17 September, Saturday — The Richness Within

Sep 17 – Memorial for St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor

St. Robert (1542-1621) wrote the most complete work of his day to defend Catholicism against Protestant attack. He also wrote a children’s catechism and a catechism for teachers. As cardinal-priest, he gave most of his money to the poor. At one point he used the tapestries in his living quarters to clothe the poor, saying that “the walls won’t catch cold”.

He was involved in settling various disputes, including that of King James I and the Vatican in 1607 and 1609, concerning control of the Church in England, action against Galileo Galilei with whom he established a friendly correspondence, but was forced to deliver the order for the scientist to submit to the Church, and issues concerning clerical discipline and Vatican authority. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 17 September 1931.

  • Patron Saint Index

1 Cor 15:35-37,42-49
Lk 8:4-15

…embodies the spirit.

Today’s first reading is actually a very good reflection written by Saint Paul. It shows that the greatness of the Lord cannot be appreciated and understood without first being understood on earth. We are all created in the image of God, and life is given to us. Sometimes it makes me wonder if Earth is the transitional world, where we are given the opportunity to go good, to do the best we can in the name of our Lord with the talents and help surrounding us. This is regardless of which country we are born into, or the ‘riches’ we that we may have from the start. It has never been about the aesthetics of life, but how we are living it. But if we have been given more and graced with much fortunate events, then I believe we would be expected to give more and make someone else’s life better.

As I reflect further on today’s reading, it highlights to me that indeed it is not about having the biggest
house, or the most luxurious car, when your heart is just mediocre. What we should perhaps aim for in life is about giving life to others. As I grow older, and begin to realise what touches us, in our hearts, is truly not about what material things we buy, but what relationships we have with others. This may only happen to me, but do try this — when you open your Facebook account and begin to look at the friends and their behaviours and the stories being posted, you will tend to realise that those that attract more ‘likes’ centre around family, love, precious moments with family, posts that require encouragement as compared to posts on new cars, new house, food posts, vacation posts or any luxury items. Essentially, as we build our earthly family, we tend to know better what’s important and what matters more to us. We grow from young adults to being a responsible spouse, to being a parent, to being responsible for the elderly and sometimes, a post or two that allows us to face the death of a loved one.

A lot of successful businessmen say it is not about what you have or built, but it is very much about
how you get there. Thus, the greatness lies in what have we done to touch the lives of others, and not how much have we possessed for ourselves.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Austin Leong)

Prayer: O Lord, I know we can get busy with work and family and looking out for unimportant
things. Make me put in the time and effort that enriches the life of my family and the lives of others.

Thanksgiving: Praise you, O Lord Jesus Christ, for a fulfilling week that it has been peaceful and loving.

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