NOVEMBER 10, 2013
READINGS: 2 Mc 7: 1-2, 9-14; 2 Thes 2: 16-3: 5; Lk 20: 27-38
DYING FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN
In one of the countries where the Church is still being persecuted, a group of Christians gathered inside the Church for prayers. Suddenly, the door was opened and a man with an assault gun bumped in pointing the gun on all the Christians. Their prayer was interrupted, they gazed on his scary face with fear and trembling. Then the gun man said to them, “If you know that you believe in Christ, stay here and do not move; but if you know that you do not believe in Christ, leave this Church quickly before the count of three.” What do you think happened? There was a stampede as some of the Christians rushed out of the Church. When they were all gone, there came a soft smile on the face of the gun man as he dropped the gun. He then said to them, can we continue with the prayers. They were worried and not sure what the drama could turn into. So, they asked him whether he was a Christian and he answered yes. They asked him why he frightened them with a gun. He explained that he wanted to know those who truly believe in Christ.
My dear friends, today’s first reading calls us to die for what we believe in. The seven young men were convinced in their belief that to eat pork meant violating the law of their ancestors and offending God. So, they preferred to be murdered than transgressing the law of God. That is what I call “dying for what you believe in.” They were tortured and they saw their brothers being executed before them, yet they stood their ground. They could not done this if they were not convinced because one cannot die for something that he or she is not convinced of. If you are convinced of a particular project or business, you can invest your time, energy and money in it. You will be convinced that it is a risk worth taking. If we drive the matter home to our own faith and spirituality, what will be our position? Are we convinced of our faith or are we going to rush out at challenging moments when we need to declare our faith? Can we die for our faith? Are we ready to die instead of breaking the commandments of God?
As we gradually approach the end of the year of faith, let us work harder towards a deeper conviction of our faith in Christ Jesus. Let this conviction be made visible in our active participation in the life and activities of our parish.
Rev Faustinus Okeyikam, MSP