Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NOVEMBER 3 SAINT MARTIN DE PORRES

St. Martin de Porres
by Robert Lentz, OFM contemporary artist 
NOVEMBER 3

SAINT MARTIN DE PORRES, RELIGIOUS
 

Biographical Information about St. Martin De Porres [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Martin De Pores

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING
 
Philippians 4:4-9

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.
 

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Commentary on
Phil 4:4-9

In the certain knowledge that Christ is with them, St. Paul begins this address, as part of a series of ethical instructions, by exhorting the Christian community to prayer. Through prayer God’s peace will come into their hearts and minds as a gift from Christ Jesus. He calls upon them to meditate upon the great good that is provided through God and provides a litany of adjectives; true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and gracious as descriptors of Christ’s actions in their midst. Through a focus on what is excellent they will achieve the peace of Christ.
CCC: Phil 4:6-7 2633; Phil 4:8 1803
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
 
Psalm 131:1 bcde, 2, 3

R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

O Lord, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
 

R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother's lap,
so is my soul within me.
 

R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
 

R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
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Commentary on
Ps 131:1 bcde, 2, 3

Psalm 131 is an individual lament praying for harmony and humility among the members of the community. The singer proclaims trust in the Lord and peace; like children's contented peace, secure in the knowledge of the love and protection of their parents.
CCC: Ps 131:2 239; Ps 131:2-3 370
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GOSPEL
Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments."
 

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Commentary on
Mt 22:34-40

The story of Jesus delivering the Great Commandment is the fourth of the “Controversy Stories” in St. Matthew’s Gospel (stories in which Jesus argues with the Jewish leadership). Jesus has just refuted those Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection (v. 23-33) and now is challenged by the Pharisees. The question posed by the “scholar of the law” (probably a scribe; see also Luke 10:25-28) “…which commandment in the law is the greatest?” is asked in a rabbinical sense, meaning; which of the 613 distinct statutes was considered greatest. Within this body of law, 248 of these precepts were positive and 365 were prohibitions. In addition these precepts were further divided into “Light” and “Heavy.” This was a fairly typical type of exchange for a rabbinical debate.

In answering, Jesus quotes two texts of the law that now form the foundation for a new morality in the Gospel. He first quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 “Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” This text forms part of the Shema, the Jewish profession of faith. This first quote would not be surprising. What makes this exchange novel and important is that Jesus adds the quote from Leviticus 19:18b “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This juxtaposition of quotes makes them equally “Heavy” and there is no parallel In Jewish literature.

CCC: Mat 22:23-34 575; Mat 22:34-36 581; Mat 22:36 2055; Mat 22:37-40 2055; Mat 22:37 2083; Mat 22:40 1824
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Reflection:

One of the great gifts the saints give us is their practical example of what it means to live the Christian faith. St. Martin De Porres is one of those whose story not only gives us this example but also helped one of the Church’s great instruments of teaching and evangelization move itself forward. In his life, St. Martin heard the words of the Gospel “"You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

With the grace of a deep and abiding faith St. Martin took these words to be his life’s credo and with all his heart put them to work. In all that God asked him, whether it was begging for alms or caring for the sick, his love for the Lord and his genuine love of others brought him success, not for himself but for the greater glory of God.

The grace God bestowed upon St. Martin had another impact. His example of faith so inspired the religious order he served, the Dominicans, that they changed a rule that prohibited those of African descent from taking vows and being received into their order. He did this not with pleas for entry, but simple adhesion to the Gospel of Christ.

We ask today for both the intercession of St. Martin De Porres and for the Lord’s own strength that we might be guided down that same path to love the Lord with all our hearts and thereby extending his love to all we meet, who are our brothers and sisters.

Pax


[1] The icon used today is of St. Martin de Porres by Robert Lentz, OFM contemporary artist 
[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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