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Arch Bishop Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Spiritual Reading


  • Saturday 1 August 2020

    Saint Alphonsus Mary de' Liguori, Bishop, Doctor 
    on Saturday of week 17 in Ordinary Time


    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:


    Saint Alphonsus Mary de' Liguori, Bishop, Doctor

    From a sermon by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, bishop
    On the love of Christ

    All holiness and perfection of soul lies in our love for Jesus Christ our God, who is our Redeemer and our supreme good. It is part of the love of God to acquire and to nurture all the virtues which make a man perfect.
    Has not God in fact won for himself a claim on all our love? From all eternity he has loved us. And it is in this vein that he speaks to us: “O man, consider carefully that I first loved you. You had not yet appeared in the light of day, nor did the world yet exist, but already I loved you. From all eternity I have loved you.”
    Since God knew that man is enticed by favours, he wished to bind him to his love by means of his gifts: “I want to catch men with the snares, those chains of love in which they allow themselves to be entrapped, so that they will love me.” And all the gifts which he bestowed on man were given to this end. He gave him a soul, made in his likeness, and endowed with memory, intellect and will; he gave him a body equipped with the senses; it was for him that he created heaven and earth and such an abundance of things. He made all these things out of love for man, so that all creation might serve man, and man in turn might love God out of gratitude for so many gifts.
    But he did not wish to give us only beautiful creatures; the truth is that to win for himself our love, he went so far as to bestow upon us the fullness of himself. The eternal Father went so far as to give us his only Son. When he saw that we were all dead through sin and deprived of his grace, what did he do? Compelled, as the Apostle says, by the superabundance of his love for us, he sent his beloved Son to make reparation for us and to call us back to a sinless life.
    By giving us his Son, whom he did not spare precisely so that he might spare us, he bestowed on us at once every good: grace, love and heaven; for all these goods are certainly inferior to the Son. He who did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for all of us: how could he fail to give us along with his Son all good things?


    ________

    The ferial reading for today:


    Saturday of week 17 in Ordinary Time

    From St Ignatius of Antioch's letter to Polycarp
    Let everything be done for God's honour

    Avoid evil practices: indeed, preach against them. Tell my sisters to love the Lord and be content with their husbands in the flesh and in the spirit, and in the same way bid my brothers in Christ’s name to love their wives as the Lord loves his Church. If anyone can remain chaste in honour of the Saviour’s flesh, then let him do so without boasting. For if he boasts of it, he is lost; and if he thinks himself for this reason better than the bishop, he is lost. Those who marry should be united with the bishop’s approval, so that the marriage may follow God’s will and not merely the prompting of the flesh. Let everything be done for God’s honour.
    Hear your bishop, that God may hear you. My life is a sacrifice for those who are obedient to the bishop, the presbyters and the deacons; and may it be my lot to share with them in God. Work together in harmony: struggle together, run together, suffer together, rest together, rise together, as stewards, advisors and servants of God. Seek to please him whose soldiers you are and from whom you draw your pay; let none of you prove a deserter. Let your baptism be your armour, your faith your helmet, your charity your spear, your patience your panoply. Let your good works be your deposits, so that you may draw out well-earned savings. So be patient and gentle with one another, as God is with you. May I have joy in you for ever!
    Since I have heard that the church of Antioch in Syria is in peace through your prayers, I too am more tranquil in my reliance upon God. If only I may find my way to God through my passion and at the resurrection prove to be your disciple! My most blessed Polycarp, you should convene a godly council and appoint someone whom you consider dear and especially diligent to be called God’s courier and to have the honour of going into Syria and advancing God’s glory by speaking of your untiring charity. A Christian is not his own master: his time is God’s. This is God’s work, and it will be yours as well when you have performed it. I have trust in the grace of God that you are ready to act generously when it comes to God’s work. Since I knew so well your zeal for truth, I have limited my appeal to these few words.
    I could not write to all the churches because I am sailing at once from Troas to Neapolis, as is required of me. I want you, therefore, as one who knows God’s purpose, to write to the churches of the East and bid them to follow the same procedure. Those who can should send representatives, while the rest should send letters through the messengers you have sent. Thus your community will be honoured for a good work of eternal value, as you yourself deserve.
    I wish all of you well for ever in Jesus Christ; through him may you all remain in God’s unity and in his care. Farewell in the Lord!


    Copyright © 1996-2020 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.

     

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