Sunday Reflection: 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


One of the themes that runs through today’s readings, linking the first reading from the second book of Kings to the gospel according to Matthew, is Jesus’ instruction to welcome prophets who come, speaking God’s word. In the first reading the Shunamite woman recognises that Elisha is a man of God, and welcomes him into her house.

In the Old Testament God confirmed the word of the prophet when predictions by the prophet came true. Although we often link the role of the prophet with the ability to foretell the future, this is not the true mark of the prophet. The prophet is the one who courageously speaks and witnesses God’s word.

Elisha acknowledges the Shunamite woman’s generosity and welcome, and wants to reward her for permitting God to work through her. The woman and her husband are infertile, a condition that is often considered to be a punishment from God. Elisha proposes to reward the couple’s generosity by lifting this ‘curse’ from them; he promises them that in a year’s time, they will have a child of their own.

Further Readings:

Joseph De Piro was a grateful person. When we read the biography written by Fr Alexander Bonnici OFM Conv, we discover that De Piro was very thankful and appreciative. One can draw a long list of aspects of this virtue in the De Piro’s life. Here are some examples of his gratitude:

Towards God:

Joseph De Piro was grateful

  • for his life;
  • for the priesthood;
  • for providing the Church with religious institutes;
  • for the divine help in the charitable institutes;
  • for God’s continuous providence towards his missionary society.


Towards Our Lady:

  • for helping him in his many ministries;
  • for her continuous intercession on the part of the society; De Piro prayed especially to Mary in her Assumption, whom he declared patron saint of the society.


Towards members of his family:

  • shown by visiting them at home;
  • shown by regularly sending them letters from abroad.


Towards the ecclesiastical hierarchy:

  • the Vatican, especially the popes, for their support in founding the society;
  • Malta’s bishops, especially PP Pace, Mauro Caruana and Michael Gonzi.


Towards civil authorities:

  • for dedicating their lives for the good of society;
  • for the help they always offered to the ecclesiastical charitable institutes where he was director.


Towards his predecessors:

  • in the ecclesiastical charitable institutes where he was director;
  • the Maltese priests who, in some way, wished to begin a society similar to his own.


Towards his collaborators:

  • the religious sisters and other members of religious orders in charitable institutes;
  • in regards to the society, especially at its foundation and growth.


Towards benefactors:

  • those who contributed to the ecclesiastical charitable institutes under his care;
  • those who contributed to his society;
  • those who contributed to other institutions.


Towards Maltese emigrants:

  • for living the faith even when away from their country of birth.


In expressing his gratitude to benefactors, De Piro did not discriminate:

  • he sent a note of thanks even to anyone who gave only a very small donation to an ecclesiastical charitable institutes or to the society.


De Piro expressed his gratitude by offering prayers and sacrifices:

  • De Piro prayed and offered sacrifices as a way of showing his gratitude for those who supported any one of his projects. He also expressed his appreciation by keeping his benefactors updated about the progress of his many initiatives.