23 October – Memorial for St. John Capistrano, Priest
John (1386–1456) was the son of a former German knight. His father died when John was still young. He studied law at the University of Perugia, and became a lawyer in Naples, Italy. He was the reforming governor of Perugia under King Landislas of Naples. When war broke out between Perugia and Malatesta in 1416, John tried to broker a peace, but instead his opponents ignored the truce, and John became a prisoner of war.
During his imprisonment, he came to the decision to change vocations. He had married just before the war, but his marriage was never consummated and, with his bride’s permission, it was annulled. He became a Franciscan at Perugia on 4 October 1416 and was a fellow student with St. James of the Marshes, and a disciple of St. Bernadine of Siena. He was a noted preacher while still a deacon, beginning his work in 1420.
He was an itinerant priest throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, preaching to tens of thousands. He established communities of Franciscan renewal, and was reported to heal by making the Sign of the Cross over a sick person. He wrote extensively, mainly against the heresies of the day.
After the fall of Constantinople, he preached Crusade against the Muslim Turks. At the age of 70, he was commissioned by Pope Callistus II to lead it, and marched off at the head of 70,000 Christian soldiers. He won the great battle of Belgrade in the summer of 1456. He died in the field a few months later, but his army delivered Europe from the Muslims.
– Patron Saint Index
Do not forget that you had no Christ and were excluded from membership of Israel, aliens with no part in the covenants with their Promise; you were immersed in this world, without hope and without God. But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far apart from us have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ. For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in his own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the Law. This was to create one single New Man in himself out of the two of them and by restoring peace through the cross, to unite them both in a single Body and reconcile them with God: in his own person he killed the hostility. Later he came to bring the good news of peace, peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near at hand. Through him, both of us have in the one Spirit our way to come to the Father.
So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors: you are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household. You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone. As every structure is aligned on him, all grow into one holy temple in the Lord; and you too, in him, are being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.’
“… you are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household”
I just love watching movies!
One of my favourites is “The Tuxedo”, starring Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love-Hewitt.
(Warning: Spoilers ahead!)
In it, Jackie is Jimmy, a cabbie turned driver of a rich man, Clark Devlin. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, his boss is actually a spy. Devlin subsequently goes into a coma, having narrowly survived an attempt on his life, while Jimmy chances upon an unusual tuxedo belonging to his boss.
Jimmy dons the tuxedo and finds he can suddenly do special things, including martial arts and even dance!
The first reading today talks about us becoming part of God’s covenant with the family of Israel through Christ, our Lord, Saviour and brother. It is purely through this relationship that we are saved.
Yet it is not just this “participation” in the kingdom of God that benefits us. In Philippians 4:13, the apostle Paul famously says “There is nothing I cannot do in the One who strengthens me”.
Indeed, I am guilty of not turning to Jesus in my daily life, whether I am doing my work, serving in Church, or in my personal life. I detach, and am often running on my own power. I do not realise that like Jackie Chan, I need to don the Holy Spirit like the movie’s, in order to do the things that I am normally not sufficiently equipped to do. I need to always plug into God’s strength and His wisdom at all times.
Let us continue to pray for this awareness to turn to God for everything in our lives.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: Father, we pray that we may never fall into the trap of thinking that we can go it alone and that we do not need You. Help us to always be aware of You, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We pray that the Spirit may inhabit us in our daily lives.
Thanksgiving: Thank You for strengthening and making us strong Lord Jesus. We are grateful for this opportunity to participate in heaven and for Your love for us.