Thursday, 25 August 2016 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Louis and St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the message from the Sacred Scriptures, speaking to us about the Lord Who reminded His disciples with the parable on a wise and hardworking servant as opposed to a lazy and wicked servant, and related to them what happened to them at the end, when the master discovered what each of them had done.

The good and wise servant did all that the master had asked him to do, obeyed fully the commands given to him, and when the master came back to see his works, he was pleased and rewarded the good servant richly and entrusted him with even more, with all that he had, because that good servant had proven himself to be worthy of trust.

Meanwhile, the lazy and wicked servant has not done what the master had asked him to do, but instead neglecting his duties, he did things for his own personal gain, or simply left everything undone out of laziness. As a result, the master took from him everything he had entrusted him with and more, since he had shown that he did not deserve what he had received.

This parable is a representation of our own lives in this world, brothers and sisters in Christ, showing to us the parallel between the work we have done in this life and the actions of those servants. The master represents the Lord our God Himself, while the servants are the representations of all of us, with all our imperfections, some faithful while some others are wayward.

Now let us all ask ourselves, that whether we want to be counted and considered among the good servants or among the wicked servants instead. Have we done what the Lord had asked of us all, His beloved people, His servants? Have we obeyed His laws and commandments, asking us to show love, care and concern for one another, for the least of our brethren?

Let us ask ourselves that question and look deep within ourselves, and see if we can discover within us that spirit and that desire to do what God had asked us to do. It may seem to be simple to show care and love for others, but in reality, it is not an easy one, considering how much pain, sorrow, anguish and darkness that existed in this world. Yet, if it does not begin from us, then it will never begin at all.

Today, let us all look at the examples of the two saints whose feast we celebrate today. St. Louis, the King of France was a holy and devout man born to be a king, and yet, in his high position and power, he remained a humble and loving person, who sincerely loved his people, all those whom God had entrusted under his care. He ruled with care and with wisdom, trying his best to help all those who are weak and downtrodden, and took his responsibilities and duties seriously.

St. Louis always led by example in his various actions, becoming source of great inspiration of many who came to love their ruler, their king, and from there, came to appreciate the love of God made evident through His faithful servant. This is exactly what the good servant in the parable mentioned by Jesus had done, by being obedient to the wishes of the king, he had brought much good things on himself and others.

Similarly, St. Joseph Calasanz was also a committed worker and servant of the Lord, who dedicated his life to God and His people by helping the poor and the uneducated in the society, providing them with education, teaching, help and support that they need in order to live a better life. He was known well for his works in Rome during a time when there was a great flood that affected many thousands.

He did not hesitate to give his time and efforts to help those who were less fortunate around him, and was particularly committed to help the uneducated and the poor to gain access to education, that they might be able to escape the marginalisation and the perpetual cycle of poverty that had characterised the poor at the time.

The works of St. Joseph Calasanz in establishing schools for the poor and for the less fortunate still have great impact today, when many others followed in his footsteps to help the same poor people, giving them the love they need, and the education that will help them to overcome the challenge of the societal marginalisation and poverty. Truly, these were the works of a faithful and good servant of God.

In the examples that these two holy saints, we can see indeed that they have been good servants, and God will reward them with what they deserve, that is the glory of everlasting life and the heavenly inheritance that He had promised all those who kept their faith in Him. Shall we also follow their examples? This is what we need to do in order to attain the fullness of the promise of God.

The path forward will not be easy if we decide to follow the Lord. Indeed, there will be many obstacles and challenges, temptations and difficulties, but if we persevere on, the reward for us in the end will be great, and we shall reign forever in glory with God and all of His saints. Let us all ask St. Louis and St. Joseph Calasanz to pray and intercede for our sake, that God will help to bring us ever closer to Him. May God be with us all, now and forever. Amen.

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