Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we continue to hear about the prayer which Jesus had made to His Father, asking Him to bless and protect those who have dedicated themselves to Him, and all those whom He had chosen out of the world and have not betrayed Him like what Judas Iscariot had done.
And He prayed that they all may be united and one in Body and Spirit, just as He and His Father are one, that as One Church, they may stand together against the darkness around them, and become the testimony of the Faith that all who saw them might believe and repent.
In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we also heard about how St. Paul stood for trial in front of the Sanhedrin, or the Council of the elders of the people of Israel, and he was condemned because of his faith in God and his courageous and ceaseless preaching and evangelisation of the peoples regarding the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, which most of the Sanhedrin members had rejected.
And we heard how God blessed St. Paul and protected him from harm by putting discord amongst his persecutors, the party of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. And this was because of the discord of those who do not belong to the Church of God. Each of them with their own ideas and thoughts. That is indeed the way of this world, the way of selfishness where everyone gives in to their own selfish desires and wants.
But sadly, this is the same issue that also affected even the Church of God. Because of mankind’s greed and inability to resist the temptations of the world, this brought about division into the Church of God, where heresy and falsehoods were rampant amongst the people of God, misleading many souls away from salvation. And this is a great danger to all of us, for division in the Church brings about harm for the souls that became ensnared in the lies of Satan.
That is why Jesus prayed for the unity of the Church, that is the unity of all of His faithful ones, all of His beloved children. The Church is not just a building and an establishment, or an organisation, but in fact, it encompassed all of us, all the believers and all those who have placed their faith in God. All of us make up the one Body of Christ, that is His Church. For while the Church is filled with peoples of different origins from all over the world, but its human traits hide the truth that truly, the Church came from God and it, together with all of us, belongs to God alone.
If united, the Church of God will be able to face and persevere through whatever it is that Satan and his wicked allies throw against us. Remember that Jesus Himself told Peter that not even the gates of hell will prevail against it. Thus, if we remain united and devoted to our call and mission as children of God and members of His Church, then not even the greatest force and power of Satan can uproot us or harm us.
As we approach the celebration of Pentecost, let us all remember that all of us faithful ones in God all share the same Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit which we have received, in the one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Church. And today we also celebrate the feast of St. Christopher Magallanes and his companions, who are martyrs of the Faith and the Church.
St. Christopher Magallanes was a faithful and devoted priest and servant of God, who ministered to the people of God with love and tenderness, sharing with them the love of God. He lived however, in a turbulent country at a turbulent time, in Mexico during a time of great hostility and opposition against the Church and the Faith in general. The people in power were adamantly and aggressively hostile against the Church.
Thus, he was martyred with many other brave and courageous defenders of the faith, and together they were elevated to their glory at the Altar as the holy saints and martyrs of the Church. They remained true to their faith and calling as servants of God, bringing the word of God despite knowing that doing so would lead to their deaths. Their examples should serve as a reminder for all of us to lead a dedicated and committed life of faith in our Lord. There are so much more that we can do.
Let us all in all of our actions seek to bring unity to the Church, and bringing one another closer to God, and helping one another to resist the temptations of the flesh and the world. May God our Father guide us on our way and keep our hearts strongly in love for Him, and so that we may remain true to Him and keep all of His Laws and commandments faithfully. Amen.