St Daniel, Love and Martyrdom – Oct 10 – Homily – Fr John Lawrence

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Fr John Lawrence gives the homily at Bloomington, IN, on Oct 10, 2023, on the life of St Daniel and companion martyrs of the Franciscan Order at the hands of Muslims in Morocco and how they exemplify Christian love in the context of the prophet Jonah and Mary and Martha from the readings today.

Fr. explores the enduring essence of love, which holds a significant lesson in the narrative of today's Gospel. The central message is that possessing God through love is the quintessence of our earthly existence, a virtue exemplified by Mary's simple act of love which transcends the ephemeral nature of worldly engagements. This notion echoes the narrative of Jonah's reluctant journey to Nineveh as directed by God, whereupon his preaching, the city repented and was spared — a testament to God's mercy and the transformative power of heeding divine calling, showcased further by St. Daniel and his companions' missionary endeavor to North Africa in the 13th century, albeit met with martyrdom.

Their journey, sanctioned by Brother Elias, mirrored the evangelical mission of earlier Franciscans, underscoring the profound desire among them, including St. Francis and St. Anthony, to spread the Gospel even in the face of peril. This narrative accentuates the Franciscan rule of seeking divine affirmation before embarking on such perilous yet spiritually rewarding missions. The diverse origins of St. Daniel's companions underscore the universal calling to serve God's will.

Their arrival in Ceuta marked the beginning of their quest to preach to the non-Christian populace, an endeavor that culminated in their martyrdom but not without leaving an indelible mark of their unwavering faith and love for God, as they fearlessly proclaimed the Gospel. This sacrificial act of love mirrors the teaching in [1 Corinthians 13:5 - Love does not seek its own interests -]. Their letter, filled with scriptural affirmations and their subsequent martyrdom, serves as a compelling testament to their unyielding faith, evoking the imagery of martyrdom as a joyous entrance into eternal bliss, a narrative reminiscent of Christ's sacrifice and the hope of resurrection. Their relics, later transported to Spain, continue to be a beacon of miracles and a testimony to their sainthood, as recognized in their canonization in 1516. This invites us to reflect on the profound essence of love as the cornerstone of our faith and service to God and humanity, today and forevermore.

00:00 - Introduction
00:16 - Possessing God by Love Most Important
00:49 - Story of Jonah and the Call to Repent
01:13 - St. Daniel and Companions Go to Preach
01:58 - Martyrdom Seen as Special Calling
02:05 - St. Daniel Leads Group of 7
02:28 - Group Travels to Ceuta to Preach
03:05 - Martyrs Enter City and Begin Preaching
03:55 - Imprisoned and Questioned for Faith
04:44 - Martyrs Confirm Teaching and Sentenced
05:28 - Martyrs Go Joyfully to Execution
06:17 - Bodies Recovered and Miracles Occur

Ave Maria!

Mass: St. Daniel and companions - Opt Mem -
Readings: Tuesday 27th Week of Ordinary Time -
1st: jon 3:1-10
Resp: psa 130:1-4, 7-8
Gsp: luk 10:38-42

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