Monday, November 23, 2020
St. Stephen, the first martyr died by stoning. St. Perpetua a young woman of faith died by the sword. St. Maximilian Kolbe died by lethal injection at Auschwitz. St. Oscar Romero was executed while offering Mass during the Holy Consecration of our Lord. If you asked any of these faithful Catholics if they were victims, I am confident each would said “No” and that they were honored to share in the Cross of Jesus and offer their lives for that purpose. I think comparatively, I am pretty weak in light of the great sufferings of the saints, but this willingness to die for Jesus, must be the cloak which we wear and the cup from which we drink if we are to enter into the great inheritance with our Lord Jesus. We can find hope in Philippians 4: 6 – 7 as the Lord reminds us, “be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” To even expand on this, I would say, “offer your sufferings to God and to God alone. Offer them redemptively for the salvation of the world and in reparation for sin.” Offer the pardon prayer, “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You” or as Our Lady also shared with Jacinta, Francesco and Lucia, “Oh my Jesus, I offer this for love of thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
There are many ways we can offer our joys and happiness along with our trials, hardships and sufferings to Jesus not only for our own salvation but for those who have no one to pray for them, for the souls in purgatory, for the spiritually lost, for the conversion of the world, for those persecuted for their Catholic faith, for the imprisoned (both spiritually and physically). Recall this past Sunday’s Gospel, when the damned cry out, “Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.” [Matthew 25: 44 – 45]
“Offer your lives in sacrifice to Jesus or to Him through the Immaculate Heart of his Mother. “For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, did not revile: when he suffered, he threatened not: but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly. Who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.” [1 Peter 2: 21 – 25]
Now, more than ever are we needed to carry forth the Kingdom of Our Lord, the Kingdom of Heaven. As Our Lady of Good Success foretold over 500 years ago to Sr. Mariana de Jesús Torres, that the 20th century would be a time of great evil for the church and humanity. God chose each of us to live in this specific period in time. Today, as the Holy Church of Christ is persecuted, let us lay down our lives and offer all that we are to Him, to unite ourselves on the Cross and to save precious souls from the grip of Satan.
God Love You,