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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Reflection 2020-09-23 Wednesday 25th Week in Ordinary Time – St Padre Pio

Proverbs 30:5-9; Psalm 119; Luke 9:1-6
The Gospel today tells us Jesus gave the Twelve power and authority over:
  1. Demons. These are evil spirits whose goal is to prevent us from achieving God’s plan.
  2. Diseases. These are inherent in nature that disrupts the life of human beings.
Then he sent them out and tells them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He also tells them not to bring any provision. The preaching of the Gospel is related to healing, because the Gospel is about freedom from sin. Since diseases are evil, healing from diseases is deliverance from what is evil. The Gospel is the proclamation leads us to the freedom God wants us to have. Jesus tells the Twelve not to take anything in their journey so they can trust God as they evangelize because proclamation of the Gospel does not depend on eloquent words. Instead, the proclamation of the Gospel is in the power of God.
How do we proclaim the Gospel or evangelization Pope Benedict XVI says in his catechism on faith: Communicating faith, for Saint Paul, did not mean putting himself forward but, rather, saying openly and publicly what he had seen and heard in his encounter with Christ, what he had experienced in his life that was transformed by that encounter. Evangelization is speaking about how our lives are transformed because we have seen, heard, experienced Christ. Many Catholics think evangelization is only for the clergy or for those in religious orders. However, every Christian is supposed to evangelize by virtue of their baptism. There is no reason why we cannot or do not evangelize.
St Padre Pio is quite popular perhaps because of his stigmata. However, his life was not easy. The stigmata were quite painful and caused him embarrassment at first. The Vatican prohibited Padre Pio for a time, from celebrating mass in public, blessing people, showing his stigmata in public and even communicating with his spiritual director. In all these, Padre Pio obeyed. His humility in obeying even if he did nothing wrong shows his humility. Padre Pio had five rules for those he directs spiritually: Weekly confession, daily communion, spiritual reading, meditation, examination of conscience. Padre Pio’s rules for spiritual direction are ways of listening to God. We encounter God when we listen to what he has to say. The Responsorial Psalm is a prayer asking God to teach us his law, because his word is a lamp to our feet.
Lord, lead me to you. Help me encounter you. Give me a humble heart to listen to you and to give myself to you. Padre Pio, pray that I may learn to listen to Jesus and to obey him in all things.

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