“Being inspired by St Alphonsa to seek and treasure the Pearl of Great Price!”
(Based on Exod 34:29-35 and Mt 13:44-46 – Wednesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time)
“Dear Father, as my good Lord Jesus loves me so very much, I sincerely desire to remain on this sick bed and suffer not only this…
… but anything else besides, even to the end of the world.
I feel now that God has intended my life to be an oblation, a sacrifice of suffering”
- These are the bold and beautiful words of St Alphonsa – whose feast we celebrate today – to her spiritual director
St Alphonsa, the first Indian born canonised saint, had offered her life so much to God…
… that she could with conviction say: “I have abandoned myself to the Lord fully; let Him do to me as it pleases Him!”
This simple yet brave Saint had discovered “the Pearl of Great Price” in her life…
.. and to “never be afraid of taking the risk of giving up everything, in order to gain that which is priceless!”
Have we discovered “the Pearl of Great Price?”
The Gospel of the Day are the twin parables of Jesus about the Kingdom of God being compared to a “priceless fortune” being discovered.
A man finding a treasure in a field (Mt 13: 44-45)
A merchant finding a pearl of great price (Mt 13:46)
One of the common thought-pattern exhibited in both these parables is the following factor:
“The risk of giving up everything, in order to gain that which is priceless!”
The man on finding the treasure in the field…
… takes the risk of selling everything, in order to buy the treasure, which was priceless
The merchant on finding the precious pearl…
… takes the risk of selling all that he had, in order to possess the pearl, which was priceless.
The pages of the Bible narrate this pattern: “The risk of giving up everything, in order to gain that which is priceless!”…
… St Joseph risks listening to the voice of the Angel, and taking Mary as his wife – in order to provide a home for the Son of God – a priceless responsibility!
… St Peter risks giving up his boats and fishing nets – in order to follow Jesus – a priceless vocation!
… Zacheaus risks inviting Jesus into his home and doing away with his riches – in order to obtain salvation – a priceless reward!
… St Paul risks doing away with his former ways of persecuting Christianity and preaching to the Gentiles, instead – in order to win many souls- a priceless way of life!
“Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved playing it safe, and sticking to the familiarity of the known!”
Are we ready to take this risk…?
… risk doing away with our sinful ways, in order to live a new life in Christ?
… risk giving up some undue attachments, in order to allow the Lord to possess our hearts?
… risk removing some unwelcome addictions, in order to allow the Spirit of God to work in us?
Jesus, the Priceless Fortune deserves our best!
Let us “never be afraid of taking the risk of giving up everything, in order to gain that which is Priceless!”
On this day of the Feast of St Alphonsa, let us seek her intercession and be inspired by her “great life that consisted many little and simple acts of love and charity!”
Let her prayer be ours too:
“O Lord Jesus, hide me in the Wound of Your Sacred Heart.
Free me from my desire to be loved and esteemed.
Guard me from my evil attempts to win fame and honor.
Make me humble till I become a small spark in the flame of Love in Your Sacred Heart.
Grant me the grace to forget myself and all worldly things.
Jesus, sweet beyond words, convert all worldly consolations into bitterness for me.
O my Jesus, Sun of Justice, enlighten my intellect and mind with Your Sacred Rays.
Purify my heart, consume me with burning love for You, and make me one with You!”
Happy Feast of St Alphonsa!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
CHRIST OFFERED HIMSELF TO HIS FATHER FOR OUR SINS
The Son of God, who came down “from heaven, not to do (his) own will, but the will of him who sent (him)”, said on coming into the world, “Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.”
By that Will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all
From the first moment of his Incarnation the Son embraces the Father’s plan of divine salvation in His redemptive mission: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.”
The sacrifice of Jesus “for the sins of the whole world” expresses His loving communion with the Father. “The Father loves me, because I lay down my life”, said the Lord, “(for) I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”
The desire to embrace His Father’s plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus’ whole life, for his redemptive passion was the very reason for his Incarnation.
And so he asked, “and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.”
And again, “Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?”
From the cross, just before “It is finished”, he said, “I thirst.” (Cf. CCC # 606-607)