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Soldiers for God

Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop

First Reading: 2 John 4-9

[Chosen Lady:]
I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth
just as we were commanded by the Father.
But now, Lady, I ask you,
not as though I were writing a new commandment
but the one we have had from the beginning:
let us love one another.
For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;
this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning,
in which you should walk.

Many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh;
such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.
Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for
but may receive a full recompense.
Anyone who is so “progressive”
as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God;
whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119:1, 2, 10, 11, 17, 18

R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Gospel: Luke 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”

NAB

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Perhaps you’ve felt it this week. Fear, helplessness and despair. Fear not, sweet sisters, the cavalry has arrived.

As I reflect on the example of Saint Martin of Tours on his feast day, the patron saint of soldiers, and what it means to be a soldier for Christ, one theme keeps bubbling to the surface.

Fearlessness.

In a world that tests our beliefs, applauds moral relativism and insists on instant gratification, we are reminded that to truly love and serve our great God, one must be willing to suffer. To increase our faith, we must decrease our doubts. To live a Christian life, we must be prepared for persecution. We must be fearless.

I can hear you now, “Come on, Lady. Don’t you know how hard that is?”

Indeed, I do. When God gave us a preemie, I wanted to hide in a corner. The last thing I felt was fearless. But God is on the front lines battling for our love, and our hearts. Just as those veterans battled for freedom and Saint Martin of Tours battled for justice, our souls are on the line. How much do you care? How much do you battle back? How far are you willing to go to show the world how big your love is for God?

A beautifully wise and seasoned Dominican Sister once confessed, “It’s time we put suffering back into our vocabulary. It’s time to be dependent upon God’s love.” I think she’s on to something. Suffering and persecution will come to all of us. In the midst of that pain, though, God is inviting you to love big. In turn, He promises to suffer right along with you. Nothing you’re going through is bigger than what He has to give.

Nothing.

On this day in 1919, the armistice essentially was the “war to end all wars,” at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Let’s take a cue from our veterans, Saint Martin of Tours and our God and let’s end the battle and give it all to Jesus. Our doubts, fears, joys, accolades, pain and love—give it all to Him. You’re a soldier for God and there’s no more honorable army to be part of, than His.

Kathryn Whitaker and her husband, Scott, have 6 awesome kids, teen to toddler. She is a former public relations consultant turned freelance graphic designer, party planner, organizer, and preemie advocate who hails from the Lone Star state. You can find out more about her here.

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