June 21, 2017

Aloysius Gonzaga

June 21, 2017:  St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

  • 'Plant' pin: as you so, so shall you reap (1st reading) 
  • 'Penny' button:  Paul's fundraising (1st reading); riches shall be in the house of those who fear the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Lights' tie:  Light shines through darkness for the upright (psalm)
  • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  "When you give alms, don't blow a trumpet" (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  When you give, don't let your left hand know what your right is doing (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Don't pray so others may see you (gospel)
  • White shirt:  liturgical color for St. Aloysius memorial

For Psalm 112
Pope Francis General Audience
The saints, “who have gone before us with the sign of faith,” are “a great cloud of witnesses” who support us on our way through life.  In the sacraments of baptism, marriage, and ordination, we pray the Litany of the Saints to implore their intercession and help in the call we've received.  The saints' lives remind us that the Christian ideal is attainable; despite our weakness, we can count on God’s grace and their prayers to sustain us in faith and in hope for the transfiguration of this world and the fulfillment of Christ’s promises.  May the Lord enable us to become saints, living images of Christ.  May he strengthen us to be his witnesses and to bring the Gospel to all, especially the suffering and those most in need of its message of hope.
  • 2 Cor 9:6-11  If you sow sparingly, you'll reap sparingly; if you sow bountifully, you'll reap bountifully.  God loves a cheerful giver and will give you all you need.  The one who supplies seed and bread will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness....
  • Ps 112:1bc-4, 9  "Blessed those who fear the Lord" and delight in his commands.  Light shines through darkness for the gracious, merciful, and just who give generously.
  • Mt 6:1-6, 16-18  "When you give alms, don't blow a trumpet to win praise; don't let your left hand know what your right is doing.  When you pray, don't stand so others see you; go to your room and pray in secret.  When you fast, don't look gloomy so others think you're fasting; let only your Father know.  When you give alms, pray, and fast in secret, your Father will see and repay you."
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Play-acting":  The root of 'hypocrite' means 'play-acting.'  Discipleship is righteous living from the heart, not play-acting.  Disciples live to please God, not to obtain a reward.  'Reward' in today's parable means limited repayment that only satisfies the "actor."  'Repayment,' applied to God repaying an act of discipleship, is a reward from God.  Unlike the hypocrite's repayment, the disciple trusts in God's generosity and providence.  Play-acting limits the reward and directs attention to the hypocrite, not God, while discipleship places no such limits.  Don't play at being Jesus' disciple; take up your cross and follow him wholeheartedly.
  • Passionist:  The life of farmers is cyclical; each spring they prepare the land and sow seed.  It's arduous and time-consuming, but when fall comes, there can be joy from a successful harvest (but not always).  Similarly, in today's gospel Jesus recalls the experience of helping others, almsgiving, being content to do so quietly without expecting an immediate reward.  In the business world when we make payments now for a deferred reward we call it investment or insurance....
    St. "Luigi"
  • DailyScripture.net:  "When you pray, fast, and give alms":  Jews considered prayer, fasting, and almsgiving the cardinal works of the religious life.  Do you pray, fast, and give alms to draw attention to yourself, or to give glory to God?  True piety is loving devotion to God, an attitude of awe, reverence, worship and obedience, a gift and work of the Spirit that enables us to devote our lives to God.  The reward is communion with the Father, fullness of life, happiness, love and joy.  "When I'm united to you, there will be no more sorrows or trials; full of you, my life will be complete." (St. Augustine, Confessions)  The Lord renews us with hearts of love and compassion so we may serve him and others with generous hearts.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga and...
  • Creighton:  A pious young man who rejected the wealth and status of his noble family, Aloysius became a Jesuit.  His spiritual director, St. Robert Bellarmine, advised him to spend less time in formal prayer and more interacting with others. When plague broke out, Aloysius cared for the victims till he died from it (at 23).  He became the patron saint of youth and is regarded as the patron of those with AIDS.  We can be grateful for his fidelity, openness to growth, courage, and selfless love.  St. Aloysius, keep interceding for youth, who face challenges you couldn't have imagined.  Help young people row against the current, know God's love, find the relationship with Jesus that will conform their hearts to his, see their roles in our Church, and serve those most in need.

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