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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Reflection 2020-07-31 Friday 17th Week in Ordinary Time – St Ignatius of Loyola

Jeremiah 26:1-9; Psalm 68; Matthew 13:54-58
The Readings today are very clear: we have the choice to believe in the word of God or to reject it. When Jesus went back to his home town, he started to teach and the people would not accept it. In fact, we are told, they took offence at him. God himself speaks and people still reject him. The reason is they have been too comfortable with who Jesus is, they were not open to what Jesus could really be.
The First Reading also tells us the choice we have. God commanded Jeremiah to speak his word without holding anything back. When Jeremiah spoke, the people did not like what they heard because Jeremiah spoke of destruction if the people will not repent. The people thought Jerusalem will not be destroyed because God is in his Temple. They thought God is with them and will not allow the Temple to be destroyed. They have their preconceived ideas that prevent them from seeing the truth.
Yet, the Truth is the Truth. It will never change, whether we are comfortable with it or not. We are, as God commanded Jeremiah, to speak his word, do not hold back a word. We cannot compromise the Truth of God.
We celebrate St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. The Jesuits have a glorious history. They were at the forefront of evangelization. In North America, the Jesuits gave up their lives to evangelize the natives. In many places, they were not welcomed but that did not stop them from speaking God’s word without fear. This was the evangelical spirit of the Jesuits. Their approach shows that people come to God not because we say what they want to hear, but because we preach what God wants us to preach.
The only way for people to turn from their evil ways is for preachers and teachers to speak the word of God without holding back a word. People will not know they are not living according to God’s plan for them unless we speak God’s Truth. It is very sad, many today, will say in public they agree with the teaching of the Church but encourage those living in sin to continue living in sin. This double-speak will not lead people to Christ because it is not the Truth of God.
The gift of the Jesuits is discernment of the movement of the good and evil spirits. We need to pray that God will reveal to us what is good and evil. As I have been saying, we cannot trust what people say, even if they are the ordained leaders in the Church.
Lord Jesus, give me courage to speak the Truth. Never let me hold back your Word. Also Lord, give me the grace to open my eyes so I can see who you truly are. Give me courage O Lord to accept you as you are. St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for me, that I may discern what is good and evil from the eyes of God. Pray that I may recognize the movements of God’s Spirit so I may follow him, and recognize the movements of evil spirits so I may reject them.

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