Friday, XX Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Pius X, Pray for Us

Readings: 1st: Ez 37:1-14; Ps 106; Gos: Mt 22:34-40

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 twentieth week of ordinary time, the Church honors a great man and figure, Saint Pius X, Pope. He was born in Venetia, on June 2, 1835, and was ordained priest at the age of twenty-three.

During 17 years, he worked as a parish priest. He was later appointed bishop of Mantua, and in 1892 he was made the Archbishop of Venice. On August 4, 1903, he was elected Pope.

Faithful to the aim of his pontificate, “to renew all things in Christ,” he promoted church music, daily bible reading, biblical institutes, reorganization of ecclesiastical offices; the codification of Canon Law. He realized to the full, the value of the liturgy as the prayer of the Church.

Pope Pius died of bronchitis on August 20, 1914 and was canonized on May 29, 1954.

In today’s gospel, the Pharisees asked Christ a very important question: “Which is the greatest commandment of the Law?”

In response to this question, Jesus presents two dimensions of love. First, the vertical dimension of love: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul….” It is important to note that to love God with one’s body and soul requires a lot of sacrifice, and humility.

The second dimension of love is the horizontal: “You must love your neighbor as yourself?” This is more difficult than the first. This is because, we neglect and take it for granted. That is, by thinking that we can love God alone without loving our neighbors.

Hence, Christ reminds us that: “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1Jn 4:20).

So, the best way of expressing our love for God is through our neighbors. We must affect others positively in order to love God well.

It is through our neighbor that we worship and love God. Therefore, charity must begin at home, with your family, neighbor, friends, and of course all.

Saint Augustine tell us, “love, and do whatever you will. Let the root of love be within. From this root, can nothing spring, but what is good.”

Peace be with you.

Maranatha!

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