Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, B.M. (17th October, 2019) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 129:1-6. (R.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: Last in the list.
Jesus further denounced the lawyers for being witnesses and also approving the killing of the prophets by their ancestors. He also said in part, “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” The concluding verses read, “When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile toward him and to cross-examine him about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.”
Jesus’ outright condemnation of evil brought against Him extreme hostility. The same measure awaits anyone who follows His footsteps, cf. Matt 10:25. He warns, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also” (Jn 15:20).
Expect no worldly crown for condemning evil. Even one’s brothers and sisters of the same faith may also misunderstand him/her. The last in the list to expect from the world for following Jesus is her approval. However, “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matt 5:11). We must always do the will of our Father in heaven, cf. Matt 7:21; Jn 5:30. He will grant justice to His people who cry to Him day and night without delay. However, it is important to keep faith, cf. Lk 18:7-8. God will wipe away the tears of His children, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, cf. Is 25:8.
Bible Reading: 2Cor 12:1-10.
Thought for today: God comforts His children.
Let us pray: Lord, we need your grace to always do your will – Amen.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch – Pray for us.
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