Wednesday of the 7th week of Easter (Memorial of St. Justin Martyr)

Theme: Christian Martyrdom

Today the church celebrates one of her Ancestors in faith, who gave his life because of his believe in God. Each time we celebrate the saints, it presents us the opportunity to reflect on our individual call to discipleship. How much are we willing to give up as a result of our faith in God? How much discomfort are we willing to take because of our faith in God? Is our discipleship limited to only when things are going according to our plans or both in good and in bad times, just like the Saint we are celebrating today? To be a true follower of Christ, we must be ready to pay the price of discipleship. One thing that is worthy of note, is the fact that our reward from God is far greater than any challenge or discomfort that we will have to encounter.

If we truly want to emulate our Ancestors in faith, then we have to take the admonition of St. Paul in today’s 1st reading very seriously. We have to be alert in issues about our faith and our way of life. We must do all within our power to ensure that the quality of our discipleship is worthy of emulation and also helping people to make heaven. There is no true discipleship that is devoid of challenges or difficulties; we see that in the lives of our Ancestors in faith and also in the life of Jesus Christ. Simply put, there is no Christianity without the cross. The cross is part of the package of discipleship that Christians will encounter at different times in our journey of faith. What differentiates one from the other is the way we handle such situations when they come to us.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, in the gospel of today, we see the priestly prayer of Christ; May they be one as we are one. In this prayer Jesus prays for our unity as children of God. It is important to note that Jesus prays for unity and not for uniformity. They are two different things. May the prayer of Jesus be realized in our own time, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

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