Friday, June 21, 2019


SATURDAY, 11th Week in Ordinary Time

June 22, 2019 – SATURDAY, 11th Week in Ordinary Time
St. Paulinus of Nola, Bishop / Sts. John Fisher, Bishop, and Thomas More, Martyrs

2 Cor 12: 1 – 10 / Mt 6: 24 – 34

St.  Paulinus  of  Nola  (355  –  431)  born  of  a  noble  family  in  Bordeaux, was successively Prefect, Senator and Consul. Converted to Christianity he became Bishop of Nola.

Sts. John Fisher (1469 – 1535), Bishop of Rochester and Chancellor of Cambridge University, and Thomas More (1478 – 1535), humanist and Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII of England gave up their lives in testimony to the true unity of the Church and the indissolubility of Christian marriage.

FROM THE 1ST READING: 2 Cor 12: 9b – 10
Gladly, then, will I boast of my weakness that the strength of Christ may be mine. So I rejoice when I suffer infirmities, humiliations, want, persecutions: all for Christ! For when I am weak, then I am strong.

GOSPEL READING Mt 6: 24 – 34
Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters; for he will either hate one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the first and look down on the second. You cannot at the same time serve God and money.

"This is why I tell you not to be worried about food and drink for yourself, or about clothes for your body. Is not life more important than food, and is not the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, they do not harvest and do not store food in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you less worthy than they are?

"Can any of you add a day to your life by worrying about it? Why are you so worried about your clothes? Look at how the flowers in the fields grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his wealth was clothed like one of these. If God so clothes the grass in the field, which blooms today and is to be burned tomorrow in an oven, how much more will he clothe you? What little faith you have!

"Do not worry and say: What are we going to eat? What are we going    to drink? Or: What shall we wear? The pagans busy themselves with such things; but your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God, and all these things will also be given to you. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Our martyrs St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, whose feast we commemorate today, lived their lives very well as servants of God as expressed in today's reading from St. Paul.

St.. John Fisher, a well-educated priest and proctor in the University of Cambridge, became chaplain and confessor to the mother of King Henry VIII. He also became the tutor of the young Prince Henry. Soon he became bishop and influential Chancellor of Cambridge.

When the prince became king, he married Catherine of Spain but they did not have an heir so he wanted to divorce her. Because John Fisher opposed the divorce and preached against it, he earned the ire of the king who caused his arrest for treason and later his execution by guillotine. Before his beheading, John Fisher stated his personal principles clearly, "not that I condemn anyone else's conscience. . . their conscience may save them, and mine must save me."

Thomas More was a friend of John Fisher in prison where they exchanged letters. A pious married layman, an eloquent and learned lawyer, Thomas More was knighted by Henry VIII and served him long and well as Lord Chancellor. Later, due to ethical compromises, More retired from the world  of royal politics. But his decisions were still valuable to the king. When More was asked to take an oath agreeing to the law making the king the Supreme Head of the Church, thus breaking away from Rome, he refused. For this he was put in the tower for treason and sentenced to the guillotine.

Before he died, he uttered, "I die the king's good servant, but God's first." Thomas More is the patron saint of lawyers,

With these two saintly lives commemorated today, today's gospel acquires greater significance.


Have a good day!

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