Friday, April 11, 2008

APRIL 11 SAINT STANISLAUS

Saint Stanisław,
artist and date are UNKNOWN 
APRIL 11

SAINT STANISLAUS,
BISHOP, MARTYR MEMORIAL

Additional Information about St. Stanislaus [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Stanislaus

Readings and Commentary: [2]

Reading 1
Revelation 12:10-12a

I, John, heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them."
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Commentary on Rev 12:10-12a

St. John refers in this passage to the “accuser,” in Hebrew “Satan,” who was cast down when Christ defeated death. His accusation was directed at the disciples. In the final sentences reference is made to the martyrdom of the Apostles, of whom St. John was the youngest and last (and the only one not martyred).

CCC: Rv 12 1138; Rv 12:11 2853
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Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (5) The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the Lord;
the lowly will hear and be glad.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Glorify the Lord with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the Lord heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the Lord is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
for nought is lacking to those who fear him.
The great grow poor and hungry;
but those who seek the Lord want for no good thing.
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
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Commentary on Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

Psalm 34 is a song of thanksgiving and a favorite for celebrating the heroic virtue of the saints. The psalmist, fresh from the experience of being rescued (Psalm 34:5, 7), can teach the "poor," those who are defenseless, to trust in God alone. This psalm, in the words of one being unjustly persecuted, echoes hope for deliverance and freedom. The Lord in his faithful love always hears those who call to him for help and salvation.

CCC: Ps 34:3 716; Ps 34:8 336
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Gospel
John 17:11 b-19

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, saying:
"Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, 
and I guarded them, 
and none of them was lost except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, 
and the world hated them, 
because they do not belong to the world 
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world. 
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth."
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Commentary on John 17:11 b-19

This passage is a continuation of the “High Priestly Prayer” started earlier in St. John’s Gospel (John 17:1-11a). This part of the prayer begins with a plea for unity between the Father and disciples (note the reference here to Judas Iscariot as the “son of destruction"). Still speaking directly to God, Jesus again says he is going to the Father, and that the disciples should share his joy at this prospect. He then asks the Father to keep them safe from the poison of sin (similar here to the petition in the Lord’s Prayer) and to consecrate them in truth (defining truth as the Word). “…but that you keep them from the Evil One” in this instance, it appears to refer specifically to the devil as opposed to some generic evil.

Clear reference is given here about how the world will receive these friends he sends into the world (“I gave them your word, and the world hated them”). This is why he asks at the onset: "Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.

CCC: Jn 17:11 2747, 2749, 2750, 2750, 2815, 2849; Jn 17:12 2750, 2750; Jn 17:13 2747, 2749; Jn 17:15 2750, 2850; Jn 17:17-20 2821; Jn 17:17-19 2812; Jn 17:17 2466; Jn 17:18 858; Jn 17:19 611, 2747, 2749, 2812
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Reflection:

Holy Scripture is eloquent about God’s special protection given to his faithful followers on this the Memorial of St. Stanislaus. In the first reading from Revelation, St. John envisions the defeat of Satan, the devil, through the salvation offered by Christ’s great sacrifice. We see the love of God poured out in the Blood of the Lamb that washes away every stain. Who but the Lamb of God could have such a love as this for creatures flawed by sin?

We transition, though the great song of praise offered in the Thirty-fourth Psalm, to the prayer offered for the Apostles in the “Upper Room” before the Lord’s Passion. The Lord asks his Heavenly Father to watch over and protect those he sends into the world. He asks that they remain unified in His Holy Name, and that they be protected from the Evil One. He offers himself for their and our salvation, knowing that what we bring to the world will be hated by the world.

The message is powerful, and made more so when we see the living example provided by St. Stanislaus. His lived example of Christ’s call is a shining example to us of what it means to completely embrace Christ. He was born to privilege, a Polish Noble, but rejected both title and wealth. He chose instead to serve the Lord in ordained ministry, rising reluctantly to the rank of Bishop. A tireless defender of the faith, he was known for his oratory skill. He preached the message of repentance, a call to holiness that was universal, not restricted to the poor or to the nobility. And when King Boleslaus the Cruel committed atrocities and grossly misused his authority, St. Stanislaw condemned him, excommunicating him from the Church. In reply, the King sent soldiers to kill him, hacking him down in front of the Altar he served.

His heroic service of the Lord has earned him a place among the white robed army of martyrs that throng the throne of the Lamb in eternal joy. We see his example of faith today and pray for that same strength as we face a world that will not hear the message of love and peace we bring to it in the unifying name of Jesus Christ, and him now raised in glory.

Pax

Please Pray for Esther.


[1] The picture used is of Saint Stanisław, artist and date are UNKNOWN 
[2] The readings are taken from the New American Bible with the exception of the Psalm and its response which were developed by the International Committee for English in Liturgy (ICEL). This re-publication is not authorized by USCCB and is for private use only.

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