One Minute Reflection – 2 August – “The Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church – Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 10:1-9
“At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them forth two-by-two, before Him into every town and place, where He, Himself, was about to come.” – Luke 10:1
REFLECTION – “Beloved brothers, our Lord and Saviour sometimes gives us instruction by Words and sometimes by Actions. His very Deeds are our commands and whenever He acts silently, He is teaching us what we should do. For example, He sends His disciples out to preach, two-by-two because the precept of charity is twofold—love of God and of one’s neighbour.
The Lord sends His disciples out to preach in twos, in order to teach us, silently, that whoever fails in charity toward his neighbour, should by no means take upon himself the office of preaching.
Rightly is it said, that He sent them ahead of Him into every city and place, where He ,Himself was to go. For the Lord follows after the preachers because preaching goes ahead to prepare the way and then, when the words of exhortation have gone ahead and established Truth in our minds, the Lord comes to live within us. To those who preach ,Isaiah says: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. And the psalmist tells them: Make a way for Him who rises above the sunset. The Lord rises above the sunset because, from that very place where He slept in death, He rose again and manifested a greater glory. He rises above the sunset because, in His Resurrection, He trampled underfoot the death, which He endured. Therefore, we make a way for Him who rises above the sunset ,when we preach His glory to you, so that when He, Himself follows after us, He may illumine you with His Love.
Let us listen now to His words as He sends His preachers forth: The harvest is great but the labourers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into His harvest. That the harvest is good but the labourers are few cannot be said without a heavy heart, for although there are many to hear the good news there are only a few to preach it. Indeed, see how full the world is of Priests but yet, in God’s harvest, a true labourer is rarely to be found;,although we have accepted the Priestly office, we do not fulfil its demands!
Think over, my beloved brothers, think over His Words: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into His harvest. Pray for us, so that we may be able to labour worthily on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, that after we have taken up the office of preaching, our silence may not bring us condemnation from the Just Judge! ” – St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Homily 17, On the Gospels).
PRAYER – O God, Who through blessed Alphonsus Maria, Thy Confessor and Bishop, fired with love for souls, enriched Thy Church with a new family; we beseech Thee that, taught by his saving counsels and strengthened by his example, we may be enabled, happily to come to Thee. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).