July 31

St Ignatius Loyola (1491 – 1556)

Ignatius was born in Loyola in the Spanish Basque country. Initially a soldier, he was wounded in the battle of Pamplona. With his companions, in 1540, they formed the Society of Jesus. Ignatius wrote the Spiritual Exercises, a systematic step-by-step retreat that can be followed by anyone – and has been followed by many, not all of them Catholics, ever since.

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Phil 2: 10-11

At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Collect

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, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

First reading: Jeremiah 14:17-22

The Lord said to me: Say this word to the people: ‘Tears flood my eyes night and day, unceasingly, since a crushing blow falls on the daughter of my people, a most grievous injury. If I go into the countryside, there lie men killed by the sword; if I go into the city, I see people sick with hunger; even prophets and priests plough the land: they are at their wit’s end.’ ‘Have you rejected Judah altogether? Does your very soul revolt at Zion? Why have you struck us down without hope of cure? We were hoping for peace – no good came of it! For the moment of cure – nothing but terror! The Lord, we do confess our wickedness and our fathers’ guilt: we have indeed sinned against you. For your name’s sake do not reject us, do not dishonour the throne of your glory. Remember us; do not break your covenant with us. Can any of the pagan Nothings make it rain? Can the heavens produce showers? No, it is you, the Lord. O our God, you are our hope, since it is you who do all this.’

Psalm 78:8-9,11,13

R/Rescue us, O Lord, for the glory of your name.

  1. Do not hold the guilt of our fathers against us. Let your compassion hasten to meet us; we are left in the depths of distress.
  2. O God our Saviour, come to our help. Come for the sake of the glory of your name. O Lord our God, forgive us our sins; rescue us for the sake of your name.
  3. Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; let your strong arm reprieve those condemned to die. But we, your people, the flock of your pasture, will give you thanks for ever and ever. We will tell your praise from age to age.

Gospel Acclamation: 1P1:25

Alleluia, alleluia! The word of the Lord remains for ever: What is this word? It is the Good News that has been brought to you. Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 13:36-43

Leaving the crowds, Jesus went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’ He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears! ’

Prayer over the Offerings

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.

Communion Antiphon: Cf. Lk 12: 49

Thus says the Lord: I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish that it were kindled!

Prayer after Communion

May the sacrifice of praise that we have offered with thanksgiving in honour of Saint Ignatius, O Lord, bring us to exalt your majesty without end. Through Christ our Lord.

Reflection

What does it take to become a saint? That sounds like asking what does it take to become a lawyer, a doctor, the President of a country? No, it is not like that at all. Reading the lives of Saints will show you that all that the Saints did was to desire to do the will of God wherever they found themselves. In their life time, Saints were very ordinary people, who did ordinary things with the desire of doing them only for God. Their focus was God alone and this should be ours too. Whatever you are called to do, do it so well that it will be worthy of present to a mighty and extraordinary God. Be a good and loving husband, wife, daughter, son, with the thought of pleasing God above all else, then you would be doing this ordinary duty with extraordinary diligence. This is sainthood. We are all called to be Saints where ever we find ourselves.