A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 13:47-53
Jesus said to the disciples: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth." "Do you understand all these things?" They answered, "Yes." And he replied, "Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old." When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.
Elisa M. had a surprise for her doctor. She was excited as she knew the doctor would like it as the rheumatologist was also a catholic. Giving gifts and surprising people with them always made Elisa M. happy. In fact her arthritis always got relief once she prayed and visited with the doctor. That particular day in the doctor’s office was a little trying as the doctor was running late. The waiting room was busy with people who kept looking at their watches, and though they knew the rheumatologist was a good doctor well worth waiting for, the patients were in pain and were getting restless. They began complaining and before long, Elisa M. felt she needed to quiet the masses.
She decided to share her gifts to the rheumatologist with the patients in the waiting room. She had purchased prayer cards for St Alphonsus Liguori as he was the patron saint of people with rheumatoid arthritis. Before long, she had people reading the cards, and had them laughing and joking. And time went by fast. That evening the rheumatologist stopped by my office and thanked me for my mom saving the day!!
Today is the feast day of St Alphonsus Maria Liguori, patron saint of confessors, patients with rheumatoid arthritis and PAPA patron saint. He was an Italian Catholic Bishop, spiritual writer, composer, lawyer, poet, musician, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. He wrote many books. One favorite one is “"How to Converse with God”.
He founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, known as the Redemptorists in 1732. The Redemptorists have the charism of preaching missions. He believed in preaching and confessing. He said, " the penitents should be treated as souls to be saved rather than as criminals to be punished". The Eucharist was always close to him and was his strength. He continued preaching about the mercy of God, between bouts of crippling rheumatoid arthritis.
As our patron saint, let us honor him by going to confession on his feast day.