This month opens with Easter Sunday! What a joyful day for Christians! The spring of our hope! The free gift of salvation offered by the merciful Lord through Jesus who offered himself to expiate our sins.
Jesus gave his life for all gratuitously, his love is measureless, it “can transcend and overflow the demands of justice, expecting nothing in return” (Lk 6:35), and the greatest of loves can lead to “laying down one’s life” for another (cf. Jn 15:13). Can such generosity, which enables us to give freely and fully, really be possible? Yes it can, because it is demanded by the Gospel: “You received without pay, give without pay” (Mt 10:8). (AL 102) I can see WUCWO women reflected in such comment, women who work hard for our Lord without any return. The Gospel we have read at the beginning of the Holy Week refers of a woman who, while Jesus was in the house of Simon at Bethany, “came in with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the ointment on his head” (Mk 14:3). She did it without any claim, gratuitously. Nowadays it is not easy to live the virtue of gratuity. Being free means to know how to act in everyday life without expecting something in return. Gratuitousness is one of the most beautiful habits to be experimented even if it is not easy. The commercial and consumerism mentality biases us to the point of doing nothing for nothing. It is necessary to make more effort to appreciate the gratuitous gift of everything and to live it with great joy. WUCWO women know how to live joy and happiness with a truly free and unselfish attitude.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
2 The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
3 The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
4 I said, Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
5 Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?
6 And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.
7 All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
8 An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
10 But thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
11 By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
12 And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.
13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.
Amoris Laetitia 101-102
Social Teaching of the Church 20 – 27; 221.
Evangelii Gaudium 53, 209 – 213.
Saint Marina of Omura martyr (Japan)
Marina was originally from Omura, near Nagasaki in Japan. At a very early age she became a Dominican tertiary by making religious vows privately. Her beloved homeland was repeatedly crossed by fierce persecution against Christians and she too was accused of collaborating with the western Dominican missionaries of which she was a guest.
In 1634 she was arrested and chained, then publicly outraged and violated in modesty and finally burned alive on a slow fire on the holy hill of Nagasaki on November 11th of the same year.
To proceed to its elevation to the honors of the altars, Marina was aggregated to a group of sixteen Dominican martyrs of various nationalities, all killed in Japanese land, led by Lorenzo Ruiz, the first saint of Filipino origins. The group was beatified by Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981 in Manila in the Philippines and canonised in Rome by the same pontiff on October 18, 1987.