Sunday Reflection: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


In the gospel reading of this twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus invites us to trust in him totally: ‘Do not be afraid…. You are worth more than hundreds of sparrows!’ There are times when we may feel lost and under pressure from those who misunderstand us, yet our trust should always be in God.

In the second reading, from the letter of Paul to the Romans, Paul writes about Jesus who came to save us from our sinfulness. While Adam sinned by disobeying God in the garden of Eden, Jesus, the second Adam, saves us by the gift of divine life that he gives us. Like Adam, we all sin through disobedience, but we are also assured of Jesus’ saving gift that is much greater than our sins.

Joseph De Piro was convinced of this reality of Jesus’ saving presence. During his life he tried to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus, his saviour. We can observe this as we read through his various notes and documents. In today’s reflection we are invited to reflect on Joseph De Piro’s journey of discovering Jesus Christ.


Joseph De Piro’s journey of discovering Jesus Christ

Stages in the discovery of Jesus Christ

A lectio divina of Jesus Christ


Stage 1 (at age 14)

The Meditative Stage

Document: The drawing of the face of the suffering Jesus.

Analysis / Comments:

In this first stage Joseph De Piro experiences Jesus as the one:

(1) who is under great suffering, but remains strong in his weakness; and

(2) who evangelises through his silence.

Joseph, only 14 years of age, is already presenting a Jesus document; he is not presenting himself as actively involved in the experience, he is rather on the receiving end. Joseph meditates Jesus.


Stage 2: (at age 20)

The Contemplative Stage

Document: An exercise to discern whether he should become a lawyer or a priest

“The desire to give myself totally to God; He who has suffered so much for my sins.”

Analysis / Comments:

Joseph again presenting Jesus as the one who suffers. In this second stage De Piro goes further:

(1) Jesus suffers for Joseph De Piro;

(2) Joseph recognises himself as a sinner; and

(3) the sufferings of Jesus make Joseph offer himself completely to the Lord (through the priesthood).

In this second stage Joseph:

(i) is getting to know Jesus more;

(ii) through his ‘greater understanding’ of Jesus, Joseph comes to know himself (a sinner);

(iii) through better ‘knowing’ of Jesus and himself better, Joseph involves himself more in ‘the journey;’ and wants to offer himself to the Lord through the priesthood, he has suffered for him. This is a great moment! Joseph’s ‘yes’ to God in the priesthood is the result of a better ‘knowing’ of:

(a) Jesus;

(b) what the Lord has done for him; and

(c) his own person.

Joseph starts contemplating Jesus.


Stage 3: (at age 24)

The Mystical Stage (first part)

Document: A second discernment exercise to decide between an ecclesiastical diplomatic career or ministry at St Joseph’a Home orphanage.

“… it is certainly a sound teaching that Jesus chooses those who are humble.”

“… when I considered that I had chosen a crown of thorns with Jesus, rather than one of roses.”

“Because [in this way] I can follow Jesus more closely.”

“I would have suffered a little for Jesus’ sake.”

Analysis / Comments:

Who is this Jesus that Joseph is discovering at this third stage of his life? Joseph says clearly and repeatedly that for him Jesus is the one who:

(1) does the will of the Father;

(2) humbled himself as far as suffering and dying on the cross; and

(3) chooses as his disciples only those who imitate their Master by humbling themselves.

Joseph deepens his contemplation of Jesus.


Stage 4: (At age 25 to 56)

The Mystical Stage (second part)

Document: the sermons

Analysis / Comments:

As a result of his meditation and contemplation of Jesus, Joseph De Piro, a presbyter, evangelises Jesus Christ as:

(1) the incarnate Jesus: ‘God like us;’

(2) the suffering Jesus: God in solidarity with the poor, ‘God with us;’

(3) the Eucharistic Jesus: ‘God in us;’ and

(4) Jesus with a heart completely open for humanity: God who loves us through his Son, the loving God who saves us, ‘God for us.’

This be considered as the mystical stage of Joseph De Piro’s spiritual life.


According to witnesses who testified in the Diocesan Process of the Cause of Canonisation Joseph De Piro experienced Jesus in the sisters and brothers he ministered to.