C--Friday of 11th Week of Ordinary—Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Treasure and the Lamp of the Body

Continue his teaching to his disciples, today, Jesus taught his disciples about the true treasure and the eyes of the Body. Treasure is often what we value. Our IRA retirement, for example, or any investment we have, our house, everything we have at home, and everything else we have that we often value them by locking our house less someone steals from us. There are many treasures that might be dear to us that we might be so attached to them. However, all these treasures we have, where are they going when we die? Are they going to follow us? Are they going to help us or others when we die?

I was touched at recently ordination to the priesthood of two young men ordained to the priests of the Diocese. One of them was heavy that he was difficult to kneel and to stand, to lie prostrate and to get up. My tears fell on my cheeks when I saw so many young men mingled in the congregation. They all looked fine and filled with energy and bright. I asked myself, “What are their treasures? Have they had treasure(s) in their lives? Have they had strength and courage to build up a treasure that never destroys, never becomes moth and decay, and never any one can break and steal from them? That treasure, of course, is not from this earthly life but in heaven that these two young men and many other young men around the world have courage and strength to forget themselves to search and to work for that treasure.

One of them, today the Church celebrates his life, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. Saint Aloysius was born in Castiglione, Italy, in 1568. Aloysius meant the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Story tells us that his father, who was in the service of King Philip II of Spain, wished for him to become a military hero, but at the age of 9 Aloysius already decided on a religious life. At this same age, he made a vow of perpetual virginity, so he would keep his eyes downcast while in the presence of women. He was attracted to Jesuits at the young age. After four years of his father’s refusal, Aloysius was finally allowed to join the Jesuits. During the plague of 1591 in Milan, Aloysius helped serve people in a hospital that he caught the disease himself because he nursed the plague patients, made their beds, washed them, etc. He died at the age of 23 after receiving the last rites from Saint Robert Bellarmine who was his spiritual director.

The eyes of his body is the faith in the Lord that helps him to build up courage and strength to keep his vow and to follow his vocation to the end of his life. His faith in the Lord reminds him to keep his eyes away from women whom might cause him to sin. His strong faith in the Lord gives him courage and strength to serve the sick even though he knows that he might get sick as well. His strong faith in the Lord also gives him strength and courage to follow the Lord to the end of his life that he is received the last rite to follow the Lord in his last breath on earth. He receives his treasure in heaven at his young age of 23. What is your and my treasure here on earth? Is there any treasure that you and I are searching for and working for here on earth? Just as the eyes are the lamp of the body, what is the lamp that helps you and me to search for our treasure and to work toward achieving our treasure?

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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