In the Gospel passage, each person “was concerned with his own affairs; this is the key to understanding why they refused the invitation,” he continued. The guests weren't worried about being bored or annoyed, they simply did not care.
“They were more interested in having something rather than in risking something, as love demands,” he said. In the Gospel, then, we are being asked where we stand: with God or with ourselves, Francis stated. “Because God is the opposite of selfishness, of self-absorption.”
We should ask ourselves if at least once a day we tell the Lord that we love him. Among all the things we say each day, there should also be the prayer, “Lord, I love you’ you are my life,” he said.
Because without love, and without a relationship with Christ, the Christian life becomes empty and dead; merely a collection of rules and laws with no good reason for obedience. “The God of life, however, awaits a response of life. The Lord of love awaits a response of love.”
Today’s newly canonized saints all responded to God with love, he explained. As the Gospel emphasizes, it is not enough to merely respond “yes” to God’s invitation one time, and then do nothing.
“Day by day, we have to put on the wedding garment, the 'habit' of practicing love,” he said.
The newly canonized saints, especially the many martyrs, are an example of this daily habit of choosing to love God and choosing to do his will, he pointed out.
Cristobal, Antonio and Juan lived in Mexico in the 16th century, at the start of the Christian missionary work in the country. Cristobal was educated in the Christian faith by Franciscan missionaries, asking to be baptized.
He then began to share the Gospel with his family and acquaintances in an effort to convert them, especially his father who had abusive habits and was frequently drunk.
One day, after Cristobal destroyed the pagan idols in his family's home, his father began to kick and beat him, breaking his arms and legs. The boy continued to pray, despite the intense pain, so his father threw him into a burning fire, killing him.
The boy Antonio and his young servant Juan, all born in the same town as Cristobal, helped the Dominican missionaries who were setting up a mission in a nearby town as interpreters for the other indigenous people.
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The boys were warned that it was a task that could likely end in death, but still volunteered to go. One day, while entering a house to destroy the pagan idols as usual, angry townspeople approached and began beating Juan to death with sticks.
Antonio turned to the aggressors and asked, “Why do you beat my companion who has no fault? It is I who collect idols, because they are diabolical and not divine.” The people then turned to Antonio, also beating him to death.
The blood of the three boys is considered the first seed of the great growth of Catholicism in the country of Mexico.
Martyrs Andre de Soveral and Ambrosio Francisco Ferro, diocesan priests, were killed in hatred of the faith in Brazil on July 16, 1645; Mateo Moreira, a layman, and 27 fellow martyrs, were also killed in hatred of the faith in Brazil on October 3, 1645.
Manuel Miguez Gonzalez, who took the religious name Faustino of the Incarnation, was a priest and a professed member of the Piarists (the Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools). He lived from 1831-1925 in Spain.
Angelo of Acri, a priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins, lived in Italy from 1669-1739.