Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Intention: For the gifts of integrity, dedication, and compassion for all who serve as educators, formators, and caretakers of the young.

Today’s Gospel | Luke 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”  And to another he said, “Follow me.”  But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”  But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.  But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”  And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”  Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

From the Meditation on Saint Jerome | Saint John Baptist de La Salle

Saint Jerome traveled over almost all the world in order to be able to consult with the greatest men of his time, especially those most versed in the science of Holy Scripture. In Athens he met Saint Gregory of Nazianzen, who told him that to understand well the meaning of Holy Scripture, it is necessary to begin by putting it into practice. This is why he followed the advice of this great saint, whom he began from that time to look upon as his teacher, and went at once into the Syrian desert to live there a holy and penitential life. As soon as he arrived there, he devoted himself to prayer, meditation on Holy Scripture, and the practice of all it teaches, spending nights in prayer and constantly fasting, separated from all contact with the world.

There he came to understand thoroughly what Saint Paul says, that knowledge sometimes puffs up, but charity edifies, and that if anyone thinks he knows something, he has not yet learned what he must know, but if anyone loves God, he is known and loved by God. Of what use, says the author of the Imitation, is knowledge without the fear of God? Of what use is it, he adds, to speak profoundly about the mystery of the most Holy Trinity if the person is displeasing to God for lack of humility?

You must have knowledge in order to teach, but be convinced that you will know the Gospel better by meditating on it than by committing it to memory.

Prayer

Eternal Father, we are a people of faith, but sometimes our faith falters.  We forget that our power in life comes not from our possessions and control but from your compassion and love.  Fill us with the zeal to seek your presence, the grace to recognize your presence, and the openness to share your presence.  Above all, make of us true disciples who strive to be ambassadors of your presence, especially to those who are most in need of you.  We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.