Friday of the 14th Week of the Year

Matt 10:16-23

Coming Persecutions


Have you ever really feel devastated? I think all of us in one way or another have experienced the darkest in our lives.

A friend of mine shared one of her darkest moments when her son got lost and went into drugs. According to her, through it all, the Lord always punctuated His message with “Let go, let God.” In other words, He is in-charge. And he never fails to fulfill His words as contained in Hosea 14:4: “I will bring my people back to me, I will love them with all my heart.”

Prayers and complete surrender to Him helped her from falling apart. She can’t seem to recall now the anguish and the tears she kept back. She can’t remember because it was Jesus who was moving for her in all the two years of pain and hope, of frustrations and fulfillment, of joys and sorrows.

Today her son is back to normal and is holding a regular job. Soon he is getting married to a personable and prayerful girl whom the mother believes God has given him. (Fr. Titus Mananzan, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


The discourse of Jesus in today’s gospel is clearly prophetic. He announces to us what Christians at times are experiencing: incomprehension, contradiction, and persecution……..

This gospel episode reminds of the story of Felicitas as narrated by Fr. John Fullenbach in his book “Throwing Fire”. Miss Felicitas, a Rwandese Hutu, about 60 years old, was an Auxiliary of the Apostolate in Gisenyi. She and her companions welcomed Tutsi refugees in their house. Knowing she was in danger, her brother, a colonel in the army, asked her by phone to leave and escape inevitable death. The letter she wrote in reply reads: “Dear brother. Thank you for wanting to help me. To save my life I would have to abandon the 43 persons I am in charge of. I choose to die with them. Pray for us that we may reach God’s house. Say goodbye to our old mother and our brother. I shall pray for you when I am with the Lord. Be of good health. Thank you very much for thinking of me.”

Felicitas was the 31st to die. When her brother arrived, she had already been thrown naked into the common grave. He had the grave dug up. Clothes were found for her. Then he buried her sister and said: “You chose to die. Pray for us.” (Fr. E. Yyance, SVD, Bible Diary 2004)


In today’s gospel reading we hear Jesus say to his disciples: ‘I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves.” These words in the course of the centuries, along with other teachings of Jesus, have inspired many Christians to live their lives in a nonviolent way. Among others, they inspired a temporary pacifist like black leader Martin Luther King, Jr., whose nonviolent approach to racial discrimination was wholly inspired by the gospel.

“We must meet violence,” he said, with nonviolence. Remember the words of Jesus: ‘He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword.’ We must love our white brothers no matter what they do to us. We must make them know that we love them” (quoted in Coretta  Scott King, My Life With Martin Luther King, Jr., p. 141).

Mahatma Gandhi, the peaceful liberator of India, was likewise inspired by the example and the teaching of Jesus, although he himself never became a Christian: “The example of Jesus’ suffering,” he wrote, “is a factor in the composition of my undying faith in nonviolence which rules all my actions” (The Law of Love, p. 79).

Quaker theologian James W. Douglas in his book The Non-Violent Cross, A Theology of Revolution and Peace writes eloquently on this issue of pacifism: “Inasmuch as war’s central action,” he says, “of inflicting suffering and death is directly opposed to the example of Christ in enduring these same realities, the Church has reason for repentance in having allowed herself to become involved since the Age of Constantine in an ethic would justify what conflicts with the essence of gospel” (177-178) – (from 365 Days 2007)


Wait, today is Friday the 13th and the tone of the gospel is horribly unpleasant, the images terrible.

The gospel appears to be a dead barren desert without apparently a word of good news in it. But read again and a phrase stands out, a phrase that brings relief, i.e., “will be saved.” “Whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

Salvation is not an empty word, neither, it is a cheap. Salvation is the experience of being thrown like a sheep in the midst of frightening wolves. We struggle, we do our part, we do not give up and we endure until the end. Why does one sheep prevail over terrorizing wolves? I do not know. Perhaps the sheep is faithful until the end, or perhaps because of the shepherd. The wolves do not have masters, the sheep has. And the sheep trusts the Shepherd!

