Friday 17th October – Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop & Martyr
Reflection: Luke 12: 1-7
DO NOT BE AFRAID
These were the words used by our beloved Saint, Pope John Paul II the Great at the start of his pontificate in October 1978; he called all of us, members of the Church not to allow ourselves become fearful and discouraged by the evils around us. These words given to the world by St John Paul were a reminder of what our Lord Himself tells us in today’s gospel reading: Do not be afraid…” Indeed, evil abounds, but we must trust in our Lord who cares for us and knows the smallest details of our lives.
Jesus was very much aware that His disciples were going to face tribulations in the steps of their master; hence, He taught them to distinguish physical death from spiritual death. Their bodies could be killed by the authorities; but much more important was their souls which the authorities had no power over. (Luke 12:4). This assurance was a source of strength and confidence to His followers and must be for us too if we truly desire to serve Jesus with our lives. St Ignatius of Antioch whom we celebrate today was a 2nd century bishop of Antioch who was martyred in 107 AD; when he was fed to the wild beasts at the Colosseum because of His defence of his faith.
How ready are you to stand for your faith in the face of persecution? How ready are you to uphold what is right even when you have to be the odd one out amongst your peers. We must remember that our peers may mock us; they may find us too “holy” or unfashionable; but their opinion about us is nothing compared to God’s opinion. Beloved, today Jesus reminds us that we have nothing to fear; our Father in heaven cares about us much more than we can ever imagine. Let us seek to deepen our commitment to Christ daily so we can be strengthened to stand for Him.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I trust in you; please help me to uphold my faith and allegiance to you, come what may. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 454 – How strongly obligatory is the truth of the faith?
Every Christian must give testimony to the truth and thereby follow after Christ, who before Pilate said, “For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (Jn 18:37).
This can even mean that a Christian lays down his life out of fidelity to the truth and love for God and mankind. This ultimate form of commitment to the truth is called martyrdom.
HIDE A TREASURE: “Think of Jesus who suffered such opposition from evil people, so that you may not be discouraged or grow weary. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” Hebrews 12:3-4 CCB
Readings for Today: Ephesians 1: 11-14; Psalm 33: 1-5, 12-13; Luke 12: 1-7