From the Pastor – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A -July 30, 2017

From the Pastor


17th Sunday

in Ordinary Time – A


July 30, 2017



On Pentecost Sunday, 1521, the son of a wealthy nobleman from Spain was hit by a cannonball, ending his military career. Forced into convalescent care, the only books he could find to pass the time were ones he would have never picked up in his healthy days: books on the life of Jesus Christ and the lives of the Saints. But that’s all God needed to call Inigo de Loyola to conversion, to Religious Life, and to the road to Sainthood.


Born in 1491, Inigo later changed his name to Ignatius; for years, he roamed as a beggar and then as a pilgrim in the Holy Land. His academic quests led him to Paris where, as a student, he gathered companions who promised poverty and celibacy. Ordained a Priest in 1537 at age 46, he went to Rome and pledged himself and his fellow Jesuits to the Pope’s service; after his Order gained papal approval in 1538, he served as their General Superior for 16 years. When he died on what is now his feast day: July 31, 1556, there were more than 1,000 Jesuit Priests worldwide; he was canonized on March 12, 1622. Today we reflect on the orations for the Jesuits’ founder: Saint Ignatius of Loyola.


Collect – Saint Ignatius of Loyola


O God, who raised up Saint Ignatius of Loyola

in your Church to further

the greater glory of your name, grant that

by his help we may imitate him in fighting

the good fight on earth and

merit to receive with him a crown in heaven.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.


Saint Ignatius is usually depicted with the initials AMDG [above] or the full Jesuits’ motto: Ad maiorem Dei gloriamFor the Greater Glory of God. Although many assume that anything Jesuit is highly academic and only for the scholarly and learned, Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s
‘Spiritual Exercises’ are surprisingly simple and quite ordinary – though extremely challenging to live by. A synopsis of his ‘Spiritual Exercises’
is sung in two hymns: ‘Take, Lord, Receive’ and ‘These Alone Are Enough’ which are found in many hymnals.


A main tenet of Ignatian spirituality is that – since all things come
from God, belong
to God, and must be used
plan – we give greater

to God by offering everything we have and all we do back
to God. As the two hymns sing: we offer God our heart and mind, our memory and understanding, our hopes and dreams, our tears and joys, our thoughts and plans, our liberty and all we have and possess. What are you offering for God’s greater glory?


Prayer over the Offerings – Saint Ignatius of Loyola


May these offerings we make to you as we celebrate Saint Ignatius be pleasing, Lord God,

and grant that the sacred mysteries,

which you have made the fount of all holiness,

may sanctify us, too, in the truth.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


DO AS SAINT IGNATIUS DID. As this oration states, the same fount of holiness that enabled Saint Ignatius of Loyola to hear and answer God’s call is available to us at every Mass. So listen carefully as God speaks to us through His holy Word and comes to us in the Sacraments.


Prayer after Communion – Saint Ignatius of Loyola


May the sacrifice of praise

that we have offered with thanksgiving

in honor of Saint Ignatius, O Lord,

bring us to exalt your majesty without end.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


AN ‘ORDERLY’ SACRIFICE OF PRAISE. As I previously said in other Saint-based articles, to offer a sacrifice of praise does not mean to praise until it hurts! One method of Ignatian spirituality enables us to easily offer a sacrifice of praise. In his own writings, Saint Ignatius said he learned by imaginatively
putting himself in every Bible story he read, and then contemplating how he would react in that particular situation. [i.e., Imagine Jesus calling you to follow Him. What would you need to give up; what task would He entrust to you; what would He tell you NOT to worry about? etc.] Practice this simple way of gaining spiritual insight from sacred Scripture with the Bible stories you read, especially those proclaimed at holy Mass. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.


In His holy Name,




Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS