GOSPEL LIVING

Thursday July 18,2019

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Isaiah 10:5-7, 13-16  |  Psalm 94:5-10, 14-15  |  Matthew 11:25-27

25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; 26 yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. 27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Meditation: Do you want to know the mind and thoughts of God? Jesus thanks the Father in heaven for revealing to his disciples the wisdom and knowledge of God. What does Jesus' prayer tell us about God and about ourselves? First, it tells us that God is both Father and Lord of earth as well as heaven. He is both Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and at the same time, goodness and loving care for all his children. All fatherhood and motherhood is derived from him (Ephesians 3:14-15). Jesus' prayer also contains a warning that pride can keep us from the love and knowledge of God. What makes us ignorant and blind to the things of God? Certainly intellectual pride, coldness of heart, and stubbornness of will shut out God and his kingdom. Pride is the root of all vice and the strongest influence propelling us to sin. It first vanquishes the heart, making it cold and indifferent towards God. It also closes the mind to God's truth and wisdom for our lives. What is pride? It is the inordinate love of oneself at the expense of others and the exaggerated estimation of one's own learning and importance.

Jesus contrasts intellectual pride with child-like simplicity and humility. The simple of heart are like "babes" in the sense that they see purely without pretense and acknowledge their dependence and trust in the one who is greater, wiser, and more trustworthy. They seek one thing — the "summum bonum" or "greatest good" who is God himself. Simplicity of heart is wedded with humility, the queen of virtues, because humility inclines the heart towards grace and truth. Just as pride is the root or every sin and evil, so humility is the only soil in which the grace of God can take root. It alone takes the right attitude before God and allows him as God to do all. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6). Only the humble in heart can receive true wisdom and understanding of God and his ways. Do you submit to God's word with simple trust and humility? Jesus makes a claim which no one would have dared to make: He is the perfect revelation of God. One of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that we can know the living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God, but we can know God personally. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and other religions, is the knowledge of God as our Father. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God -- a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross. Jesus is the revelation of God -- a God who loves us completely, unconditionally and perfectly. Jesus also promises that God the Father will hear our prayers when we pray in his name. That is why Jesus taught his followers to pray with confidence, Our Father who art in heaven ..give us this day our daily bread. Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his love and care for you?

 

Saint of the day "St. Szymon of Lipnica 1439-1482"

In the summer of 1453 when St. John Capistrran visited Cracow, the capital of Poland, at the invitation of the Polish King Casimir, his sermons produced veritable miracles of conversion. Many of the young people, too, among them many students from the University of Cracow, resolved to renounce the world and begged the holy preacher for the habit of the Franciscan Order.

One of these was Szymon of the little town of Lipnica not far from Cracow.

He had just taken his bachelor's degree in the humanities, and what is of greater consequence, by means of childlike veneration of the Blessed Virgin he had preserved his purity of heart unsullied.

Although he had lived an innocent life, he now lived a life of great penance in the order, observed long fasts, scourged his body, and always wore a penitential girdle. On the feasts of our Blessed Lady he added a second one, in order to win her special favor.

After he had been ordained a priest and been entrusted with the office of preacher in the convent church of Cracow, his words bore the impress of such zeal and eloquence that he brought back countless sinners from the paths of iniquity; and he then guided them on the path of Christian conduct with loving gentleness. Many of his auditors were moved to aspire to higher perfection.

Szymon entertained an ardent desire to shed his blood for the Faith, and he hoped to be sent to Palestine to labor among the Saracens. This hope, however, was not fulfilled. He did have to suffer many hardships, but after devoutly visiting the holy places, he returned safely to Cracow. There another type of martyrdom was destined to procure for him the eternal crown.

In the beginning he resumed his task of preaching with renewed zeal. He was obliged also to accept various positions in the order, including that of provincial. He was ever active for the welfare of his brethren and of all men, and allowed himself only the most necessary repose. He used to say that he hoped to enjoy a real rest when God would grant him eternal rest.

His motto was: "Pray, work, and hope."

About the year 1482, an epidemic broke out in Cracow and raged with terrible fury. Filled with love for his neighbor and the spirit of holy zeal for the salvation of souls, Father Szymon devoted himself entirely to the service of the sick. It was not long before he, too, was attacked by the dread disease.

Filled with gratitude to God for this privilege and with Christian hope in a merciful judgment, he died a martyr of charity on July 18, 1482. Numerous miracles occurred at his grave, whereupon the Holy See approved his veneration. Beatified February 24, 1685 by Blessed Pope Innocent XI, he was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on June 3, 2007.