Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and companions, martyrs
(II Timothy 1: 1-3.6-12; Mark 12:18-27)
Bob Santamaria was an Australian Catholic famous for organizing labor and defending Church teaching. In the 1940s and 50s Santamaria educated workers on the factory floor of the dangers of Communist ideology. In this way he helped save the nation from Communist government. In the effort he was inspired by the Catholic social teaching of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI. Later he defended as well the controversial teachings on the family of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II. Bob Santamaria did what St. Paul encourages Timothy to do in today’s first reading.
Sensing some discouragement in Timothy, Paul tells his disciple to “stir into flame the gift of God.” This gift is nothing less than the Holy Spirit. It comes with the laying on of hands both in Confirmation and in Ordination. The Spirit strengthens the person for service in Church and world. Not being timid, the Spirit prompts Christians to defend life whether from abortion and the hangman.
At times, we tire of working for the Lord. Friends may think the work strange or worthless. We yearn to live like, we imagine, everyone else - pursuing their own desires. At these moments we should heed Paul’s admonition. We should call upon the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with peace from serving the King.