Posted by: livingscripture | January 31, 2018

FEAST OF SAINT JOHN BOSCO

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Week Four of Ordinary Time

SAINT JOHN BOSCO

 

WORD of the DAY 

 At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.   Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

 (Matthew 18: 1-6)

How shall I live this Word?

Today is the feast of St. John Bosco, the Father and Teacher of the young, Founder of the Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.  It is feast very dear to us and also for many readers of this reflection.  I will pause on the reading of the day.

This is centered on a question asked by the disciples about who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus responds: “He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven”.   Something is very clear here.  The likeness to the child that the disciples must assume, is not spontaneous or natural, but is the result of a radical change in the person who is converted to the Gospel.   Thus, Jesus tells us that we must be converted by making ourselves little, simple, without calculations dictated by our pride.  This is greatness, and not that of adults who are always complicated, doubting, seeking alibis, and justifications.  “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”.  For Jesus, the child is the icon of the true disciple, because like a child, the disciple becomes little, simple, and ready to receive the faith.

O God, who in St. John Bosco gave Your Church a Father and a Teacher of the young, arouse in us as well the same flame of charity at the service of Your glory and for the salvation of our sisters and brothers.  Amen.

The Voice of St. John Bosco, Letter from Rome 1884

Those who want to be loved must show that they love.  Jesus Christ became little with the little and bore our infirmities.  Here is the Teacher of familiarity! Those who know they are loved, love, and those who are loved, obtain everything, especially from the young.  This confidence puts an electric current between the young and the superiors.  Hearts open up and make their needs known as well as their defects.  Jesus did not break the bent wick or extinguish the flickering candle.  Here is our model.

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