In Christ we were also 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.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory. (Eph 1:11-14)
When we were confirmed, the bishop anointed us with sacred chrism and said “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The gifts of the Spirit are given to us so that we may make a difference in this world of ours.
We all hope that we can make a difference in a rather peaceable way. However, some of us may be called to make a difference in the midst of danger, maybe even death.
Today is the memorial of St. Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf and Companions. They were people who came to the New World to preach the Word of God to the Native Americans. They faced many dangers, not the least of which were warring tribes and a people who did not want to hear their message.
They suffered many hardships. Isaac Joques was tortured in captivity. He was mutilated, several of his fingers were either cut off or chewed off. He escaped back to France and received permission from the pope to continue to celebrate Mass with his mutilated hands. Pope Urban VIII said, “It would be shameful that a martyr of Christ be not allowed to drink the Blood of Christ.”
Even though no one would blame him if he remained in France, he and several others wanted to go back to the New World to preach the Gospel to the Hurons. He did and ultimately he and some of those who followed him were martyred by the Iroquois.
We are called to proclaim God’s Holy Word, even in the midst of danger. We pray that we have the courage of the martyrs.
FAITH ACTION: The Holy Spirit gives us what we need. Of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit — wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe, right judgement, knowledge, courage, and reverence — of which one or ones are you most in need? Ask God to send His gifts to you this day.