God asks us to endure our share of sufferings to be in communion with the Shepherd. And the Shepherd who has conquered suffering wants to show through us another victory over suffering. Every time therefore that we courageously suffer, we simply affirm that God is above all suffering. And then we discover too that suffering is not something to be afraid once we are with the One who conquered it.

Friday the 13th brings a chill to some. No day and no date however can be more terrifying than the day, the hour, the moment we separate ourselves from God. Only in God that we will be saved. (Frt. Aris P. Martin, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


Like a coach to his team, before a game, Jesus gives a pep talk to His disciples before sending them out to proclaim the good news.

Witnessing in those days was tantamount to risking one’s life. And so to boost the morale of His followers, the Lord promised them the presence of the Spirit, hence, a worry-free discipleship.

It is not that each time we get hold of a newspaper and browse through the classified ads for opportunities, we always come across offers that even the pickiest job-hunters could not resist?

In today’s gospel, the followers of Jesus are presented with a job opportunity. Irresistible? Think again, persecution comes with the package! “You will be hated by all because of my name,” he says. But there is a proviso in the offer that even the faint-hearted cannot resist, the promise of the Spirit.

Lord God, your promise of the Spirit to your disciples is what inspires me to go on following you. In witnessing to the Word, I will hold on to that great promise, amidst trials and tribulations that come my way. (Fr. Rhing Malbog, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


July 8, 2016 Friday

When a Society of the Divine Word missionary is about to be sent out to the mission, the superior prays for him in this way: O Lord, look kindly on these your servants: NN.

The Church and the Society of the Divine Word send them forth as messengers of salvation and peace, marked with the sign of the cross (Rite of Blessing and Sending of Missionaries).

Jesus sent out his first missionaries, saying: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” The twelve disciples were to go into the lion’s den so to speak – sa lungga ng mga ulupong, in Filipino. In the Old Testament, serpents were associated with wisdom and doves with stupidity. The prophet Jonah whose Hebrew name means “dove” was anything but a prophet. Despite his simple-mindedness, Nineveh repented. At times, God’s grace can work well in one’s naivite. As Saint Paul said, “We are fools for the sake of Christ” (1 Cor 14:10).

To be wise as serpents and simple as doves may mean in today’s language to have both good IQ and EQ. The best example is Saint Paul. As a student of the great Rabbi Gamaliel II, he was intellectually prepared for the mission. He also had good human sensitivity. When a famine hit Jerusalem, he spearheaded a collection for the poor (1 Cor 16). When misunderstandings arose among members of a community that he helped found, he intervened, preaching love and reconciliation (1 Cor 13). When he was punished without a trial, he invoked his Roman citizenship and demanded an audience before the Roman emperor in Rome (Acts 25:11). He was simple; but he was also wise. (Fr. Randy Flores, SVD | DWST, Tagaytay City (Bible Diary 2016)



Our gospel continues to make us reflect on the instructions issued by Jesus to the Twelve disciples whom he also called to be apostles (that is, missionaries).

Many times, we have the tendency to simply float with the words – beautiful words of Jesus. but if we break the words, we realize that the instruction is filled with contradictions:

  • The Twelve are called upon to be like sheep in the midst of wolves, but they have also to be cunning as serpents.
  • The Twelve must be simple/innocent as doves, but they are asked to be on guard as regards people around them.
  • The Twelve should not worry when they are brought to court, for God will send the Spirit to give them their defense, but they must exert their best efforts to flee from persecutions.

I believe the contradictions are meant to bring out the following beautiful principles for every Christian disciple to contemplate and live out:

  • For the Christian disciples, goodness and kindness must be discerned. There are situations that call for a response of compassion and gentleness, but there are also events when the best response is firmness and determination or stubbornness, even.
  • Fir the Christian disciples, goodness and simplicity are not the same as being naïve and open to abuse. The Christian disciple is as much an advocate of justice, as he is an advocate of charity.
  • For the Christian disciples, the ultimate value is the advancement of the mission to make the Kingdom of Jesus Christ known to all. This cannot be compromised. (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP, New Every Morning New Everyday, Makati: St. Pauls, 2006:215-216)


