Jesus sees Matthew in the custom-house and says “Follow me”. Matthew responds immediately. He too has sins to be forgiven and he has, we can surmise, sat at his post mulling this over maybe for years. Was he awaiting the divine nudge? Later, a number of tax-gatherers join Jesus, and, presumably, Matthew, at dinner. Was Matthew’s sudden conversion such an attractive idea to them that they simply had to discover more?
The first Korean to be ordained a priest was Andrew Kim Taegon. He was executed a year later, just as thousands of others were in the course of that century. 103 of them were officially declared martyrs for the faith. The Korean martyrs remind us that faith makes us strong and steadfast in love. They were radical in their choice for Jesus, and died cruel deaths as a consequence.
Cardinal Francis-Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận was detained by the communist government in Vietnam for 13 years without trial. Nine of those years were spent in solitary confinement. In this blog, the now Venerable explains how the Eucharist became his only source of strength during his imprisonment.
Under the emperor Decius, Christians were ordered to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Many Christians, faced with dire threats of what would befall anyone failing to comply, apostasised. Later, St Cyprian supported Pope St Cornelius in readmitting people after a short time of penance.
This feast originated as a memorial of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, most of which were linked to the events of Good Friday. Mary had a unique share in our redemption, offering her Son’s life to the Lord, trusting that it was part of his plan.
The Feast celebrates the Cross, the instrument of our salvation, and is in many ways an extension of Good Friday. The Cross is a great and powerful sign of God’s love for us – a love stronger than death – and also a daily reality in our lives: the only true path to holiness.