Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
No trip to Rome can be possible without bumping into a few relics. Just a few days ago we saw the heads of St. Agnes, St. Valentine, and one of the heads of St. John the Baptist. Although relics may be confusing to some, it is important to recall the great gift of the martyrs for the early church. Today, all Christians are called to greater awareness of those who are “persecuted for the sake of righteousness,” as recalled in today’s readings from the Beatitudes from Mark’s gospel. The persecution of Christians is as real today as it was at the time of Diocletian, with the only difference being that more are killed in recent years than during the Emperor’s reign.
Visiting the shrines of the martyrs provides both an opportunity and a challenge for everyone, including the professor. Although we may not be called to martyrdom we are called to find ways in our daily lives that we can provide some Christian witness, knowing that such a witness comes at some cost.