|Memorial of St. Ignatius of
Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
Today is the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch. Ignatius was born in 50 A.D., possibly a disciple of John, who was appointed and governed for forty years as Bishop of Antioch. Around 100 A.D. under the persecution of Emperor Trajan, Ignatius was arrested, brought to Rome and thrown to the lions. Interestingly, two of Ignatiusí companions gathered his bones for veneration. This was the first report of Christians venerating relics. Ignatius is described as an energetic soldier for the faith. Today we honor this bishop and martyr from early Christianity.
Being able to read about heroes of faith, like Ignatius of Antioch, makes us aware of the special gift we have in the community of the Church. It is easy, in our modern culture, to reduce faith practices to attending mass each Sunday. Connecting with Saints and other spiritual leaders, helps us to step out of our busy routines and get in touch with the roots of our faith and those who gave their lives for it. Connecting with lives of the saints, church history, and celebrating our rich spiritual tradition makes us aware of the importance of living the gospel everyday of the week.
Todayís first reading reminds us that we are adopted by God through Jesus Christ. As adopted ones, we are loved by God. Many do not experience the world as Godís ďbelovedĒ, though. In fact, some people do not experience much love from others during their workweek. Still Godís love is present at your work place, in your home and throughout your week. We are all called to spread the love of God to those we come in contact with daily. We canít let the richness of our faith slip into a Sunday-only routine. We need to be intentional about living as Godís beloved, about holding up the richness of our faith, and being a witness of Godís love in all places.
Todayís readings remind us of Godís love, salvation, and messages
sent through the prophets. Let us remember this story of Ignatius-an
energetic person, living and dying for the faith. It is the same
faith that you and I practice and hold to be true. Let us come away
inspired by the story of Ignatius, and allow it to transform our faithÖthat
it may become more real, more alive, and more important in our busy lives.
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