Luke 12: 1-7
Lord, I believe that you are present here as I turn to
you in prayer. I trust and have confidence in your desire to give me every grace I need to receive
today. Thank you for your love, thank you for your immense generosity toward me. I give you my life
and my love in return.
Lord, give me courage to keep following you even in
the face of temptation.
1. Lion Food:
St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, was arrested and then transported to
Rome, where death by lions awaited him. In a letter, he urges the Romans to do him no untimely
charity of interceding with the emperor to spare him from execution. He writes to them, I beseech of
you not to show an unseasonable goodwill towards me. Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts,
through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God (Letter to the Romans). These
North American martyrs were of a similar mind. When Christ speaks of having no fear of those who
kill the body but after that can do no more, he means it quite literally. If we encounter a
situation in which we must either be faithful to Christ or cave in to pressure and abandon the path
of the Lord, we should never hesitate. Follow Christ. Do not fear those who might kill by their
criticism or disapproval of our rectitude of conscience. Do not be afraid.
St. Ignatius also wrote, I am the wheat of God, and am ground by the
teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God (Letter to the Romans). He is
drawing a connection between his own coming martyrdom wheat ground by the teeth of wild beasts and
the Eucharist the pure bread of God. These words are not just grisly yet pious analogy; rather, they
touch on the most profound meaning of the mystery of the Eucharist and our participation in it. The
Eucharist is the most complete worship given to God the Father: It is the Incarnation of God among
us, it is Christ's sacrifice of his body on the Cross, and it is his Resurrection from death to
eternal life. Through the Eucharist we become an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. Just like the
martyrs whose feast we celebrate today, we need to offer the struggles and challenges of each day in
order to remain united with Christ in the Eucharist.
3. More than Birds:
In our daily life we take many small
things for granted because they seem to have little import in the grand scheme of things. What were
the high and low temperatures a year ago today? What does it matter now? we might as well respond. Where will the four sparrows I saw in the park two weeks ago get food to eat? It's not even a
question that occurs to us. We have many other things of immediate importance that require our
attention and action. Yet such a question is important enough to occur to God. Christ tells us in
Luke 12:24, They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses and no barns; yet God feeds them. He
continues, And how much more are you worth than the birds! If God would make time to think about
something so insignificant among all the goings-on in the world, how much more will he be taking
care of our needs!
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, when I look at the difficulties
and rough spots
I know I will be facing today, I worry about
sacrifices I'll have to
Maybe events won't turn out as I hope.
Help me to have confidence and trust
like Saint Isaac Jogues and John de Brebeuf.
Help me realize
that you have taken care
of every minute detail of all that will occur
When faced with any worry today I will
pray, Jesus, I trust in you.