Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Romuald (95i-+1027) – Abbot and Founder of the Camaldolese Order
2 Corinthians 12:1-10, Psalm 34:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, & Matthew 6:24-34
The challenge of today's scripture passages has to do with our trust in the Lord. Paul, in our first reading, points out his many strengths and achievements throughout his life. He made it a point of not dwelling on them so that his listeners will not think too highly of him. After all, he was well aware of his weaknesses and limitations.
I believe Paul was glad for his weaknesses which kept him humble. By using Paul as his instrument, Jesus accomplished all the good that was happening through Paul's efforts. There is no danger of Paul becoming conceited by taking credit for the success of his ministry among the Gentiles. He says, "I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses in order that the power of Christ may dwell in me…for when I am weak than I am strong."
In Matthew's Gospel narrative, Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount, emphasizes our complete dependence upon God for our entire lives. He uses two analogies to make His point. The first was that His Heavenly Father protects and cares for the birds of the air. He asks, "Are not you more important than they?" As He speaks about the wildflowers' growth, He tells us not to worry about clothes by saying, "Not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them." Jesus tells us that the Lord looks after the birds and the flowers, and He will indeed look after you and me.
Then, Our Lord brings us the challenge as He warns, "O you of little faith." We are not to worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. That's not too difficult when all goes well. It's another story when severe sickness, family issues, financial woes, and other crises threaten our ability to cope and have faith.
Friends, in the face of a Covid-19 type epidemic, Saint Aloysius spent his days ministering to the afflicted of Rome. He trusted in the Lord to protect him from the disease or to take him to Himself as the reward for his service to his neighbors. I suspect that Aloysius, like Paul, was glad for the Lord's promise in our first reading, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." That helps explain how Aloysius, at the age of 23, became a saint and the "Patron of Youth" who today is interceding on our behalf with God.
Question of the Day: How will you keep your faith consistently strong throughout the ups and downs of life?
Prayer: "This is the steward, faithful and prudent, whom the Lord set over His household, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time." (Luke 12:42)