Monday, November 3, 2014

Who Invited Him

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Minute Meditations

Alive With God
After death, the body seems incomplete, missing the part that enlivens us, our personality—our soul. Faith can help us accept that the one who has died is now joined with all those whom they have loved and who have gone before them. We believe that they are now with God in a fuller way than was possible during their life on earth.
— fromWhat Do I Say

St. Martin de Porres

"Father unknown" is the cold legal phrase sometimes used on baptismal records. "Half-breed" or "war souvenir" is the cruel name inflicted by those of "pure" blood. Like many others, Martin might have grown to be a bitter man, but he did not. It was said that even as a child he gave his heart and his goods to the poor and despised.

He was the son of a freed woman of Panama, probably black but also possibly of Native American stock, and a Spanish grandee of Lima, Peru. His parents never married each other. Martin inherited the features and dark complexion of his mother. That irked his father, who finally acknowledged his son after eight years. After the birth of a sister, the father abandoned the family. Martin was reared in poverty, locked into a low level of Lima's society.

When he was 12, his mother apprenticed him to a barber-surgeon. He learned how to cut hair and also how to draw blood (a standard medical treatment then), care for wounds and prepare and administer medicines.

After a few years in this medical apostolate, Martin applied to the Dominicans to be a "lay helper," not feeling himself worthy to be a religious brother. After nine years, the example of his prayer and penance, charity and humility led the community to request him to make full religious profession. Many of his nights were spent in prayer and penitential practices; his days were filled with nursing the sick and caring for the poor. It was particularly impressive that he treated all people regardless of their color, race or status. He was instrumental in founding an orphanage, took care of slaves brought from Africa and managed the daily alms of the priory with practicality as well as generosity. He became the procurator for both priory and city, whether it was a matter of "blankets, shirts, candles, candy, miracles or prayers!" When his priory was in debt, he said, "I am only a poor mulatto. Sell me. I am the property of the order. Sell me."

Side by side with his daily work in the kitchen, laundry and infirmary, Martin's life reflected God's extraordinary gifts: ecstasies that lifted him into the air, light filling the room where he prayed, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures and a remarkable rapport with animals. His charity extended to beasts of the field and even to the vermin of the kitchen. He would excuse the raids of mice and rats on the grounds that they were underfed; he kept stray cats and dogs at his sister's house.

He became a formidable fundraiser, obtaining thousands of dollars for dowries for poor girls so that they could marry or enter a convent.

Many of his fellow religious took him as their spiritual director, but he continued to call himself a "poor slave." He was a good friend of another Dominican saint of Peru, Rose of Lima (August 23).


Racism is a sin almost nobody confesses. Like pollution, it is a "sin of the world" that is everybody's responsibility but apparently nobody's fault. One could hardly imagine a more fitting patron of Christian forgiveness (on the part of those discriminated against) and Christian justice (on the part of reformed racists) than Martin de Porres.


At Martin's canonization in 1962, Saint John XXIII remarked: "He excused the faults of others. He forgave the bitterest injuries, convinced that he deserved much severer punishments on account of his own sins. He tried with all his might to redeem the guilty; lovingly he comforted the sick; he provided food, clothing and medicine for the poor; he helped, as best he could, farm laborers and Negroes, as well as mulattoes, who were looked upon at that time as akin to slaves: thus he deserved to be called by the name the people gave him: 'Martin of Charity.'"

Patron Saint of:

Race relations
Social justice

Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being

with the wonder of your presence


Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness. 

The Word of God


Reading 1 phil 2:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also everyone for those of others.

Responsorial Psalm ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3

R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother's lap,
so is my soul within me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.

Gospel lk 14:12-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.
He said to the host who invited him,
"When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Philippians 2:1-4

View NAB Reading at


Saint Martin de Porres, Religious


Complete my joy. (Philippians 2:2)

A man risks his life to save his child who has fallen into a well. A firefighter goes back into a burning building to rescue an elderly couple. A seasoned teacher takes a pay cut to work with at-risk children in a struggling school.

Stories of self-giving warm our hearts. We love to read about people heroically putting themselves aside to help someone else. But why do these stories touch us so deeply?

Part of the answer is that this kind of self-giving love is encoded into our DNA. We identify with heroic selflessness because deep down, we all yearn to be the same way. It's how we would like to be known.

As with just about everything else, we can trace these desires back to the way God made us. Created in his image and likeness, we were fashioned with a drive toward the same self-giving, self-sacrificial love that is at the heart of the Trinity. Whether we recognize it or not, we all want to be like Jesus, who considered us "as more important" than himself when he took on human flesh to save us (Philippians 2:3). Deep down, our hearts urge us to be like the One whose love moved him to empty himself and take on "the form of a slave" so that our sins could be wiped away (2:7).