Friday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time (Year C) – Mateo 10:16-21. Ngano man nga gipili ni Cristo ang karnero sa tanang hayop aron ihulagway sa iyang mga tinun-an? Ang karnero usa ka matang sa mananap nga walay ikapanalipod batok sa daghang mga butang – sama sa makahilo nga sagbot, mga sakit, mga  insekto, ug ilabina na sa mga lobo. Ginaingon nga ang usa ka lobo pwede nga makapatay og gatosan ka karnero sa usa lamang ka gabii. Sa pag-ingon ni Jesus, “Sama kamo sa karnero nga gipadala ngadto sa mga lobo”, buot lamang niyang ipasabot nga ang pagsangyaw sa ebanghelyo ngadto sa kalibotan dili gyod sayon. Sa atong pagsaksi kang Cristo pinaagi sa pulong ug sa buhat, pwede kita nga lutoson, pasakitan, o kaha patyon. Busa, sa pagsangyaw, dili gyod kita magsalig sa kaugalingong katakos kondili sa gahom ug panabang sa Dios (Fr. Abet Uy –


Thursday, July 9, 2015

FRIDAY OF THE 14TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MATEO 10:16-21. ASA MAN MAGAGIKAN ANG KALUWASAN SA MGA MATARONG? Ang karnero usa ka matang sa mananap nga walay ikapanalipod batok sa daghang mga butang – sama sa makahilo nga sagbot, sakit, insekto, ug ilabina sa mga lobo. Ginaingon nga ang usa ka lobo pwede nga makapatay og gatosan ka mga karnero sa usa lamang ka gabii. Sa pag-ingon ni Hesus, “Sama kamo sa karnero nga gipadala ngadto sa mga lobo”, buot lamang niyang ipasabot nga ang pagsangyaw sa ebanghelyo ngadto sa kalibotan dili gyod sayon. Sa atong pagsaksi kang Kristo pinaagi sa pulong ug sa buhat, pwede kita nga lutoson, pasakitan, o kaha patyon. Busa, sa atong pagpuyo sa Kristohanong kinabuhi, dili kita angay’ng magsalig sa kaugalingong katakos kondili sa gahum ug panabang sa Dios. Matod pa sa Salmo 37:39, “The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.” Posted by Abet Uy


My Reflection for Friday July 11, Saint Benedict, Abbot Matthew 10:16-23Reflection: How far would you go for your love of Jesus? Are you willing to give your life so that HIS teachings will continue to live and spread in the hearts of your fellowmen?

Jesus needs us today more than any other time because today we see the world being slowly enveloped by the culture of secularization. What are we going to do about this tilting paradigm shift toward secularization? Are we just going to stand idly, do nothing and be indifferent with the mission of Christ Jesus?

If we do nothing because we are afraid to embrace sacrifice and persecution, what will happen to this world? This world will eventually be ruled and populated by people who are not anymore afraid of God. Just look and observe, abortion is prevalent even legal in many countries same as with divorce. Why are these incidents happening now? Because many are afraid to give their life in the service of Jesus many of us now have the mindset of apathy (I am only concerned with my family and my own welfare).

Our indifference towards the mission of Jesus contributes to the degeneration of the value formation of this world. Many of us are even already afraid to take up the cudgels for Jesus, we only confine Jesus inside the walls of the church.

We must wake-up and do our part (No matter how small) to continue to spread the values and teachings of Jesus in this world. We do this not for our own sake anymore we do this for the sake of the future generation which now belongs to our children. Just imagine them growing-up with a scant idea of who Jesus is, what will happen to them when they grow-up and have their own family?

Have you done something to stand for the teachings of Christ? Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas


MORE SUBTLE PERSECUTIONS: Our continuous Gospel passages bring us now to Jesus’ instructions regarding the inevitable persecutions which His disciples were to undergo eventually.

It is not only the martyrs who underwent persecutions. This last word certainly does not only refer to torments such as being nailed to the cross, being tortured and jailed, being scourged or burned at the stake, and similar ordeals. There are other more subtle and insidious persecutions. Ours is a society built by pride, materialism and maintenance of the status quo: all these spawn trials and difficulties to a genuine follower of Christ. And in a world built on free will instead of God’s will, we are being challenged to be martyrs in the broad sense (the original sense, in fact — that of giving witness).

