October 19, 2015

North American Martyrs

October 19, 2015

SS. John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

6 links with today; legend below
Listen

For canticle
We can't serve two masters.  Jesus isn't against wealth as such but warns against staking one’s safety in money.  Attachment to money is divisive; look at the two brothers.  So many families fight over an inheritance and put money ahead of love of family.  It destroys.  In wars, we may fight for an ideal, but behind that there's money for arms dealers and others who profit.  Greed is dangerous; it gives false security.  You can pray and go to church but have a heart attached to wealth, and that ends badly.
A rich man whose fields had yielded an abundant harvest, instead of thinking, "I'll share this with my workers," thought, "Ah, I'll build bigger barns."  The thirst never ends; if you're attached to wealth, you always want more.  It's the god of the person attached to riches.  The road to salvation is that of the Beatitudes. Poverty of spirit:  riches are to be placed in service of others, shared.  The sign that we've not fallen into this idolatry is almsgiving, giving till it costs some privation; it means your love for God is greater than your attachment to wealth.  Ask, “Do I give?  How much?  How:  as Jesus gives, with love, or as one who pays a tax?  When you help someone, do you look them in the eye and touch their hand, Christ’s own flesh?  At that moment you are like the Father who takes care of the birds with love.  Ask God for the grace to be free of this idolatry, the attachment to wealth; ask the grace to look at him, rich in love, generosity, and mercy; ask the grace to help others....
Read
  • Rom 4:20-25  Abraham didn't doubt God’s promise; faith empowered him to be convinced God could do what he promised.  It was credited to him, also for us who believe in the one who raised Jesus for our justification.

  • Lk 1:69-75  "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people."  freed them, raised up a savior for us.  He promised he'd save us, show mercy, and remember his covenant.  He set us free to worship him without fear, holy in his sight, all our life.

  • Lk 12:13-21  Guard against greed; you may be rich, but your life isn't your possessions.  A rich man with a bountiful harvest built larger barns, then said, 'You have good things stored up; rest, eat, drink, be merry!'  But God said to him, ‘Fool!  Tonight your life will be demanded of you; then to whom will all this belong?’  Don't store up treasure for yourself; be rich in what matters to God.”
Today's saints, via Universalis
  • John de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil, John de Lalande, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, Noel Chabanel and Gabriel Lalemant, Jesuit martyrs (6 priests, 2 brothers); see Wikipedia re de Brébeuf and Jogues and Catholic Encyclopedia re de Brébeuf (his killers wanted his bravery, ate his heart) and Jogues.
  • Philip Howard, husband, dad, earl, convert, martyr
  • Frideswide, royal family member
  • Passionist:  Today, we celebrate the North American Martyrs.  Jesuit missionaries cultivated relationships with indigenous peoples, then focused on the Huron and Mohawk nations.  While their mission seemed a failure, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, an Algonquin-Mohawk Christian catechized by those Jesuits became an example of their ministry's fruit.  Evangelizers recognize the transformation that needs to take place within, as they prepare to witness in word and deed.  Missionaries need to recognize the Gospel reflected in the lives and cultures of those they serve.  We're a mission Church and a Church with a mission; we're called to go proclaim the Good News to everyone.
Reflect
    • Creighton:  The readings give us hope by reminding us God's presence and promises.  God has come to save us, set us free, and show mercy; we, like Abraham, don't doubt God’s promise.  Consider the lives of the martyrs celebrated today in that context.  Jogues left France for “New France” and learned the people's language and customs to bring them the gospel and a better life.  Many were won over by his preaching, dedication, and energy.  He was captured, enslaved, tortured, burned, bitten, and mutilated.  Ransomed, he returned to France, then returned soon to “New France” and was captured, tortured, and dismembered.  He believed  his riches are “actions that matter to God.”  When he was martyred, he had no significant possessions, just the knowledge that his actions were for God's greater glory.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Look on the faith of your Church":  God promised Abraham he'd make him the father of many nations.  Though Abraham was nearing 100 without the promises fulfilled, he never doubted God's promise; he gave glory to God, convinced God keeps his promises.  We can't please God without faith.  In Christ, you're greater than Abraham.  "Walk by faith."
    Dress legend
    • 'Butterfly' pin:  It wasn't just for Abraham alone that it was written that his faith was credited to him; it was for us who believe in the one who raised Jesus from the dead. (1st reading)
    • 'Hand' pin:  God promised he would save us from the hands of all who hate us. (canticle)
    • 'Penny pincher' button:  Guard against greed (gospel)
    • 'Scales of justice' pin:  “Who appointed me as your judge?” (gospel)
    • '[Circus] fool' tie:  "‘You fool, tonight your life will be demanded of you" (gospel)
    • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  North American martyrs