June 21 – Memorial for St. Aloysius Gonzaga, religious
St. Aloysius (1568-1591) was an Italian noble who grew up in a castle as the son of a compulsive gambler. He suffered from kidney disease but considered it a blessing as it left him bed-ridden with time for prayer. While still a boy himself, he taught catechism to poor boys. At age 18, he signed away his legal claim to his family’s lands and title to his brother, and became a Jesuit novice. He tended to plague victims in Rome in the outbreak of 1591 and died of the plague himself with the desire to see God.
- Patron Saint Index
2 Kgs 19:9-11,14-21,31-36
“So always treat others as you would like them to treat you.”
I believe that all of us, in some way, want to be accepted, to feel belonged, to be loved. But how many of us accept and love others back?
Indeed, where it says, “enter by the narrow gate; since the road that leads to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Many of us prefer the easy way out, choosing not to rock the boat, and yet we wonder why we are still struggling with problems that are not going away; surrounded by people who don’t change, even wondering why God isn’t hearing our prayers. But I guess, sometimes, God places us in such situations where we are called to effect change.
However, many times, we resort to using either experience, authority or even qualifications as a means to effect change rather than love. How do we hope for others to speak to us? How do we hope for others to treat us? And hence in our Gospel today, we read “so always treat others as you would like them to treat you”.
This is the narrow road we are encouraged to take, for we will always question, why is it we need to love first, forgive first? And sometimes, how many more times do we need to do so for others to realise, for them to finally change. The beauty of our faith is that there is no answer to those questions except to continue to love. Love isn’t about allowing oneself to be used or taken advantage of; love is speaking and living the truth.
For we live our lives not based on what others say about us but what God says. Created with love, from love, we are also called to love. Not as how we know it, but as how God has loved us by His example. Let us challenge ourselves to continue to persevere in love not to receive love in return, but because we have already received through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us be Christ to others, to all. Amen.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for our own conversion, for the many times we have been selfish. We pray also for perseverance as we continue to do your will and build your kingdom, a kingdom of love.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for understanding us, for helping us to see beyond ourselves, to help us see what really matters, what is really important, what is it we actually live for and what gives us life.