Today is a new Optional Memorial for John XXIII. “Good old Pope John” was like one’s favorite grandfather. Warm and a person of the people, he “smelled like his sheep.” He had a wonderful sense of humor. The story goes that one day there was a tour of people going through the Vatican and one asked him how many people worked at the Vatican. The Pope replied, “Oh, about half!” I feel blessed to have attended the seminary that bears his name.
“What you bring away from the Bible depends to some extent on what you carry into it.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Love the holy Scriptures, and wisdom will love you. Love wisdom, and she will keep you safe. Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” St Jerome. Jerome was known for his bad temper as well as his scholarly knowledge of languages. St. Augustine once wrote that if Jerome was ignorant of something then no mortal knows it. He had running feuds with various people including, for a time, St. Augustine himself. But, Jerome is most remembered for his translation of the Bible into Latin know as the “Vulgate” which, for a time, was the authorized translation of the Roman Catholic Church. Learn love of Scripture from him.
Angels-messengers from God-appear- frequently in Sacred Scripture. Three are Arch or “Chief” angels sent for very important reasons. Michael (“Who is like God?”), Gabriel (“God’s strength”), and Raphael (“God’s remedy). Each performs a different function in Scripture: Michael protects, Gabriel announces, and Raphael guides. Can you sense God’s protection and guidance in ways that defy description?
Blessings to all the Vincentians! Today is the Required Memorial of the founder of the Order and the man that helped found the Sisters of Charity (Blessings to them, as well) and the man for whom the St. Vincent de Paul Society id dedicated. Our gospel today talked about how Jesus sent out the disciples to preach and heal (satisfy the physical and spiritual needs of others). It fits St. Vincent to a “T.” He started out providing for the spiritual needs of French peasants then addressed the physical needs as well. This reminds us that every person is made up of bother body and soul. Both need tending.
Start of the Jewish New Year and a time when the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown symbolizing a call to repentance. Apples are often dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. Pomegranates are often used to symbolize being fruitful like the pomegranate with its many seeds.
“A person just recovering from illness walks as far as he’s obliged to go, with slow and weary step. In a similar way, the converted sinner journeys along as far as God commands him, but only slowly and wearily, until he attains a true spirit of devotion. Then, like a healthy person, he not only gets along, but he runs and leaps in the way of God’s commands, and he hurries gladly along the paths of heavenly counsels and inspirations.” St. Frances de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, I,1