(Optional) Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, religious
(Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 14:15-24)
Today, both the Feast of St. Martin de Porres and Election Day, we wonder if there is something in common between the two. Does the life of St. Martin inform us of how to vote? What would St. Martin make of the candidates now running for office?
In one sense Martin de Porres had nothing to do with politics. By necessity, he was apolitical. As an African American in a society ruled by Spanish colonists, he would not be considered eligible to hold a public office or, as much as there were elections, to vote. Yet he might have made an excellent public servant because he cared so much about people. He treated everyone well but gave particular attention to the needy. He probably would have found candidates who took time to talk with common people as most worthy of public office.
But in the end, Martin would probably not have given much attention to elections, much less lived and died over them. He spent long hours in prayer because he knew that God is in control of creation. Instinctively, he would have realized that legislators have limited capacity to effect positive change. He would have prayed, “Thy kingdom come,” and then worked to make that happen. He knew that it was his role, as it is for most of us, is to help others with kinds words and charitable deeds.