Reflections on Daily Readings 2022
August 28th - September 24th, 2022
August 28 – September 3, 2022
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Second Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ecclesiasticus 3:17-20, 28-29; Psalm 67; Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24; Luke 14:1, 7-14
Our Old Testament reading today warns us to be a humble people. Humility is far better than pride and the humble are loved more than a generous giver because many people will take what they want from a philanthropist without thinking too much about him, so long as they can get what they can. The Psalm reminds us that the Lord is the one who protects the widow and orphan and those who are powerless. The theme of humility is taken up in the gospel passage from St Luke where Jesus is the guest of a Pharisee. He also tells the people that those who give parties for the poor and the destitute are the truly generous ones for they are giving to people who cannot give to them in return. By giving to those who can give to us we do nothing but fool ourselves into false humility. The Lord knows the inmost heart and he knows whether we are really humble or not.
In our final excerpt from the letter to the Hebrews, the author reminds the Hebrews that they have come to the true God and with him everyone is regarded as a first-born son and therefore a citizen of heaven. As citizens of heaven, then, we should act like we truly believe and so show the way for others that they too may become citizens.
Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist
Jeremiah 1:17-19; Psalm 70; Mark 6:17-29
The first reading sees the Lord telling Jeremiah not to be afraid but to stand up before the people and to preach as he has been commanded to by the Lord. The reading is also a good description of John the Baptist and his fearless belief in Christ who also stood before a king and gave him warning of how to act righteously before God. Both Jeremiah and John suffered violent deaths. The gospel passage recalls the martyrdom of John and how he died for the faith as a result of a promise vainly made to a lovely girl by Herod.
Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 2:10-16; Psalm 144; Luke 4:31-37
St Paul tells us that the message of Christ is for all people but unless we have faith and are disposed towards the Holy Spirit then the message will have no impact on us. The Holy Spirit will work in the Christian to reveal the mysteries of God and to bring understanding and acceptance of the message of the Good News. An important point in today’s Gospel passage concerns the authority of Christ. He has authority over all things including unclean spirits and the servants of Satan. Unlike many of those around him, the unclean spirits recognise his power and authority as the Son of God and so obey him. We too will be subject to his judgement on the last day and so we must make every effort to be found worthy through faith and right living.
Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Psalm 32; Luke 4:38-44
We read in the first reading from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians that no matter who first brings the faith to us or who later nourishes that faith within us that it is God who does the work. Those who bring the word to others and help them in their faith are fellow workers with God and we are all called to do this work. So there should be no factions aligning themselves with different preachers. In the Gospel text, Jesus cures many people before going on to other towns which displeases the people for they wanted to keep him for themselves. However he tells them that his message is for all people. As Christians we have a duty to spread Christ’s message to those whom we meet by what we do and say and not simply keep it to ourselves – this is one precious treasure which only grows through sharing.
Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 3:18-23; Psalm 23; Luke 5:1-11
St Paul tells us today that when it comes to Christ’s message it is foolish to pretend to be wise or to understand it all. If we apply too much learning to the message, or if we scrutinise it too much, we will miss the message completely. We need to approach it with an open mind and complete trust and confidence in God. In our Gospel we read of the call of Simon Peter along with James and John. Simon, because he acknowledged himself to be a sinner, did not want the Lord with him. But Christ still called him because he knew Simon’s potential just as he knows the potential of each one of us. Only when we truly acknowledge our weaknesses can we be true disciples for Christ.
Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Psalm 36; Luke 5:33-39
In today’s first reading St Paul is addressing a group in Corinth who had been judging his work of spreading the Good News. Paul tells them that it is not for them to be his judge – that is God’s role alone. He is happy that he has been God’s faithful servant and is happy to be judged by God. In the Gospel, the scribes and Pharisees rebuke Christ because his disciples did not fast. We fast in order to purify ourselves and bring ourselves closer to God. The disciples did not fast because they were in the presence of God.
