Tuesday, 21 May 2013 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Sts. Christopher Magallanes, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs (Scripture Reflection)

Be humble, brethren, and you will be great in God’s eyes. For humility is one of the most difficult virtue to be achieved by us mankind, because of our frailty and susceptibility to the temptations of power, our natural sense of pride, and the sense of arrogance, which prevents us from stooping down and be humble before another person, which in this case, especially is the Lord our God Himself.

Humility is a great virtue, and the Lord is pleased with those who are humble. Even God Himself, in Christ, was truly humble. After all, what kind of humility can be ever greater than the humility that our God Himself had done when He lowered Himself so much to be born as a lowly and mortal man, through the Virgin Mary?

Love one another and do not contend with your brethren for power and personal glory, for what is our glory and achievements compared to the glory of God, that is the real glory? What is our minute achievement compared to the achievements and wonders created by our Lord and God? And with a single sacrifice on the cross, with the outpouring of His Most Precious Blood, He cleansed all creations of all time from their faults and sins, making everything good and worthy again of the Lord.

Do not fear for God is always with us, and He will continue to accompany us, as long as we are willing to hear Him and listen to His words. That is why humility and readiness to submit and listening capacity are important because pride and arrogance often cloud our perceptions and close our hearts from the words of the Lord.

Remember that Satan, the devil himself was born out of pride, out of jealousy of the Lord’s almighty power and authority, wishing to gain such powers for himself and unseating God to be the Lord of all creation. Thus was how Lucifer, the former lightbringer fell, and fell hard he did, from the most beautiful and mighty of all creation, to become the lowest and most despicable of all.

That’s the same with how the Lord will bring down the proud and the haughty ones, bringing them low, and at the same time, lifting up those who are humble and meek, and give them the authority even over those who are filled with their own arrogance and confidence in their own power. This is because they trust in their own power and abilities, and not in the power of the Lord who saves.

Today, we also celebrate the feast day of Saints Christopher Magallanes and his companions, who were martyrs of Mexican persecution of the Catholic Church in the early twentieth century. Mexico became a hotbed of anti-Church sentiments and even the government became very hostile to the Church and particularly to the clergy, resulting in massive persecution of the Church there and the martyrdom of many of the clergy, which includes Saints Christopher Magallanes and his companions.

Saint Christopher Magallanes and his companions resisted the opposition by the Mexican government by opening alternative seminaries when the government closed down a seminary intended for the preparation of new clergy. He preached against rebellion against the government by the faithful, but yet he was falsely accused of plotting in rebellion and was martyred. He remained steadfast and faithful till the end with his companions, who was martyred with him.

Saint Christopher Magallanes might just be a simple country priest in Mexico, but through his courageous actions and his zeal, and through his defense of the faith and the Church till his death, God elevates him to the glory of sainthood, and he is now there in heaven interceding for us before the Lord.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us today strive to be more humble, to humbly submit our sinful selves before the Lord our God, asking Him for forgiveness and clemency. Let us also follow in the footsteps of Sts. Christopher Magallanes and his companions, in their zeal, their humility, and yet courageous defense of the faith, that we too can become brave witnesses of Christ and the Gospels, and will not buckle despite temptations by the devil and the world. May God bless us all in this journey.

Saints Christopher Magallanes and companions, pray for us! Amen.