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Millennial writer Mike Jordan Laskey has a new article at NCR. He writes:
The word “martyr” means witness, and these Syrian witnesses blow me away. Their everyday lives make them more personally intimate with the story of St. Stephen than most of us ever will be. Yet, confronted by unimaginable violence, they showed up to worship the Prince of Peace together. They showed up. They showed up….
“I’ll tell you something,” Pope Francis said during his St. Stephen’s Day homily. In his customary directness, it felt as if he was speaking right at me and my fellow comfortable Christians: “The number of martyrs today is greater than in the early centuries [of the church]. When we read the history of the early centuries, here in Rome, we read about so much cruelty to Christians. It’s happening today too, in even greater numbers.”
“Today we want to think of them and be close to them with our affection, our prayer and also our tears,” he continued. “The hardships and dangers notwithstanding, they offer courageous witness by belonging to Christ, and they live the Gospel committing themselves in favor of the least, of the most overlooked, doing good to all without distinction. They testify to charity in truth.”
Here is some inspiration for a worthwhile New Year’s resolution. Belong to Jesus. Live the Gospel. Favor the least and the overlooked. Do good to all without distinction. Draw energy from the courageousness of Martin Luther King Jr., the Aleppo Christians and St. Stephen. In other words: Be a witness, for Christ’s sake.
You can read the full article here.