Monday, 21 June 2021 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard the words of the Scripture speaking to us about the story of Abraham, our father in faith and the father of many nations, who was the faithful and dedicated servant of the Lord, as we heard how he embarked on the journey from his homeland and followed the Lord’s call, and leaving everything behind, leading a new life entrusted to the Lord alone. He listened to the Lord and obeyed Him, and for his faith and dedication, God blessed him and made His Covenant with him.

Abraham, then named Abram, put his life in the hands of the Lord, and despite all the wealth and power he had, he allowed the Lord to lead the way for him, and to guide him through the challenges that he would face throughout life. He allowed the Lord to make him into His most worthy servant, that through him and his exemplary actions, he might indeed inspire so many people, many among his own descendants and others to believe in the Lord as well, which includes each and every one of us, who can call Abraham as our father in faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the story of Abraham and his faith and dedication to the Lord is a reminder to each and every one of us that as Christians we have to be like our father in faith in the way we carry on our own lives and actions. It means that we should be genuine in how we believe in the Lord and in fully entrusting ourselves to Him, and truly mean what we believe, being wholehearted and sincere in following Him and not being hypocrites as Christians, that is as those who profess to have faith in God.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord Jesus telling His disciples not to be hypocrites in how they lived their faith, and not to be judgmental towards others, in the sense that they sought to look down on others and glorifying oneself just because they thought that they were better than others, superior or more worthy than their fellow brethren. The Lord told them all that often they failed to realise that the same things that they accused others of wrongdoing, these they themselves had been doing, even without them realising it.

It is therefore important for all of us to recognise that we are all sinners, unworthy and wicked, and we have no right to look down on others or to despise others just because we think that we are in any way better than them. Instead, on the contrary, we should seek our fellow brethren and show concern and care for them. If we see someone who is struggling with their faith and life and who is falling into the path of sin, instead of looking down on them or judging them, we should instead help them and support them, showing them care and concern instead of despising them.

Today we also celebrate the feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, whose faith and commitment to the Lord should be inspiration to all of us in how we should be role model ourselves in living our faith wholeheartedly in the manner that he and the other saints had done, and in how Abraham, our father in faith had done in his life. Today, we are all called to look upon the examples set by this holy member of the Society of Jesus who devoted himself completely to the Lord even since such a young age.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga was born into a noble family, as the eldest born no less, and he was expected to succeed to his father’s titles and inherit his possessions. However, as he experienced and became exposed to the brutality and wickedness of the society of his time, gradually he turned to the Christian faith and to the life of saints which then slowly began to lead him to walk down a path of commitment to the Lord, abandoning eventually all of his inheritance and status, and joined the Society of Jesus.

He dedicated himself to the Lord and to the ministry of those whom he gave himself, his time and efforts to, such as the sick and the poor, which at that time were particularly affected by a great epidemic spreading in the community. And he kept on doing his best to care for all those people despite himself eventually succumbing to the disease, and dying at a very young age, faithful to the Lord and loving towards his fellow brothers and sisters to the very end.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all be inspired by the examples showed by St. Aloysius Gonzaga that in everything that we say and do, in our every actions in life we will always be exemplary and strive to do our best in loving God, in caring for our fellow brothers and sisters. Let us all trust the Lord more and grow ever deeper in our faith and devotion from now on, that we can become ever more genuine in our Christian faith from now on. May God bless each and every one of us, now and always. Amen.

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