Friday, July 31, 2020

Feast of St Alphonsus Liguori, Founder of the Redemptorists.

"Then the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve a death sentence; it is in the name of the Lord, our God, that he speaks to us.” (Jeremiah 26: 16).

Saturday 1st August 2020, 17th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Alphonsus Liguori (1696 - 1787). Italian. Bishop and Doctor of the Church. St Alphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists). Trained in civil and canon law, he was a great moral theologian and sought after for his gifts as a confessor. St Alphonsus Liguori is the patron saint of moral theologians.

Our Scriptures for today's Mass present us the predicament of the call to be God's spokesperson in a world that simply doesn't want to listen to Him.  In the first Reading, the Prophet Jeremiah was condemned to death by priests and temple prophets. He was saved by officials who had the courage to exercise their oversight authority. Saint John the Baptist was not so lucky in the Gospel text. Herod had absolute power and no subpoena or oversight could constrain him. He was as wild as King Henry VIII who beheaded two of his six wives.

Jesus warned His followers to be prepared for persecution and execution. Those who persevere to the end will be rewarded with everlasting life. John the Baptist and Jeremiah persevered to the end.

"Happy those who are persecuted
in the cause of right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5: 10).

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