Tuesday, June 21 ~ Twelfth Week in the Season of Ordinary Time
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Confessor
Holy Gospel: Matthew 7:12-14 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”
Meditation: Jesus’ expression about “pearls before swine” is concerns not exclusivity, but with purity — the purity of the faith which has been entrusted to us by an all-loving and all-wise God. The early church referenced this expression with the Eucharist or the Lord’s Table. In the liturgy of the early church, a proclamation was given shortly before communion: Holy things to the holy. The Didache, a first century church manual stated: Let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist except those baptized into the name of the Lord; for, as regards this, the Lord has said, `Give not that which is holy unto dogs.'” The Lord invites us to his table, but we must approach worthily.
Prayer: O God, giver of heavenly gifts, who in Saint Aloysius Gonzaga joined penitence to a wonderful innocence of life, grant through his merits and intercession, that, though we have failed to follow him in innocence, we may imitate him in penitence. 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: Jesus concludes his discourse with the reminder that we must treat our neighbor in the same way we wish to be treated by God and by others. We must not just avoid doing harm to our neighbor, we must actively seek his or her welfare. In doing so, we fulfill the law and the prophets, namely what God requires of us – loving God with all that we have and are and loving our neighbor as ourselves. The personal love we show to our neighbor is fueled by the love that God has poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit is every ready to transform our lives in Jesus’ way of love. Do you thirst for holiness and for the fire of God’s love? If not, or if you find yourself repeatedly falling short in this regard, pray the prayer of St. Clement XI of Rome: “Let me love you, my Lord and my God, and see myself as I really am – a pilgrim in this world, a Christian called to respect and love all whose lives I touch, those in authority over me or those under my authority, my friends and my enemies. Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor. Help me to forget myself and reach out towards others.”