Friday, August 21, 2009


“St. Pius X”
Photographer and Date are UNKNOWN


Biographical Information about St. Pius X [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Pius X

Readings and Commentary:

1 Thessalonians 2:2b-8

Brothers and sisters:
We drew courage through our God
to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle.
Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives,
nor did it work through deception.
But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the Gospel,
that is how we speak,
not as trying to please men,
but rather God, who judges our hearts.
Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with flattering speech, as you know,
or with a pretext for greed—God is witness—nor did we seek praise
from men, either from you or from others,
although we were able to impose our weight as Apostles of Christ.
Rather, we were gentle among you,
as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you,
we were determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God,
but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us.
Commentary on
1 Thes 2:2b-8

St. Paul describes his worthiness as being established in God’s eyes rather than the view of his abilities as seen by others. The Apostle provides an apology for his ministry emphasizing that the Gospel he brought to them was presented without cost, humbly, and with sincerity (“as a nursing mother cares for her children”). He communicates his affection for the Thessalonians and his hope that the word he has spoken will abide with them.

Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 21-22, 25 and 27

R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever';
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

A have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

"My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior."'
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Commentary on
Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 21-22, 25 and 27

Psalm 89, taken as a whole, is a communal lament. This selection rejoices in God’s establishment of the Davidic Dynasty and the promise of heavenly support for his kingdom.

CCC: Ps 89 709
John 21:15-17

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and
eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs."
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
He said to him the third time,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
"Do you love me?" and he said to him,
"Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."
[Jesus] said to him, "Feed my sheep."
Commentary on Jn 21:15-17

Following the third revelation to the disciples as they were fishing at the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus now focuses on Peter, making sure he understands his role in the foundation of the Church. The triple confession of Peter reverses his earlier denial of the Lord the night of the Passion. This is also a key passage, identified by the Church as Christ’s post-resurrection assignment of Peter to be the shepherd of the Church – essentially establishing the beginning of Apostolic Succession.

CCC: Jn 21:13-15 645; Jn 21:15-17 553, 881, 1429, 1551

If St. Pius X had his most fervent wish for us, we are sure that it would be for us to love Christ as he did, and love the Church, Christ risen and present on the earth.  From his humble beginnings Giuseppe Sarto found himself drawn to the Lord, especially in the great treasure of the Church – the Eucharist.  He understood so clearly that it is in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar that Christ brings his children closer to himself and to the heavenly kingdom.

In the Gospel we find St. Peter, our first Pope, making his perfect act of contrition and accepting the Lord’s blessing prior to partaking of the Eucharistic meal on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias following Jesus’ resurrection.  In his three fold response to the Lord we see the mission of Christ formally placed in the hands of the Church.  “Feed my lambs” St. Peter is told.  Feed them with the Bread of Life is the direction and the Eucharist is entrusted to the Church.  “Feed my sheep” and the Word of God is entrusted to the Church; and finally “Tend my sheep”, watch over them and protect them – the teaching authority of Christ is given to the Church.

All of this St. Pius X understood.  All of this he accepted and, during his papacy he diligently worked to further the Lord’s wishes as his successor St. Peter had before him.  Indeed his prayer for us would be one of encouragement and love.  He would enjoin us to receive the Lord constantly in the Word and Sacrament.  For our part, on this his Feast day, we ask for his prayers, that we might be as faithful to the Lord’s will and desires as he was.


[1] The picture is “St. Pius X” Photographer 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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