Friday, July 31, 2020

Memorial of Saint Ignatius Loyola, priest

(Jeremiah 26:1-9; Matthew 13:54-58)

Today’s first reading dramatizes a prophetic oracle.  God tells Jeremiah what he must say to the people of Judah.  He must tell them to repent of their sinful ways and live according to the Torah.  If they do not -- God wants it known – Jerusalem, their capital, will be annihilated like Shiloh in the north.  It is too big a toad for the people to swallow.  They respond to Jeremiah by calling for his head.

The spiritual sons of St. Ignatius of Loyola have included many prophets.  God has often called Jesuits to speak out against injustice.   Some of those who answered the call have paid for the privilege with their lives. In 1989 six Jesuit priests of the University of Central America in El Salvador were murdered by the Salvadoran army.  Because they had defended the poor, they were considered subversives.  They were prophets in the line of Jeremiah and the martyred archbishop of El Salvador, St. Oscar Romero. 

Jesuits stand out in the Church for their numbers, their education, and the many institutions they administer.  Their most famous member is Pope Francis.  They deserve our admiration.  They also need our prayers especially today, the feast of their founder.