Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us
Readings: 1st: Ti 3, 1.7; Ps: 23; Gos: Lk 17:11-19
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, the Wednesday of the thirty-second week of ordinary time, the Church honors Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop.
Martin was born in 316 at Sabaria, a town in Pannonia near the famous Benedictine monastery dedicated to his name. Against his parents’ wishes, he associated with Christians and became a catechumen at ten.
He entered the army at the age of fifteen and was baptized at the age of eighteen. At the request of his superior officer, Martin remained two years longer in the army.
Eventually, he left the army and was ordained a priest by Saint Hilary, the bishop of Poitiers. Later, Martin was made bishop of Tours. Close to the city, he built a monastery. There, Martin led a most holy life with eighty monks.
In today’s gospel, Christ healed ten lepers, but only one came to show gratitude. Hence Christ asked: “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?”
Through this, Christ reminds us of the importance of gratitude. Sometimes we spend much time counting our disappointments but hardly recognize or appreciate God’s goodness to us.
However, if we take some moment to reflect, we shall find many reasons why we must always return to God with our hearts full of gratitude. Gratitude to God is an expression of our faith in His saving power.
So, we must always approach the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist every day. It is a sacrament of thanksgiving. It is one whole sacrifice through which the Church gives thanks to God when we gather as one big family in his presence.
Finally, when we gather, we are there to say: “We give you thanks, Almighty God, for these and all your benefits to us, through Christ Our Lord.” It is not just about offering God only material things.
Instead, it is about lifting our entire being to God in appreciation and gratitude for His love and kindness to us. It is about offering ourselves again and again to God. This is the gratitude that flows from a sincere heart.
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.
Peace be with you all.