24 Wed – Memorial for St. Anthony Mary Claret, bishop
St. Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870) was a weaver before he joined the seminary where he was a student with Blessed Francis Coll, and was ordained on June 13, 1835. He became a missionary in Catalonia and the Canary Islands where he directed retreats and founded the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians). He was ordained the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba on May 20, 1850 and later founded the Teaching Sisters of Mary Immaculate.
Following his work in the Caribbean, Blessed Pope Pius IX ordered him back to Spain where he was the confessor to Queen Isabella II and ended up being exiled with her. He had the gifts of prophecy and miracles and was reported to have preached 10,000 sermons, published 200 works. Throughout his life, he worked to spread devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
He is the patron saint for the Catholic press, and of weavers.
– Source: Patron Saint Index
That is why you must not allow sin to reign over your mortal bodies and make you obey their desires; or give any parts of your bodies over to sin to be used as instruments of evil. Instead, give yourselves to God, as people brought to life from the dead, and give every part of your bodies to God to be instruments of uprightness; and then sin will no longer have any power over you — you are living not under law, but under grace.
What is the implication? That we are free to sin, now that we are not under law but under grace? Out of the question! You know well that if you undertake to be somebody’s slave and obey him, you are the slave of him you obey: you can be the slave either of sin which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to saving justice. Once you were slaves of sin, but thank God you have given whole-hearted obedience to the pattern of teaching to which you were introduced; and so, being freed from serving sin, you took uprightness as your master.
Jesus said, ‘You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’
Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’ The Lord replied, ‘Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy steward whom the master will place over his household to give them at the proper time their allowance of food? Blessed that servant if his master’s arrival finds him doing exactly that. I tell you truly, he will put him in charge of everything that he owns. But if the servant says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming,” and sets about beating the menservants and the servant-girls, and eating and drinking and getting drunk, 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 unfaithful.
‘The servant who knows what his master wants, but has got nothing ready and done nothing in accord with those wishes, will be given a great many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but has acted in such a way that he deserves a beating, will be given fewer strokes. When someone is given a great deal, a great deal will be demanded of that person; when someone is entrusted with a great deal, of that person even more will be expected.’
In the first reading, we are told who our master is. In the Gospel reading, Jesus tells us how we can fulfill our duty as His servants.
Jesus’ last sentence mirrors the situation where an employee receives a high pay and has to perform according to the expectation attached to the pay. Similarly, as servants of the Lord, we already have abundant blessings. Unlike any employer, however, the Father has also equipped us to fulfill our duty.
Whether we are good servants will depend on whether we listen to what our Master has to say — through the Word and in our hearts, and whether we obey what He says. Do we answer His everyday callings to show a friend more concern or restrain ourselves from blowing up at people when we are angry?
Sometimes, it just seems so hard to obey, isn’t it? Do we draw on what He has provided to help us, or do we often visualise ourselves to be going through our days alone? When we do the latter, it is definitely more difficult. It is unconsciously saying that He has not provided us with what we need. That is where faith comes in. There are times when we feel that we are alone, yet we must hold on to the knowledge that God is around in our lives.
Whether we are struggling against sin or to make that step to love our neighbour more, let us persevere. Let us remember Jesus’ words today as both encouragement and reminder.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Regina Xie)
Prayer: Lord, help us to listen to You and obey You.
Give thanks to the Lord for: creating each and every one of us for a purpose.
Thu, 25 Oct – Romans 6:19-23; Luke 12:49-53
Fri, 26 Oct – Romans 7:18-25a; Luke 12:54-59
Sat, 27 Oct – Romans 8:1-11; Luke 13:1-9
Sun, 28 Oct – Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14; Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.