Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Christ in everything: Readings for Wednesday September 11th

 I'm not a political person, and this blog
 is not about wordly events, so I'd feel strange
 partaking in the remembering of the Victims 
of 9/11 here. At the same time, today's two 
saints are martyrs of the faith, men who laid 
down their lives for their faith. There is no
 parallel between them and the victims of 9/11,
 but I know that both victims and martyrs are
 remembered and celebrated together in heaven
 today, and I trust that the Lord has forgiven 
those who committed the acts of violence that 
took the lives of these innocents, and that both
 victims and those who killed them  are able to 
live in peace together in paradise. Let us pray that 
this peace they have achieved in heaven, can also be achieved for us, and by us here on earth.

St. Protus and Hyacinth
St. Protus and Hyacinth
Died: 257

 Traditionally thought to
 be Romans, Protus and Hyacinth
 were brothers, who were also servants
 in the house of St. Philip (not the apostle!) 
 who served as chamberlians 
(officer in charge of managing the 
household of a sovereign or other noble
 figure) for St Eugenia ( the daughter of Philip).
 They, along with St Eugenia would have 
beenarrested and executed for being Christians during the persecution of Emperor Valerian (257–259 AD)
The main source for details on their 
martyrdoms, their acts, is considered very unreliable, although the relics 
of St. Hyacinth, known to be entirely authentic, were found in 1845 
in the cemetery of St. Basilla, Rome. This cult is now confined 
to local calendars. The day of their annual commemoration is
 mentioned in the"Depositio Martyrum" on September 11, in 
the chronographia for the year 354. The chronographia also 
mentions their graves, in the Cemetery  of Basilla on theVia Salaria, later the Catacomb of St. Hermes. 

 Reflections:  I don't think I've ever publicly expressed 

any sentiment like the one I did in my first paragraph, 

about victims and persecutors being together in peace in 

heaven. I have no reason to believe this, other than my 

firm belief in a God of Mercy whose greatest desire for 

us is that we know the glorious  works of his Kingdom

 ( psalm 145:10 ). To me, the most glorious aspect of

 this kingdom, is God's peace. We can never truly attain it here,

 but we long for it so much.  That's because it is  a part of who we are,

 because in the end, Christ, the king of Peace, is  a big part of who we are.

 For the past 2 days through the book of Colossians, we've been reading about Paul's Christology, his amazing efforts to explore the nature of Jesus and how that nature impacts us. how this Christ who has always been and will always be is the very source of everything that is.  Still, we struggle to be ' raised with Christ'. We get distracted by the din of the world and all its distractions, we easily lose our sense of the path that Christ has set out for us. Paul gives us the remedy for this in Colossians. If our minds are on Christ, on things that are above, we will 'die to ourselves' a little more, and live in Christ more fully. It's a conscious choice we can make, just like working for peace requires a lot more effort than protesting for it, or singing about it. It's a conscious effort to let peace reign in our heart and mind so that our entire disposition is one of peace, and t herefore, one united with the will of God (atheists can also be people of peace, but we're not talking about being people of peace here...we're talking about letting peace rule our entire lives, so that the divine energy runs through every part of our body!) 

   This won't happen overnight, but is instead the labors of a lifetime. Paul tries to give specific steps we could take to achieve  this (let go of anger, wrath, malice and slander; stop fornicating, being impure or too passionate) but the real road map for any Christian to follow comes from the Beatitudes, either the Matthew 5 version of them, or the Luke 6, which we read today. For we are most united with God, when we finally understand that it's in  our suffering, our poverty, our grief and our own darkness that we experience God's love for  us the most. This is something the Martyrs of the faith always have before them. How could they recant their faith when they know that Christ is always within them, before and behind them. 

Colossians 3:
 1 - 11

1If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
3For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
6On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
7In these you once walked, when you lived in them.
8But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.
9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices
10and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
11Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scyth'ian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

Psalms 145: 2 - 3, 10 - 13

2Every day I will bless thee, and praise thy name for ever and ever.
3Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
10All thy works shall give thanks to thee, O LORD, and all thy saints shall bless thee!
11They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power,
12to make known to the sons of men thy mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of thy kingdom.
13Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.
Luke 6: 20 - 26

20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21"Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.
22"Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!
23Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
24"But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation.
25"Woe to you that are full now, for you shall hunger. "Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
26"Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

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