Gospel Reflection Thursday (26 May) – 6th week of Easter – St Philip Neri
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (16:16-20) in which Jesus tells the disciples, ‘You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.’ Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Philip Neri, whose memorial we celebrate today.
Philip was born in Florence in 1515. At the age of 18 he went to Rome and worked as a tutor. He did charitable work among the young men of Rome and started a brotherhood to help sick and poor pilgrims. He was then ordained a priest in 1551. He inspired many of the other clergy to copy him and formed them into the Congregation of the Oratory. This is still in many countries today.
Philip died in Rome in 1595. One of the interesting things about Philip was that he was an enemy of solemnity and conventionality. Philip actually used pranks to fight against such things as pride, melancholy, and hero worship, just to name a few.
Laughter, for Philip, was something that Christians should do more than anyone else. Fr Paul says this is quite a change from what we would normally hear described for our saints.
Mindful of the life of St Philip Neri, and in the tradition of our church, Fr Paul invites us to ask St Philip Neri, pray for us.