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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Wednesday of the 19th Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

August 14, 2019

Wednesday of the 19th Week in the Ordinary Time


Deut 34:1-12

Psalm 66:1-3a, 5&8, 16-17

Mt 18:15-20

St Maximilian Kolbe - Feast

 

Gospel Reading

 

Jesus said to his disciples, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

 

Reflection

 

St Maximilian Kolbe

 

St Maximilian Kolbe lived during the period of Second World War. He lived in barracks walls made of clay and haze. His bedding was that of haze and simple mattress. He ate very simple food and would go around in patched and rough cassock. He did not own a coat. He shared patched shoes with Brother Zeno.

 

On July 30, 1941, in Auschwitz, in Roll Call Square, in Poland, the Commander –in- Chief who was given absolute freedom to choose prisoners for starvation death and was picking up ten prisoners since one prisoner escaped from the prison. One man from Italy named, Francisco, cried, “I have my wife and children; there will be nobody to look after them”. Immediately Kolbe, who was a prisoner volunteered to replace that man. The Commander –in –Chief was surprised by the priest’s offer. His face was burning with fire. In the prison cell the priest Kolbe was singing and praying and the jailors were surprised.

 

An officer Nehring became friendly with Kolbe and offered him cheese which he offered to other prisoners. The priest constantly refused to accept cheese or tasty food for himself. Seven days after Kolbe entered in the prison cell, his presence on other prisoners continued to be profound and on also on the guards. The guards were terrified by the gentle look of Kolbe and asked him ‘to look down’ since fire was going from his powerful eyes. They were afresh the looks of the saint because of his sanctity and moral integrity. Jesus who was light of the world emerged as a powerful light house after his prayer at Gethsemane and Judas and the soldiers who came to arrest his could not stand before him. When Jesus said, “I am Jesus of Nazareth “they all fell on their face”. Jesus was light and the powers of darkness could not withstand before him.

 

The martyrdom of Kolbe accepted was that of deliberate, voluntary and a matter of choice; as he remembered Jesus saying, “No love is so great than one lays his life for the sake of his/her friends” John 15:13. Kolbe made other prisoners to accept death courageously and die with a smile of their face.

 

It is interesting to note that a guard named Vierack committed suicide since he was so frightened by the pressure of Kolbe’s presence, the priest’s powerful and shining eyes, his voice and singing because he recognized that as a call for conversion from the world of darkness to the world of light; form the world of violence to the world of love, which he couldn’t bear and he killed himself. Kolbe personified forgiveness which he learned from his Master Jesus.

 

On 13th day of Kolbe’s stay in the starvation cell, the Nazi regime decided to kill him through an injection called carbolic acid.  After the death of Kolbe, one of the prisoners requested the authorities of the prison that Kolbe to be buried not cremated. The request was denied. As the dead body of Kolbe was taken away, several prisoners took of their hats as a gesture of honour to the immortal saint and true follower of St Francis of Assisi, his mentor.

 

Kolbe is an embodiment of forgiveness. Paul VI called him “the patron saint of our difficult century”. In 1982, St Pope John Paul II canonized him.

 

Fr. Shepherd Thelepilly CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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