Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

Lectionary: 316

...he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own Blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

As the Church celebrates the victory of the Virgin Martyr Agnes we hear of Jesus entering the Heavenly Holy of Holies, with his own Blood. 
these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been ransomed as the firstfruits of the human race for God and the Lamb
Martyrs of every age assure us that the Spirit of God is still with us. 

Since time immemorial people have complained that the old days were better. "People were more heroic and virtuous at one time, but these times are decadent and morals are corrupt." 

It's not hard to agree with that complaint until we hear of someone murdered, executed or imprisoned for the faith. It may be Christians in Syria or Iraq, victims of ISIL. Or it may be protestors in the United States, jailed for civil disobedience in defense of the unborn, the elderly, defenseless or despised. 

Inevitably, some religious persons will sneer at these people. I say to that, "If the Church can't find someone to persecute our martyrs, we'll do it ourselves." 

Christians spend their lives preparing for that moment when the Spirit might call us to give courageous witness , when we must speak truth to power. Most of our lives we pray to do the right thing in ordinary circumstances; for gentleness toward children and patience with the elderly and forbearance toward strangers. Sometimes we pray for an understanding heart toward those with whom we disagree politically or religiously. We practice scrupulous honesty in financial matters, paying our fair share of taxes and giving generously to the Church and other worthy causes. 

All in preparation for that day when we might be singled out for our fidelity and forced to stand before civil or religious authorities and give our testimony. It might not happen even in our lifetime, but it will come. Our children might remember our heroic witness when the authorities come for them.  

The Age of Martyrs has never ended; it never will. We will always need them to assure us that the Spirit of Jesus resides among us. 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.