Have you ever heard of St Martin and his half torn coat? The story goes that St Martin, who was a soldier, met a poor beggar on the side of the road. It was winter and the snow was coming down thick and fast. He felt so sorry for the beggar, it was cold and the beggar looked freezing. St Martin tore his coat in two and gave one half to the beggar.
Later that night when St Martin was safe and warm in his bed, he had a dream, in which Jesus came to him. “Who are you Lord?” St Martin asked. Jesus replied “A man with half a coat.”
Should St Martin have given the whole coat to Jesus? But, St Martin didn’t know the beggar was Jesus. St Martin’s holiness is in the fact that after this incident he gave all of his life to Jesus, not half, but all.
This story tells us that what we do to others we do to Jesus. I have always thought a little Jesus lives inside each one of us. Inside every person in the world. Sometimes He is so very little that you can hardly see Him, but you know, if you search hard enough you can find Him.
We your little sisters love this feast. We gather in choir and watch a traditional skit. One sister is St Martin, pretending to ride on a little wooden horse and the beggar is played by another sister who turns into Jesus at the end. While the rest of us sing the song “St Martin, St Martin, St Martin did not have a care...” After we process with lighted candles, singing “bright lanterns” to the community room, where we eat hot potatoes and cheese, a very special treat for our evening supper (which we call collation).
We, your little sisters, try to learn from St Martin to give God our whole life and we try hard each day to find the ‘little Jesus’ inside each sister and person we meet. We always greet each other with the greeting ‘Praised be Jesus Christ’ for we know that even though hidden, Jesus is present in every one of us. Let’s all go out and try and find Him in others today.
On the feast of St Martin, the 11th November, let’s try to give Jesus, the Jesus we find in others, not half but all. Why not ask if you can have a baked potato in its jacket, as a reminder of St Martin and his coat.
And remember, we are praying for you, see you next week. Sr Anežka