Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, B.M. (17th October, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 8:2-7. (R. cf. v. 7);
Saint Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 – c. 108), was an Apostolic Father, student of the Apostle John, and the third bishop of Antioch. En route to Rome for his martyrdom, he wrote seven letters to different Christian communities in which he discussed among other topics, ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops. Saint Ignatius was the first to use the term “catholic” to describe the whole Church. He was martyred during the reign of Emperor Trajan, because he refused to renounce the Christian faith and was brutally devoured by wild beasts in a public spectacle.
Topic: Acknowledging Christ.
Jesus told us in today’s gospel, “...I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.”
These words of Jesus sound so sweet that often we forget that the call has a price tag. Jesus also said, “...they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake” (Matt 24:9; cf. Matt 10:22a; Mk 13:13a; Lk 21:17).
So, while deciding for Jesus, remember that it involves weeping and lamenting. However we should not be discouraged because the sorrows of His disciples will certainly turn into joy, cf. Jn 16:20. The Psalmist captured it in this way, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Ps 30:5). Jesus’ assurance remains, “...he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt 10:22b; cf. MK 13:13b). Saint Ignatius of Antioch we celebrate today endured to the end.
Bible Reading: Matt 10:16-25. 24:9-14.
Thought for today: Between temporal sorrows and eternal damnation.
Let us pray: Lord, assist us to damn every temporal sorrow that will come our way as we acknowledge you before our brothers and sisters – Amen.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch – Pray for us.
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