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SAINT MARTIN DE PORRES, FIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 3, 2023



Gospel Lk 14:1-6

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, "Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?" But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them "Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?" But they were unable to answer his question.


REFLECTION

"Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?"


Today the Church celebrates the great Dominican, St Martin de Porres. The Dominicans are a religious order that was founded by St Dominic in 1216. St. Martin de Porres was the son of a Spanish nobleman and a freed African woman. At that time, the Peruvian civil law prohibited descendants of Africans to become Dominican, but St. Martin was allowed to be a volunteer.


Eight years later he was made a full member in spite of the law because of his piety. One time, he was praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, but the chapel caught on fire; however, St Martin did not move because he was so absorbed in prayer that he did not notice.


St Martin would feed 160 poor people every day, and he helped the sick. Once, the superior forbade him from bringing any more sick persons into the monastery. But then someone was seriously injured, and the Saint brought him in to save his life. The superior said that this was a sin of disobedience, but St Martin responded: "Forgive me; I did not know that obedience was a greater law than charity."


Jesus faced a similar situation in today's Gospel reading. "Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?" Indeed, it is lawful, because loving and caring for our neighbor is the fulfilment of the law. "He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law." (Rom 13:8)





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