Pedro de Corpa and Companions
These five friars were martyred in Georgia for their insistence on monogamy in Christian marriages.
In 1565 the Spanish established a fort and a settlement at St. Augustine, Florida. Pedro de Corpa came from Spain to Florida in 1587 and in the same year went to the missions among the Guale people in Georgia.
Pedro worked in Tolomato (near present Darien) where he converted a number of Guales and assisted their chief in running this Christian village. Juanillo, the chief's son, lapsed into polygamy and was urged to give this up. He refused and was publicly denounced and deprived of the right to succeed his father. Juanillo left, but only to gather some friends to help him seek vengeance on the friars. They killed Father Pedro several days later on September 13, 1597.
Father Blas de Rodriguez had come to Florida from Spain in 1580. He was the superior of the five martyred friars. Juanillo and his followers killed Blas on September 16 at the village of Tupiqui (near present Eulonia).
Father Miguel de Anon had come to Georgia in 1595; Brother Antonio de Badajoz in 1587. They were working together on St. Catherine's Island when Juanillo and his followers killed them on September 17.
Father Francisco de Berascola had come to Georgia in 1595 and founded the Misión Santo Domingo de Asao on St. Simon's Island. He was martyred by Juanillo's forces around September 18.
In 1605 the Guale missions were reestablished. They again began to prosper until English colonists arrived and destroyed all of them by 1702.
What would have happened if Pedro de Corpa and his companions had compromised Christ's teaching on monogamous marriage? They would have betrayed the very gospel they came to preach. Following Jesus always leads to hard choices—the cross—eventually.
In 1612 the superior of the custody of St. Helen (Florida and Cuba) reported to the king of Spain: "Although the Indians did not martyr the friars for the faith (that is, because of any doctrine or article of faith which they preached), it is certain that they martyred them because of the law of God which the religious taught them. This is the reason the Indians themselves gave and still attest to....It is known in this land that, since the death of these holy religious, this people (the Guale Indians) has been docile and mild-mannered."
Daily Prayer - 2016-01-05
I pause for a moment
Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
How wonderful it is to be able
The Word of God
Memorial of Saint John Neumann, Bishop
Reading 1 1 Jn 4:7-10
Beloved, let us love one another,
Responsorial Psalm PS 72:1-2, 3-4, 7-8
R. (see 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Alleluia Lk 4:18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 6:34-44
When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them,
What is stirring in me as I pray?
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 John Neumann, Bishop (Memorial)
They were like sheep without a shepherd. (Mark 6:34)
Have you ever wondered what it's like for a shepherd to care for his sheep? We conjure up images of peace and quiet, of green pastures and rolling hillsides. But it's not always so pleasant. If the shepherd doesn't keep his flock together and moving in the right direction, he risks losing them. It is also common knowledge that sheep are not very bright. Without proper guidance, an unwitting sheep will graze on food that looks enticing but that is dangerous for it. Should it get lost in the wilderness, it will eat whatever it finds, including weeds and unhealthy forage.
What does this have to do with us? Well, if Jesus is the good shepherd, one of his priorities is to make sure we are eating food that will nourish us. Of course, we are not dumb animals like sheep. But it is still true that without Jesus' guidance, we risk feeding ourselves in fields of doubt, self-centeredness, pride, or fear.
Jesus wants us to follow him because he knows what is good for us. He wants to give us good things. He wants to feed us with the heavenly food of his Body and Blood in the Eucharist. He knows that if we eat his food, we will lose our desire for the "food" of the world—the philosophies of life that only spoil and weaken us.
Mark tells us that the people who ate the bread Jesus gave them were filled and "satisfied" (Mark 6:42). And that is exactly what Jesus can do for us. We can experience his love deep in our hearts. His peace can fill our minds and calm our fears. We can experience joy in the knowledge that Christ is in us. We can find the answers to our most pressing challenges and problems—all because we have taken Jesus as our shepherd and guide.
Keep these thoughts in mind the next time you go to Mass. As you sing praises to the Lord, listen to his word, and receive him in Communion, tell him that you want him to fill you. Thank him for shepherding you—and tell him that you want to stay close to him, safe in his flock.
