Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20 - The Feast Day of St. Sebastian

I know the power obedience has of making things easy which seem impossible. - Teresa of Avila

Gospel text (Mc 3,13-19):
He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles,
that they might be with him
and he might send them forth to preach
and to have authority to drive out demons:
He appointed the Twelve:
Simon, whom he named Peter;
James, son of Zebedee,
and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges,
that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus;
Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Sebastian became widely known from the early centuries of the Church. As a Roman captain, he became known for his goodness and bravery. During the persecution by Diocletian, Sebastian would not renounce his Christian faith. Archers shot arrows into his body and left him for dead. When a holy widow came to bury him, she was shocked to find him still alive. She took him to her home and nursed his wounds. When Sebastian was well enough, the widow tried to persuade him to escape the dangers of Rome. But Sebastian was a brave soldier. He would not run away. He even approached Diocletian and urged him to stop persecuting the Christians.
The emperor was shocked to see Sebastian alive. He refused to listen to what the soldier had to say. Diocletian ordered that Sebastian be immediately clubbed to death. He died in 288.

Reflection: How often do we act in fear instead of trusting Jesus? Again and again, Jesus invites us to come to him. His love casts out all our fear. All he asks is our trust in him.

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