On 1st October 2000, Pope John Paul II canonised 120 Catholics martyred in China between 1648 and 1930. Among them were six Dominicans whom we honour today: Saint Francis Fernandez and his companions. May these saints inspire us to put our Faith into practice in a practical way to benefit the Church, the world and our own salvation.
God responds to the Israelites like a resigned parent with a spoilt child. The people wheedle and whine for a king just so they can be like their neighbours. And so God gives the people what they want because they won’t learn any other way. Samuel tries to tell them what a king will do, but they will hear none of it. We hear the warning and feel rather smug, knowing that history from the time of Samuel to our own days proved his warning to be right on target. But we too fall into wheedling with God until we get what we ask for, and then discover that it’s not what we wanted after all.
All too often we make up our minds about the direction our lives are taking, the things we need to meet our goals, and the responses we want from others to further our plans. We look at the people around us and we want what they have, be it material possessions or talents or a 28-inch waistline. But we fail to see some of the hidden costs they pay. Or we fail to see that God’s plan for our lives is different than that of the people around us. We hear only the advice we want to hear and we stubbornly go our own way. But in the end we return to ask God to sort out the mess we’ve made of our lives.
When we pray “Thy will be done” in a few minutes, think about what it means in your own life and in the life of the community. God wants only what is best for us. Like a loving parent God only lets us learn from the consequences of our wayward actions, if we are too stubborn to learn any other way.