Saint Lawrence Ruiz and companions
Between 1633 and 1637, Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and 15 companions were martyred in Nagasaki, Japan. On 27 September 1637, Ruiz and his companions were taken to Nishizaka Hill, where they were tortured by being hung upside-down over a pit. This form of torture was known as tsurushi in Japanese or horca y hoya (“gallows and pit”) in Spanish. Most of the group were members or associates of the Dominicans. Lorenzo, a husband and father, was a native of the Philippines. The group spent several years working as missionaries in the Philippines, Formosa (Taiwan) and Japan. Lorenzo Ruiz and his companions were canonized in 1987. Ruiz is the protomartyr of the Philippines.
REFLECTION FOR THE DAY
My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it. Luke 8:21
What a privilege it is for us to be a part of Jesus’ family. What greater gift could he have ever given to us? Jesus tells us that belonging to his family is not a matter of sharing common physical characteristics. Rather, it is a matter of sharing common spiritual characteristics. That is what makes us fully one with him and with one another. When Jesus said to us, “Follow me,” he was inviting us to live as he lived, to love as he loved and to think as he thought. When we imitate him, we become more a part of his family. This is what our life was meant to be: a sharing in the joy of Christ. Jesus never forces us to love him. It has to come from our free choice because love can only be offered but never forced. Would this be a good time to ask ourselves how fully we have accepted this tremendous gift that Jesus has offered to us.