One Minute Reflection 31 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” and the Memorial of Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) – Readings: Leviticus 25: 1, 8-17; Psalm 67: 2-3, 5, 7-8; Matthew 14: 1-12
“This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” – Matthew 14:2
REFLECTION – “This was John’s greatness, in virtue of which, he reached such heights of greatness among the great, that he crowned his great and countless virtues… with the greatest of all the virtues – humility. Reckoned as he was the highest of all, he freely and with the greatest devotion, preferred to himself the Most Lowly One—and, he put Him before himself to such an extent, as to declare himself unworthy to take off his shoes (Mt 3,11).
Let others wonder that he was foretold by prophets, that he was promised by an angel and … that he came of so holy and noble parents, even though aged and sterile… that he preceded the coming of the Redeemer… and prepared His way in the desert, that he converted the hearts of fathers to their sons and of sons to their fathers, (Lk 1,17) that he merited to baptise the Son, to hear the Father and to see the Holy Spirit (Lk 3,22) and finally,, that he strove for the truth even to death and, so that he might go before Christ also to the lower regions, was Christ’s Martyr before Christ’s Passion. Let others, I say, wonder at these things…
What is set before us, brethren, not only to be wondered at but also to be imitated, is the virtue of his humility, by which he refused to be regarded as greater than he was, although he could have been… For as a faithful “friend of the Bridegroom”, (Jn 3,29) a lover more of the Lord than of himself, he wished that he himself might “diminish” in order that Christ might “grow” (v.30) and made it his business to increase Christ’s glory by means of his own diminution. Before St Paul, he made his own in act and in truth, those words of the Apostle: “We do not preach ourselves but the Lord Jesus Christ” (2Cor 4,5).” – Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot of Igny – 3rd Sermon for the Nativity of John the Baptist
PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that the example of Your saints may spur us on to perfection, so that we, who are celebrating the feast of St Ignatius, may follow him step-by-step in his way of life to reach You in heaven. Grant us the grace, by his intercession, to find our treasure in Your divine Son, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.