We meet the apostles Paul and Barnabas. Once again, they are attack. Not everyone appreciated their preaching, and we hear today they had to flee to avoid the crowd that was seeking to stone them. We heard about one of their healings, the cure of the cripple man. The crowds became ecstatic. It happens today. We hear of people going to different parts of the world once they hear that something extraordinary happened.
People often ask about the "messages" of Fatima. The message of Fatima is this, that we hear in today’s readings: The Good News that God has fulfilled His promise by raising Jesus from the dead.”… He says: "Trust in Me, I am the Way the Truth and the Life." Our Lady came to Fatima 105 years ago so that we know that this message is FOR US. God is alive and working in our times.
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In 1917 the world was at war and Europe was the battlefield. On the periphery, far from the centers of power, Our Lady chose to reveal her message of Peace to three young shepherds in the Portuguese countryside. On another part of that periphery, in rural western Ireland, lived another boy about the same age. He too was being schooled in that message in his poor but happy home as they prayed the Holy Rosary every night.
Do I dare do what the synagogue official did that day that Paul was in the congregation, ask is there anyone among us who has a word of exhortation for the rest of us to hear? Would anyone like to speak in response to the Scriptures that have been proclaimed for us today?
If you drive by My Brother’s Keeper in North Easton Massachusetts, you will see a bronze statue of Jesus washing the feet of a disciple, a disciple who most likely had been walking all day in the desert sand with sandals. Then he says, "So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you." (Jn. 13:14)
How do we do our best to listen to Jesus and to follow Him? Today’s saint, Damien de Veuster, known by many as St. Damien of Molokai, might help us with this question. Saint Damien of Molokai was born in Belgium in 1840, and was sent to the Hawaiian Islands after joining the Congregation of the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Today, most people would consider this an excellent assignment … and it was as he served as a parish priest for nine years. But the course of his life and countless others would forever change when he volunteered to become a chaplain, serving people on the remote island of Molokai, which was home to a leper colony.