MEMORIAL OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, RELIGIOUS

June 21, 2018

Sirach 48:1-14

 

Then Elijah arose, a prophet like fire,
and his word burned like a torch.
He brought a famine upon them,
and by his zeal he made them few in number.
By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens,
and also three times brought down fire.
How glorious you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
Whose glory is equal to yours?
You raised a corpse from death
and from Hades, by the word of the Most High.
You sent kings down to destruction,
and famous men, from their sickbeds.
You heard rebuke at Sinai
and judgments of vengeance at Horeb.
You anointed kings to inflict retribution,
and prophets to succeed you.
You were taken up by a whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with horses of fire.
At the appointed time, it is written, you are destined
to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury,
to turn the hearts of parents to their children,
and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
Happy are those who saw you
and were adorned with your love!
For we also shall surely live.

When Elijah was enveloped in the whirlwind,
Elisha was filled with his spirit.
He performed twice as many signs,
and marvels with every utterance of his mouth.
Never in his lifetime did he tremble before any ruler,
nor could anyone intimidate him at all.
Nothing was too hard for him,
and when he was dead, his body prophesied.
In his life he did wonders,
and in death his deeds were marvelous.

 

Psalm 97:1-7

 

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
and consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
and all the peoples behold his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
those who make their boast in worthless idols;
all gods bow down before him.

 

Matthew 6:7-15

 

“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“Pray then in this way:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And do not bring us to the time of trial,

but rescue us from the evil one.

 

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

 

(NRSVCE)

 

Meditation

 

The responsibility of a prophet is to proclaim God’s word through words and actions.  When God tells a prophet to speak, he speaks God’s word.  When God tells a prophet to act, he does as God directs him.  No prophet has power of his own, but manifests in himself the great things God chooses to accomplish through mortal beings when they trust God entirely.  The words and actions of every prophet played a role in the prefiguring of Christ.  Today, Sirach proclaims the great things God accomplished through Elijah, a great prophet with even greater trust in God.  As one who prefigures Christ, Elijah accomplished many deeds that Jesus performed later: raising the dead, miracle increases in food, the sending of successors into mission.  But most importantly, Elijah was “destined to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the hearts of parents to their children.”  And so Jesus is the one who plants himself between God the Father and us, his lowly children, to intercede for us and bring us into union with the Father.

 

Therefore, as the one who completely restores the relationship between God and his fallen creation, Jesus gives us the perfect words to pray.  This prayer emphasizes the relationship of trust that Jesus has restored.  When we call God our Father and rely on him for our daily bread, our daily needs, we are trusting entirely that God is good and he has our best interests at heart.  When we ask him to forgive us, we are trusting that our every day breaches of that trust will not sever us entirely from God, that Jesus can and will lead us back to him.  When we ask for his will to be done, we are asking him to form us into his people who help to accomplish that will.  When we ask him to deliver us from the evil one, we are trusting that God has power over all things.

 

Today, we cannot be called to be prophets who prefigure Christ.  Christ has come.  So we are called to be imitators of Christ.  And when God tells us to speak, we speak God’s word.  And when God calls us to act, we do as God directs us.  We have all been called through Jesus to proclaim the Gospel in all the world and make disciples.  We cannot do this on our own any more than Elijah had power on his own.  We are entirely dependent on God.  If we trust him, God will work great things through us.  If we do not trust him, our struggle will be endless.  Let us spend some time with God today, examining the areas where we need to trust God more.  Let us always remember that we have all received a spirit of adoption, through which we are able to cry to God, “Abba! Father!”

 

Prayer:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And do not bring us to the time of trial,

but rescue us from the evil one.

Amen.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Recent Posts
Please reload

Archive
Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Facebook Clean Grey