Monday, February 1, 2016

What are you willing to die for? - Daily Reflections February 1,2016

I was 16 years old when I first heard of the greatness of the man. I remember being awestruck at reading about how he literally offered his life in place of someone who was much younger, who had a family, and who still had a responsibility ahead of him.
       Three prisoners had escaped from the concentration camp. Ten men were chosen at random to pay for the crime they did not commit. One of them was a youngish man who cried in anguish for his wife and children.
       Like Simeon, the prophet, the occasion proved to be the older man’s shining moment. And like in the case of the venerable prophet, Maximilian Kolbe’s generous act of taking the place of the younger man seemed to drive home a similar message: “You may let me go!”
       St. Maximilian was a martyr of charity. He did not have to die. He did not have to go just yet but he chose to stand in for someone who, in his mind, had more compelling reasons to live.
     Last year, at about this time, we were jarred at the news of 44 policemen mercilessly killed as they served our country and people. Whatever may have been the cause, and whoever may have been responsible, there is no denying the fact that they died not because they wanted to, but because they were sent for a mission that proved to be not only dangerous but disastrous.
       They died so that others might live. They were heroes no less and the nation, although grieving, was also grateful for the valor they showed.
        St. Maximilian was no soldier, but he was just as heroic. He laid down his life for a stranger he had not even met before. His was a selfless love and his self-offering was solely motivated by charity.
       The 44 gallant policemen died heroes’ deaths. Fidelity to duty cost them their lives. Simeon and Maximilian chose to recede from the scene, by choice. Simeon did so for his goal in life was done. But Maximilian chose to do so unbidden, for no other reason but charity. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTION: What are you willing to die for?
Today, I pray, Lord, for all who died selflessly so that others may live. Amen.

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