Reflection: Marianist Martyrs of Ciudad Real


First Reading: Wisdom 3:1-9
Gospel: John 12:24-26

I wrote this reflection for mass this morning, and I hope you all find it thought provoking as you pray today.

The first reading tells us that if a just person dies for God, their spirit lives on and God will accomplish great things through them.

In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of the wheat, and how it must die to produce fruit. I think especially of the fruit produced in Jesus’ own death.

The prevailing message of our readings today seems to be this:
“if you want to follow Christ, if you want God to accomplish greatness through you, you must die to the life you had before. You must give up the possessions and concerns of this world and be reborn in Christ.”

Certainly, martyrdom is the ultimate example of this kind of death, but I also think about our own journeys as Marianists. The sacrifices we make, the things we have to give up in order to live this Christ filled life that we strive for.

I don’t think the readings are telling us “strive for martyrdom.”
I think they are saying “be willing to let go of those things you think are important so that God can show you true life in Himself”

As I think of our martyrs today, I realize that I cannot ever know what was going through their minds in those moments so long ago. But I wonder, did they have peace? Peace in knowing that through their lives as Marianists, they had already died to this world and began to live in Christ. Could they have had joy in this kind of death knowing that now they were going to live WITH Christ?

Like I said, I don’t know, and I can only pray about what I would do if placed in their circumstances, but I think the lives of Carlos, Fidel and Jesus, as well as today’s, readings remind us that we are all called to sacrifice for God and of the ultimate benefits of those sacrifices (eternal life with God). I think that today, our challenge is to live by their example, to be willing to follow God unconditionally, perhaps even to martyrdom.

I often wonder, can I do that?

~Andrew Caruso, Marianist Aspirant

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One Comment on “Reflection: Marianist Martyrs of Ciudad Real”

  1. Patty Says:

    Thank you for your reflection. I found myself re-reading this line over and over…“be willing to let go of those things you think are important so that God can show you true life in Himself”…this is a challenge for so many.
    We think about you often and our prayer is your continued happiness.
    Aunt Patty, Uncle Paul, Katy & Connor

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