Posted by: RAM | July 20, 2015

Monday (July 20): “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
39th Death Anniversary of Rev. Fr. Godofredo Aldenhuijsen, cicm
Lectionary: 395

First Reading: Exodus 14:5-18
Psalms Exodus 15:1-6 : Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
He said to them in reply,
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights,
so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth
three days and three nights.
At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;
and there is something greater than Jonah here.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and there is something greater than Solomon here.”

Reflection: What would the Lord Jesus say about our generation? Jesus gave a rather stern warning to his generation when they demanded a sign from him. It was characteristic of the Jews that they demanded “signs” from God’s messengers to authenticate their claims. Jesus faulted them for one thing: spiritual adultery. The image of adultery was often used in the Scriptures for describing apostasy or infidelity towards God.

Signs from God
When the religious leaders pressed Jesus to give proof for his claims to be the Messiah sent from God, he says in so many words that he is God’s sign and that they need no further evidence from heaven than his own person. The Ninevites recognized God’s warning when Jonah spoke to them, and they repented (Jonah 3:5). And the Queen of Sheba recognized God’s wisdom in Solomon (1 Kings 10:1-9). Jonah was God’s sign and his message was the message of God for the people of Nineveh. Unfortunately the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were not content to accept the signs right before their eyes. They had rejected the message of John the Baptist and now they reject Jesus as God’s Anointed One (Messiah) and they fail to heed his message.

Simeon had prophesied at Jesus’ birth that he was destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against… that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed (Luke 2:34-35). Jesus confirmed his message with many miracles in preparation for the greatest sign of all – his resurrection on the third day.

The Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom and understanding
The Lord Jesus, through the gift of his Holy Spirit, offers us freedom from sin and ignorance, and he gives us wisdom and understanding so that we may grow in knowledge of God and his ways. Do you thirst for God and for the wisdom which comes from above? James the Apostle says that the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity (James 3:17). A double-minded person cannot receive this kind of wisdom. If we wish to be wise in God’s ways, then we must humble ourselves before him, like attentive students who wish to learn, and submit our heart and mind to his will for our lives.

The single of heart and mind desire one thing alone – God who is the source of all wisdom, goodness, truth, and knowledge. Do you wish to be wise and loving as God is wise and loving? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with the wisdom which comes from above and to free your heart from all that would hinder God’s loving action in your life.

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may grow in wisdom and knowledge of your love and truth. Free me from stubborn pride and wilfulness that I may wholly desire to do what is pleasing to you.” author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Apollinaris (1st century)

According to tradition, St. Peter sent Apollinaris to Ravenna, Italy, as its first bishop. His preaching of the Good News was so successful that the pagans there beat him and drove him from the city. He returned, however, and was exiled a second time. After preaching in the area surrounding Ravenna, he entered the city again. After being cruelly tortured, he was put on a ship heading to Greece. Pagans there caused him to be expelled to Italy, where he went to Ravenna for a fourth time. He died from wounds received during a savage beating at Classis, a suburb of Ravenna. A beautiful basilica honoring him was built there in the sixth century.

Commemoration: Rev. Fr. Godofredo Aldenhuijsen, CICM

At the age of 14, young Godofredo entered the Minor Seminary of St. Michels Gestel, North Brabant and later joined the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary [CICM] at Scheut on September 7, 1903.  He took his philosophy at the Mother House in Scheut and his Theology at the Jesuit Theological Seminary in Louvain.

At the age of 26, on July 18,1909, Godofredo Aldenhuijsen was ordained a priest of God at the seminary in Scheut with Msgr. Van Ronsle as the officiating prelate.  Barely three months after ordination, the new priest, together with 7 Belgian missionaries, boarded a steam-powered train in Brussels for Genoa, a trip which took some 24 hours, as the train sliced through the borders of Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy.  At Genoa the missionary entourage unpacked their bags in the comfortable cabins of the German ocean liner, “Princess Alice”, of the Norddeutscher Lloyd Lines for their four-week voyage to Hong Kong – then to the Philippines.

Father Godofredo first set foot on Philippine soil in October, 1909.  But Paco was not to be his first assignment.  In the morning of October 23, 1909, after spending his first night in the country at an old house on 2020 Herran [Pedro Gil Street], Father Godofredo boarded a train at the old wooden station in Paco for his first taste of missionary work: to teach in a school in Cavite.

During the first 50 years of his priesthood,  he was made parish priest of San Roque in June, 1910. After. a year he was transferred as assistant parish priest in Pasig, Rizal [now Pasig City]. His first assignment to become parish priest of Paco came on September 7, 1912.  He was to remain there for 7 years. In 1919, he was reassigned to Pasig, this time as parish priest.  Completing his first 13 years in the Philippines in April, 1922, his superior sent him to Sparrendaal, Holland, to serve as procurator of one of the study houses.  He returned to the Philippines in July, 1924, to become once more parish priest of Pasig.  Then he was made Provincial Superior of the Congregation from July 15, 1925 to August, 1930. In March, 1931, he returned to Paco.

Even the briefest review of Father Godofredo’s life, however, shows the builder in the man. First he built the Paco rectory in 1916 where the St. John’s Building now stands.  Then for two years, 1931 to 1933, he built the concrete church of Paco, complete with two towers.  In 1934 he broke ground for the Paco Catholic School building, the new rectory, and a convent for the Sisters of the Missionary Canonesses of St. Augustine.   In 1938, having completed a year-by-year expansion of what used to be only an elementary school, Father Godofredo witnessed the first High School Commencement Exercises of Paco Catholic School.

Fr. Godofredo continued to stay in Paco even after the other CICM Fathers and ICM Sisters have taken over the administration of the School and the Parish.  He also celebrated mass in the small chapel in what used to be the Sisters’ Convent and the in the parish church. He died peacefully in the morning of July 20, 1976.  He was initially buried in the CICM cemetery in Pasig City.  His remains were transferred beneath his bust in the church patio and now in the high school quadrangle.

More Saint of the Day

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  RAM Follow @TheOneKin Tweets by @Pontifex  Singapore


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