Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Witnesses of Faith

Readings for Wednesday, April 13/Commemoration of St. Martin I:
Daniel 3:14-20,91-92,95
Daniel 3:52-56
John 8:31-42

In today's readings we find the beautiful story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who, told to abandon the Jewish faith, stand firm in faith and are thus condemned to be burned alive. The words we find on their lips in response to this sentence are a beautiful testament to their faith in the God of Israel: "If our God whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up." Se deep is their faith in the Lord that they will serve him even if he does not preserve or rescue them from the suffering they would soon endure. It is fitting that today is also the commemoration of Pope St. Martin I, who led the Christian faithful from four years in the 7th Century. As Pope of the Catholic Church, he was arrested and hauled off to a foreign land, where he suffered many 'public indignities' and trials. In a surviving letter from that time he writes of how he was so quickly cast aside and forgotten by his closest friends and family. And yet in that time he remained faithful to the Lord and prayed for Christian unity and for his persecutors up until his death. God grant that we too may have such faith.