Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr




Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 468

1st Reading – ROM 1:16-25

Brothers and sisters:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 19:2-3, 4-5

R. (2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Alleluia – HEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Cleansing Your Heart

Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr – Memorial

The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools!” Luke 11:39-40a

Jesus was continually critical of the Pharisees for being caught up with their external appearance and ignoring the sacredness of their souls. It appears that Pharisee after Pharisee fell into this same trap. Their pride led them to become obsessed with their external appearance of righteousness. Sadly, their external appearance was only a mask over the “plunder and evil” that consumed them from within. For that reason Jesus calls them “fools.”

This head on challenge from our Lord was clearly an act of love in that He deeply desired that they looked at that which was within so as to cleanse their hearts and souls of all evil. It appears that, in the case of the Pharisees, they needed to be called out directly for their evil. This was the only way they would have a chance of repenting.

The same can be true for all of us at times. Each one of us can struggle with being far more concerned about our public image than about the sanctity of our souls. But what is more important? What’s important is that which God sees within. God sees our intentions and all that is deep within our consciences. He sees our motivations, our virtues, our sins, our attachments, and everything hidden from the eyes of others. We, too, are invited to see that which Jesus sees. We are invited to look at our souls in the light of truth.

Do you see your soul? Do you examine your conscience each and every day? You should examine your conscience by looking within and seeing what God sees through times of prayer and honest introspection. Perhaps the Pharisees regularly fooled themselves into thinking all was well in their souls. If you do the same at times, you also may need to learn from the strong words of Jesus.

Reflect, today, upon your soul. Do not be afraid to look at it in the light of truth and to see your life as God sees it. This is the first and most important step in becoming truly holy. And it’s not only the way to cleanse our souls, it’s also the necessary step in allowing our external life to shine brightly with the light of God’s grace.

Lord, I want to become holy. I want to be cleansed through and through. Help me to see my soul as You see it and to allow Your grace and mercy to cleanse me in the ways that I need to be cleansed. Jesus, I trust in You.

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