Monday, 26 May 2014 : 6th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Philip Neri, Priest (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, following the Lord means to have a profound and complete conversion of ourselves, in particular that of our hearts and minds, so that we reflect the will of God and be true children and servants of our God. The God-fearing woman from the first reading, who listened to the word of God through the Apostles and chose to give her all to God and commit herself to Him, is an example for all of us.

Through baptism she had been saved and granted great grace from God, and so we too have been saved through our baptism, and our faith. But this must be living, a living faith, as I have often mentioned. Yes, in continuation of yesterday’h catechesis, this faith must be a growing faith and inspired by the Holy Spirit. We must be fruitful, bearing the fruits of the Holy Spirit with all of our actions.

Today we honour and celebrate a saint, whose life can be a great inspiration to all of us in following the Lord and in committing our lives in the service of God and our fellow men. St. Phillip Neri is this saint, a holy man and a dedicated servant of God who lived in Italy a few centuries ago, during the era of the Renaissance. St. Philip Neri took part in the great campaign and push to rediscover the passion and energy in the faith, and establish stronger faith in the people of God through his works.

St. Philip Neri worked hard for the sake of the faithful and the people of God, giving himself to a life of service, and he helped to build up a congregation of the faithful and secular peoples, to serve the Lord better, as well as to reform the Church which at that time was notorious for its worldly corruptions and wicked ways. St. Philip Neri was essential for the rejuvenation of the faith following the horrendous and disastrous so-called Protestant Reformation, which is a terrible heresy of the faith.

St. Philip Neri was utterly dedicated to his cause, and he tirelessly worked to refocus the people’s attention towards Christ, and to throw away the excesses of life which had characterised the faithful, the Church, and the society in general at that time, when material wealth and possessions became a symbol of status, privilege and discrimination between peoples, which should not have happened as we are all truly equal before the Lord.

We too have to follow in his footsteps, in keeping pure our hearts and minds, away from the corruptions of this world, that we would not walk in error or in the darkness, and risk falling into the trap the devil had set on our path. We always have to be ready and vigilant that we keep ourselves aware and alert against all these lies of the devil. Let us remain faithful to God.

Since our baptism, we have been marked and sealed with the Most Holy Name of the Holy Trinity, and we have been made children of God, and cleansed of our past injustices and past unworthiness, being made into children of the light. Our spirit therefore, had been strengthened, and is strong. But remember what Christ said at the Garden in Gethsemane just before, that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak? Yes, our flesh is weak, and our bodies and physical self are always tempted on daily basis by the devil, and we must be ever ready.

Let us all be profoundly changed in our ways of life, that in all things we may now be affirmed in the Lord and in His grace, that we may always be blessed and worthy, and when He comes again at the end of time, He may see us and find us truly worthy children of His, and reunite us with Himself. God bless us all, and be with us always. Amen.

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