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Doctrines & Morals

The Memorial of St Teresa of Avila

Rom. 4:1-8, Lk. 12:1-7. In today's first reading, Paul became sober and cautious due to the controversial atmosphere generated by his earlier letter to the Galatians. Paul continues to battle with the Judaizers in the early Church who required every disciple of Jesus to fully observe the Mosaic law. He turns to the example of Abraham, to illustrate that justification is by faith rather than by works. What made Abraham special was his acceptance of the gift of faith which was offered to him by God. After Abraham accepted the gift of faith, he was justified and his actions reflected the faith alive in him. In today's Gospel, Jesus enjoins us to allow our actions to reflect the faith we live and warns: “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees. The leaven of the Pharisees are the negative growth of Pharisees that produces bad growth. If what is said in the dark is proclaimed from rooftops, we will remain faithful on how to be true disciples of the Lord, not with just words and empty gestures as what many of the Pharisees had done, but with real love for God, through real actions, grounded in a living and genuine faith.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law observed a very strict interpretation of the Law and enforced them on others to follow and obey. However, they did not stay truly faithful to what they believed in and they did it mostly for show-off. If our merciful God is concerned about sparrows, then we need to fear nothing: “You are more precious than a whole flock of sparrows.” If a sparrow is not forgotten by God, how much more is that true of us. Jesus reveals a God who is near to us and cares about our ups and downs, joys and sorrows and our successes and failures. At a time of great upheavals, changes and difficulties facing the faithful, St Teresa of Avila whose memorial we celebrate, remained resolute in her faith in God who is ever present in our circumstances of life. Teresa of Jesus, known as Teresa of Avila, was a renowned servant of God, who with St John of the Cross was committed to the reform of the Carmelites Order and founded the order of the Discalced Carmelites. She worked hard to expunge the buildup of corrupt practices and tried to restore the original intentions of the founders of the Carmelites, in purifying the order and also spread the same reform attitude to the broader Church, in tandem with the then height of the Counter Reformation efforts against the heresy of Protestantism.

May the Lord create through us a new world where injustice and destruction will give way to growth, freedom and hope! Amen!! Good morning and have a great day!!!

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