Friday, June 07, 2019
SATURDAY, 7TH Week of Easter
St. James Berthieu, Priest and Martyr
Acts 28: 16 – 20, 30 – 31 / Jn 21: 20 – 25
St. James Berthieu (1838 – 1896), a French Jesuit missionary to Madagascar, was martyred for his Christian faith.
FROM THE 1ST READING: Acts 28: 30 – 31
Paul stayed for two whole years in a house he himself rented, where he received without any hindrance all those who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught the truth about Jesus Christ, the Lord, quite openly and without any hindrance.
GOSPEL READING: Jn 21: 20 – 25
Peter looked back and saw that the disciple Jesus loved was following as well, the one who had reclined close to Jesus at the supper and had asked him, "Lord, who is to betray you?" On seeing him Peter asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain until I come, does that concern you? Follow me."
Because of this, rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, "he will not die," but "suppose I want him to remain until I come."
It is this disciple who testifies about the things he has recorded here and we know that his testimony is true. But Jesus did many other things; if all were written down, the world itself would not hold the books recording them.
Discipleship has many faces. Each is called to journey a different path toward the same goal, with the same purpose.
The first reading talks about Paul's ministry in Rome. A stranger and prisoner in Rome, Paul preached about Jesus to Gentile friends and converts. He was forbidden to speak in large gatherings in public places.
The Gospel reading speaks of Peter asking about the "fate" of the disciple Jesus loved. In Jesus' answer Peter was told to mind his own mission, not John's, not another's. Peter's mission was to follow Jesus in his own way.
Today's memorial celebrates the life and martyrdom of Jesuit priest, St. James Berthieu, missionary to African Madagascar.
We can be like Paul, Peter and John and John Berthieu in our following of Christ, each in his own way. A true disciple of Christ follows him not only in moments of glory and success but also in times of pain and abandonment. When hurt, does a disciple of Christ respond with vengeance or with forgiveness? Do we choose to embrace only the glorious Jesus and not the wounded and crucified Christ?
Discipleship is a total offering of self, though wounded and torn, yet willingly offered to be made whole again for Christ's mission.
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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