Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Scholastica, V., (10th February, 2021) on the Gospel and the Memorial

(Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time (I))


Gen 2:4-9.15-17;

Ps 103:1-2.27-30. (R. v.1);

Mk 7:14-23.

Saint Scholastica, twin sister of Saint Benedict, was born in 480 of wealthy parents. She founded a religious community for women near Monte Cassino at Plombariola. The twins visited each other once a year in a farmhouse because Benedict was not permitted inside the monastery. According to the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, they spent their last day together in prayer and conversation. Scholastica sensed her death was close at hand and she begged Benedict to stay with her until the next day but he refused because it was against his own Rule. She asked God and a severe thunderstorm broke out, preventing Benedict and his monks from returning to the abbey. Benedict cried out, “God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?” She replied, “I asked a favour of you and you refused. I asked it of God and he granted it.” Three days later, Benedict saw the soul of his sister rising heavenward in the form of a white dove. He buried her in the tomb he had prepared for himself.[1]

Topic: Where the defiler is.

Jesus said to the crowd, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” He explained this to His disciples in these words,

It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.

We recall that the Pharisees and some of the scribes from Jerusalem in yesterday’s gospel frowned at what Jesus’ disciples did because they were very much concerned about the tradition of the elders Mk 7:1-5. However, Jesus stressed in today’s gospel where we ought to focus our attention, the self. Regrettably, many rarely focus on themselves because of their belief that everything evil comes from the outside, cf. Lk 6:42.

Dear friends, the defiler (the trouble) is within. It is necessary to be mindful of our thoughts, words, actions, and inactions. This is because God knows everyone of us very well, cf. Ps 139:1. And every person must stand and give account of his/her life to God, cf. Rom 14:10.

Bible Reading: Lk 6:37-42.

Thought for today: The problem is within.

Let us pray: Lord, give us your grace that will help us remove everything that defiles – Amen.

Saint Scholastica – Pray for us.

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