Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Martin De Porres, Rel. (03rd November, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 21:26-32. (R. v.26);
Saint Martin de Porres (9th December 1579 - 3rd November, 1639), the illegitimate son of a Spanish gentlemen and a freed slave from Panama, of African or possibly Native American descent, was born in Lima, Peru. His father abandoned him, his mother and younger sister at a young age. After two years in primary school, he was sent to learn how to cut hair and the medical arts. He was greatly ridiculed for being of mixed-race. Martin found it very difficult becoming a religious because law forbade all descendants of African or Indians from being full members of religious orders. At 15, he entered the Dominican Convent of the Rosary in Lima as a servant boy and became a Dominican lay brother in 1603. Ten years later, he was assigned to the infirmary where he remained until his death. He had virtues needed to carefully and patiently care for the sick. Martin was praised for his unconditional care of all people. His life reflected his great love for God and all of God's gifts. Before his death after almost a year full of illness, he was widely known and accepted. His body exhaled a splendid fragrance and was still intact when exhumed 25 years later. He was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI on 29th October, 1837 and canonized by Pope John XXIII on 6th May, 1962. He is the patron saint of people of mixed race, innkeepers, barbers, public health workers and more.
Topic: Heaven or Hell.
Whenever I hear or read about the joy of the saints in heaven, I wish I have made it. I do not know about you. However, I have good reason to assume that your wish is as good as mine. There is an Igbo adage, Onweghị onye etinyere sugar n’ọnụ ọ gbụpụ, literally meaning that nobody spits the cube of sugar placed in his/her mouth.
In today’s gospel, it is obvious that the problem is not in the giving of invitation but in our individual responses. We see in the gospel three categories: the first invitee represents those whose investment/s hinder, cf. Lk 14:18. And the second represents those hindered by their businesses, cf. Lk 14:19. The last represents those who are more attached to their families than to God, cf. Lk 14:20. I believe you know that the list can be expanded. We remember the words of Jesus, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Lk 9:62). Again, “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt 10:37).
Jesus is saying to all of us, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). It is important to ask ourselves if we respond positively to His calling or not. He is lamenting over a good number of us, “...you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (Jn 5:40). Where do you belong?
Bible Reading: Lk 16:19-31.
Thought for today: Heaven and hell are real.
Let us pray: God, help us respond positively to your invitation to the eternal banquet – Amen.
Saint Martin De Porres – Pray for us.
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