Date: May 20, 2020 (Easter)
Bible Text: First Reading ACTS 17:15, 22—18:1; Gospel Reading: JN 16:12-15 | Fr. Roniel Duenas
Series: Scripture Reflections
Let us make the name of Jesus known everywhere!
We honor today St. Bernardine of Siena. He was a young boy then when a pestilence beset their place, but despite his young age, he helped nurse the sick. He was severely ill when he entered the monastery but he eventually succeeded to become a Franciscan. He was assigned the task of preaching despite a throat affliction. He prayed for a miraculous healing and God heard him. He was an influential figure for his contemporaries inspiring genuine reformation within the church. One of his distinguished followers was St. John Capistrano.
Bernardine was known for his powerful preaching, eloquence, and zeal. Reaching the far ends of Italy, he instilled to the people the importance of charity and reverence toward the Holy Name of Jesus. Pope Pius II called him “the second Paul”.
In our first reading today, we hear St. Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said: “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.” Following the footsteps of Paul, St. Bernardine passionately proclaimed the “known God” that “used to be unknown” to the Gentiles. God has now a face and is fully revealed in the person of Christ. The most remarkable in Bernardine’s preaching was his zealous appeal to make the Holy name of Jesus known everywhere. Every time he enters a city, He brought with Him a standard that carries the Holy Name of Jesus.
He influenced many priests to put the Name of Jesus on the altars and walls of their churches or distribute cards with the Holy Name of Jesus inscribed on it. Today, in many public buildings of Italy, we can still find remnants of Bernardine’s influence as can still be seen in Siena.
Let us continue to work on making the name of Jesus known. Let his face, symbol, statue or image be seen all around in our churches, in our homes, in our schools, in our offices, and in our workplaces. And, most importantly, His face must be seen also through our love and good deeds.