St Maximilian Kolbe

Feast of Maximilian Kolbe

Saint Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Conventual Franciscan Friar. During the German occupation of Poland, he remained at his monastery which published a number of anti-Nazi German publications. In 1941, he was arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where in terrible circumstances he continued to work as a priest and offer solace to fellow inmates. When the Nazi guards selected 10 people to be starved to death in punishment, Kolbe volunteered to die in place of a stranger. He was later canonised as a martyr.

The Gospel of the day includes:
Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. He is not that far out from the city. Jesus was with his friends, the disciples were there, we think his mother was there too, and a whole range of randoms including yourself. Jesus begins talking about branches and vines and being connected.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

We think he is talking about being in touch with God as best you can. Think about that for a moment, being connected, taking time to be with God, challenging yourself to be your best self. Then he goes on to talk about friends:

A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.

Think about your own friends and family, that you would literally die for. Those you love and sacrifice for. Be grateful for them and feel the joy of such depth. Now channel that energy to listen to what Jesus is now asking:

You did not choose me, no, I chose you;
and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit,
fruit that will last;
and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.

Think of moments you are asked to love, to care, to sacrifice. Hold in your mind the idea that this kind of thing is fruit that will last. Let’s remind ourselves what is being asked of us:

What I command you is to love one another.’

Our Prayer
St. Maximilian Kolbe, faithful follower of St. Francis of Assisi, fueled by the love of God you dedicated your life to the practice of goodness to care for others. Like you may we learn to recognize Mary’s presence, her voice, her love and her power with us that we may be true instruments of God’s love in the world. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.