.13-14. (R.v.1); Lk 14:25-33
Saint Charles Borromeo (2nd October, 1538 – 3rd November, 1584) dedicated himself to a life of service to the Church at the age of 12. Life sped up for him after his uncle became Pope Pius IV on 25th December, 1559. The new pope invited him to Rome and appointed him a cardinal-deacon that came with the job of assisting and advising the pope. He was made a cardinal a month later. His appointment as the administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan in 1560 helped him decide that the Lord was calling him to the priesthood. Against the urge to preserve the family name after the death of his brother in 1562, he was ordained a priest on 4th September, 1563, consecrated a bishop on 7th December, 1563, and became the Archbishop of Milan on 12th May, 1564. He provided education to many clergy he saw as ignorant as a way of reforming the church, and also founded schools and seminaries, and stopped the selling of indulgences. Charles Borromeo went deep into debt feeding the starving people when famine struck Milan in 1576. Pope Paul V beatified him on 12th May, 1602, and also canonized him on 1st November, 1610. He is the patron saint of bishops, catechists, Lombardy, Italy, Monterey, California, cardinals, seminarians, spiritual leaders, and Sao Carlos in Brazil.
Topic: Disciple or part of the crowds.
We learnt from yesterday’s gospel (Lk 14:15-24) that the invitation to the eternal banquet has been given. However, the difference lies in the individual’s acceptance or rejection of it.
Today, we see large crowds travelling with Jesus. The bible did not tell us why but one can presume they wanted to be His disciples. Hence, Jesus turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14: 26-27). To drive the point home, He told them that one who wants to build a tower and a king who wants to engage another king in a battle ought to first check if he will be able to finish the building and oppose the other king respectively.
Following Jesus around is quite different from being His disciple (a Christian). Hence Jesus did not ask them to stop following Him around but He made it clear to them that “...none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions” (Lk 14:33).
Dear friends, we must ask ourselves if we are really Christ’s disciple or just moving about with Him. Going to church and even receiving Holy Communion regularly, holding exalted positions in the house of God, and many more cannot qualify us to be His follower. No wonder, on the last day many would say: “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets” (Lk 13:26). But He will say, “I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!” (Lk 13:27)
Bible Reading: Lk 13:22-30.
Thought for today: ...enter through the narrow door (Lk 13:24).
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help us to detach ourselves completely to enable us be truly your disciples – Amen.
Saint Charles Borromeo – Pray for us.
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