Saturday, October 17, 2020

Saturday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Ignatius of Antioch (-107),p, Bishop, Martyr

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 13:12-14

Mass: Eph 1:15-23; Resp Ps 8; Lk 12:8-12

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings you have fashioned praise because of your foes.

We have not only to be called Christians, but to be Christians.
(St Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians, 4,1)

Today we celebrate the memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch, who was transported to Rome to be martyred. "In the course of his journey", explains Universalis, Ignatius "wrote seven letters to various churches, in which he dealt wisely and deeply with Christ, the organisation of the Church, and the Christian life." I remember these letters from early theological studies and was encouraged to read them over and over by a dear teacher, mentor, and friend of happy memory. 

Ignatius of Antioch was a man of deep faith, courage, and conviction. He was ready to suffer and die for Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Romans, he wrote: "I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I will plead with you: show me no untimely kindness." Bold, Ignatius was clear: "If I am condemned to suffer, I will take it that you wish me well. If my case is postponed, I can only think that you wish me harm."

Ignatius was Christian. He encouraged the Magnesians to be Christians too and he encourages us. We might ask ourselves if we are so bold and courageous in our Christian witness. We are encouraged too by St Paul in today's reading from the Epistle to the Ephesians: "May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to His call, what are the riches of glory in His inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of His great might, which He worked in Christ, raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things beneath His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way" (Eph 1:18-23). 

It is unlikely that any of us will be thrown into the arena with wild beasts as Ignatius was, but we suffer daily with deaths to self in order to give greater glory to Jesus Christ. Whatever comes our way, may we be strong Christians. May we join St Ignatius of Antioch and say: "I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire. The time for my birth is close at hand" (Letter to the Romans). 

Taking then, the same attitude of God, you should all respect one another. Let no one think of his neighbor in a carnal way; but always love one another in the spirit of Jesus Christ.
(Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians, 6,2)


© Gertrude Feick 2020

No comments:

Post a Comment