Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Blessed Miguel

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

These words of Saint Ignatius' prayer The Suscipe, sum up most poignantly the self-offering of the Mexican martyr, Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro. as a young manMiguel renounced everything and entered the Society of Jesus. After his ordination, he carried on his priestly ministry in spite of the grave religious persecution of the Church in Mexico in the early 20th century. Often in disguise and continually foiling the best efforts of the Mexican secret police to arrest him, Miguel was eventually captured. On 23 November 1927, after forgiving his executioners, he extended his arms like his crucified Lord and was shot by a firing squad as he proclaimed, "Hail, Christ the King!" 

Jesus' life, his passion, and death are all about self-offering, self-forgetfulness, and loving obedience to the Father. Indeed, Jesus reinvents the meaning of kingship. How well Miguel Pro understood this; how beautifully and completely he imitated his King. How will we give Jesus all that we have, all that we are?