Our saint for today is a fine example. Benedict, known as the Patriarch of Western monks, didn’t die a martyr’s death. However, he had to face so many persecutions of different sorts: combatting temptations of the flesh, confronting conflicts from notorious monks, enduring assassination attempts and political intrigues, and overcoming his own selfish tendencies. As for ourselves, there isn’t much difference. While we may not be called to martyr our lives, we must “martyr” our way of life. We must put our selfish ways to death, and march to the beat of a different drummer. There may still be religious persecutions up to now against Christians in certain countries, but we must recognize the newer and more understated forms of persecutions and be ready to face them with the help of God. May St. Benedict be our inspiration, model and strength. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What persecutions have you encountered in following Jesus? How did you overcome them?

Strengthen me, Lord, whenever I meet persecutions in following You. Help me not to give up as I fulfill Your mission for me.


NAME CHANGER – There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he answered. – Genesis 46:2

Isn’t it interesting that in the Bible there are several characters that have changed their names after meeting Jesus?

It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even our names. Simon became Peter, Levi became Matthew, and Saul became Paul.

Notice in today’s reading that Jacob, later on known as Israel, had visions of God speaking to him and guiding him on what to do. God revealed His great plans for him, plans to make him “a great nation,” and plans to reunite him with his long-lost son, Joseph.

Jacob embraced God’s plans for him and allowed Him to dictate his next steps. In the end, Jacob reaped the rewards, God fulfilled His promises, and Jacob died a peaceful and joyful man.

God wants His presence to create a change in us. Why? Because He wants us to live a life of joy and significance. He died for us, saved us, and gave us salvation. The question is, are we willing to change for Him? And how much are we willing to change within ourselves to fulfill His will? Erika Mendoza (

Reflection: Are you ready to lose yourself for His cause? Are you willing to lose your name and let His name be glorified instead?

Lord, let there be less of me and more of You.


SHEEP AMONG WOLVES – As in previous passages, Jesus made His disciples aware that following Him won’t be easy. “I send you like sheep in the midst of wolves.”

This means, first of all, that His followers must be nonviolent — something that the Church in the Middle Ages had unfortunately forgotten. Second, it means that, as followers of Christ, we must expect rejection. Modern society has become more and more hostile to Christianity.

When we try to live out Christ’s teachings, defend our faith, and build up the Church, we often run into resistance, mockery and even humiliation. It seems our efforts as Christians are failures.

Please, don’t say now: “But we are a Catholic country and the churches are full.” When Pope Francis was still a Cardinal, he spoke about Catholic Argentina in an interview. The interviewer asked about Catholic identity, but the Cardinal stopped the questioner when he mentioned that Argentina was a majority Catholic country. He disagreed and said flatly that the levels of corruption, toxic messages in the media, and social inequalities could not possibly describe a Catholic country.

I could not help but think that this applies also to the Philippines and causes discouragement, a major obstacle to remain a faithful “Christian in action and truth,” as Pope Francis desires all Christians to be.

One of the Christian disciple’s greatest enemies, as we saw in recent reflections, is discouragement. We think we have done something wrong. We think we are good for nothing. We think Jesus is disappointed with us. No doubt, the devil loves discouragement. He loves filling Christian hearts with paralyzing discouragement. But the truth is that “discouragement is just the result of unfulfilled expectations.”

We can only be grateful to Jesus for being honest with us, for reminding us that, after all, we are like sheep sent among wolves. But the Good Shepherd is always there to protect His sheep! Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you scared to profess your faith openly?

Lord, as the Good Shepherd, You are always with Your sheep. Forgive me for sometimes being afraid, lacking trust in Your powerful presence. Amen.


The Sheep and the Pig: Have you ever wondered why Jesus chose the sheep and not the pig in his sermons? He could have said: “I am the Good Shepherd and you are my pigs….” (Ouch!)

The reason why Jesus chose the sheep and not the pig is because they have different traits and character.

First the sheep is a quiet animal. The pig on the other hand is loud and boisterous.

Second, the sheep is a humble animal. The pig is proud and arrogant and throws his weight around.