Saturday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 4:6-15; Psalm 144; Luke 6:1-5
St Paul tells the community in Corinth in the first reading that status in life and material possessions are of no importance when compared with Christ’s message. He contrasts the selfish lives of some Christians in Corinth with the humiliating treatment of other Christians in Rome because of their belief in Christ. Paul’s treatment as “the scum of the earth” is something of joy for him because it comes from his steadfast faith in Christ. In the Gospel, the scribes and Pharisees are again questioning Jesus because his followers do not strictly observe the Sabbath and so he tells them that he is Master of the Sabbath. He is reminding us not to be so caught up with the minute details of the Law that we miss the true reason for the Sabbath and so miss out on a lasting relationship with the Lord.
Memorial of St Gregory the Great, Pope & Doctor of the Church
Gregory was born about the year 540 to St Sylvia and her patrician husband who was a Roman senator. He first became a monk and was later appointed papal legate to Constantinople. He was elected pope in 590 – the first monk elected to this office. He was tireless in his defence of the primacy of Rome and in his encouragement of monasticism and the spread of Christianity. Much of his work still has an effect on the Church today in terms of the liturgy and the discipline of the clergy which he enforced. He is the fourth of the Doctors of the Western Church. He died in 604.
September 4 – September 10, 2022
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Third Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 9:13-18; Psalm 89; Philemon 9-10, 12-17; Luke 14:25-33
The first reading from the Old Testament reminds us that without the Wisdom of God it would be impossible for us to know what lies in the heavens. We know that the Wisdom of God is Christ and that he died for us so that we might enter the heavenly kingdom. To help us reach that goal he left us the Holy Spirit to be our guide. In the gospel passage from St Luke, Jesus tells us that we must give up all we posses if we are to be his disciples. While we do need some possessions in order to live or for the world to develop, we must not put our trust in these possessions alone but must treasure God above all else. If we do this then we will come to know the Wisdom of God and will inherit the kingdom of heaven which is worth more than any earthly possession we could ever wish for.
In our second reading from St Paul’s brief letter to Philemon, we read that Paul is sending Onesimus back to Philemon. Onesimus is a slave who has run away from his master. In sending him back, Paul is complying with the law but he is also doing so in the hope that Onesimus will be treated as a free man as his master is a Christian. Onesimus is returning because even though he does not know for sure what lies in store, as a Christian he has already been freed from oppression through the power of Christ. This is the spirit which we too must have and must place our trust in God rather than in the things and people of this life. Only then will we inherit eternal life.
Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 5:1-8; Psalm 5; Luke 6:6-11
In the first reading today St Paul sternly rebukes the Corinthians for allowing sexual impropriety into their midst and for allowing pride to spoil them. There is a reminder in this that sin is not just a private thing but has a social dimension – what we do has an effect on the lives of others. Paul sternly calls the Corinthians to conversion, to return to the right path. Again in our Gospel today, we see the scribes and Pharisees trying to catch Jesus out on the Sabbath. However, he knows their thoughts and tells them that it is okay to do a good deed on the Sabbath. He then openly cures a man with a withered hand. We must keep all the commandments of God and not just our own interpretation of them. We should also never boast about being Christians but should boast about and proclaim the saving power of Christ.
Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 6:1-11; Psalm 149; Luke 6:12-19
In calling the faithful to conversion today, St Paul tells the Corinthians that they should always show a unified front to non-believers. There is nothing more divisive and off-putting than public in-house fighting. Better still, the roots of division should be dealt with swiftly and public fighting avoided. Their baptism means that they must act in a different way to others – a way which will spread the Gospel at every moment. In the Gospel, Jesus appoints his twelve most senior followers. It is worth noting that among those was Judas – who the Lord trusted as he did the others even – though Judas was to betray him. What is important for us is that before he made this important decision, Jesus spent the night in prayer. We too should pray for strength and guidance before making our own decisions, be they of great importance or everyday happenings.
Wednesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 7:25-31, Psalm 44; Luke 6:20-26
Today’s reading from St Paul to the Corinthians is a little unusual but he was writing to a group beset with scandals at a time when it was thought that the return of Christ was imminent. In any case the important message for us today is one of chaste living. Whether we be married or celibate – we must be faithful to our status in life. Paul was writing at a time which saw many heresies being preached and the one he is referring to today is that marriage was a sin. Today we read St Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, that radical blueprint for living which Christ taught his followers. To be true disciples we must strip away everything earthly from our lives and hunger for nothing but the word of God and the Kingdom.
The Feast of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Micah 5:1-4 or Romans 8:28-30; Psalm 12; Matthew 1:1-6, 18-23
Our readings today may seem rather odd for the memorial of our Lady’s birthday because they speak about the arrival of Christ. In the first reading from Micah we read that the saviour will arrive and then his people will live secure. In the gospel text from St Matthew we have the genealogy of Christ. But the readings do serve to remind us that if it wasn’t for the generosity of Mary in answering God’s call then Christ would not have been born and world history could have been very different. The memorial also serves to remind us that Mary was a human being just like us and that she had a birth just like us.
Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-27; Psalm 83; Luke 6:39-42
St Paul in our first reading talks of contestants in a competition who train for their event just so they can win a laurel wreath which withers. The wreath we are after is infinitely more valuable as it is the kingdom of heaven and so we must never become complacent but must always strive to attain that goal. In the Gospel, Christ tells us that before we help others we must first take care of ourselves. We are called to spread the Gospel but before we can do that we must acquaint ourselves with and believe in that Gospel.
Memorial of St Ciaran of Clonmacnois, Abbot
Ciaran (Kieran) was born in Connacht and went to the monastic school at Clonard before spending some time on Inishmore with St Enda. Following a vision he left the western isles and travelled across Ireland to Clonmacnois where he founded one of the most famous monasteries in the country and where he was noted for his virtues and miracles. He died between 549 and 556.
Saturday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 10:14-22; Psalm 115; Luke 6:43-49
St Paul tells us today that because we share in the one body and blood of Christ we all form one body no matter how many of us there are. He also tells us that we either belong totally to Christ or to other idols – which today could be power, money, TV, etc. – but we cannot belong to both and so must decide between the two. If we opt for Christ then the Eucharist will be the sacrificial meal which strengthens our bond with Christ and with one another. In the Gospel, Jesus says something similar in that we cannot profess to be his followers and fail to fulfil his instructions. If we truly believe then we will act according to his will which is found in the Gospels.
September 11 – September 17, 2022
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Fourth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14; Psalm 50; 1Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-32
In our first reading from the Book of Exodus we see Moses on the mountain with the Lord to receive the Ten Commandments. While Moses was on the mountain the people had turned from God and created a golden calf which they worshipped. The Lord is enraged and resolves to punish them but Moses pleads for the people before the Lord and the Lord relents. The Psalm is a prayer seeking God’s forgiveness and his strength. In the gospel text for today we have a number of stories about finding something which has gone astray and rejoicing at its return. The first sees a man who has lost a sheep, the second a woman who has lost a drachma and the third the story of the Prodigal Son. The stories, of course, symbolise the love of the Father for each and every one of us, a Father who is ready and waiting to accept us back after we have strayed from the right path. Once we turn to him he will restore us to that path and help us along the way to salvation. The stories came about because many of the scribes and Pharisees complained about Jesus eating and associating with people they regarded as sinners. Jesus tells them that the virtuous are already on the path to eternal life and so he does not need to convince them any further. But those who are straying from the path need a gentle reminder and that was why he associated with those who the self-righteous saw as sinners. It is also a reminder that the Lord judges by standards different to our own. Today we are challenged to honestly look at our own lives and to seek the forgiveness of God in order to prepare ourselves for entry to eternal life.
In the second reading, St Paul emphasises this point and tells us that Christ came into the world to save sinners, of which Paul says that he himself is the greatest. Paul also gives thanks to God for this.
Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 11:17-26, 33; Psalm 39; Luke 7:1-10
In our first reading for today St Paul is admonishing the Corinthians for the manner in which they celebrate the Eucharist. They had not been doing so in a fitting manner, but, as they moved from house to house, the parties had become more lavish while the Eucharist was an almost “by the way” happening. He reminds them of the true significance of the Eucharist. This passage is also the earliest record in the New Testament of the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday night. Jesus meets a centurion in our Gospel today whose faith is far stronger than many of those who follow him. He does not need Jesus to come to his house for his servant to be cured but only wants Jesus to will it or say it. This is the faith which we are all called to have – complete trust and belief in the Son of God no matter what.
Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31; Psalm 99; Luke 7:11-17
In our first reading today St Paul uses the analogy of the body to speak about the Church. The body is made up of many diverse parts and yet they all work together to form a seamless and organic unit. So too with the Church – we all make up the Church which is the Body of Christ and of which Christ is the head. Though we are many people we still make up the one Body of Christ, each with his or her own part to play. In our Gospel we read of Jesus restoring a young man to life in the town of Nain for he had pity on the man’s mother who was a widow. It also demonstrates Christ’s power over death ahead of his own resurrection.
Memorial St John Chrysostom, Bishop & Doctor of the Church
Born about the year 347-349 in Antioch, John was ordained in 386. His gifts of speech and eloquence gave rise to the name “Chrysostom” – “Golden Mouth.” He was made archbishop of Constantinople in 398 and was one of the greatest of the four Greek Doctors of the Church and one of the Three Holy Hierarchs along with Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen. He worked tirelessly for the spread of the faith and its defence against heresies. His courage brought him many enemies and he was banished from Constantinople by civil decree on a number of occasions, which the Western Church tried to resolve but in vain. He died in 407 during one such banishment.
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 77; Philippians 2:6-11; John 3:13-17
The first reading from the Book of Numbers recalls how the people in the wilderness had complained against God. For their ungratefulness, the Lord sent serpents among the people to punish them. Moses fashioned a bronze serpent to save those who were bitten by the serpents. The second reading from the letter to the Philippians is one of the most beautiful passages in scripture for it tells us of how Christ humbled himself to become one of us in order to save us. Through his humility he was raised above all other creatures and won our salvation. In the gospel, Jesus tells us that he had to be raised high, just as Moses raised the serpent, so that all peoples may be saved and brought to eternal life. In the cross is our salvation and the salvation of all peoples and it is this redemption which we celebrate today.
St Helena was, for a time, wife of Emperor Constantius and was the mother of Emperor Constantine I – the first emperor to become a Christian. With her son’s approval she travelled to the Holy Land in search of the sacred places and relics associated with our Lord. Among the relics she discovered was the True Cross which she is said to have discovered on this day in 320 and in 335 had churches dedicated on Calvary and the True Cross venerated there. This annual feast is a chance for us – outside of the Easter Season – to reflect on the significance of the cross in our lives and of the redemption which Christ won for us by his death and resurrection.
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Hebrews 5:7-9; Psalm 30; John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35
In our first reading from the letter to the Hebrews we read that Christ offered up prayer to God but still went to the cross to save the world. In the gospel from St John, we see Mary at the foot of the cross as her Son dies. In the alternative gospel from St Luke we see Mary and Joseph with the Christ-child in the Temple at his presentation. There they are met by Simeon who predicts that Mary would suffer as a result of being the mother of Christ. Today’s memorial recalls Mary’s suffering at seeing her Divine Son rejected and ultimately put to death. Through it all she never tried to prevent what was taking place because she trusted in God and in her Son. As she suffered she was comforted by God who comforts us in all our troubles.
Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 15:12-20; Psalm 16; Luke 8:1-3
Today, St Paul reminds the Corinthians that Christ has in fact risen from the dead and that this is a pillar of the faith. It is also our salvation for if it did not take place then our faith would be in vain for there would be no hope and no salvation. In our Gospel, Luke speaks of some of the women who followed Jesus on his travels and who had been cured by him. These women also witnessed to the events on Calvary, were present at his burial and saw the Risen Lord.
