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Tuesday of the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time






Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”


REFLECTION


The lives of the saints give us examples of how to find the narrow gate that leads to eternal life. Today is the Memorial of St. John Fisher. St. John Fisher was well educated, an intellectual, and affiliated with royalty in England. He was a bishop, writer, preacher, the chancellor at Cambridge and personal tutor for Prince Henry, later to become King Henry VIII.


Bishop John Fisher was dedicated to his diocese. He upheld the Catholic Church's teachings and was loyal to the Pope as head of the Catholic Church. He and Thomas More opposed Henry VIII's divorce of Catherine of Aragon. They also opposed Henry's claim to be the supreme head of the church of England. Angered by John Fisher and Thomas More's resistance to Henry's pressure to sign an oath to the Act of Succession, Henry sent both John and Thomas to prison. They were imprisoned in the Tower of London for a year and were interrogated often but both remained silent. Pope Paul III made Bishop John Fisher a Cardinal while he was imprisoned. Infuriated with the Pope's actions Henry sentence Bishop John Fisher to death by beheading. Henry the VIII chose to behead John on June 22nd before the Feast of St. John the Baptist on June 24th, because he didn't want the people to compare the two martyrs.


Before his execution St. John Fisher opened the New Testament and read the Gospel of John, "Eternal life is this: to know You, the only true God and Him Whom You have sent, Jesus Christ. I have given You glory on earth by finishing the work you have given me to do. Do You now, Father, give me glory at Your side." Then John closed the book and said, "There is enough learning in that to last me the rest of my life." St. John Fisher was beheaded an hour later on June 22, 1535. His body was left for a day on the scaffold and his head was not placed on a platter but hung on London Bridge.


Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians and Romans. Instead Jesus always answered them with a question or a parable which would lead them to look at their own reform. Today there are some priests and bishops who do not let political pressures, whether it is government or church hierarchy, conform them. They are faithful to the teachings of Jesus and His Catholic Church and they speak out to save the souls of their parishioners. They preach the truth about abortion, euthanasia, the sanctity of marriage and sacrilege. Even the persecutions they endure are nothing compared to risking the loss of their parishioners souls and their eternal life in heaven.


PAPA is timely. We need to continue to pray for all priests, bishops, cardinals and the Pope to be courageous in defending the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church.


Please pray with us the PAPA Prayer for Priests.






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