Monday, April 12, 2010


"St. Martin I,
Artist and Date are Unknown



Biographical Information about St. Martin I [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Martin I

Readings and Commentary:

2 Timothy 2:8-13; 3:10-12

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David:
such is my Gospel, for which 1 am suffering,
even to the point of chains, like a criminal.
But the word of God is not chained.
Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen,
so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus,
together with eternal glory.
This saying is trustworthy:

If we have died with him
we shall also live with him;
if we persevere
we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny himself.

You have followed my teaching, way of life,
purpose, faith, patience, love,
endurance, persecutions, and sufferings,
such as happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra,
persecutions that I endured.
Yet from all these things the Lord delivered me.
In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus
will be persecuted.

Commentary on
2 Tm 2:8-13; 3:10-12

In the first line of this passage St. Paul reminds St. Timothy that Christ came fulfilling the prophecy that the Messiah would come from the line of Kind David. The link between this reading and the reading from 2nd Kings is the baptismal idea expressed in the death to sin expressed and the rising with Christ as a new creation. As Paul implies, this is not an easy path and Christians must endure trails. He concludes with the promise that those who remain faithful will receive the reward, those who fall away will not.

The Apostle concludes with a statement of fact, that just as he had been vigorously persecuted through out his missionary travels, “…all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

CCC: 2 Tm 2:8 437; 2 Tm 2:11-13 2641;2 Tm 3:12 2847
Psalm 126:1bc-2, 2-3, 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 that 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.
Commentary on
Ps 126:1bc-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

Psalm 126 is a lament. The strophes used rejoice in the return of the captives placed in servitude during the Diaspora. The sense is one of being overflowing with thanksgiving.

John 15:18-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
'No slave is greater than his master.'
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the One who sent me."

Commentary on
Jn 15:18-21

Jesus gives the disciples a paradox in telling them that, while they are part of the world, they do not belong to the world. John gives us three different meanings of "the world."  In this instance it probably refers to fallen Israel - the spear of the devil that opposes God and hates the truth.  In other instances it refers to the universe created by God (John 1:10) and the fallen family of mankind in need of redemption. (John 3:17 ).[4]  The disciples are separated from that society through their association with Christ. He then reminds them that because they are his, they too will suffer persecution by those he came to save.

CCC: Jn 15:19-20 675; Jn 15:20 530, 765

Pope St Martin I (- 655)

He was born in Todi in Umbria and elected Pope in 649. He called a synod to combat the Monothelite heresy concerning the nature of Christ. One of the people whose teachings were condemned was supported by the Byzantine Emperor, who in 653 had Martin kidnapped from Rome, taken to Constantinople, imprisoned and eventually exiled to the Crimea, where he died on 1 September 655.[3]

The Gospel lesson St. Martin I epitomizes is to proclaim the truth with courage, even in the face of serious opposition. When we are enjoined to take up the Gospel message in the face of persecution we often think of missionaries in foreign lands who face hardship and the unknown to take that message of love where it has not gone before. However, we must also think about our own situations. While the message of the Lord is well known in our own slice of the world, there will be people who find it dangerous and needing to be removed from human knowledge; failing this minimally suppressed.

Following the example of St. Martin I can be as difficult as being a “Whistle Blower” when the law of Christ’s love is violated in the workplace (through dishonesty or bigotry) and it may be as simple as speaking out to our friends against attitudes that encourage hatred or even ambivalence to the plight of others. The Gospel of the Lord speaks clearly – Love God and love our neighbor; return love for hate and forgiveness for hurt.

St. Martin I had a much more complex situation to deal with in the Christological heresies of his day. He displayed heroic virtue both in staying the course of truth about the nature of our Lord but also in his deportment in the face of his enemies. Today on is feast day we ask especially for his prayers for us, that we might be strengthened by the Holy Spirit and remain true to Jesus our Risen Lord in all things.


[1] The picture is “Saint Martin I, Pope” 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. 
[3] Taken from Universalis April 13, 2010
[4] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. p. 161

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