It was upsetting to hear about the French priest Fr Jacques who was killed by Islamists whilst saying Mass yesterday. In the early Church it was the custom to celebrate Mass on the tombs of the martyrs to link their sacrifice with the Sacrifice of Christ: “This is my Body given for you.” Some time ago I mentioned Fr Tom Uzhummalil, the chaplain to the four Missionaries of Charity who were martyred by ISIS in Yemen last March. Recently I got a news bulletin claiming to show him being tortured. If you’re interested in the bulletin, click here
But there is a much bigger picture! ISIS and its sick ideology would not exist if it wasn’t for George Bush’s and Tony Blair’s DISASTROUS invasion of Iraq in 2003. A Lancet Study of July 2006 demonstrated that by that time, some 655,000 people had died from direct and indirect consequences of that war. (The Lancet is a peer-reviewed magazine of the highest international repute. Google LANCET IRAQ WAR to see the details.) How many more have died 2006 – 2016? The Syrian War probably wouldn’t have happened either except for the Iraq War. There, some 250,000 have died and 11 million refugees have fled the country. All these victims are made in God’s image and likeness like the other victims Frs Jacques and Tom. I regret not having made a bigger effort in getting to London for the NOT IN MY NAME mass demonstration that preceded the Iraq War.
Today’s gospel (Matt 13:44-46) is the one I choose for my first Mass after ordination back in June 8th, 1997.
Jesus said to the crowds: ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off in his joy, sells everything he owns and buys the field. ‘Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.’
Here is the reflection of DGEMS / www.jesuit.org.sg
- How precious is our relationship with Jesus? For some people they are willing to give up everything in life for Jesus. For others they want this relationship, but they always find reasons and excuses for “not giving everything” for Jesus.
- Nothing should prevent us from receiving this divine “Treasure,” including relationships that we value, the pleasures and glory that tempt us. This is because this “treasure” is a divine gift of Everlasting Life.
- When we enter into this precious relationship with God, which can be very challenging, we have to keep in mind that it is God who sustains and provides for us. We tend to forget this truth.
- We have heard of many true stories of ordinary people like us who are able to “give everything for Jesus.” Can we do the same in our daily living?