25 August – Memorial for St. Louis of France, Married man; Memorial for St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest, Religious founder
As king of France, Louis (1214-1270) made numerous judicial and legislative reforms. He promoted Christianity in France; established religious foundations, aided mendicant orders, propagated synodal decrees of the Church, built leper hospitals, and collected relics.
“In prosperity, give thanks to God with humility and fear lest by pride you abuse God’s benefits and so offend him.” – St. Louis IX
Joseph Calasanz (1556-1648) and two fellow priests opened a small, free school for poor children. He was supervising several teachers and hundreds of students. When the school moved to larger quarters, the teaching priests were reorganised into a community recognised as a religious order called Le Sciole Pie (Religious Schools), also known as the Piarists, or Scolopii or Ordo Clericorum Regularium Pauperum Matris Dei Scholarum Piarum or Order of Poor Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools; Joseph acted as superior of the Order.
The community encountered many obstacles. It was dissolved, then reorganised after Joseph’s death. They were restored as a religious order in 1669, and continue their good work today.
– Patron Saint Index
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle, together with brother Sosthenes, send greetings to the church of God in Corinth, to the holy people of Jesus Christ, who are called to take their place among all the saints everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ; for he is their Lord no less than ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.
I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received through Jesus Christ. I thank him that you have been enriched in so many ways, especially in your teachers and preachers; the witness to Christ has indeed been strong among you so that you will not be without any of the gifts of the Spirit while you are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; and he will keep you steady and without blame until the last day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because God by calling you has joined you to his Son, Jesus Christ; and God is faithful.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
‘What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time? ‘Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the dishonest servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time,” and sets about beating his fellow servants and eating and drinking with drunkards, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’
Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
I used to do project management work where one of the critical stages is planning. Our team needed to foresee everything. We had to anticipate what our clients’ wanted. We also had to prepare ready-made answers to our clients’ inquiries. Since we were always prepared, we were quite successful in our projects. But there were also times that we experienced failures. I do get frustrated when things do not go well. I always ask myself, “What did I miss?”, “How come I was not able to see these things?”, and other similar questions. I am a planner. I want to make sure that everything goes smoothly without any problem. I get anxious when things do not work out how they are supposed to be.
The first reading clearly states that Paul was appointed by God. It was God who chose him; not anyone else, but God. The graces that were received were from God through Jesus Christ. The blessings that made the people strong and equipped are from God. It is by the grace of God that we have received so many blessings. And we should be grateful for those. Our life is a gift from God. He chose us to live this life serving Him. The Gospel reading enlightens us as to what kind of servant we should be. One servant did wicked things while his master was away. There is another servant who did his job properly even though his master was away. Are we doing good things because there are people who see us? Are we doing good things because we want to do it and it is the right thing to do?
I admit there are times when I feel lazy when my boss is not around. I feel relaxed and relieved thinking there is no one to guard me. I am free. I am free to do anything I want. And freedom is a gift from God. We have free will to do anything with our lives. However, we must be prepared for our the consequences of our actions.
Planning is needed in our daily lives. But we must remember that it is God’s will that our plans push through. It is in the name of Jesus Christ that things happen in accordance to how we plan. We cannot see what lies ahead. But we must always be prepared to receive God’s plans for us. Other people may not see what we do every day. But God sees everything. We continue to be focused living our faith and hope for better days to come.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Beryl Baterina)
Prayer: Lord God, may you grant us the grace to feel your plan for us. May we able to do the things in according to Your will.
Thanksgiving: Father God, thank you for this gift of life. Thank you for everything that makes us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.