October 17, 2015

Ignatius of Antioch

October 17, 2015:  St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

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St. Ignatius of Antioch

Universalis profile:  2nd bishop of Antioch after St. Peter; wrote letters about Christ, Church structure, and Christian life.  Arrested, sentenced to death, thrown to wild beasts in the arena; described soldiers escorting him as like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.”  See WikipediaCatholic Encyclopedia.
    Today's patristic reading is the famous excerpt from his letter to the Romans; look below "I am God's wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals." Here's the whole lettercontext, and more, also from Universalis.


    The process and the substance of the Synod are constitutive and expressive of the Church’s nature and mission.  'Journeying together' [from Gk. σύνοδος], laity, pastors, and the Bishop of Rome, is easy to say but not so easy to do.  Each person has a place in the Church, and the key to journeying well together is listening.  A synodal Church is a Church of mutual listening in which everyone learns:  the faithful, bishops, and the Bishop of Rome, listening to each other and the Spirit of truth to know what he's saying to the Churches.
    The Synod is the convergence point of this dynamism:  listening conducted at all levels of Church life, starting with the people, who participate in Christ’s prophetic office and have a right and duty to be heard on topics that touch Church life.  Then come the Synod Fathers, through whom the bishops act as stewards, interpreters, and witnesses of the faith of the Church, which they must distinguish from public opinion.  Finally, the process culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, called on to speak authoritatively as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, not on the basis of his personal beliefs, but as the supreme witness of the Church's Faith, the guarantor of the Church’s conformity with and obedience to God's will, the Gospel, and the Tradition of the Church.  The Synod always acts cum Petro et sub Petro (with and under Peter); that doesn't restrict freedom but guarantees unity.  The Pope is the visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and the faithful.
    Read
    Weekday
    • Rom 4:13, 16-18  It was through righteousness coming from faith that the promise was made to Abraham that he would inherit the world.  It depends on faith, so that it may be a gift, and the promise may be guaranteed to those who follow in faith.  He believed he'd become the father of many nations:  "Thus shall your descendants be."
    • Ps 105:6-9, 42-43  "The Lord remembers his covenant for ever."  The Lord, is our God; his judgments prevail.  He led forth his people with joy.
    • Lk 12:8-12  “Whoever acknowledges me before others the Son will acknowledge before the angels, but whoever denies me will be denied before the angels.  Whoever speaks a word against the Son will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme against the Spirit won't.  When they take you before synagogues, rulers, and authorities, don't worry about how to defend yourself or what to say; the Spirit will teach you at that moment.”
    Memorial
    Wordle: Readings 10-17-14 Ignatius
    • Phil 3:17-4:1  Imitate me; stand firm.  We're citizens of heaven; Christ will change our body to conform with his.
    • Ps 34:2-9  "The Lord delivered me from all my fears."  Praise God always.  Look to him; be radiant.  He saved me, saves all who fear him.  Taste and see Lord's goodness; take refuge.
    • Jn 12:24-26  If a wheat grain dies, it produces fruit; otherwise it's just a grain.  If you love life, lose it.  To serve me, follow me; Father will honor you.
     Reflect
    • Creighton:  “Acknowledging the Divine”:  We are to acknowledge God and keep in our hearts God's fidelity and presence.  Before we ever stumbled upon faith, God acknowledged and called us.  We're always on God’s mind.  When we realize Christ's attention to us, it's only appropriate we contemplate and acknowledge his compassion and care.  While we were trying to find God, God had found us....
      Unless a grain of wheat...
    • One Bread One Body:  "Where have all the martyrs gone?":  'Martyr' ('witness') denotes one killed for their faith.  They depend on faith in the face of persecution.  Whether or not we die for our faith, we're called to give our lives for Christ.  We must have the marks of the cross, acknowledge Jesus, and bear our cross so people can see his life manifested in ours.  Abraham wasn't a martyr but gave his life for the Lord, bearing hardship for him.  We're called to be like Abraham, carrying our cross for God.  We follow the Lord where he leads, denying ourselves so as to take on his interests.  If you live for Jesus, you're likely to be persecuted, but your savior is on your side....
    • Passionist:  If Abraham was to be the father of many nations, the members of that family would need to be like him.  Their oneness with him would depend on their faith, not the things they did.  They'd share in his righteousness through faith, not works.  Faith keeps our hearts open to the flow of God’s love.  Jesus tells us the only sin that can't be forgiven is what closes the heart to the flow of God’s forgiving grace.  The flow of the Spirit puts us into oneness with God.  Because of our intimacy with Jesus, he can speak through us by the Spirit who dwells within us.  Faith makes us a channel through which flows God's power and love.  May we let it flow....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "The Spirit will teach you what to say":  Jesus assures his disciples the Spirit will give them what they need but warns them it's possible to reject God's grace.  Blasphemy is uttering hatred, reproach, or defiance against God; it's contrary to the respect we owe.  A sin can only be unforgivable if repentance is impossible.  If someone repeatedly closes their heart to God, they can no longer recognize him.  But fear of such a sin is a sign you know you need God; you're not dead to him.  God's mercy is limitless, but we can reject it.  God gives sufficient grace to all who call upon him....  Our hope and confidence is the free gift of his Son.  Is my hope securely placed in him?
    Dress legend
    • 'Angel' pin:  The Son will acknowledge before the angels all who acknowledge him before others (gospel)
    • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Those who blaspheme against the Spirit won't be forgiven (gospel); the Spirit will teach you what to say (gospel)
    • 'Ruler' tie bar:  When they take you before synagogues, 'rulers,' and authorities, don't worry.... (gospel)
    • 'Blood drop' pin, red shirt:  martyrdom of St. Ignatius
    • Crucifix:  redemption in Christ Jesus, savior, whom God set forth as an expiation, by his blood (feast 1st reading)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  "unless a grain of wheat dies..." (feast gospel); St. Ignatius, wheat of Christ (feast)
    • 'Lion' pin:  St. Ignatius ground by beasts (feast)