Third, the sheep tries to clean itself when dirty. The pig on the other hand, stays and wallows in the mud.

Are you a “sheep”? or would you rather be a “pig”? (Fr. Jerry Orbos SVD, Just a Moment, Quezon City: Logos Publications, Inc, 2007: April 13)


One Major difference between a Pig and a Sheep by Chris Umeweni

1/09/2009 / Christian Living

“I am writing this to you, my children, so that you will not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have someone who pleads with the Father on our behalf ~ Jesus Christ, the righteous one. And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone” (1 John 2:1,2 TEV).

There are so many differences between these two animals created and loved by God as related to man’s lifestyle but let’s take a look at one.

PIG: A pig falls into muddy water and keeps on rolling in it. Despite all attempts by passers-by to bring it out from the muddy water, it keeps on rolling; seeming to take it as pleasure. Not even a shout from its master would do. Just continues until it feels satisfied.

Finally, it dawns on it one day that it has been infected by a disease and headed for death. Still it wouldn’t come near its master for treatment. May even try running away from the sight of its master till one day it eventually dies.

SHEEP: A Sheep stays far away from anything dirty. Having been taught by the Shepherd to stay away from muddy water, it flees from it heeding to the Shepherd’s voice. Though it may unknowingly or helplessly slip into muddy water, it never feels comfortable. Runs to the Shepherd immediately for washing and cleaning; having a remorseful behavior.

The Shepherd, always longing to see its Sheep neat and tidy washes and cleans it up with an anti-infection chemical. The Sheep then looks new to itself and to the Shepherd once again and always.

In this parable, the pig represents an unbeliever who keeps on wallowing in sin (muddy water) while the Sheep represents a Christian who is abiding by the Word of God. And the Master/Shepherd being God.

Many have given excuses for their constant sinning by saying, “We are living in the era of grace.”

True, but “are we to remain in sin in order that God’s grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1,2 AMP)

How God longs to have intimate fellowship with us His creatures. That was why Jesus came to shed his Blood for our sins and cleanse us from all filth. Yet many fail to turn from their sins and run to God their maker for cleansing.
“There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 AMP).

Now, that is one major difference between these two animals. So, to which do you belong?

An Evangelist cum Author


Sheep or Pigs? Written by Brian Messerli

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) One major difference between sheep and pigs is their reaction to mud. When a sheep falls in the mud, he hates it! Wool and mud don’t mix well. The mudgets caked on and sheep get stuck. As a result, they cry outfor rescue! It sounds something like this: “Save me, O God,for the waters have threatened my life. I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold…” “Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink; may I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters.” (Psalm 69:2,14). “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.” (Psalm51:14)

Pigs, on the other hand, love the muck and the mire. They long for it and wallow in it for hours! It looks like, “Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands.” (Micah 2:1). “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents,ungrateful, unholy…” (2 Tim. 3:2). “It has happened to them according to the true proverb, ‘A dog returns to its own vomit,’ and, ‘A pig, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.’” (2 Pet. 3:22). We all find ourselves in the mud of sin from time to time. The question is, how do we react when we do? Do we cry out to our Good Shepherd for deliverance? Or do we feel right at home in the muck?


Divisions in the Family

July 10, 2015 (readings)

Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Father Edward McIlmail, LC

Matthew 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the one constant in my life. You are my beginning and my end. I love you as my savior. I trust you as my closest companion. I hope in you as the one who will welcome me into eternal joy.

Petition: Grant me, Lord, a deeper union with you as the only one who will never fail me.

