Isaiah 60: 1-6
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14
Ephesians 3: 1-12
Matthew 2: 1-12
We’ve all had that experience of living “in between” things. As children we lived most of our lives “in between” weekends, or vacations and holidays. We would count off the days until the next holiday came along so that we could escape school, even if just few a few days. Later we lived in that “in between” time between relationships, or jobs or children. Now some of us live “in between” seasons of Downton Abbey, anxiously awaiting the next fix to see what will become of Lady Edith or who Lady Mary will marry next.
On this day, February 5, 1597, 26 Christians were crucified in the Japanese city of Nagasaki. For some 40 years before this terrible event, the formerly closed world of Japan had opened up to the West, and through the missionary activity of one of the great Jesuit saints, Francis Xavier, as well as some Franciscans, a tiny foothold was made in Japan for the Church.
Today’s Gospel is a story about contrasts. We heard in Luke’s Gospel this morning that a Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to eat with him. A woman of that city came to that house with a jar of ointment and stood at Jesus’ feet, weeping and washing his feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair and anointing them.
Today we honor Justin, martyred in Rome in the year 167 (A.D.)
What is there about a martyr that makes him, or her, significant? How can any of the martyrs help us to grow in the Christian faith? One way is for us to be mindful of the witness of the martyrs. (cf. SSJE Rule. of Life, Ch. 38)