The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Alphonsa on July 28th. She spent her life loving the Lord and spreading His love to others thus became a role model for us. She lived a life dedicated to the love of God and gained her strength from it. Let us emulate the life of Alphonsa and pray that we experience the depth of the love of God and strengthen ourselves in the brotherly love.
Alphonsa was filled with the spirit of love and could pray with conviction, ‘God make me an instrument of your love and suffering.’ The greatest manifestation of love is to be able to take up sufferings for the sake of the people who love us. Lord Jesus reminds us in John 15:13, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” St. Alphonsa showed her undying love for the Lord by undergoing enormous sufferings. Her path to holiness was to love God till the end and sacrifice everything the world had to offer. Her race to love the Lord got her the sainthood.
We live in a world where we are constantly trying to escape the trials and try to lead a selfish life. The holy life of St Alphonsa is a constant reminder and throws a challenge to all those who maintain a list of the things they did to help others and use it an opportunity to gain sympathy from others.
St Alphonsa’s response to St Paul’s question “who can separate us from the love of God?” (Romans 8:35) is this that nothing in this world can separate us from the love of God and she proved this through her life. Let us follow the path of St. Alphonsa and accept the suffering with joy, learn to love God and see God in our neighbors and continue to do good to others.
Fr Bineesh Mankunnel CST