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Friday, February 4, 2022

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Sirach 47:2-11
Psalm 18:31, 47, 50-51
Mark 6:14-29

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seeing red

“He promptly dispatched an executioner, ordering him to bring back the Baptizer’s head. The man went and beheaded John in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.” —Mark 6:27-28

This week the Church has been seeing red, blood red. We remember the bloody deaths of Sts. John the Baptizer, Blase, Agatha, Paul Miki and companions. From Jerusalem, to Japan, to Rome, from the time of Christ to the present day, Christians have been laying down their lives for and in imitation of the Master, Jesus.

At this moment, thousands of Christians await execution, and some have already died today. We live in an age of martyrs. Never before in almost two thousand years of Christianity has the “quota” of martyrs been so quickly filled (Rv 6:11). This is one of the signs that we are nearing the end of the world and Christ’s second coming (Lk 21:12). Communists, fundamentalist Muslims, secularists, and others rage against Christians across much of the world. Some, like Herod, use brutality and violence (Mk 6:28). Others use a subtle approach, even more devastating than murder-martyrdoms.

Let us never forget these brothers and sisters following the Master literally to death. Let’s pray that their witness bears great fruit and that they persevere to the end.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank You for martyrs dying today. Strengthen them with fresh hope and courage.

Promise:  “With [David’s] every deed he offered thanks to God Most High, in words of praise. With his whole being he loved his Maker and daily had His praises sung.” —Sir 47:8

Praise:  Every night Mark and his family pray for those who died that day, some of whom may have been martyred.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Riding Out the Storm, listen to, download or order our CD 69-1 or DVD 69 on our website.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from February 01/2022 through March 31, 2022 Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio June 16, 2021"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.