ST ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, B.D. (Memorial) White
He was ordained at age 29 and was noted for his simple, clear style of preaching, and his understanding manner in the confessional. He founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Liguorians or Redemptorists). Alphonsus was appointed bishop in 1762, and worked to reform the clergy and revitalise the faithful in the diocese. In 1775 he resigned his office due to his health. In 1777 the royal government threatened to disband his Redemptorists but with is knowledge of Theology and his skills as a lawyer, he defended the Redemptorists and obtained the king’s approval. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope IX in 1871.
First Reading: Jer 28:1-17; Psalm: 119 R. v. 68b; Gospel: Mt 14:13-21
THE BIGNESS OF LITTLENESS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
We may have heard of the “Little Ways” of St Therese of Lisieux. This according to Saint Therese is a simple approach to spiritual life that seeks to do ordinary things with extraordinary love. We can be sure that Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta got her inspiration from this quote of Saint Therese when she said “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” What matters is not how much we give or how much we do. The value or worth of any good action depends on how we did it. A very little act of kindness can be so great to the receiver when love accompanies it.
The mistake we often make in life is to think that God is demanding too much from us. And this is why many of us feel that it is cumbersome to be good or to love. God is not asking too much from us. Little virtues or little acts of holiness are just what we need. God can then give us the grace to build on them. Jesus did not ask for thousands of loaves and fish to feed the five thousand. When he asked his disciples to give the crowd something to eat, they complained of having nothing other than five loaves and two fish. In their blindness they couldn’t see that these were enough for an act of charity. They failed to see that God needed that effort from them. Jesus then said to them “Bring them here to me.” We know the rest of the story.
The little things we do can become great when it is done with extraordinary love. What makes our little acts of kindness extraordinary lies on the love, disposition, effort and sacrifice that go with it. It is ordinary or normal to give out of abundance. But it is rare, strange and extraordinary to give out of the little we have left. It takes so much love, disposition, effort, and sacrifice to do this. But this is where the extraordinariness of a good act lies. If we all can do something good no matter how small from our various homes, love will go viral in seconds. God is not asking too much from us. Just a little act of kindness.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grant us the disposition for little acts of love. Amen.