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FRIDAY OF THE FOURTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME JULY 9, 2021- ST AUGUSTINE ZHAO RONG AND COMPANIONS




A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mt 10:16-23


Jesus said to his Apostles: Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”


REFLECTION

Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.


A Mothers Day class of 20 four year olds came to adoration the other day. With the "shsing" and the kneelers falling to the floor and the cuteness and innocence of the children, one can imagine the young companions with St Augustine Zhao Rong. Though they were just a few years older than these children, these Chinese martyrs were like sheep in the midst of wolves, simple as doves but shrewd as serpents as they were willing to die for Christ.


There were a total of 120 martyrs who died between 1648 and 1930. There were eighty-seven of them born in China-- children, parents, catechists or laborers from ages nine to 72. St Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese soldier, who was ordained a priest and was martyred in 1815. Anna Wang was fourteen years old. Faced with death she yelled out "The door of heaven is open to all! Jesus.... Jesus.... Jesus! She actually said the Jesus prayer before her death. The Holy Spirit was speaking through her.


Jesus prepared his apostles and disciples about the persecution, hatred, and opposition they would face from men of the world and for those who did not believe in the Gospel and in the coming of the Kingdom of God. The Chinese martyrs accepted the grim consequences when they followed Jesus. It is a battle against Satan's kingdom of death and darkness vs the Kingdom of God, peace and brightness. But it is a battle that requires commitment, enthusiasm and the willingness to be in pain and even die. We must be prepared to battle, we must be prepared to sacrifice and we must forge ahead bringing the Kingdom to as many as we can.


PAPA prays for priests but we also have our mission of going out and making disciples of all nations. Is PAPA willing to accept pain, hardship, suffering and even death to serve the Lord?


Our duty is to Pray for priests every day, Give the Prayer for Priests card as a gift to a kindred soul and Ask the kindred soul to pray for priests and become a member of PAPA.


Covid is under control, life is coming back to normal. Time to reenergize our quest for God and become active PAPA recruiters and prayer warriors. Call the Kitchen or send a note if you have any questions.


God Bless You





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