The governor approached Julia directly, offering to free her if only she would sacrifice to the pagan gods. She answered that she was “as free as she desired to be as long as she was allowed to serve Jesus Christ.”
“Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” (Matthew 46: 53-54) Legions of Angels Many Years ago I taught in a (more or less) Catholic high school. […]
Today, on the 5th Day of Christmas, we find ourselves celebrating yet another martyr, St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered by knights in the service of King Henry II of England on December 29th, 1170.
Just as our Christmas joy is tempered by the realization that the child lying in the manger must someday hang on the Cross, St. Stephen reminds us, a mere day after the Feast of the Nativity itself, that following the Child of Bethlehem can mean our own Calvary.
Jesus is not at all hesitant about reminding his followers that discipleship is not a warm and fuzzy business. On the contrary, he says: “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Matthew 5:11) It’s going to happen.
At least for those who aren’t heavily invested in the so-called “sexual revolution”, it is clear that the societal endorsement of sexual license directly undermines the institution of marriage, and the breakdown of marriage in turn has a profound negative impact on children most immediately, but from there on everything and everyone else.
In the ancient world actors such as Philemon used to wear masks . . . but the Lord can see through any act: there are no masks before the throne of God.