Posted by: RAM | September 27, 2016

Wednesday (September 28): “I will follow you, Lord.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of Our Lady of Sorrows
St. Lorenzo Ruiz, Patron saint of Filipino youth, the Philippines, people working overseas, and altar servers
88 Days Before Christmas
Wednesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 457

First Reading: Job 9:1-12, 14-16
Psalms 88:10-15: Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
Gospel: Luke 9:57-62
As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey, someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/092816.cfm

Reflection:  Are you ready to follow the Lord Jesus wherever he may lead you? With the call the Lord gives the grace to respond and the strength to follow all the way to the end. Why does Jesus issue a challenge with the call? Jesus was utterly honest in telling people what it would cost to follow him. When a would-be disciple approached Jesus and said he was ready to follow, Jesus told him it would require sacrifice – the sacrifice of certain creaturely comforts. Jesus appealed to this man’s heart and told him to detach himself from whatever might hold him back. Spiritual detachment is a necessary step for following the Lord. It frees us to give ourselves without reserve to the Lord and his service. While many of us may not need to give up the comfort of our own home and bed to follow Jesus, we, nonetheless, must be willing to part with anything that might stand in the way of doing God’s will.

Don’t let anything hold you back from following the Lord Jesus
Another would-be disciple said he would follow as soon as he had buried his father. What he meant by this expression was that he felt the need to return to his home to take care of his father through old age until he died. The third had no obligation to return home, but simply wanted to go back and say good-bye. Jesus surprised these would-be disciples with the stark truth that nothing should hinder us from following the Lord. Was Jesus being harsh and rude to his would-be followers? Not really. We are free to decide whether we will take the path which Jesus offers. But if we choose to go, then the Lord wants us to count the cost and choose for it freely.

Don’t miss the good path God has set for you – it will lead to joy and freedom
What does the story of a plowman have to do with the journey? A plowman who looked back while plowing his field caused the line or furrow he cut into the soil to become crooked. One crooked line easily leads to another until the whole field is a mess. The plowman had to look straight ahead in order to keep the plow from going off course. Likewise, if we look back on what we have freely left behind to follow the Lord – whether that be some distraction, attachment, or sinful habit which leads us away from doing God’s will – our path will likely diverge and we’ll miss what God has for us.

Will you say “yes” to the Lord’s call for your life?
The Gospel does not record the response from these three would-be disciples. We are only left with the question which Jesus intends for us as well.  Are you ready to take the path which the Lord Jesus offers? His grace is sufficient and his love is strong. There is nothing greater we can do with our lives than to place them at the service of the Lord and Master of the universe. We cannot outmatch God in his generosity. Jesus promises that those who are willing to part with what is most dear to them for his sake “will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). The Lord Jesus offers us a kingdom of lasting peace, unending joy, surpassing love, enduring friendship, and abundant life. Is there anything holding you back from pursuing the Lord and his will for you life?

“Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess you have given me. I surrender it all to you to be disposed of according to your will.  Give me only your love and your grace – with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more.” (Prayer of Ignatius Loyola, 1491-1556) http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/sep28.htm  www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2016 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Lorenzo Ruiz
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz was born around the year 1600 in Binondo, Manila in the Philippines. He was the son of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother. Both were Christians and took care to raise Lorenzo as a Catholic. He served happily in his parish church as an altar boy and calligrapher.

As a young man, Lorenzo joined the Dominican Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary.

Later, he married a woman named Rosario. The happy couple had three children, two sons and one daughter. By all accounts, the family was ordinary and happy.

In 1636, Lorenzo was accused of murder. Allegedly he killed a Spaniard. However, to protect his safety at the time, he fled home and found refuge on board a ship with three Dominican priests and a leper. There are no details of this alleged crime other than a journal entry by two Dominican priests, that he joined their group to escape possible arrest. The ship departed the Philippines on June 10, 1636, bound for Okinawa.

A shock awaited the holy passengers when they arrived in Japan. At the time of their arrival, the rulers of Japan, the Tokugawa Shogunate, were persecuting Christians. Prior to this persecution, the Christian population of Japan was thought to number 50,000 souls.

Now Lorenzo was arrested by Japanese officials for the crime of being a Christian and ordered to recant his faith. When he refused he was imprisoned for two years. On September 27, 1637, Lorenzo and his companions were taken to Nagasaki to be tortured and killed if they would not recant their faith.

Lorenzo and his companions were tortured by water, which was forced into their mouths and down their throats and out their noses and ears. Despite the painful torture, the men refused to do so.

Following this, Lorenzo was hanged upside down, with a rope around his ankles. This method of torture was known as tsurushi, or “gallows and pit.” The torture forces a person to be hanged upside down with a gash cut in their forehead to prevent too much blood from gathering in the head. The gash also causes the victim to bleed to death over an extended period of time.

Those who have survived the torture have said it is unbearable.

One hand is left free so the victim can offer an agreed symbol that will represent their desire to recant their faith. Those few who recant are spared and allowed to live. But few people ever recanted, choosing instead to die for their faith.

Lorenzo refused to recant. According to the record of his death, his last words were, “I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God. Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him I shall offer. Do with me as you please.”

His traveling companions were all killed, steadfast until the end.

Lorenzo was beatified by Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981. The beatification ceremony was held in the Philippines making it the first beatification ceremony ever held outside the Vatican.

A miracle attributed to his intercession occurred in 1983. A two-year-old girl, Alegria Policarpio, suffering from hydrocephaly, a condition she had since birth, was miraculously cured.

His canonization took place at the Vatican on October 18, 1987.

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz is the patron saint of Filipino youth, the Philippines, people working overseas, and altar servers.

His feast day is September 28. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=231

More Saints of the Day
St. Annemund
St. Conwall
St. Domingo Ibanez de Erquicia
St. Eustochium
St. Exuperius
St. Faustus of Riez
Bl. Guillermo Courtet
Bl. Jacobo Kyushei Gorobioye Tomonaga
St. John of Dukla
St. John Kokumbuko
St. Lorenzo Ruiz
Bl. Lawrence Shizu
Bl. Lazaro of Kyoto
St. Lorenzo Ruiz
St. Machan
Bl. Magdalena of Nagasaki
Bl. Marina de Omura
St. Mark
St. Martial
Bl. Michael Kinoshi
St. Paternus
Bl. Peter Kufioji
St. Raymond Li-Ts’Uan
St. Remigius Isore
St. Rose Wang-Hoei
St. Simon de Rojas
St. Tetta
Bl. Thiemo
Bl. Thomas Hioji Rokuzayemon Nishi
Bl. Thomas Kufioji
Bl. Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz
St. Wenceslaus
St. Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia 
St. Willigod & Martin

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Manila, Philippines

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