Daily Reflections

Feast Day of Pope St. Pius X

August 21, 2019

Today is the Feast Day of Pope St. Pius X whose Baptismal name was Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto.  He was born in 1835 and elected Pope in 1903.  Pius X was a simple man whose motto as Pope was ‘to restore all things in Christ.’  Pope St. Pius X lived a simple life and eschewed many of the trappings of royalty that had become a part of the Papacy. 

 

The Scripture Readings for today I think reflect many of the qualities Pius X brought to the Papacy.  He refused to give any special attention to the members of his family.  Referring to his sisters it has been noted that he said ‘I have made them the sisters of a Pope; what more can I do?’  He would often preach at Masses; had a fondness for children and truly endeavored to live out his motto. It can be said that he ‘modernized’ the Papacy preferring to dine with others rather than alone as was the custom of previous Popes.

 

The Parable we are given today from the Gospel of Matthew is only found in the Gospel of Matthew.   The workers hired last are paid the same as those hired first.  Admittedly, at first glance, one can understand the grumbling of those who worked all day being paid the same as those who only worked a few hours.  But the Parable is not about the workers – it is about the landowner and we are told that in the very first sentence: “The Kingdom of God is like a landowner, who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.”  It’s all about the generosity of God.  “The last shall be first.”  I don’t know about you but I find that a very comforting stance on the part of God.  Try as I may to live up to my responsibilities as a Christian and a religious brother, I know there are times when I fall short and miss the mark.  And I thank God every day for His generosity; His mercy; His speaking to us in the voice of the heart.  And that’s something to get excited about!

 

I think Pope Saint Pius X spoke from his heart as he governed our Church.  He did not calculate rights and merits.  There is much to be gained if each Christian made a sincere effort to speak in the voice of the heart.  I like to conclude with a prayer composed in Belgium by three priests using today’s Gospel as their inspiration.

 

  • You search our hearts:  the grace You offer us is our blessing.

Blessed be You, Lord, God of tender love!

 

  •  Your Word is good news for the poor: You give us joy in Your life.

Blessed be You, Lord, God of tender love!

 

  • Your thoughts are beyond our hopes:  the righteousness you bestow follows no plan.

Blessed be You, Lord, God of tender love!

 

 

… Brother Gus Parlavechio, C.P.