Sunday, July 12, 2015

CHRISTOPHER MAGALLANES, PRIEST, AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

"Cristobal Magallanes Jara"
Photographer and date are UNKNOWN
MAY 21

CHRISTOPHER MAGALLANES, PRIEST, AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS
 
From the Common of Martyrs in the Easter Season or



Readings and Commentary: [2]

FIRST READING         
Revelation 7:9-17

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb."

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

"Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
"Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows."
He said to me,
"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

"For this reason they stand before God's throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
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Commentary on Rv 7:9-17

St. John’s vision of the heavenly kingdom unfolds in this passage with an image of those who have gone from this life to the next and now stand before the throne of God. They praise God without ceasing, giving thanks for salvation which comes from the Lamb of God, the Christ. The palm branches recall the Saviors triumphant entry into Jerusalem, here signifying his lordship over the New Jerusalem – God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

“…these wearing white robes” is a reference to martyrs who have given their lives for Christ during the great persecutions of Christians. These, St. John recounts, have received what is known as the “Baptism of Blood”. The Lord “…lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

CCC: Rv 7:9 775, 1138; Rv 7:10-12 2642
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

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. I will bless the Lord at all times.

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. I will bless the Lord at all times.

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. I will bless the Lord at all times.

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. I will bless the Lord at all times.
 
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. I will bless the Lord at all times.
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Commentary on Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

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 promise of salvation for those who follow the Lord gives hope to the poor and down trodden.
 
CCC: Ps 34:3 716; Ps 34:8 336
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GOSPEL          
John 12:24-26 

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me."
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Commentary on John 12:24-26 

St. John’s passage, given here, is foundational to our understanding of the Pascal Mystery. Using the analogy of the grain of wheat, the Lord invites us to his own sacrifice. Out of that wheat comes the Eucharistic Sacrifice and into the death to sin of Baptism, we are invited to share the salvation that comes from following Christ in life and death. 

CCC: Jn 12:24 2731
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Reflection: 

No reflection has been written.  Here is an on-line summary from CNA 

“Long live Christ the King and the Virgin of Guadalupe!” 

This was the slogan of the “Cristero” uprising in the 1920’s against the anti-Catholic government of Mexico which had instituted and enforced laws against the Church in an absurd attempt to eradicate the Catholic faith in Mexico, even going so far as to ban all foreign clergy and the celebration of Mass in some regions. 

St. Christopher Magallanes, along with 21 other priests and three lay companions, were martyred between 1915 and 1937, by shooting or hanging, throughout eight Mexican states, for their membership in the Cristero movement. Magallanes erected a seminary in Totatiche and he and his companions secretly preached and ministered to the faithful. 

The last words heard spoken by Magallanes were from his cell, when he shouted, "I am innocent and I die innocent. I forgive with all my heart those responsible for my death, and I ask God that the shedding of my blood serve the peace of our divided Mexico". 

Pope John Paul II beatified the Cristero martyrs in 1992 and canonized them in 2000.
 
Pax


[1] The Picture is “Cristóbal Magallanes Jara” Photographer 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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