St. Ignatius of Antioch
Bornin Syria, Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus was condemned to be put to death in Rome.
Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith.
The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. "The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God. I am the wheat of the Lord; may I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ."
Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.
Ignatius's great concern was for the unity and order of the Church. Even greater was his willingness to suffer martyrdom rather than deny his Lord Jesus Christ. Not to his own suffering did Ignatius draw attention, but to the love of God which strengthened him. He knew the price of commitment and would not deny Christ, even to save his own life.
"I greet you from Smyrna together with the Churches of God present here with me. They comfort me in every way, both in body and in soul. My chains, which I carry about on me for Jesus Christ, begging that I may happily make my way to God, exhort you: persevere in your concord and in your community prayers" (Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Church at Tralles).
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
What is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming.
"In these days, God taught me
I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form? If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?
The Word of God
Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
Reading 1 eph 1:11-14
Brothers and sisters:
Responsorial Psalm ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13
R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Gospel lk 12:1-7
At that time:
Listen to audio of this reading
Watch a video reflection
Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for me.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
Many people were crowding together. (Luke 12:1)
At one point or another, we have all schemed and pushed to get something we want: an afternoon off during the workweek, an extra discount at the market, or a favor from a friend. So we can all understand the work involved in taking matters into our own hands and making situations work out to our satisfaction. Sometimes such determination is a good and necessary thing. But often, we end up grieving others or vexing ourselves as we strive—even in matters of faith.
As he made his way to Jerusalem, Jesus had been telling his listeners to love one another (Luke 10:29-37) and assuring them of God's love and concern for each of them (11:9-13). He had healed the sick (8:43-48), raised the dead (8:49-55), and cast out demons (11:14). As a result, thousands were drawn to him, even to the point of "trampling one another" in their efforts to get near to him (12:1). They were desperate to witness a miracle or to be healed themselves.
So how did Jesus respond to this "pushy" mass of people who were trying to get what they wanted? Not by reproaching them but by telling them that they all had great worth in God's eyes (Luke 12:7). Greater than fear, greater than desperation, is the knowledge that God loves and cares about us. It's the confidence that he wants to take care of us and that he has the power to do so. But greater still is his desire to lift our attention above those things, to break into our neediness and turn our eyes to him.
Believe today that God will give you what you need. It's not all up to you to push forward and take it for yourself. God wants to work with you. He loves you just as you are, even as he sees all that you can become. If your faith needs to be deepened, he will help you. If you need healing, he will provide it. If he has somewhere else for you to serve him, he will lead you. Concern yourself above all else with knowing the Father's love, and the rest will surely follow.
"Father, I want to know you and your love for me. Clear my mind of the things that keep me from you. Lord, I want to be yours."
Ephesians 1:11-14; Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13
Allow me to translate today's 5minutos:
"If there is something our society needs to be healed from, many hearts in this time, is exactly fear. One who is studying, those who marry, the one who works, they are such grave the economic problems in which we live, that we do not know what we are going to do, what the future is going to be, what is going to happen to us. A great part of fear is having to hide things, fear to reveal truly what we are. A part of fear is always wearing a mask and to not know one day, if we left the house in such a hurry, that we forgot to put it on. Wearing masks, hiding things, living off appearances, is to live with fear and in the middle of fear. First path to heal from fear: Take on what you are, accept your being as a man or woman; accept your condition, accept it, welcome it; be you who first welcoming yourself; learn to be friends with your reality; learn to be friend of your reality. To put makeup on it, to invent appearances, to put yourself in the leaven of the Pharisees, is to say, in hypocrisy, is not going to heal you and will make worse your situation. Just like the wounds that are healed wrong get worse, in their infections when they are covered in bandages, like that also the problems of our life, when we do not take on, when we do not accept what we really are, they get worse, the gangrene gets worse, the infection gets worse, the wound gets worse. Accept, let us accept, what we really are. Not to live by appearances, no more appearances, it is the first healing of fear."
Let's listen to the words of a martyr which we already heard today, "...In Christ we were also chosen...destined...to the intention of His will so that we might exist for the praise of his glory." Then we prayed the Psalm "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be His own". Hundreds of times God tells us not to be afraid, and today Jesus says to be afraid of only one...God almighty. Sure, let us become lion food like today's saint. Sure let us get beheaded like today's 1st Holy Scripture writer. Don't be afraid of any of that...for GOD. For God has the ultimate say, not death. God has the ultimate life in life. He has the ultimate Word and we are reading it today. We are chosen not to be afraid of anything but to be afraid to lose the love of Love, God Himself. We lose it not because He casts away, but because we cast ourselves away. We think we're so smart, saying things behind their backs, so sly, yet truly...so afraid. The Pharisees wanted Jesus dead because they were afraid. Afraid to lose their position, afraid to lose what they believe was right. And that's a probelm I am diagnosing in dealing with family, workers, and even church; people are so right that they don't think anyone else is right. They are so right and afraid to be wrong that they rather die or kill, opt for death. This is a reality in contraception, against the conception that God has made. It is this kill mentality that is killing our unity. Something has to give in this struggle. So why don't YOU give. I'm thinking of the Church festival we are having this weekend which i'm directing and ask for a little prayer, or any event for God. God chooses who gets to serve, and all I can do is appreciate the opportunity to serve and hope to open your eyes to the service of God. I am zealous, and I am jealous. I am a self-proclaimed Jesus freak, and I am mad when you are not. I want everything for God. When people will not give to God, I tend to get frustrated. You don't got time for God? I will let you know about it! God first, everything and everybody else second. "OH how could you say that Mr. Adrian, you know family comes first". AHA! You darn tootin'. But it's God's family. God's family is first. "Say what?". The love of God comes first. The whole point of the Gospel is not to warn you about your secrets that will be aired out for the Heavens to see, but to allow you to be transformed into Holiness and Goodness, the rightousness of God. God comes first. IF HE asks for something, you say YES. And if you ever get a little guilty feeling about saying no to God, then GOOD. Your conscious is alive and well, and better yet, God is alive and well. Live strong with God. Live well. It'd be better to live a shorter life with God than a long one without Him, or lest the years become an accumulation of what is to come, Gehenna, or Heaven. Live your life now as you want to spend it in eternity. I personally can not shake the quote from a saint that said "..I want to spend my eternity helping those on earth". And you know why I would like that? Because there, nobody would ever know who helped them. Anonymous to the max, totally dead to the world. Think about it, it is no longer about me, but about Him. No more temptation for it to be all about me. And we have a chance to live and practice that on earth. Great little acts of true love, kind of like what God does every moment of our lives, totally giving and we don't even realize. Today, Jesus gives us words to turn to Him, in front of and behind closed doors, outside my home and inside, with my blood family and the family of the blood of Christ, the chosen, the beloved, the conceived long before we ever knew...
THANK YOU FOR GIVING GOD