Heroes For The Faith!
While reflecting on this bible passage, I can’t help but think about some of the heroes of our faith. They are our heroes because they lived or are currently living out this week’s Gospel passage, in the sense that their relationship with Jesus is so strong that they are willing to endure the hardships and violence of this world, in order to maintain their life in Christ. There are three examples of this that come to my mind.
The first is the horrible video from a deserted beach where Coptic Christians were beheaded for their faith. The amazing thing about this video is that you hear the victims professing their faith right up to their last moment. They all are shouting “Jesus is Lord” over and over as they enter their martyrdom. Were they scared? I’m sure they were, but their desire was more to be in relationship with Jesus, than worrying about “those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul”. Another example comes from our own patron, St. Thomas More. In his life, he endured tremendous suffering. In, fact he lost everything. He lost his family, his home, his reputation, and was put in prison in defiance of King Henry VIII. At the same time though, he was a normal person, so losing everything would have had an incredible impact on him. I’m sure he was scared, and hurt, and broken, but still he endured, because his priority was relationship with Jesus. He was willing to lose it all to maintain and deepen his relationship with Christ….
Truly a hero for our faith.
Most of us thankfully won’t have to face these challenges in our lives, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t heroes today, who share their faith and face many challenges because of it. I am thinking of our youth, who want to share their faith with others, but often are ridiculed or excluded because of their faith. I was at a youth event recently and one young lady shared how difficult it has been in school, to even be allowed to talk about Jesus without being made fun of, and left off being invited to social events because of her faith. I was so impressed with her because she said that she has now graduated, but she offered to help anyone who is in a similar situation, and help them deal with the bullying. To me, this young girl is another hero of our faith, and our young people need to be supported as they make their way through school. They are willing to endure pain and suffering in favor of being deeper in relationship with Jesus.
God bless you all
Deacon Dan MacDonald