St Martin of Tours | Wednesday 11 November 2020
Today is Wednesday the 11 November, the feast of St Martin of Tours, in the 32nd week of Ordinary Time.
The choir of Holy Sepulchre London, directed by Peter Asprey, sings, ‘Come, Holy Ghost’.
Today’s reading is from the letter to Titus.
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another. But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Today, across the world it is Remembrance Day, a day to recall the ending of World War One and to honour the fallen of all wars. It is coincidental but appropriate, that this is also the feast day of St Martin of Tours – patron saint of soldiers as well as conscientious objectors and chaplains. Martin became a Christian whilst serving in the Roman guard in the 3rd century. In an act of compassion Martin shared his military cloak with a beggar. Later he had a dream where the beggar was revealed as Jesus with the acknowledgement from Matthew’s gospel that ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’. His military service was exchanged for a life of service to the poor.
Martin portrays a life converted by an encounter with Christ Perhaps this something that you have experience of? Has there been a time in your life when you have felt moved by God to a new way of being? This same invitation to conversion is echoed in Titus. Wherever we encounter grace, through the Spirit or the loving-kindness of God our Saviour’ we can be moved towards what is good.
As I listen to the reading again I reflect on the following. Can I accept myself as I am, so as to allow this loving-kindness to work within me? Can I allow mercy and grace to be poured into my spirit to renew and revive me?
St Martin is quoted as saying “Lord, if your people still need me, I do not refuse the work. Your will be done.” In my prayer, can I make this gesture? What might stand in my way? What help do I need from the Lord today?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.