Memorial of St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

Theme: God has the final say

Today as we celebrate the memorial of St. Polycarp, the church presents to us the opportunity to reflect on the quality of his discipleship. He worked tirelessly to propagate the faith in which he believed in, and sacrificed his life in the process. This is a great man whose lifestyle and faith should encourage you and I as followers of Christ, to upgrade the quality of our discipleship; just like St. Polycarp.

The lifestyle of St. Polycarp was that of a man who believed everything was dependent on God and not what the world was offering him; that is why he was ready to lay down his life for what he believed in, as a result of his faith in God. The assertion of St. James in the 1st reading, reminds us about the finitude of man. As humans, our life is not in our hands, we have to be conscious of that fact in our assertions and in the way we lead our life. Remember that in every situation we find ourselves in life, it is God that has the final say. The will of God must surely come to pass in our life at his own time. Let us trust in God’s process and allow him to lead and direct us.

In the gospel reading, we see human brokenness in the action of John and his companions who tried to stop somebody who was not in their fold but casting out demons. Jesus used the opportunity to educate his followers about the inclusive nature of his ministry. God decides how to share his gifts and no man has the right or power to question it. God entrusted a very large mission to his followers, and we all have something to do to the glory of God. The most important thing is to be contented with what God has given you and use it to his glory, like St. Polycarp did and worry less about what he has given to others.

May the Lord bless his words in our hearts. Peace be with you.


Memorial of St. Polycarp, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp