Saint Martin of Porres 3rd November Saint Martin de Porrès le 3 novembre

“I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repented sinner.”
Wednesday 28 October 2015

Ph.3,3-8 Ps.104 Lk.15,1-10

Saint Martin de Porres 3rd November “Jesus told them this parable ’Which one of you, with a hundred sheep, if he lost one, would fail to leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the missing one until he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfuly take it on his shoulders?”

Saint Martin of Porres was an astonishing man, he was the first ’metis’ to be beatified in the new world. He was despised because he was a ’natural’ son of a colored man, a black slave. His ’father’ was a military man passing through, moved away from there. Whatever the conditions of the way we were conceived, of our birth, God’s Love is addressed to all men created in his image and resemblance. The Church celebrates this feast day by two parable : the lost sheep and the lost coin. People who have a bad reputation come to Jesus to listen to Him They are sinners of all sorts and publicans, these taxmen badly considered by so many. (’ This man welcomes sinners! ’) It is not a good sign to make reproaches about someone apart from the person concerned. Such is the power of these manipulating scribes and Pharisees : two thousand years later we still need to believe that they had the right to complain that their remarks are fair and that Jesus himself has to be the first to account for his behavior. We need t be always on the look out in this world for lost sheep , with a heart full of Love like Jesus to go out looking for them, for the Christian community is the place where the poor and little ones are found to be. Jesus is full of Tenderness and Love for Martin whom he calls to the religious of the Convent of the Dominicans. Martin de Porres who was rejected because of his state was happy to be with the little ones, the poorest ones. He cared for the sick of the community and would give to all the poor who came to the monastery what they were in need of.

“The tax collectors and sinners, however, were all crowding round Jesus to listen to him, and the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ’This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Jesus ’parables present the situation in a new light and in a new logical situation. ’The publicans and the sinners drew near to Jesus to listen to him.’ Here are people who perhaps are carrying the weight of faults, but who deep

down are in good health. They perceived who Jesus was. They come to him, wanting to hear him because his Word raises them up, they want something new in their lives, another chance. Jesus designates the Pharisees as people who don’t let any way in. To reach them, you had to get up early, go out looking for them, find the small window still open through which one could slide in, they would grumble about giving any sort of greeting, would close themselves up in their bad humour, giving no path for people to join them. However Martin opens up a door, he spent his life caring for the poor, as a friend of Jesus, he seeks the lost sheep, he asks Jesus to give him a heart full of love. In order to accomplish his work of salvation, Jesus makes himself poor and he makes use of the poor in order to seek the lost sheep. When he has found him he calls his friends saying ’come and rejoice with me for I have found my lost sheep.’

“And when he found his lost sheep he returned home and called together his friends and neighbours , saying to them ’Rejoice with me, I have found my sheep that was lost.’ In the same way there will be more rejoicing than over ninety-nine upright people who have no need of repentance.”

Christ Jesus resembles this shepherd who goes out seeking this sheep, the scribes and Pharisees and all those who are similar to them and if in the end they agree to be approached, put down their arms and stop sulking, to stop shouting furiously, well yes : this is called conversion. Jesus doesn’t leave them alone, he proposes by all means possible that they surrender, before Love that does everything in order to find them. Christ comes and he doesn’t give up on his task to get them out of their stubborn positions. By the simple presence immediately welcomes rt else after a tireless quest, he wants to find them all, gather them together give them his fullness of life, his Body and Blood. Every human being is precious in the sight of God and God is present in each one of us. God who is at the heart of the little lost sheep never stops finding him. “We need to open up our hearts to all the poor, to all the unhappy people, whatever their suffering might be. It is the meaning of the commandment that asks us ’to rejoice with those who are in jo and to cry with those who cry.” Because we too are men or women, is it not right to be benevolent towards those who are like ourselves?’ says Saint Gregory of Nazianz. In His infinite Love for the poor, Jesus has given his Body and Blood, the whole of his Life. The celebration of the Eucharist reminds us how much we are gathered together in Christ, to carry our concern towards all of God’s dispersed children.

We ask for the grace to be concerned about those who are outside of the house.