|Memorial of Sts. John de Brebeuf
& Isaac Joques
Psalm 8:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Initial Disclaimer: I don't know what 'blasphemy against the Holy Spirit' means. I have not heard any convincing explanations of it either. At this point, this is one of those sorts of "questions" I plan to ask Jesus in the next life. Maybe I can get back to you on this one in about 40 years.
Speaking of "questions," one of the major questions that lots of guys (I went to an all boy's school) faced in high school was, "How far can I go?" Of course it was about sex. How far along the line can I transgress until it becomes really serious? It was a big question then. Perhaps it still is. This leads me to believe that adolescents are indirectly responsible for the growth of interest in canon law in the 12th century.
The result of such a question, of course, is a sort of minimalist stance. It can be rather infectious, don't you think? How bad can I be and still get into heaven? How many classes can I miss and still pass the course? How much can I cheat on this and still not get caught? How close to the flame can I come and not get burned? Another version of this is: "People who are basically good get into heaven, right?"
So, this is the feast of the North American Martyrs. Between 1642 and 1649, St. Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf, and six of his Jesuit companions, who were sent from France to serve the Mohawk and Iroquois peoples, suffered tortures and were martyred. They offered themselves to God and to the people of God in terms of their 17th century understanding of missionary service. But, they did so with full hearts.
Let me suggest that we look to Paul's letter to the Ephesians today for a picture of full-hearted Christian living. It's the kind of magnanimous living that we witness in these martyrs. So, let us offer prayers together today for the Church that we all might live out our discipleship with a generous spirit:
For a spirit of wisdom and revelation, we pray.
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