If saints have been falsely characterized as "other worldly," the life of Wenceslaus stands as an example to the contrary: He stood for Christian values in the midst of the political intrigues which characterized 10th-century Bohemia.
He was born in 907 near Prague, son of the Duke of Bohemia. His saintly grandmother, Ludmilla, raised him and sought to promote him as ruler of Bohemia in place of his mother, who favored the anti-Christian factions. Ludmilla was eventually murdered, but rival Christian forces enabled Wenceslaus to assume leadership of the government.
His rule was marked by efforts toward unification within Bohemia, support of the Church and peace-making negotiations with Germany, a policy which caused him trouble with the anti-Christian opposition. His brother Boleslav joined in the plotting, and in September of 929 invited Wenceslaus to Alt Bunglou for the celebration of the feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian (September 26). On the way to Mass, Boleslav attacked his brother, and in the struggle, Wenceslaus was killed by supporters of Boleslav.
Although his death resulted primarily from political upheaval, Wenceslaus was hailed as a martyr for the faith, and his tomb became a pilgrimage shrine. He is hailed as the patron of the Bohemian people and of former Czechoslovakia.
"Good King Wenceslaus" was able to incarnate his Christianity in a world filled with political unrest. While we are often victims of violence of a different sort, we can easily identify with his struggle to bring harmony to society. The call to become involved in social change and in political activity is addressed to Christians; the values of the gospel are sorely needed today.
"While recognizing the autonomy of the reality of politics, Christians who are invited to take up political activity should try to make their choices consistent with the gospel and, in the framework of a legitimate plurality, to give both personal and collective witness to the seriousness of their faith by effective and disinterested service of men" (Pope Paul VI, A Call to Action, 46).
Patron Saint of:
Daily Prayer - 2015-09-28
Dear Lord, help me to be open to you
Lord you gave me life and the gift of freedom.
I ask how I am within myself today?
The Word of God
Reading 1 Zec 8:1-8
This word of the LORD of hosts came:
Responsorial Psalm PS 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 and 22-23
R. (17) The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
Alleluia Mk 10:45
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 9:46-50
An argument arose among the disciples
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Conversation requires talking and listening.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr (Optional Memorial)
I will return to Zion, and I will dwell within Jerusalem. (Zechariah 8:3)
Does it ever feel as if all hope has left you? Maybe you have a relationship that just doesn't seem to get any better. Or maybe the violence and chaos on the news get you down. It might even be something inside yourself, a weakness or problem that you can't seem to get a handle on. Whatever it is, when it comes up, you find it hard to imagine that anything will change.
The Jews returning to Jerusalem probably felt hopeless as well. Their people had been shipped away from the land God had given them, and their Temple had been destroyed. Now, forty years later, they were returning to a pile of rubble and political uncertainty. How could they possibly rebuild their lives? Yet here was Zechariah, bringing a message of hope from the Lord: he will restore Jerusalem, and all the people will live in peace! Zechariah's words energized the people, and they banded together to rebuild their city and the Temple.
Wonderfully, these promises are so large in scope that they stretch into our own era as well. God promises to rescue us, to dwell among us, and to bring his peace into our midst. As we try to take this in, we can be tempted to think about the problems we would like to see solved. But if there's one thing we should know, it's that we don't know exactly how God is going to make all things right. But we do know that he will do it. And so we place our hope in him, trusting in his kindness and love.
Before the time of Zechariah, God instructed the prophet Jeremiah to buy a piece of land as a physical sign of hope for the future. If you're struggling with hope today, consider doing something similar. Maybe buy a small house plant, or plant a sapling outside. As you care for this plant and watch it grow, keep reminding yourself to place your trust and hope in the Lord. Keep telling yourself that God is faithful to his promises. And keep telling the Lord that you will follow him wherever he leads. Because he is the one true source of your hope and peace.
"Lord, I put my hope in you. Bring your kingdom!"
The first Holy Scripture said today "The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets." And it ends with, "They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice." It is a call to return isn't it? Always the promise of the promised land? The return to where He wants you to be? But what of our promises? Are we good at keeping our word? Our promise? In the Holy Catholic Church, the Sacraments are basically promises, an outward sign of what is going on within, beginning with Holy Baptism, the washing away of sin. In confession, the priests ask us to make a promise after we are being forgiven. The promise is called an act of contrition. The words are staggering and sounding like "I promise never more to offend thee" at one point. He forgives, sins wiped away. Days later, weeks even, we fall again. This time if you don't confess for that, the broken promise accumulates. Does Jesus forgive a liar? The answer you may find in the question "Does Jesus love humility?" Yes. So long as we humble ourselves and return to our Lord, that's where it's at, the beginning of healing, once and for all. The return to the promised land will not relocate you around the world...but change you completely into Him, His Holiness.
The Psalms pray on "The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory." This is the beauty of the Psalms. It ties so beautifully the old with the new. The Lord is calling for a return, from all of us. He will not just "rebuild" but keep building. The Lord appears in all His Glory. And the blind can not see this Glory. I'm in a constant struggle against sin so that I can keep seeing the light, lest I fall into darkness. The blind man I visit at the nursing home is concerned about his hearing lately. He is about 70 years old now, and I can tell he has some trouble understanding me. He is right to be concerned because his ears are his eyes as they have been nearly all his life. And so we have to realize right now, that our ears are our eyes. If I was ever out of this world, I did not have human eyes. The Spirit is an amazing being. So we can say...it is a state of being. And this return, it all encompasses the state of being. This return in Glory, let's just say, we can start making the way now. And here's how...
Jesus speaks to us today ""Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest." Today's 1st reading was mentioning boys and girls once again playing in the streets. After a cursillo closing last night, we took our kids to Burger King to eat and play. We have a girl named Bella, big eyes, really curly hair, and before we knew it she had two friends, and what was funny is that they too had big eyes and curly hair, they were twins so with our girl, they looked like triplets! They were holding hands, running everywhere, and we were all amazed, their parents, some white people, some half spanish maybe, and us. In this world it did not matter. These children are in the state of not knowing a difference, for in their eyes is holiness until taught otherwise. This is the state of grace we should all strive for. What good would a cursillo (a course in Christianity) be without grace? A worker asked me for prayer for he is considering marrying the mother of his child. Let us pray for the families. I told him that it is good to seek peace rather than the alternative. They say the pope said we have the right to refuse a marriage license. Perhaps disobedience at work can cost you your job, but why should you be persecuted to the point of being imprisoned? Where is the return to the promised land now? Surely it is not in the violence of imprisoning criminals standing for the right to life. Because that is what we are after now. The return to the promised land is as God created. Always available. Always abandoned. Very small lines to the confessional. Very little sacrifice for the Lord. Sunday mornings are turned into something else than Glory to God. And every day can be a Sunday.
Yesterday before leaving for a 2 hour drive to the closing, my dad saw me, it was bright out, and surely the sun was glaring off my balding head LOL, he said "you are shining" and I said yup, it's Jesus. He shook his head and I said "what? Did He not create the light that is now gleaming my head?" It is not good to have the last word though. Sometimes we get into a battle until one stops talking. Let this be a lesson. Stop talking so much TO God. He has already said enough for us to live for ever...returning to Him in Glory!
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