Friday, July 31, 2009

JULY 31 SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA

“Ignatius of Loyola”
Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
JULY 31

SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA,
PRIEST MEMORIAL

Biographical Information about St. Ignatius of Loyola [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1

Brothers and sisters:
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do everything for the glory of God.
Avoid giving offense,
whether to Jews or Greeks or the Church of God,
just as I try to please everyone in every way,
not seeking my own benefit but that of the many,
that they may be saved.
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
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Commentary on
1 Cor 10:31-11:1

St. Paul has, in verses previous to this selection, presented a dialogue about the dietary laws, specifically regarding the prohibition against eating meat offered in sacrifice.(see Leviticus 7:21). St. Paul reiterates that Christ made these laws non-binding (cf Mark 7:18b-19 Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?”) He focuses on serving Christ on these occasions in acts of love and generosity. He concludes with a summary of this exhortation asking that the community imitate his own behavior in which he imitates Christ.


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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R. (2) I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.
(9) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
aste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


Fear the LORD, you his holy ones,
for nought is lacking to those who fear him.
The great grow poor and hungry;
but those who seek the LORD want for no good thing.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
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Commentary on
Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

Psalm 34 is a song of thanksgiving and a favorite for celebrating the heroic virtue of the saints. The psalmist, fresh from the experience of being rescued (Psalm 34:5, 7), can teach the "poor," those who are defenseless, to trust in God alone. This psalm, in the words of one being unjustly persecuted, echoes hope for deliverance and freedom. The promise of salvation for those who follow the Lord gives hope to the poor and downtrodden.

CCC: Ps 34:3 716; Ps 34:8 336
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GOSPEL
Luke 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
"If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
`This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.'
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple."
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Commentary on Lk 14:25-33

The Lord, perhaps in an action intended to identify those who had the zeal to be true disciples, tells the crowd of the necessity of total dedication to the call to discipleship. They had seen his recent miracles of healing, and were, no doubt, hoping to learn wisdom from him.


He tells them that they must place their love of God first, before family and even their own lives. He tells them, through two examples – the construction of the tower and the evaluation of the battle – that they must measure the sacrifice needed to be his follower. He punctuates his statement by telling them they must “renounce” all their possessions to follow him.
 
CCC: Lk 14:26 1618; Lk 14:33 2544
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Reflection:

St. Ignatius of Loyola was one of the founders and the first Superior General of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). His life is a study in discernment and action. His example of dedication provides a lived example of what Christ explained to his disciples in St. Luke’s Gospel – selfless dedication to God in Christ.

The Lord calls upon his disciples to place love of God first in their lives. This call means that if father or mother, brother or sister, challenge that dedication their challenge must be rejected. The Gospel goes further. It tells us that the Lord expects us to lay down our lives if necessary in fidelity to the faith we hold.

Most of us would be hard-pressed to say that we have completely accepted that level of dedication to the Lord. We can say we love him. We can do our best to follow him daily. But when we are challenged by life’s trials to choose between family and God or even ourselves and God, how often do we fail? It is a difficult thing the Lord asks and as the Gospel also tells us, many in Jesus' own time found it too difficult to accept. Our great gift is the sure and certain knowledge that as often as we try and fail, Jesus’ invitation is always open to come further; to try a bit harder.

It is to this end that St. Ignatius established his spiritual exercises. These exercises have been used by many of the faithful who wish to increase their ability to respond to Jesus and are highly recommended. As for the great Saint, we pray for his intercession on our behalf. May he be a constant reminder of faithful service and fidelity to God.

Pax

[1] The picture used today is “Ignatius of Loyola” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

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