Friday, July 31 ~ Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest; Founder, Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Holy Gospel: Matthew 13:54-58 Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
Meditation: How easily familiarity breeds contempt. Jesus could do no mighty works in His hometown because the people who were familiar with Him were closed-minded and despised His claim to speak and act in the name of God. The people pigeon-holed Jesus, looking down their noses and saying “Is he not the carpenter’s son?” as a way of discrediting Him and His teachings.
Prayer: O God, who raised up Saint Ignatius of Loyola in your Church to further the greater glory of your name, grant that by his help we may imitate him in fighting the good fight on earth and merit to receive with him a crown in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Today is an opportunity to ask if I pigeon-hole others, and possibly discredit others as the people did in today’s Gospel. Or do I treat others with kindness and respect? The Lord Jesus offers us freedom from sin, prejudice, contempt, and fear. His love and grace sets us free to love others with the same grace and mercy which he has shown to us. Only Jesus can truly set us free from the worst tyranny possible – slavery to sin and the fear of death. His victory on the cross brings us pardon and healing, and the grace to live holy lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.