Memorial of Blessed Jan Beyzym, SJ
The prophets – like Joel – often spoke words of severe judgment on the enemies of Israel, and promised great blessings on Jerusalem. In Jesus, God revealed the true Temple, and in those especially loved by Jesus, the true people of God, the true Jerusalem. The lame, the blind, those possessed, the “tax collectors and sinners” – these emerged, in the greatest prophet of all, as the building base for this true people of God. For “the dwelling place of God is with men.” (Rev. 21:3)
Fr. Jan Beyzym was a Polish Jesuit who lived in the second half of the 19th and first years of the 20th centuries. He felt called to leave his home in the Austrian Empire to serve on the island of Madagascar. He felt called to serve the lepers there – like St. Damian of Molokai. The first problem he had to deal with was their desperate hunger: many more died of starvation than from the disease itself. And having done wonders with nourishment, he then raised funds in Europe for a hospital.
Blessed Jan heard the word of God – first in his home, and then in his Jesuit formation in Europe – and “observed it.” Not surprisingly, he saw himself as particularly united with the Mother of God in his mission. God has something in mind for each of us: every Christian has a unique mission from God. Let us beg Him to give us clarity about that mission, and then fidelity in carrying it out. Like Mary.