Feast of Maximillian Kolbe
Today we celebrate the feast of someone who should be unforgettable, St. Maximillian Kolbe. Why? Because what he did was unforgettable. No, there were no headlines in any newspaper – far from it. But he gave his life for another prisoner during the horrid times of the Holocaust. This holy, humble Franciscan friar, who spent his last night of freedom in a Passionist house, offered to be put to certain death in the place of a fellow prisoner who, had he been slain, would never again see his beloved family. How blessed we are to be able to admire and be in awe of the selfless and sacrificial love of a great man, a truly unforgettable saint of God.
And in our readings today we are once again, as during this past week, following the great journey of Moses, reminded that we are to “…fear the Lord, your God, and follow his ways exactly, to love and serve the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your soul, to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord.”
This past Sunday, we were reminded that sometimes the voice of the Lord can be heard only in a whisper. But the pronouncement of Moses, the great liberator and lawgiver, is far from a barely audible message spoke as if a whisper! Rather it is a mighty shout, one which St. Maximillian heard and followed very clearly – that we must love the Lord above all else and, in so doing, even be prepared to lay down our life for another.
Fr. Pat Brennan, C.P. is the director of Saint Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center, Detroit, Michigan.