Servant of God Juan de Padilla
Juan didn't know where preaching the gospel of Jesus would lead him, but he trusted God to give him strength to match the missionary vocation. Juan's vocation led to his martyrdom in Kansas, part of the New World discovered the year he was born.
Juan came from southern Spain where he became a Franciscan. In 1526 he left for Mexico where he worked as a missionary in the states of Hidalgo and Jalisco. In 1540 he accompanied Coronado's expedition to New Mexico. The next year Juan went with the expedition to Kansas; there he met the Quivira Indians. Juan remained to work among them after the explorers returned to Mexico. Juan was killed by several Quivira Indians as he made his way to the Kaws, traditional enemies of the Quiviras. He was the first of at least 79 Franciscans martyred in the United States.
Thinking about people who are martyrs for the faith sometimes makes us uncomfortable. How could people do that? Are they mentally stable? Juan de Padilla was motivated more by a desire to spread the gospel than by fear for his own life. He reminds us that we do not have much choice about how we will die; however, we have a lot of choice about how we shall live.
An ad for missionaries in a 19th-century Paris newspaper also applied to Juan's work: "We offer you no salary, no recompense, no leadership, no pension, but much hard work, a poor dwelling, small consolation, many disappointments, frequent sickness, a violent or lonely death and an unknown grave."
Daily Prayer - 2016-01-21
Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence.
I try to let go of concerns and worries
I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
The Word of God
Reading 1 1 Sm 18:6-9; 19:1-7
When David and Saul approached
Responsorial Psalm PS 56:2-3, 9-10a, 10b-11, 12-13
R. (5b) In God I trust; I shall not fear.
Alleluia See 2 Tm 1:10
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 3:7-12
Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his 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 Agnes, Virgin and Martyr (Memorial)
In God I trust without fear; what can flesh do against me? (Psalm 56:12)
Around the world today, the feast days of four very different saints will be celebrated.
Fructuosus was a Spanish bishop in an era of intense persecution by the Roman Empire. After refusing to deny his belief in God, he was burned at the stake in a.d. 259; as he and his brother deacons waited for the flames to take their lives, Christians pushed past the guards to ask for the martyrs' prayers. Fructuosus called out, "I am bound to bear in mind the whole universal church, from east to west."
Fifty years later, the persecution of Christians revived. Agnes, a beautiful young Roman girl, was reported to the authorities by suitors whose lustful advances she had rejected. She was cruelly executed, earning the title of patron saint of chastity.
On the slopes of the Alps, Einsiedeln Abbey will commemorate its ninth-century founder, Meinrad, who forswore his aristocratic lifestyle to become a hermit there. Over the years, pilgrims flocked to his hermitage, and he hosted them all. One evening he welcomed in two thieves, who murdered him. For this reason, he is the patron saint of hospitality, a man who loved his enemies to the end.
Elsewhere, the Archdiocese of Daegu in South Korea will remember a man who tended his farm, cared for his family, and taught catechesis in the 1860s. For these simple commitments, John Yi Yun-il was arrested, whipped, and beheaded under the anti-Catholic persecution in Korea. He is venerated as the last of the 103 Korean Martyrs.
Faithfulness, hospitality, and chastity: most of us won't be called on to die for these gospel values, but we should be reminded of their importance by the stories of today's saints.
All four of these martyrs were remarkable people, but in many ways, they did nothing special other than pursue the call God had given them, even when it led to their death. God doesn't need you to be a spiritual superhero; he just asks you to be attentive to the call of discipleship he gives anew each day and to hold fast to it in all circumstances.
"Thank you, Lord, for the example of faithful men and women; help me to be faithful to what you have called me to."
1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7
From a long text of reflections I get in spanish, here are snips:
"The passage that Mark presents today tells us "a multitude followed Him". And points out that they followed "because He had healed many", that is why everyone wanted to touch Him. And so, how many of those in the multitude were disposed to live according to the teaching of the Master and live according to the Gospel? How many were healed and delivered from evil spirits, and once freed from bad things, and continued living according to the style of life proposed by Jesus? Seemingly few, for in the day of judgement there was no one who would stand in His favor. And still today, many of us repeat the same story, we keep seeking the miracles of the Lord, instead of looking for the Lord of miracles. And even more, many people once received the grace they needed, they never remember the Lord, but a new need appears in the horizon of their life. Are you seeking Jesus to resolve your life? Or do you seek Him according to the Gospel of Jesus? Let the Love of God fill your life. Open your heart. Like Mary, everything for Jesus."
I asked the youth in RCIA, teenagers, a brother and sister "why do you want Jesus in your life?" and they kind of shrugged their shoulders, "so he can help us?" They didn't really know, I think they were just told to go to these classes, and here I am, asking them to open their hearts because some of us may just live life "using" Jesus, like a tool, and never really be in love with Him. As if to have made your life, a little of this, a little of that, and maybe a little bit of this God stuff, and then call yourself good. No sir, no ma'am, it's not like this, not a true authentic life of Christ! And because I'm on my way to take my wife to the hospital, we may have a baby today, baby number 7, please pray for her and baby, I will leave you with this from the second reflection:
I said to the almond: talk to me about God, and the almond flowered.
I said to the poor: talk to me about God, and the poor offered me his coat.
I said to the dream: talk to me about God, and the dream became reality.
I said to the peasant: talk to me about God, and he taught me how to labor.
I said to nature: talk to me about God, and nature covered itself in beauty.
I said to a friend: talk to me about God, and he showed me how to love.
I said to a baby: talk to me about God, and the little one smiled.
I said to a nightingale: talk to me about God, and it started singing.
I said to a font: talk to me about God, and it started gushing forth.
I said to my mother: talk to me about God, and my mother gave me a kiss on my forehead.
I said to the people: talk to me about God, talk to me about God and the people loved one another.
I said to the voice: talk to me about God, and the voice couldn't find words.
I said to the pain: talk to me about God, and the pain transformed into appreciation.
I said to the bible: talk to me about God, and the bible hasn't stopped talking.
I said to Jesus: talk to me about God, and He prayed the Lord's prayer.
I said fearfully to the setting sun: talk to me about God, and the sun hid without saying anything. But the next day in the morning when I opened the window, I smiled once again.
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