Monday, October 19, 2009

OCTOBER 19 SAINTS JOHN DE BRÉBEUF AND ISAAC JOGUES

“Sts. John De Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues
and their companions” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
OCTOBER 19
[In the Dioceses of the United States]

SAINTS JOHN DE BRÉBEUF AND ISAAC JOGUES,
PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, AND THEIR COMPANIONS,
MARTYRS MEMORIAL
 

Biographical Information about Sts. John De Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues
and their companions [1]

Readings for the Memorial of Sts. John De Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues
and their companions

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING
 
2 Corinthians 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.
 

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Commentary on
2 Cor 4:7-15

St. Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about suffering and death in the human existence of this life, in spite of living in the faith. The image he uses, fragile earthen pots, speaks of God’s instruments being easily broken but nonetheless effective. The image of small terracotta lamps in which light is carried is mentioned elsewhere. The point the evangelist makes contrasts our mortality with God’s omnipotence and power, our death in the flesh with life in the spirit of Christ. With such a spirit at work within us, we must, like St. Paul, spread that news to others (“…we too believe and therefore speak”).


CCC: 2 Cor 4:7 1420; 2 Cor 4:14 989
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
 
Psalm 126:1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6

R. (5) Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
 

R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
 

R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
 

R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
 

R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
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Commentary on
Ps 126:1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6

Psalm 126 is a lament. In this short psalm the singer rejoices at the return of Israel following the Diaspora, the conquering of Israel and its enslavement. In this hymn, the people remember the greatness of God as he restores their nation and brings the people back to their own land ("Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves."). The sense is one of being overflowing with thanksgiving.

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GOSPEL
 
Matthew 28:16-20

The Eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

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Commentary on
Mt 28:16-20

This passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew presents “The Commissioning” monologue that concludes this Gospel. The doubting disciples are reassured that all the Lord had predicted, all the prophets had foretold had come to pass and the Lord now assumed his place with the Father. He then sends them out to continue His earthly mission. His command to them is an important one. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” In this statement we receive the proper “form” and institution of the Sacrament of Baptism and the command to bring all nations to follow the Lord. He finally reassures them that he will be with them always.


CCC: Mt 28:16-20 857, 1444; Mt 28:16-17 645; Mt 28:17 644; Mt 28:18-20 1120; Mt 28:19-20 2, 767, 849, 1223, 1257, 1276
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Reflection:

 
The Gospel passage from St. Matthew provides us with the institution of the sacrament of Baptism. Going beyond that Jesus makes it clear to the disciples that they are sent into the world to “make disciples of all the nations.” This instruction has been passed down to all who call themselves Christian. By word and example we are called to take the message of Jesus to all we meet.

In the history of Church there are among the Saints some who have taken this command to its extreme, taking the word of Christ to peoples who have no knowledge of God or His Son. Such were the brave Jesuits, Sts. John De Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues and their companions. This group of eight brothers came to the Americas to evangelize the Native Americans in the seventeenth century and between 1642 and 1649 met their deaths at the hands of those they came serve. Because of this heroic virtue, they have been included with the white robed army of martyrs who stand before the Throne of the Lamb, having achieved what the Lord had asked.

Their example of living the Gospel proclaimed to us on this day provides yet another example of how the Holy Spirit provides strength of heart when supported by a vibrant and lively faith. May these Jesuit saints intercede for us on this day, offering prayers for us that we to might be valiant in making disciples in places hostile to the Word of God.

Pax

[1] The picture is Sts. John De Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues and their companions, Artist and Date are UNKNOWN 
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

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