Wednesday, XXVI Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Jerome, Pray for Us

Readings: 1st: Jb 9:1-12:14-16; Ps: 88; Gos: Lk 9:57-62

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 Wednesday of the twenty-sixth week of ordinary time the Church honors Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church.

Jerome was born in 345 in Dalmatia. He was baptized in Rome and studied under the best masters in foreign cities.

He is one of the greatest biblical scholars that ever lived. Jerome translated the bible into standard Latin version, called the Vulgate.

Jerome died peacefully in Bethlehem in 420, exhausted from his scholarly labors and life of penance. He was buried in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

In today’s gospel Christ knew the weakness of the young men who wished to follow him. He knew their struggles, as well as their distractions. Like some of us, they had “genuine excuses.”

They wanted to follow Christ, but they were not ready to make the necessary sacrifice and full commitment.

So, seeing their predicament, Christ addressed them: “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

“Looking behind” in this context has grave consequences for our Christian life and journey. It represents all unnecessary attachments. It does not permit us to make God’s call a permanent experience in our lives.

One of the greatest obstacles we have today as Christians is that our attentions are so divided that we find it difficult to make any strong commitment to God. Some of us are afraid of what we will loss.

Today, the church calls us to be totally committed to Christ. We must overcome all the forces, obstacles, and vices such as: selfishness, materialism, immorality, and old bad habits. These make it hard for us to be committed to Christ.

So, let ask Christ to help us deepen our understanding of what it means to make a permanent commitment to him.

Saint Jerome, Pray for Us

Peace be with you all.

Maranatha!

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