September 16, 2010
+Saints Cornelius and Cyprian
II Cor. 4: 7 – 15
John 17: 11 – 19
Today is the Liturgical Memorial of two early Martyrs, Cornelius, who was a pope and Cyprian, who was a bishop.
Whenever the Church invites us to honor the martyrs, we are able to recall the words of Jesus from the Gospel “Unless one takes up his cross and follows me, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14: 25 – 33).
Crosses come to us in various weights and sizes, each one fitted to the shoulder of him who is asked to carry it. In our time, when there is a concerted effort to eliminate all suffering of every kind, many of our contemporaries no longer understand the ascetical or penitential aspect of suffering.
In and of itself, suffering is not a good; it must be joined to something else; it must have a value beyond what is felt and experienced.
For us, who are followers of Christ, all suffering, both moral and physical, must be seen and understood in the light of Good Friday.
It is the sufferings of Jesus which give meaning and redemptive value to human suffering.
When you and I unite all of our sorrows, sufferings, anxieties, contradictions and paradoxes to the sufferings of Christ on the Cross, they are transformed into moments of Grace and opportunities for personal holiness.
Saint Cornelius and Saint Cyprian understood this as did all the apostles and saints who suffered martyrdom. May we draw strength from their example and may we ask Our Lady, the Mother of Sorrows, whose feast we celebrated yesterday, to accompany us on this journey.