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Liturgical day: August 1st: St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori, bishop and doctor of the Church

Gospel text (Mt 5,13-19): Jesus said to his disciples: «You are the salt of the earth (…). You are the light of the world (…). Your light must shine before others, so that they may see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven». Jesus said to his disciples: «You are the salt of the earth. But if salt has lost its strength, how can it be made salty again? It has become useless. It can only be thrown away and people will trample on it. You are the light of the world. A city built on a mountain cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and covers it; instead it is put on a lamp stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before others, so that they may see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven».

«Do not think that I have come to remove the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to remove but to fulfill them. I tell you this: as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or stroke of the Law will change until all is fulfilled. So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them and teaches others to do the same will be great in the kingdom of heaven».

Illustration: Pili Piñero

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori (1696-1787). Alphonsus, intelligent and studious, belonged to a distinguished family. A lawyer at the age of 19 and a fair-minded man who never loses a case! One day he discovered that he had upheld —without realizing it— a cause that was not fair, and that led him to radically reconsider his life. On two occasions, he heard an interior voice saying: “Leave the world and give yourself to me”.

—In 1726 he was ordained as a priest. For 30 years the missionary apostolate leads Alfonso in the most varied directions. At the same time, he deepened his choice in favor of the poor and humble. In 1762 he was appointed bishop and developed in his pastoral work an activity that seems incredible, in the double aspect of the direct ministry and the apostolate of the pen. “The Practice of love of Jesus Christ” is his main ascetic book.