Friday, XVII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Pray for Us

Readings: 1st: Jer 18:1-6; Ps 145; Gos: Mt 13:47-53

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Friday of the seventeenth week of ordinary time, the Church honors Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest.

Ignatius was born in Spain in 1491. As a young man, he was a captain in the military until he suffered a serious fracture on his left leg in 1521.

As Paul reminds us that, “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28), this misfortune initiated a new phase of life, and journey of faith for Ignatius.

He took advantage of the opportunity God presented to him, received his miracle, gave his life to Christ as a priest, and became one of the Church’s greatest theologians.

Ignatius was the founder of the Society of Jesus, popularly known as the Jesuits. So, one of his greatest contribution and gift to the Church is the multitude of priests and religious that has crowned his effort.

After much work and service to God and humanity, Ignatius died in Rome on 31 July 1556, and was canonized on 12 March 1622.

In today’s gospel, Christ made a very important statement: “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” Indeed, it is said that “familiarity brings contempt.” In everyday life, we see this happen as it happened to Christ among his own people.

Rejection hurts much. This is especially, when it is comes from one’s own folks (Jn 1:11). However, the one who loses more is he who ignorantly rejects or do not appreciate what he has.

There are some other reasons why like the relatives of Jesus, we do not appreciate, or honor our own brothers and sisters, jealousy and pride. These are also embedded in the questions of Christ’s relatives.

Hence, today’s gospel reminds us that we must eschew jealousy, pride and learn to appreciate what we have. It also means that, we should give honor to whom it is due, irrespective of how familiar we are with the person. This will help us and our own community prosper and grow.

Finally, faith is the foundation of any miracle. Without it, nothing will work for us. Christ could not do much for his people because of their incredulity. The more we lack faith, both in ourselves and in God, the more we diminish the possibility of our own miracle and progress in life.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Pray for Us

Peace be with you.

Maranatha!

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