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Servant of God Joseph De Piro – reflections from his life and writings; 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Year A

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 58:7-10; Psalm 111(112):4-9; 1 Cor 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16.

Reflection:

It is easy to talk and preach about God’s justice, mercy and love; it is more difficult to put this into practice every day of one’s life. This Sunday’s readings remind us of the need to put our faith into practice.

Isaiah encourages us to feed the hungry, welcome the homeless, clothe the naked and not to turn away from family and friends. In the gospel Jesus reminds us that through our actions, we give taste to the world and provide light to the those who look at us.

Like a city built on a hill-top that cannot be hidden, but becomes a landmark to guide travellers on their way, our acts of charity and mercy point to God’s boundless mercy and justice.

Popes St Paul VI and St John Paul II, in their missionary encyclicals Evangelii Nuntiandi and Redemptoris Missio, both said that: “Today’s people are fed up of words. They are more convinced when they see the living of the gospel message.” While it is important for the Christian and the missionary to proclaim the word, the living of the gospel values is the strongest message they can give to those among whom they live and work.

De Piro delivered the message of God’s love through his many sermons and homilies, but he also lived these values through his ministry and through his various initiatives.

Further Readings:

De Piro’s evangelising through his love of neighbour can be witnessed in:

  • The love he showed to the children living in the six orphanages he was responsible for and in the Oratory at Birkirkara, where he was director;
  • He helped by giving from his own money;
  • He helped materially from the orphanages’ resources;
  • He cared for the physical health of those under his care in the orphanages, at the seminary, and in his missionary society;
  • He helped in the academic aspect of the life of those under his care in the orphanages, at the seminary and in his fledgling society;
  • He offered a listening ear to those who were in trouble and in difficulties;
  • He promoted justice among the employees at the seminary, the cathedral school and at St Joseph’s Orphanage (Malta);
  • He promoted justice among the Maltese population by taking part in the National Assembly from 1818 to 1921 and by giving his share in the aftermath of the riots that took place on 7th June 1919.