3rd February – St Blaise, bishop & martyr.

Yesterday Pope Francis said this: “Putting Jesus in the midst of his people,” he continued, “means taking up and carrying the crosses of our brothers and sisters. It means wanting to touch the wounds of Jesus [the wounds of Jesus’ Mystical Body, his brothers and sisters] in the wounds of a world in pain, which longs and cries out for healing.”

All of this requires us to life sacrificially for others. It means we have to switch off the soap operas on the TV and do something for somebody who needs us.

blaise-tortureToday is the memorial of the martyr bishop St Blaise and the associated blessing of throats. In the Office of Readings we have a homily of St Augustine which speaks about imitating Jesus in his concern for others.

The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. There you have how the Lord served; there you have the sort of servants he commanded us to be. He gave his life as a ransom for many: he redeemed us.

Which of us is fit to redeem anybody? It is indeed by his blood, by his death that we have been redeemed from death, by his humility; when we were flat on our backs we have been set on our feet. But we too for our part ought to do our little bit for his members, because we have become his members; he is the head, we are the body.

Finally, the apostle John urges us in his letter to follow the example of the Lord, who had said, Whoever wishes to be the greater among you shall be your servant; just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a redemption for many; he says, then, Christ laid down his life for us; in the same way we too ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

The Lord himself too, speaking after the resurrection, said, Peter, do you love me? – and Peter answered, I do. This he said three times, this was the answer the other gave three times; and all three times the Lord added, Feed my sheep.  How will you show that you love me, except by feeding my sheep?