Saint Thomas Becket is among the martyrs who died because he didn’t compromise the spiritual authority of the Church over the expediency of the state and politics. Thomas did not allow the king to exercise his royal jurisdiction over him as the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop was killed by four knights and his blood stained the floor of the monastery.
1 John 2:3-11
3 Beloved: The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: 6 whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked. 7 Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. 11 Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 5-6
R: Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
1 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. 2 Sing to the Lord; bless his name. (R) Announce his salvation, day after day. 3 Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (R) 5 The Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty go before him; praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary. (R)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to make a total commitment to follow Him at the cost of our lives. Although we may not be called to martyrdom, we are called to die to our selfishness, pride, and self-will. When we let go of the things we hold on to tightly, we experience the joy and freedom that Christ offers us. Let us pray for the grace to give our all to our loving God.
A light of revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel.
22 When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, 23 just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, 24 and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. 27 He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, 28 he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: 29 “Lord, now let your servant go in peace, your word has been fulfilled: 30 my own eyes have seen the salvation, 31which you prepared in sight of every people, 32 a light to reveal you to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.” 33 The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted 35 (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”