Thursday, XXXII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Josaphat, pray for us

Readings: 1st: Philemon 7-20; Ps: 146; Gos: Lk 17:20-25

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, Canóvanas 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 Thursday of the thirty-second week of ordinary time, the Church honors Saint Josaphat, Bishop, and Martyr.

Josaphat was born about the year 1580 at Vladimir. He was named John at his baptism. In 1604 he joined the Order of Saint Basil (Basilians). As a monk, Josaphat a very mortified and penitential life.

In 1614 he was appointed archimandrite of Vilna, Russia.  Fours years later, he became the archbishop of Polotzk. He was a courageous defender of the faith against heresy. He held a council at Rome which condemned the Monothelite heresy, which taught that Christ had no human but only a divine will.

Josaphat worked hard and faithfully for the unity of the Church until he suffered martyrdom at the hands of an angry mob in Russia in 1623 at forty-three.

Today’s gospel presents us with a discussion of Christ and the Pharisees. Probably, continuing their quest to trap Christ, the Pharisees asked him when the kingdom of God will come.

Jesus’ response to this question reminds us that the most important thing is to be prepared at all times. It also reminds us that no one knows the time or the geographical location where he will appear.

This is contrary to the confusion we see today in our society and world where there is frequent rumors about the “imminent coming” of Christ in a particular church and place.

This must not worry us; instead, we should continue to make efforts to live a holy life that pleases God and will qualify us to be part of God’s kingdom. Hence, we can all partake of God’s kingdom by living as Jesus taught us and by living a truly Christian life.

Today, Christ encourages us not to be too curious about “end times” and the rumors about his coming. We must not allow anyone to deceive us, but continue to endure in good works.

Saint Josaphat, pray for us.

Peace be with you all.

Maranatha!

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