For example, think about how proud you feel when your children or grandchildren offer to help someone unload their groceries or hold a door open for someone else. Think of how gratifying it feels after you have spent some time volunteering in your parish or after you have put aside your comfort to care for a sick child or an aging relative. Something inside tells you that this is how things are supposed to be. That's because you recognize in these actions a reflection of God's own character. Not only do you feel better, but you also bring great joy to your heavenly Father!

Who would have thought that the key to happiness is sacrifice? May we all become more fully the Christlike people God has made us to be!

"Father, you have made me like you, even to the point of wanting to give of myself in love for other people. Help me complete your joy by reflecting your love!"


Psalm 131:1-3; Luke 14:12-14

Today's 5 minutos:
  "On an island there lived all the feelings and values of man.  They announced that the island was about to go under water.  Then everyone prepared their boats and left.  Only Love was left waiting patiently.  But when the island was about to go under, Love decided to ask for help.  Richness passed by Love in an extremely luxurious boat and Love said "can you take me with you?", the reply was "..I can't because I have so much silver and gold in my boat that there is no room for you, I'm sorry."  And so Love decided to ask Pride who was passing by on a magnificent boat, but his one said "...I can't take you, here everything is perfect, you could ruin my boat."  And so Love asked Sadness who was getting closer, "take me with you", the reply was ", I am so sad that I need to be alone".  Then Good Humor passed in front of Love, but it was so happy that it didn't sense they were asking it for help.  Suddenly a voice said "come Love I will take you with me".  Love came to see who was talking and saw an old one.  Love felt so happy and full of joy that he didn't ask for the name of the old one.  When they came to solid ground, the old one left.  Love found out how much it owed it and asked Wisdom, "Wisdom, can you tell me who was it that helped me?", the reply was "...It was Time" responded the serene voice.  "Time?" asked Love, "why is it that time has helped me?", the reply "Because only Time is capable of understanding how important Love is in life."

How soon we forget.  How soon I forget how important love is in life.  My other feelings take over.  And Love?  Second place. And God is love.  2nd place when sin wins.  2nd place when I'm too busy.  2nd place when I'm too stressed and worried.  That there is a difference between a sinner and a saint, where Love resides in your life.  We read today from the book of Love, the Bible, "Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests...".  I am a leader.  I am a leader at work, at home, and at church.  Leading is pointing others in a direction, and how I do it and to what I point to is the key.  Do I point to love?  Or do I point to anger?  Do I point to humility, or do I point to pride?  Do I serve Love with Love or do I serve Love with frustration, resentment of others and disappointment?  God is dynamic and you will NEVER understand Him.  Then, the equation is the same, Love itself is Dynamic.  They say Love is a never ending action, always in movement, never standing still or in the past.  It is the always here and now.  That's why we shan't live worshipping idols and the worst, is being idle.  Idle worship is standing away from God, waiting for something to happen, not even reaching out for help, or to help.  We prayed today "In You Oh Lord I have found my Peace".  Jesus comes to us.  He says give to those who won't be able to repay you.  I always joke when someone does a favor back to me, like if I hold the door open and then they do it right back I say "the favor has cancelled itself out, it wasn't ever a favor".  The same for all of us that are always helping each other out, think about it, it cancels out, no real favor was granted, so you gotta keep giving until one can't repay you.  Keep GIVING.  Don't ever give up.  Keep giving more and more into faith.  I will let you in on a secret.  It is in the trying, and I'm referring to receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.  We go, repented, having confessed, we declare by word and deed that we are trying and He fortifies what you offer, He makes what you offer stronger.  This is why it is a sin to not keep Holy the Sabbath, because you stop trying.  As I read today's Holy Scriptures I said to myself "God can handle my sins...but I can't".  And that's why I got to keep trying.  God is greater, and I need something greater.  Love is greater, I need that.  I need your love.  I need to be love.  We need it and we die for it.  I told my wife as we heard a song I recorded "I Need You So", I said "I wanted to sing this song at the festival and dedicate it to a litle 12 yr. old girl that took her life here in town.  It says how we need somebody to feel like some body.  Later it says "Lord I need your body" to fufill mine.  The body is the soul in this body we live in now.  God is asking to never wait for anything in return, much like when He forgives a dumb wretched sinner like me, and you.  Dumb because we fall again, and again, in the same traps.  Isn't that dumb?  We need the wisdom.  And Wisdom is God, and it points to being a Holy Soul that belongs to God.  Therefore, next time sin arises you can say..."No thanks.  I belong to God now."