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Doctrines & Morals

The Memorial of St Jerome

Neh. 8:1-4.5-6.7-12, Lk. 10:1-12. In today's first reading, Ezra explained the book of God’s law plainly, so that all could understand it. He gathers all the people, even children who are old enough to understand, to hear the word of God. The good Lord did not intend the Commandments as a burden but as an authentic and joyful help to living. When Ezra saw the people in remorseful tears of repentance, he urged them in a friendly tone not to be gloomy, but to eat and drink, and share with those who have nothing. Ezra urged joy in their everyday life and proposed a faithful lifestyle that looks forward to a glorious future. For the first disciples of Jesus, the necessity to preach the Gospel was such a compelling one. It became the singular passion of their lives. They made it the only commitment and priority of their lives. They preached, healed and established the Church.

We are the beneficiaries of their commitment to the Gospel. By our Baptism, we have also been given the mandate to preach the Gospel and pass on the faith. We are to do this by being missionaries to others and to ourselves. Notice that this mission is not limited to the Twelve Apostles. Sharing the Lord’s ministry is not limited to a minority, like the clerical group; it needs many helpers, because the harvest is great and varied, the more labourers the better. More people are needed to take responsibility for sharing the spirit of Jesus, for doing the work of the Lord. In today's Gospel, Jesus warns about the difficulties the disciples will face. Some towns will not make them feel welcome. However, whether people make them welcome or not the disciples should share something of the Christian spirit: “The kingdom of God is very near to you.” Jesus continues to work in and through those who want to play their part, whether or not they are appreciated. We are challenged to do something to promote the Kingdom of God with compassion and justice in our world. Today, we remember St Jerome, the great Doctor of the Church, for his great piety and contributions in reforming some practices in the Church and imposing discipline against creeping influences of corrupt worldly practices. Jerome was a student of philosophy who discovered the Lord and his faith in Him during his studies and search for truth. After conversion, he studied more about the Lord and the Sacred Scriptures, which was then written in the traditional Biblical Hebrew and translated into the Greek Septuagint. However, there had not been an authoritative Latin translation of the Scriptures that existed yet at that time and it was Jerome who was renowned for his translation of the Greek Septuagint and the original texts into the Latin Vulgate.

May the Lord give us strength to effectively spread the Gospel with utmost commitment, so that all may rejoice in hearing the word of God and be ready to share it with others! Amen!! Good morning and have a pleasant day!!!

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