Today’s saint was a disciple of St. Peter who sent him to Ravenna to be its bishop. He became famous for healing people in the Name of Jesus which led many to become Christian. This infuriated the Emperor who had him arrested, tortured, and finally killed. Christian volunteers in mission territories often work in dangerous circumstances and reveal in a powerful way the love of Christ through their own sacrifice of time and money, even at the risk of their lives. During this month that is traditionally dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus, let us pray that these volunteers, knowing how the Blood of Christ shed for all makes all precious to God, may witness to the love of Christ. Our reflection is from Pope Benedict’s July 5, 2009 Angelus Address:
Dear Brothers, it is written in Genesis that the blood of Abel, killed by his brother Cain, cries to God from the earth (cf. 4: 10). And, unfortunately, today as in the past, this cry never ceases, as human blood continues to be shed because of violence, injustice and hatred. When will human beings learn that life is sacred and belongs to God alone? When will they understand that we are all brothers and sisters? To the cry which rises from so many parts of the earth for the blood that is spilled, God responds with the Blood of his Son, who gave his life for us. Christ did not respond to evil with evil but with goodness, with his infinite love. The Blood of Christ is the pledge of God's faithful love for humanity. Every human being, even in conditions of extreme moral wretchedness can say, fixing his eyes on the wounds of the Crucified One: "God has not abandoned me, he loves me, he has given his life for me", and thus rediscover hope. May the Virgin Mary, who at the foot of the Cross together with the Apostle John received the testament of Jesus' Blood, help us to rediscover the inestimable richness of this grace and to feel deep and everlasting gratitude for it.