Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, religious

(Romans 12:5-16ab; Luke 14:15-24)

The iconography of St. Martin de Porres includes a broom and a rat.  It is not that Martin cleaned out rats from houses.  Rather he became a friend to them as he went about his chores.  Like his patron, St. Dominic, Martin’s love embraced all – humans and animals.  In this way Martin reflects what St. Paul teaches in today’s first reading.

The last part of the Letter to the Romans is an exhortation to readers to put into action its elevated theology.  The letter highlights God’s love for humans in Jesus Christ.  It demonstrates how Jesus died for all – Greeks as well as Jews – so that all might know God’s mercy.   Moved by this supreme demonstration of love, it commands, “…love one another with mutual affection.”

This is no easy task.  People will readily befriend a benefactor.  But they are most likely to shun someone who has done them wrong.  We must love them, however, as a way to thank God for sending us Jesus.  We do so by showing them respect and including them in our prayers.