30th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eph 4:32— 5:8
Brothers and sisters: Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. So do not be associated with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
Gospel: Lk 13:10-17
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
GOOD NEWS OF LIBERATION: Jesus’ mission is to set us free from our bondages and from everything that keeps us away from God. This is the good news we need to share to the world. Today’s saint – St. Anthony Mary Claret – was passionate in proclaiming the gospel. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Claret. Love of Christ urged him to spread the gospel using all means possible. He travelled on foot across Catalonia and Canary Islands in Spain to preach, wrote many books, founded Religious congregations and lay associations for the proclamation of the gospel, engaged in catechizing and social reformation. He joyfully suffered calumnies and persecutions. Exhausted by the strenuous works and persecutions he succumbed to illness while in exile in France on 24 October 1870. Claret was an outstanding devotee of Mary and received the call to be “the St. Dominic” of his times.
Prayer: St. Anthony Mary Claret, pray for us.
WHO WAS CLARET?: Anthony was born in Salient in Catalonia, Spain, in 1807, the son of a weaver. He took up weaving but then became a diocesan priest. Later wanted to be Jesuit. Ill health prevented his entering the Society. In 1849, he founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, known today as the Claretian Missionaries. From 1850 to 1857, Anthony served as the archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. He was called back to Spain to be the confessor of Queen Isabella II. Was forced to go into exile in 1868 due to the political situation and his closeness to the Queen. In 1869 and 1870, Claret participated in the First Vatican Council. He died in the Cistercian monastery of Fontfroide in southern France on October 24, 1870.
Prayer: O Father, grant me that I may love you and bring others to love you (St. Anthony Mary Claret).
A FRUITFUL TREE: Today the Church observes the memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret, bishop and founder of the Claretian Missionaries. The saint spent most of his time preaching popular mission as a pastor. He went about calling sinners to conversion and wished he could stand at the gates of hell and warn the faithful not to enter. Impelled by the love of God, the saint frequently quoted the book of prophet Ezekiel 34; if I do not warn a sinner and the sinner dies in his or her sin, then I as a pastor I am responsible for the death of the sinner. In the first reading, Christ appoints different ministers in the Church: apostles, teachers, prophets and pastors, for the service of building the Body of Christ. Pastors should not lose hope, they are to continue “watering and giving manure” to Christians through their daily sermons. Each of us has a chance to reform their life before reaching the end. Let us emulate St. Claret who worked tirelessly for the salvation of sinners and prayed daily for the persistence of the just. Let us approach the sacraments in faith in order to draw grace from them.