Memorial of St Martin of Tours (Bishop)

Theme: A message of love

Today the church celebrates the memorial of St. Martin of Tours, a bishop. He is also referred to as Martin the merciful; he was indeed a merciful man. There is this story about when he was still in the military and a catechumen; he cut his cloak in half to share it with a beggar. That night, he dreamed that Jesus himself was clothed with the torn cloak. When he awoke, the garment was restored. As we celebrate him today, this is an invitation for us as children of God to emulate him by practicing mercy towards other people.

This is in line with the 1st reading of today from the 2nd letter of St. John is inviting us to love one another, through the practice of the commandments of God. St. Martin of Tours whose memorial we celebrate today has given us an insight on how we can practice this love that St. John is talking about in today’s 1st reading. The practice of love is what many of us are already doing in our daily lives, what is needed now is for us to make it more inclusive by making more people beneficiaries of our love. Don’t be discouraged by thinking it is not possible, it is very possible, because the saints we celebrate in our liturgical calendar practiced it, and so many other people are doing the same thing in our own time. The most important thing is our personal resolve to make it happen in our life, and also trusting in the grace of God to help us.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, the admonition of Jesus Christ in the gospel reading, that we should be ready and prepared at all times, will be more meaningful to us if we embrace the words of encouragement from St. John in today’s 1st reading. Living a life that is founded on love, is already one of the wonderful ways through which we can prepare for the coming of Christ in hope. It will help us to impact positively in the society around us and also enthrone the presence of God among his people in a very active way. We all can resolve today to begin by making honest effort to practice true love in our human relationships. It is never too late to begin with God.

As we continue to strive to become better people, may almighty God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Memorial of St. Martin of Tours (Bishop), by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp