Friday, October 19, 2012
Daily Mass Homily: Friday, October 19th, 2012 (Memorial of the North American Martyrs)
When I first think of saints and martyrs, I often think of people who have lived and died overseas in Europe, Africa or the Middle East. We have a good reminder this morning that people have done tremendous deeds for the faith here in our country, even to the point of shedding their blood. The North American martyrs did so in the north eastern portions of the United States and the south eastern territories in Canada.
Even closer to home, we have some amazing witnesses to the faith. Now Venerable Bishop Baraga was the Great Lakes missionary and Monsignor Joseph Buh the patriarch of our own Diocese. Both of these men came from Slovenia to this land as missionaries to plant the seeds of faith. Picture that—only 150 years ago this place we live had never heard the Gospel!
Once again, we here Jesus call his disciples friends and it is these men and women who were “…chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.”
We follow the great witnesses of St. Isaac Jogues, St. John and their companions, as well as men like Venerable Baraga and Monsignor Buh. We, too, are called friends of Christ and we strive in our lives to give Christ everything.