It is 4th July 2018. We celebrate the memorial of St. Elizabeth of Portugal, belonged to the Third Order of Franciscans. Just like her aunt St. Elizabeth of Hungary was so generous soul to the poor and promotor of peace. She helped the poor by providing them a decent shelter and feeding them regularly. Though married to a king yet had a heart for the poor and mindful of alleviating them in her own way. She was well known for settling disputes and so lovingly called Isabel the Peacemaker. She is indeed the role model for all those who are married. She is the patron saint for Portugal, for charities, and charity workers, brides, difficult marriages, falsely accused persons, victims of adultery, jealousy, unfaithfulness and widows. She can pray for any type of family disputes to be settled and peace in the families. May we earnestly pray through her for our families and make our families role models of love, peace, charity and forgiveness. The readings are from Amos 5:14-15, 21-24; and the Gospel from Matthew 8:28-34. When justice is side-lined and suppressed, there is no room for charity. Charity does not thrive or even exist when there is a shortage of justice. Charity is the vehicle by which justice travels. God is always pleased with the way we are dealing with the others especially those who are providing us, those domestic services in our homes, companies, churches and institutions. God is never impressed by our well-advertised charity in our churches and in public life while servants in the respective places are under-paid and illtreated. We can build many churches, schools, charitable institutions, become a donor and be praised by everyone around yet God is not pleased when we are not able to offer the justice that is duly deserved by our workers, the domestic servants and all those who render service to us. We fill our homes and institutions with the most expensive things, while our workers and domestic helpers do not have a decent home and fail to educate and provide for their children. God is distant and not even interested in our noisy and pompous meal-gatherings and meetings, when we have refused to hear the cries of the poor. Through the prophet Amos, God tells us that God cannot be deceived by our outward show of piety, worship, social gatherings and loud hymns and praises we repeatedly make to appease our consciences and to attract the attention of the others. “Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an overflowing stream. (Amos 5:24). The Gospel invites us to transcend beyond being just a religious to be spiritual person deep within ourselves. Jesus would be willing to go any extent to drive out the demons that destroy our peace, charity and justice. Let there a link between our faith and belief. God does not require our worship to remain God but to experience God one has to master charity and justice as the proof of our belief in a just and loving God. May we learn to value people than material possessions. Let our lives be guided and fashioned by charity and justice that reflect and mirror God. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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