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. Aug 2020 .
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Doctrines & Morals

The Memorial of St Ignatius of Loyola

Jer. 26:1-9, Mt. 13:54-58. A longer version of today’s first reading's call for justice appeared earlier (Jer. 7), where the injustices of daily life are said to contaminate the liturgy. The priestly managers of the Temple hounded Jeremiah, demanding his death. However, he was passionate to defend Temple worship in the true spirit of Leviticus (16:1-28), allows justice and dignity in everyday life and lead the prayers in such a way that it encourage people to care for the poor. We find a parallel story in Jesus, who was doubted and rejected, when He comes home to Nazareth after being away from His home town for some time. He left Nazareth as a carpenter’s son, in the words of today's Gospel. He returned a preacher of the Kingdom of God and a healer of the broken. The people of Nazareth could not accept this change: “This is the carpenter’s son, surely?” they asked. “Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they wondered.

The people of Nazareth would not accept Jesus because He was not the person they once knew. When it comes to the person of Jesus, like the people of Nazareth, we can see Him somewhat narrowly. We can be slow to allow our image of Him to be broadened. Yet, more than any human being, Jesus is always beyond our full understanding. We never grasp Him completely and we always have to be open to growing in our knowledge and love of Him until that day when we see Him face to face. Today, we are called to reflect on our own approach to Liturgy and prayer. Our religiosity and spiritual life must reflect our daily life, home and contemporary world. We must be ready to accept challenge and change, even miraculous interventions, for the sake of the poor and the helpless. We must not be envious of God’s concern for others. They did not listen to God’s message given through Jesus because they could not see beyond a villager in Jesus. They did not accept Jesus not only because He was one of them, but because they could not understand the mystery which enveloped Jesus and the newness of His teaching. Today, Jesus calls us to open our hearts and see the God who is present in our prayers and sacrifices beyond rituals. Today we honour St Ignatius of Loyola. He taught to search for God’s will in all circumstances and grow in his ability to find Him in all things. We need an open and sincere heart to know Jesus better so that we may love Him more dearly and follow Him more closely.

As we come to the end of this month, may the Lord give us peace of mind and generosity of heart and may He grant us health and strength to do His Will! Amen!! Keep safe, peace be with you!!!

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