Memorial of St. Alphonsus Ligouri , Bishop and Doctor of the church

Theme: Jesus the great provider

Today the church celebrates the memorial of St. Alphonsus the Ligouri. He was a great moral theologian and the founder of the Redemptorist congregation. He wrote a lot of spiritual books and was very close to our mother Mary and was greatly devoted to her. He is one of the saints that also wrote a lot about our Blessed Virgin Mary and had a lot of teachings about her too. His life is an encouragement to all of us as Christians and children of our Mother Mary; to get closer to her and trust in her power of intercession. She never fails those who trust in her and her devoted to her. We can decide today to be one of the devotees of our mother Mary and give her a chance in our life.

In the gospel reading today, we see a God that takes care of both the material and spiritual needs of his people. He was concerned about the welfare of the people, after providing them with spiritual nourishment; he could not send them away like that, so he also provided them with physical food. He did this by making use of the available five loaves and two fish that was presented out of the generousity of people. After his prayer, the people had more than enough to quench their hunger, after a long day listening to the word of God and attending to their spiritual needs.

My dear friends in Christ, the generousity of those who presented the five loaves and two fish cannot be taken fore-granted. They were willing to share what they had for themselves alone with other people, out of their love and selflessness. This attitude of theirs is worthy of emulation by all Christians all over the world. Selflessness is a virtue that is in short supply in our own time. What is in vogue in our world today is rather self-centredness. Most people today are not worried about our common patrimony; they are more concerned about what they stand to gain in every situation. The attitude of both persons in today’s gospel, is an invitation to you and I to make honest and sincere effort to be generous with the gifts God has given to us.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, as we celebrate the memorial of St. Alphonsus the Ligouri today, it is an opportunity for us to embrace some of his wonderful attributes that will enable us to be true followers and Disciples of Christ wherever we find ourselves in life.  As you do this, may almighty God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Memorial of St. Alphonsus the Ligouri, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp