September 30, 2019 (Monday of Week 26 Year I: St Jerome)
Peace in the city...
Dear friends in Christ, today, we celebrate St Jerome. He studied in Rome and was baptised there. He desired to live the ascetic life but was ordained a priest. He was at a point secretary to Pope Damasus and returned to Bethlehem after the death of the pope, where he settled down, to the most important work of his life— translating the Bible into Latin and also doing some revisions, which are still in use today. He is seen as one of the foremost in Biblical scholarship. His works included commentaries on the Holy scripture. For him, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” We pray through his intercession that we may have deep love for the word of God.
Todays first reading (Zechariah 8:1-8) The Prophet Zechariah looks forward to the restoration of Jerusalem after its destruction and the long exile by the people in Babylon. He prophesied at the same period with the Prophet Haggai. The rebuilding of the Temple will contribute greatly to the spiritual well-being of the people and also bring many more people to Jerusalem including pilgrims. He paints the picture of a normal community in which “Old men and women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing...” This normalcy is something that will be marvellous in the sight of the people and even in the sight of God. The remaining people in foreign lands he also promised will then be able return home to Jerusalem. This picture of peace is one we need to not only dream about and pray for, but work for. We need homes and communities where people will dwell without fear of any danger to their lives. The prophet promised that this will happen because, “they shall be my people and I shall be their God.” True believe in God should bring peace and not war or fear.
The Gospel (Luke 9:46-50) presents the disciples argument about who is the greatest at a time Jesus just told them about his coming suffering. Jesus took the opportunity to teach them about service. The one who is willing to serve is the greatest. Rather than seek to lord it over others, let your work speak for you. The disciples will learn the lesson of this teaching as they go out to preach the gospel and people welcome them in the name of the Lord. “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me...”
Let us pray: O God, give us a faith that can withstand all tests and give us the grace to commit ourselves to the service of you and our neighbours. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.