The eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him: but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you aways, even to the end of the age.”
Eight Frenchmen, followers of Christ in the Jesuit order, gave of themselves to leave their native home to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Frs Isaac Jogues, SJ, John de Brebeuf, SJ, Anthony Daniel, SJ, Gabriel Lalemont, SJ, Charles Garnier, SJ, Noel Chabanel, SJ, and two Donne’s, John de La Lande and Rene Goupil joyfully entered the lives of the native Hurons to share what they knew, the love of Christ. In New France (upstate New York and Quebec), these missionaries entered the lives of the Huron nation and shared the incarnational love of God at a time of territorial struggles with the Mohawk nation. The power struggle led to antagonism and torture of these French Christians. Their martyrdom was recognized for the world by Pope Pius XI in 1930.
The love from God that these men had drove them to want to share. What is that love from God like? What drives a pilgrim to leave home to share that love with others? How much does the authority that Jesus gives draw the desire to share faith? May God keep calling us.
-Fr. Kevin Schneider, SJ is the Director of Adult Spirituality Programs at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE. He is a spiritual director and offers parish missions and retreats in the style of Ignatian Spirituality.
Father, you consecrated the first beginnings of the faith in North America by the preaching and martyrdom of St. Isaac Jogues, St. John de La Lande, and their companions. By the help of their prayers may the Christian faith continue to grow throughout the world. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever.
-Liturgical prayer of this day.
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