Friday, August 20, 2021

The Feast of Pope St Pius X.

"Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example." (Matthew 23: 1 - 3).

Saturday 21st August 2021, 20th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Pius X (1835 - 1914). Italian. Pope. The Church and the world owe St Pius X a great deal for these innovations that we take for granted today: Frequent Holy Communion, renewed emphasis on the Catechism, children receiving Holy Communion from an early age. Reform of seminaries.  For his work on the Eucharist, he is called the Pope of the Eucharist. He defended stoutly the integrity of the Catholic faith against modernist heresies.
His papal motto: "To restore all things in Christ" became truly his magnificent obsession. “I was born poor, I lived poor, I die poor” was his final word. He died brokenhearted because he could not avert the First World War that started in 1914.

In our key Scripture for today, Jesus upbraided the scribes and the Pharisees. Why? They teach correct Doctrine but leave the practice of what they teach to their followers.
Who are the equivalent of the scribes and Pharisees today?
They are the Bishops and Abbots who received teaching authority directly from Christ. They have helpers in priests, theologians and catechists.

Church Father and Doctor of the Church St John Chrysostom teaches that the Bishops and their assistants must be respected because they hold apostolic office no matter their failings.

We may think that a Bishop is in error with regard to one doctrine or the other. But who are we to criticize him when his Boss says:
"Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Luke 10: 16).

All things success and failure work together for good to those who love God. God makes everything beautiful in the fullness of time. Trust in the merciful, mighty and mysterious Plan of God.

We all will be judged on the Last by our obedience and humility.

Jesus concludes His teaching for today with these words:
"The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23: 11 - 12).

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