Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feast of the Unknown Martyrs

Blessed Pope John Paul II said that the twentieth century saw more martyrs in the Christian faith than all the other centuries put together.* What are all their names? We know perhaps 1 in 10,000 who are actually recognized. Yet without each one of their witnesses they would not make up so many. The Blood of martyrs precedes a great infusion of faith in humanity. Our age now is experiencing the benefits of this. On June 30th the Church celebrates the first martyrs of Rome, the names of which we do not know, yet whose sacrifice continues to bear fruit.

Each of us is called to be a witness to Jesus Christ, to be as St Augustine said, an alter Christus, an other Christ, a living replica of the real thing. That is, when I encounter a Christian, I would hear the words of Christ, see the deeds of Christ, and feel the love of Christ. So many like to say nowadays, "Be yourself. Express yourself. Love yourself. And find yourself." This is a sure road to self preoccupation and certain unhappiness. BE CHRIST! EXPRESS CHRIST! LOVE CHRIST! AND FIND CHRIST!!!

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