One Minute Reflection – 10 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Friday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Hosea 14:2-10, Psalm 51:3-4, 8-9, 12-14, 17, Matthew 10:16-23 and the Memorial of St Canute of Denmark (c 1042-1086) Martyr
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” … Matthew 10:16
REFLECTION – “They live in the flesh but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death but raised to life again. They live in poverty but enrich many; they are totally destitute but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonour but that is their glory. They are defamed but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors but even then they, rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.
To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.
Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together and, similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.” … Ancient Christian writer – From a letter to Diognetus (Nn. 5-6; Funk, 397-401)
PRAYER – Father of all holiness, guide our hearts to You. Keep in the light of Your truth, all those You have freed from the darkness of unbelief. May our lives be the source of enlightenment to others and our faith and love every remain strengthened by Your grace. Listen to the prayers of Your saint and angels on our behalf, as we long for our eternal home. St Canute, we beg for your prayers. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen