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MEMORIAL ST MARTIN OF TOURS, SATURDAY OF THE THIRTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, NOVEMBER 11, 2023


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He knew that the mercy of the Lord would be especially present with him in the midst of trials.





Gospel Lk 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples: "I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them, "You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God."


REFLECTION

"You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God."


The kingdom of God consists not of eloquence but of faith. After all, was it not fisherman who first spread the Word of God? I can't imagine in their "own steam" that they would be able to convey God's love and compassion if not done solely through the Holy Spirit.


So here we are again learning, by gathering information, the effect of St Martin of Tours on our lives. He was also known as Martin the Merciful. Saints of old seem to be forgotten because we opt to think they are from the past. But what a wonderful past because his example lives on as a source or path for our salvation.


He shows us how to reach eternal salvation through a pious religious life. At the age of 10 he had a strong desire to be a catechumen. His father, who was a heathen, did not allow it and eventually St Martin of Tours was forced into military service. He had a servant with him.


Of note is his humility in caring for his servant, rather than the servant caring for him, by his cleaning the servant's boots. He used his pay to help the wretched and to feed and clothe the abandoned. One particular incident was when a man who was poorly clothed for winter was begging for help. St Martin, having nothing to give, tore his cloak in half and gave the half to the poor man. That evening St Martin was visited by Jesus telling His angels that on that day He had been clothed by the yet to be baptized soldier.


Eventually at the age of twenty he was baptized. He remained a soldier a few years after his baptism but on the eve of battle he stood his ground, refusing to fight the enemy but to be a soldier for Christ and asked to be allowed to resign as he could not kill his enemy. He was thrust into jail and ordered to engage in war, with no weapons to defend himself. That morning the enemy, however, asked for a truce and war was avoided.


Many other miracles were witnessed in his life: he converted a robber who was certainly going to do harm to him; he converted his mother; subsisting at times on weeds he mistakenly ate a poisonous weed and upon entering the effects of the poison he was miraculously cured. Many more miracles are attributed to him of people coming to life, of people failing to kill him when they intentionally chopped a tree to fall on him. Instead the tree fell on them.


He became a priest and then became Bishop of Tours. Though many slandered, persecuted and criticized him, he continued his same humble way with patient endurance. He erected a monastery close to his church, destroyed heathen temples, converted many and cured many from death and from illnesses.


God knows our hearts and He gifts graces as He wishes. St Martin of Tours prayed continuously no matter what he was engaged in, served his church and trusted God. He waited on the Lord without misgivings, for answered prayer, patiently waiting on His mercy.


Can we patiently wait on the Lord? Let us not lose hope. God knows our hearts. Pray for PAPA that we have the zeal to pray for priests and bring in many missionaries to join us in this great apostolate.


God bless you.


St Martin of Tours, Saint Suplitius Serverus, kindle edition


















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