  1. Trust, But Not Too Much:A key paradox of Jesus was that he loved us so much that he underwent the horrors of crucifixion to redeem us and give us a chance at salvation. Yet, he also knows our weaknesses. He knows how fickle the human heart can be. “Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well” (John 2:24-25). Likewise, Christ warns us not to put too much faith in other people. Like us, everyone else has weaknesses. Our faith in them should be relative and realistic. It shouldn’t be on the same level as our faith in Christ. Do I put “too much” faith in others? Do I realize that expecting too much from them leaves me open to needless anguish?
  2. Betrayal for Siblings:Christ is the rock against which the waves of humanity crash. His demands cut to the heart of each of us, and require a personal response. How each person responds is a mystery. Some will say yes, some will say no. The division within each person can echo in divisions within families. Little wonder that kin can be our fiercest foes. Christ’s own show of steadfastness assures us that he remains more loyal than even family members. Can I accept that following Christ can cause friction with my loved ones? Can I offer up my trials for their salvation?
  3. Love Without Sacrifice:Christ never promised his followers an easy life. If he had, there would be no shortage of disciples. He knows what really makes us mature in love: sacrifice. Sacrifice purifies us, ennobles us. Love without sacrifice is a fairy tale. To love means to share in another’s pain. “When men and women demand to be autonomous and totally self-sufficient,” said Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI in a speech February 9, 2008, “they run the risk of being closed in a self-reliance that … reduces them to an oppressive solitude.” Similarly, if we close ourselves to God’s pleasure, we stay stuck in our littleness. Can I accept suffering for Christ as a way to break out of the cocoon of my comfort?

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, it’s not easy being your follower. Opposition can arise on all sides, even from within the family. Help me bear all this well, for love of you. Grant me the serenity to persevere in the faith. I offer my sacrifices for the salvation of those who oppose my following you.

Resolution: I will pray or make a sacrifice for a family member who is away from the faith.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.


July 10, 2015

Friday of the14th Week in Ordinary Time B

Gen 46: 1-7, 28-30, Mt 10: 16-23

Like Sheep among Wolves

Yesterday what we heard Christ’s words in Mt 10:7-15 was directed to His apostles’ immediate evangelistic excursion.  The apostles must have been excited and encouraged by Christ’s instructions because Christ gave them power to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.” Theirs was an amazing mission! But what followed this was something they and we don’t want to hear: “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.

The disciples must have been thinking, “No shepherd would deliberately send his sheep out into the middle of a pack of ferocious wolves!” It doesn’t matter how many sheep there may be, for one wolf is more than a match for a thousand sheep. But here you see sheep sent forth among the wolves, as if they were the attacking party and were bent upon putting down their terrible enemies. However Jesus would not be sending the sheep as a fodder for the wolves. Jesus was describing an unavoidable reality. The only way to spread the Good News is to deliberately go out into wolf territory and make the wolves sheep.

The story of Telemachus is the story of extreme courage in the face of evil. Telemachus was a Christian monk whose story is found in the writings of Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria. He is described as being an ascetic who came to Rome from the East. He was led by an inner voice to go to Rome without knowing why.  He followed the crowds to the Coliseum.  Two gladiators were fighting, and Telemachus tried to get between them to stop them, shouting three times, “In the name of Christ, stop!”The response was not favourable. Angry voices drowned out Telemachus’, demanding that the spectacle continue. The gladiators prepared to do battle again, but Telemachus stood between them. Driven by the anger of the crowd and their rage at Telemachus’ interference, the gladiators cut Telemachus to the ground, as the crowd threw stones at him. Telemachus was killed.When the crowd saw the little monk lying dead in a pool of blood, they fell silent, leaving the stadium, one by one.  Because of Telemachus’ death, three days later, the Emperor by decree ended the Games. The lamb can transform the wolves into lambs.


July 08, 2016

REFLECTION: In the past couple of generations, three men have changed the face of their respective countries for the better because each one of these three men, despite enormous pressures exerted on them, decided to free their enslaved people through purely peaceful means. These three men are Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), who freed India from British colonialism, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), who obtained for the black citizens of America equal rights, and Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), who liberated South Africa from the racial segregation of apartheid. Two of these three men, Gandhi and King, were assassinated, and the third one, Mandela, was imprisoned for 27 years because of his opposition to his government’s policies.

In today’s gospel reading Jesus tells us: “I send you out like sheep among wolves.“ That is exactly what Gandhi, King and Mandela were. By relying only on peaceful means, they accepted to be sheep among wolves. And this tactic succeeded. In fact, it always succeeds—provided you are ready to pay the price for it. At the same time, we are told to be “clever as snakes,” namely, to use prudence, wisdom, reflection. While being innocent as doves, we must not be naive.


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 14th Week of the Year

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