When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said,“ As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?”
And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.“ When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
As part of my formation in the Jesuits, I studied philosophy and theology at Loyola University of Chicago. I loved everything about Loyola; however I really struggled in my studies of philosophy. Today we celebrate the feast of St. John Berchmans, S.J. I had a special devotion to Berchmans when I began my study of philosophy. Like, St. John Berchmans, who died in his third year of philosophy studies in Rome in 1621, I felt like I was dying when I was studying philosophy in Chicago in 2009!
In all seriousness, what St. John Berchmans is known for as a saint is his how he lived his life. Berchmans embodied the “joyful noise” we read about in today’s psalm. His deep love for God lead him to find joy in even the mundane tasks of life, like studying philosophy! By Berchmans’ example, we are called to make a joyful noise to God with our lives as well. His life reminds us to look for the joy and passion in our life and to play there. We can draw strength and support from God’s graces at work in our life. It is from our passion and joy that we can find God and follow God through the mundane and hardships of our life.
Now that I am back in the classroom studying theology, I look to Berchmans again to try and follow in his footsteps. I hope and pray that through the intercession of St. John Berchmans, you can draw closer to God and find support from God’s graces found in your passion and joy.
St. John Berchmans, pray for us!
—Adam DeLeon, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying theology in preparation for ordination at Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.
Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, I choose you this day to be my queen, my patroness, and my advocate, and I firmly resolve never to leave you, and never to say or do anything against you, nor ever permit others to do anything against your honor.
Receive me, then, I beg of you, as your servant forever. Help me in my every action and abandon me not at the hour of my death. Amen.
—St. John Berchmans, S.J.