Godzdogz

Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Wednesday Gospel reflection

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

On this day in 1535 there died at Tyburn three Carthusian monks, the first of many martyrs of the English reformation. Of these men and women martyred for the Catholic faith from 1535 to 1680, 42 have been canonised and a further 242 declared blessed, but the number of those who died on the scaffold, perished in prison, or suffered harsh persecution for their faith in the course of a century and a half cannot now be reckoned. One Dominican friar, Robert Nutter, is counted among the martyrs declared blessed.

Martyrs are remembered for the example they gave of constancy in faith, and courage in the face of persecution. Today's Gospel (Mt 10:17-20) reminds us that Jesus himself foretold the persecutions his followers would have to endure, as he said to his disciples: “Beware of men: they will hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the pagans”. But Jesus also said that he would not leave us orphaned (Jn 14:18). We don't have to endure persecutions alone. The Holy Spirit is with us. Again, we are told in today's Gospel that “when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you”.

In this time when we are waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we are called to remember that, by his gifts, the Holy Spirit leads us to conform more and more to Jesus, as a model of our actions and our relationships with God and with our brothers. The gift of counsel in particular helps us to see all things with the eyes of God, to grasp and live out that about which reason would not be able to give an explanation. Certainly martyrs are the examples of men and women inspired by the gift of counsel, when they remain faithful to God's promise, although everything pushes against it.

The gift of counsel is also the one which enables us to hear the voice and testimony of our brothers, especially those who died for their faith, so that, supporting one another along the path of faith, we become more docile to the working of God in our lives.

 

Br Jean-Baptiste Régis O.P.

Br Jean-Baptiste Régis O.P.


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