Monday of 31st Week of Ordinary C--Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

Good Shepherd

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop. He was born on October 2, 1538. He was the third of the six children in his family. At a very young age of 12, he dedicated himself to the service of the Church. He told his dad that he only kept the money required for his education and to prepare him for service to the Church, the rest belonged to the poor of the Church and were to be passed along to them.

In 1559, his uncle Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Medici became Pope Pius IV. The new Pope asked his nephew Charles to come to Rome and appointed him as a cardinal-deacon to assist and to advise his uncle full-time so to help his family financially. Borromeo was ordained to the holy priesthood on September 7, 1563. Three months later, he was ordained as a bishop on December 7, 1563. He became Archbishop of Milan in May 12, 1564. In 1566, his uncle Pope Pius IV died. During this time, the Protestant Reformation was spreading throughout northern Europe and constantly threatened to move south. He courageously defended for the Church. In 1576, a famine struck Milan followed by the plague, and many of the wealthy and powerful fled the city except Archbishop Borromeo. He stayed and used his fortune to feed the starving people. When that money was spent, he took loans and went deep into debt. He may have fed 70,000 people per day, story told. In 1584, he became ill with a fever and he died at the age of 46.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us saying, “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Saint Charles Borromeo, with a zeal of serving the Church especially the poor, courageously laid down his life to the service of his people. He defended for the Church and he fed the poor with his own fortune. Using his name to borrow money just to feed the poor, he was really a good shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep.

Can each and every one of us be a good shepherd? For parents, spending time with your children and feeding and sheltering them, you are good shepherds to your children. For teachers, teaching and guiding students in the Truth, you are good shepherds. For others, in your kindness and generous to one another, you are good shepherds. Are you a good shepherd?

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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