While today’s Scripture readings follow the ordinary Sunday cycle, throughout the diocese of Albany we commemorate the North American martyrs, St. Isaac Jogues and his fellow missionaries of the 17th century. These members of the Society of Jesus who dedicated themselves to the conversion of the American Indians took Christ’s words very literally when they journeyed from Renaissance France to the frontiers of North America that they might preach and baptize.
Their reaction in faith to the discovery of America was to willingly leave civilization and under trying conditions journey to what is now our part of the new world. Despite constant danger and great personal suffering they gave their lives in an effort to share the faith.
While we today celebrate their heroic victory in the eyes of God, do we also share the Spirit which drove their missionary zeal? Do we love our contemporary “neo-pagans” enough to spend our time and energies to open their eyes to conversion and the joy of consciously sharing in God’s love?