Memorial of St Cornelius, Pope, & St Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
Cornelius was elected pope in 251 and was martyred two years later under the persecutions of Emperor Gallus. During the persecutions under the Roman emperors many Christians left the faith to save their lives eventually returning to the faith before they died or when the persecutions eased. Cornelius and Novatian clashed over this with Novatian saying they should not be re-admitted and Cornelius being more pastorally sensitive and forgiving. Part of this clash saw Novatian have himself elected as pope in opposition to Cornelius (Novatian was anti-pope from 251 to 258). Caecilius Cyprianus was born in North Africa at the start of the third century and became a lawyer before converting to Christianity and became a bishop in 249. He is remembered with Cornelius because he supported Cornelius in the struggle against Novatian and was beheaded on the 14th of September, 258 on the instruction of Emperor Valerian. Both of these men are named in the Roman Canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I).
Feast of St Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem & Lawgiver of Carmel
Ephesians 6:11-18; Psalm 118; Matthew 20:25-28
The first reading from the letter to the Ephesians is one which was quoted by St Albert in the Rule of Life he left for the first Carmelites. The passage reminds us that even though salvation has been won by Jesus Christ, the Christian is to remain vigilant because evil forces are still at work, trying to lead people away from God. The idea of God’s armour has its origins in the Old Testament (Isaiah 11 and 59, and Wisdom 5) and it is to be worn by the Christian if they are to be successful in the struggle. In his Rule, Albert exhorted the early hermits to be aware of the presence of the evil one and to arm themselves against him. For Albert, the devil or the evil one was no mere symbol, but a living being who works against God.
The gospel text from St Matthew reminds us that we are servants to one another, and we are not to be served. We are servants of God, servants of the Gospel, and servants of one another. This is very much found in the Carmelite Rule where the Prior is first among equals, not their lord or master, but simply their leader for a time. These readings are particularly important for us as Carmelites as they give scriptural grounding to our way of life.
Albert Avogadro was born in the middle of the twelfth century in Castel Gualtieri, in the plains of northern Italy. He became a Canon Regular of the Holy Cross, at Mortara, and was elected their prior in 1180. He was appointed Bishop of Bobbio in 1184, Bishop of Vercelli in 1185, and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1204. For nine years he was also a papal legate for Pope Clement III. Given the troubles in the Holy Land at the time of his appointment, he spent his time as Patriarch living in the northern coastal town of Acre where he was murdered by an unhappy Hospitaller on September 14, 1214. He is an important figure for the Carmelite Order because during his time as Latin Patriarch he was approached by the hermits living near the Spring of Elijah who asked him for a Rule of Life, a rule to govern their living in community. This he wrote in the form of a letter sometime between 1206 and 1214 and, in so doing, gave the formal beginnings to what is the Order of Carmelites.
September 18 – September 24, 2022
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Fifth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Amos 8:4-7; Psalm 112; 1Timothy 2:1-8; Luke 16:1-13
In our first reading, the Prophet Amos speaks to the people on behalf of God and warns them to be honest and upright in their dealings with people, especially with the poor and those who have no voice to protect them from the unscrupulous. Our gospel passage sees Jesus warning us about the dangers of money and wealth. He affirms that money is necessary but also says that those who are dishonest when it comes to money will also prove themselves dishonest when it comes to real treasure – that is the treasures of the kingdom of God. The passage finishes with Jesus reminding us that, in reality, we can only serve one master and so we have a choice to make – to serve God or to serve the material things of this world – one will lead to eternal life while the other will lead to death.
In the second reading St Paul calls on each of us to pray for our fellow men and women through “petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving” so that all may come to the true knowledge of God and so inherit the kingdom.
Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Proverbs 3:27-34; Psalm 14; Luke 8:16-18
Today we return to the Old Testament and to the Book of Proverbs in the section known as Wisdom Literature. The Book is attributed to the wisdom of King Solomon and is aimed at the young and immature. We are warned in our passage for today that those who wilfully do what is wrong and who do not show kindness have no place with God. The Psalm speaks of the sort of person who is pleasing to the Lord. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us in the parable of the lamp that nothing is hidden from God – everything is seen by him. Therefore we must be careful to always act justly and righteously in all things.
Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13; Psalm 118; Luke 8:19-21
We have a number of little proverbs in today’s first reading from the Book of Proverbs which give pointers to the way we should think and act. The general theme is about the ways of evil men in comparison to those who are good-living. In the Gospel we see Jesus being looked for by his family. He tells us that those who do his will are members of his family. If we are Christians then we should take every care not to let our family down, and in particular our brother, Christ, by doing or saying anything that is against his will.
Memorial of St Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest & Martyr, St Paul Chong, Martyr & Companions
Andrew and his Companions are known as the Korean Martyrs for they were martyred in that country. Andrew was born in 1821 and ordained in 1845, just one year before he became the first Korean priest to be put to death for the faith. In all it is thought that up to 10,000 Koreans were martyred for the faith between 1791-1867, many of whom were lay-people. Pope John Paul II canonized a representative 103 martyrs in Seoul Cathedral on May 6, 1984.
Feast of St Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist
Ephesians 4:1-7; Psalm 18; Matthew 9:9-13
Our first reading today from the letter to the Ephesians speaks of the different gifts of God which have been given to the Ephesians, and how they should all be used for the building up of the Body of Christ. First among those are the apostles who gave their lives for the building of the kingdom – Matthew being today’s example. The gospel passage tells the story of the call of Matthew from being a tax-collector to being a follower of Christ.
Very little is known about Matthew other than the fact that he was a tax-collector and wrote one of the Synoptic Gospels, which he wrote in Hebrew. Accounts of his martyrdom are unconfirmed.
Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Ecclesiastes 1:2-11; Psalm 89; Luke 9:7-9
Today we begin reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes written by an author named Qoheleth about the third century before Christ. He tells us that there is nothing new to be found in the world – everything there is has already existed but we do not have any memory of them. It is in the mind of God the Creator and the works of man are but mere vanity. In our Gospel text, the works and teachings of Christ have come to the attention of Herod. He is unsettled because some people thought that Jesus was the Baptist – whom Herod had beheaded – come back to life. Herod had listened to John with curiosity but had not done as John had instructed. Now he is getting a second chance to do the right thing. We too get second chances though we do not always acknowledge or grasp them. However, we do not know when our time on this earth will end and so we need to listen to the word of God today and act upon it.
Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11; Psalm 143; Luke 9:18-22
In our first reading today from the Book of Ecclesiastes, Qoheleth tells us that there is a time for everything. The reading reminds us that there is a rhythm in life and a cycle of change to all things. In our Gospel, St Peter makes his great profession of faith when Christ asks his followers who they think he is. He also tells them that he is to suffer and to die. Today we are asked to look into our hearts and, for ourselves, answer the question – “Who do you say I am?” We are also told that this event took place while Jesus and the Apostles were at prayer, again showing us how central prayer was in the life of Christ.
Memorial of St Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), Priest
Francesco Forgione was born in southern Italy in 1887. He joined the Capuchin Friars and was ordained priest in 1910. He suffered from ill-health and was thought to have tuberculosis at one stage. While praying before a cross he received the visible stigmata on September 20, 1918. His fame spread far and wide after the end of the Second World War and crowds flocked to hear and see him. Many miracles have been attributed to him and he was a gifted confessor. He founded a hospital in 1956. He died on September 23, 1968, and was canonized in 2002.
Saturday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Ecclesiastes 11:9-12, 8; Psalm 89; Luke 9:43-45
Today, Qoheleth – the author of the first reading – is reminding us of how foolish we can be, especially in our youth. It is in our young days that we should acknowledge the power of God and begin building up our faith so as to be able to bear the trials of the “evil days” which come later in life. In our Gospel text, Jesus again tells his disciples that he will be handed over to the power of men, though they do not understand what he is saying and were too afraid to ask. Yet he tells them to keep this always in mind and we are told elsewhere in the Gospels that all these things fell into place for them following the resurrection.