Tuesday, February 03, 2015




St. John de Brito, Bl. Rudolf Acquaviva and Companions, Priests, Martyrs 

Memorial, Red 


Heb12: 4–7, 11-15 / Mk 6: 1-6


Reading: Heb12: 4–7, 11-15 

     Have you already shed your blood in the struggle against sin?

     Do not forget the comforting words that Wisdom addresses to you as children: My son, pay attention when the Lord corrects you and do not be discouraged when he punishes you. For the Lord corrects those he loves and chastises everyone he accepts as a son.

     What you endure is in order to correct you. God treats you like sons and what son is not corrected by his father? 

     All correction is painful at the moment, rather than pleasant; later it brings the fruit of peace, that is, holiness to those who have been trained by it.

     Lift up, then, your drooping hands, and strengthen your trembling knees; make level the ways for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but healed.

     Strive for peace with all and strive to be holy, for without holiness no one will see the Lord.

     See that no one falls from the grace of God, lest a bitter plant spring up and its poison corrupt many among you. 


Gospel: Mk 6: 1-6

     Leaving that place, Jesus returned to his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the sabbath came, he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of them who heard him were astonished. They commented, "How did this come to him? What kind of wisdom has been given to him that he also performs such miracles? Who is he but the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joset and Judas and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here among us?" So they took offense at him.

     And Jesus said to them, "Prophets are despised only in their own country, among their relatives and in their own family." And he could work no miracles there, but only healed a few sick people by laying his hands on them. Jesus himself was astonished at their unbelief.



     In today's Gospel Jesus preaches in his hometown synagogue. Instead of welcoming him and listening to his teaching, his townspeople seem to look down on him and wonder how the carpenter's son could end up teaching in the synagogue. Jesus could not perform any miracles there because of the people's lack of faith.

     In contrast, the Jesuit martyrs we commemorate today left their hometowns in Europe and preached the Gospel in our part of the world, far away from their hometowns. For daring to speak the truth to the established powers-that-be, they were persecuted and died for the faith.

     Portuguese Jesuit priest St. John de Brito (1647-1693), following the tradition of fellow Jesuit Fr. Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) in China, served in Madurai and Malabar, India, conducting himself as an Indian mystic. He wore saffron robes and a turban and was in time recognized as a Swami, an ascetic holy person. He gave importance and dignity to lower-caste Indians, converting as many as ten thousand of them, thus challenging the ingrained Indian caste system. He earned the ire of higher-caste Brahmins who plotted to kill him.

     Bl. Rudolf Acquaviva (1550-1583), an Italian Jesuit missionary, and his companions served near Goa of India in the late 16th century and were martyred by Hindus hostile to Christianity. Though not successful in numbers converted, they witnessed to their Christian faith by their deaths.

     These great Jesuit missionaries were far from their native lands but they too felt the hostility that Jesus experienced from his own townmates. In the face of their faraway and lonely mission stations, they held on to their deep faith in Christ and gracefully accepted the violence inflicted on them.

     We may not be called to suffer and die for our faith but we are surely called to live our faith with grace and courage,










Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 


Have a good day!



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