Proclaiming the resurrection

Monday, April 11, 2016

 Proclaiming the resurrection
Easter, Day 16

We are in the season where we are encouraged to proclaim the resurrection.  We do so by being alert to and reacting to the insights and experiences that we are having as we live out our lives and as our faith develops within us. In today’s scripture we see that St. Stephens’ faith developed such that “his face was like the face of an angel.” 
Today is the special day of remembrance of two saints who opened their minds and hearts to the Spirit and proclaimed the death and resurrection of Jesus through their teaching and their lives.
St. Gemma Galgani (1878-1903) was an Italian woman who, proclaimed Jesus with her life.  Besides having many mystical experiences in her childhood, she received the stigmata. From 1899 until she died in 1903,  every Thursday evening, she would fall into rapture and the marks of the stigmata would appear on her and remain until Friday afternoon or Saturday Morning.  The wounds would then close and white marks would stay on her skin where the stigmata had appeared. The day she died was Holy Saturday. She received the stigmata for the first time on a Thursday, the eve of the feast of the Sacred Heart

“Why did you suffer for me, dear Jesus.  For love!
the nails…the crown…the cross…all for love of me!
For you I sacrifice everything willingly. 
I offer you my body with all its weaknesses
and my soul with all its love.
St. Gemma Galgani

The other saint for today is St. Stanislaus of Poland (1030-1079) who proclaimed the faith in his country, Poland.  While touring his diocese after being made Bishop, he observed the evils, injustice and immorality of King Boleslaus II and how they were affecting the people.  St. Stanislaus first tried to influence the king to change his ways but ultimately had to challenge the king publically and then formally excommunicate him.  The king pretended to change, but ultimately ordered his soldiers to kill Stanislaus. When they refused to do so, the king, himself, killed Stanislaus with a sword while Stanislaus was saying mass.

Our witness will probably not be as dramatic as that of St. Stephen and the two saints of today, but drama is not required.  When we say “yes” to our daily opportunities, the Spirit will guide our way to our experience of the Risen Lord.

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