Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Today, the Church commemorates the bishop and martyr, St. Stanislaus. Stanislaus, ordained the Bishop of Krakow in 1072, is most noted through three primary areas: he sought to help the poor, he visited his clergy to address laxities in the Church as noted by Pope Gregory VII, and was an excellent preacher. He denounced King Boleslaus II for his vices and eventually excommunicated the leader. Not pleased with this action, the king sought to end the life of the bishop. St. Stanislaus was killed while saying Mass on 11 April 1079.
Just as this saint had his life threatened so do we hear about Jesus’ life being threatened in today’s Good News. In John’s Gospel, “the Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus” (10:31), not to stone him for his good works, but for blasphemy (this charge will eventually be Jesus’ death sentence). One of the prayer requests of Pope Francis shortly after he was elected was to “to suffer with patience and to overcome external and internal oppression with love.” As we near in on Holy Week and the grumbling against Jesus continues to escalate, let us be able to walk with Christ in love, even amidst the troubles and opposition.