MEMORIAL: Saint Martin of Tours

“On that day, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise a person in the field must not return to what was left behind.” (Luke 17:31.)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“He says, “Even if anyone is in the field, in the same way, do not let him turn back.” That means if anyone is found devoted to work and occupied in labor, earnestly desiring spiritual fruitfulness and gathering the wages of virtuous toil, let him hold firmly to this diligence. Let him not turn back. As Christ himself has again said somewhere, “No one that puts his hand to the plough and turns back is fit also for the kingdom of heaven.” It is our duty to maintain our religious exertions without wavering and to persevere in them with undaunted wills or else we may suffer the kind of fate that befell the woman at Sodom. We take her as an example because he says, “Remember Lot’s wife. For when she was rescued from Sodom, but would afterward have returned, she became a pillar of salt.” That means she became foolish and stonelike.” (Commentary on Luke, Homily 118)

O God,
who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin
both by his life and death,
make new, we pray,
the wonders of your grace in our hearts,
that neither death nor life
may separate us from your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen