St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Luke 10:1-12
Ne 8:1-4a,5-6,7b-12/Ps 19:8-11

The harvest is rich, but the workers are few.
(Luke 10:2)

When we are sent on God’s mission
Don’t worry about provision;
All that we need the Lord will give
As long as we fully believe.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He planned to go. He told them, “The harvest is rich, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on that person; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, `Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town..” (Luke 10:1-12)

Reflection

October is the month of mission. This is probably the reason why our Catholic Church commemorates this day in honor of St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as “The Little Flower of Jesus”, and the patron saint of missionaries. When her two elder sisters became cloistered nuns in a Carmelite convent, St. Therese decided to follow them. The Carmelite Superior and the bishop however refused to admit her as a novice because she was only fourteen years old. But on a pilgrimage to Rome with her father and a chance audience with the pope, she broke protocol and begged the pope’s intercession for her vocation. Impressed by her courage and determination, the Vicar General interceded on her behalf, and soon she was accepted as a novice in the Carmelite convent with her two sisters. St. Therese never went on a mission, but the hundreds of prayers and letters that she wrote in support of the missionaries of the Church brought her the recognition that she had always humbly avoided. Although she never aspired to achieve great deeds, her numerous little sacrifices inspired thousands of the faithful to imitate this “Little Flower of Jesus” on her path to holiness and sainthood. She never looked back, but plowed on in spite of her severe illness, which led to her death at the young age of 24. Let us honor St. Therese of Lisieux by following her example when we are called to serve in our community, or simply to give witness about our conversion. Let her be our model in our struggle to be pure and faithful to God’s will. As St. Paul said in his letter to the Galatians, “Stand firm and never submit again to the yoke of slavery (sin)… Live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.” (Gal.5:1,17) Let us pray to St. Therese, that in this battle against the flesh, our spirit may be victorious.

In the last chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, before our Lord ascended into heaven, He comman-ded and commissioned His disciples by addressing them in these words: “Full authority has been given to Me both in heaven an on earth; go therefore and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world” (Mt. 28:18-20). He also said, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (Jn. 20:21). God the Father sent Jesus to proclaim the kingdom of heaven; now Jesus gives the same commission to us to bring the light to those who still live in darkness.

Evangelization is life’s mission entrusted to every disciple of Jesus Christ. He said, “If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me. For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it, and if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. What does it profit you to gain the whole world, but lose your soul? Let us not be ashamed to speak up for the Gospel and for our faith, and let us not look back to what we’re leaving behind, but look forward to our eternal reward.

Grant us, O Lord, the grace to be bold in proclaiming Your Word in our marketplace. As St. Therese is our model and inspiration, let Your Holy Spirit guide us in our life’s mission, so that we may be worthy of Your kingdom. St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us. Amen.

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