Yesterday, Today, Forever

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
Readings: Wis 7:22b–8:1; PS 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175; Lk 17:20-25
Notes: Thursday post delayed.

Today’s memorial has no specific memorial Mass readings. Yet Martin of Tours is given greater treatment in the Liturgy of the Hours with his own Antiphons.

They do share a similar concern: proper perspective. Leo the Great was worried about the extremes of theoogy driving inferior decisions of faith (Pelagianism, Manichaeism). The Council of Chalcedon listed a lot of things that needed counteraction. We too have these concerns.

For Martin’s part, his concern was how do we cooperate with people who do the wrong things. We too have these concerns. We too must weigh the rightness of full cooperation on the one hand and total rejection on the other.

“Martin rejected Bishop Ithacius’s principle of putting heretics to death.”

The franciscan reflection below gives us the courage to continue to decide.

Decide to cooperate when we can and reject when we must.

  • Wisdom is our guide.
  • Wisdom must always be our guide.


Martin’s worry about cooperation with evil reminds us that almost nothing is either all black or all white. The saints are not creatures of another world: They face the same perplexing decisions that we do. Any decision of conscience always involves some risk. If we choose to go north, we may never know what would have happened had we gone east, west, or south. A hyper-cautious withdrawal from all perplexing situations is not the virtue of prudence; it is in fact, a bad decision, for “not to decide is to decide.”

First reading
Although the Wisdom writing do not name the Holy Spirit it does elevate wisdom as holding a significant place in the divine realm. It already uses a list form (which I use here a lot) so I’d rather link you to the readings for the wisdom on Wisdom.

Responsorial Psalm
Your word is for ever, O Lord.

Alleluia Verse
I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord:
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.

Gospel Portion
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,

“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed.”

and again

“For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

So many layers!

For those in Jesus’ time, he is noting how they will wish they paid attention to him while he was with them.

The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.

“For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

While he is here, pay attention!

Yet on another layer is this: The Kingdom of God is here.

  • Wisdom is here (Holy Spirit).
  • Jesus is here (Holy Eucharist).
  • God, the Father, is always here, for “God loves”.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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