"Thank you, Jesus, for being my good shepherd and providing the spiritual food that I need. Lord, I want to be satisfied by you!"
1 John 4:7-10
Those Who Ate
Today's 5 minutos said:
"What do we need to love? The Holy Spirit is a spring of inexhaustible love. Without Him, all of our springs would dry up. Without Him we drink and are thirsty again. But the Spirit does not deplete. The Spirit satisfies fully. Drink of this spring, is to say, the Holy Spirit. Drink all you want, it won't dry. Drink because it is given freely. And let yourself be watered by this living water. Let there be no corner of your field that is not impregnated by the water of the Spirit. You will see how your entire life is beautified and transformed. It will be easier for you to love. You will love with the same love of Christ, with the love of God. If you drink of the Spring, you'll be able to forgive 1,000 times per day, you'll be able to share your goods and make yourself poor like Christ, you'll be able to kneel on your knees to wash the feet of your neighbors (those next to you) to heal the wounds of the sick, you'll be able to open your home so that any immigrant that comes by can come in, you'll be able to turn yourself to bread and split into pieces, to multiplythe embraces and plant the communion. If you continue to drink of the Spring, you'll not only turn into a font/spring, but you'll be able to multiply the fonts and springs, because those who drink of you will be converted into a spring. Said in another way, those who are loved, will love. And, in the end, the joy and the rest. The union with God is the harmony with men, and in this harmony is the bliss: the love is the joy."
The reason I shared this reflection is to reflect on the Scriptures today, when the first talks about being in Love "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God." This is the core of the message in the letters God writes to His children, "My child, I love you". With that being said, enough has been said. An angel came and told you God loves you, your Father in Heaven loves you. He's sorry you can't see Him right now, but wants you to know He is waiting. And this is the only one in the world that is continuously on stand by for you, in consciousness and not. For if a parent of the earth can love like that...then a million times more will a Father in Heaven, creator of all known and unknown, seen and unseen. Right before your eyes, the love of God is manifested, and we believe because it flows through one another...the sadness would be that you do not believe and block the grace from above.
The Psalms prayed with us "Lord every nation on earth will adore you". And it takes but one person to represent the nation, much like it took one person to destroy our union with God, it took only one person to reunite us with Love of Heaven, the Father through Jesus the Christ our Savior. And so it takes but one person and that person is you. Will your flock be gathered to Him? Will your flock be shepherded by One? Are we one with Christ?
Jesus comes into our lives by the way of the Gospel today. The Gospel reveals sheep, on the hillside, on maybe a flat spot, with some grass, and the leading Shepherd was the Lamb of God. It is contradictory, yet fulfilling, to hear that the Shepherd is the lamb, which says that God became one of us. He cares for the flock so much. They ask Him "should we send them away"? Should we scatter them? And He says no, do not be afraid to feed them yourselves...allow me to show you how...and He asks them to "go and see" what they could gather, and they took the offerings from a boy and what little was offered for the thousands and thousands was taken with such an appreciation and gratitude that it multiplied time after time, mouth after mouth, soul after soul. Nowadays, you'll hear the lies of the devil saying "well, did he really do that? It was probably a metaphor, people just shared what they had in their pockets". This is not what scripture is saying. Remove the doubts in your life and remove the devil whispering in your ear. How can you doubt? There is no room in faith for doubt. Because what is being shared by God the Father, through the lamb of God is His love, His sacrifice...would you sacrifice your only beloved son for a bunch of ungrateful souls? Listen to how God your Father writes to you today "Beloved, let us love one another". They say John, His disciple, was always called the beloved, and why? Because He was always at the side of Jesus, just like the other beloved...His mother. And today, He calls us beloved. Would you depart from His side? We do, when we sin. Sin then is a departure from love. Your "personal sin" affects the entire flock. The Lord is calling you because He uses the senses we have for us to hear Him, yet will we care to listen? Love one another as Christ...this is the bread, the lamb of God.