Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

This is my homily for the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Antioch.

The great gift of the martyrs, it seems to me, is to see rightly: to clearly perceive that which is important and that which fades away.

Last weekend, I was in Chicago with Father O’Connor for some meetings at Mundelein and stopped by the grave of an old friend.  As we prayed, we did not see my friend.  His body was gone, never to be seen or touched again this side of paradise. 

But what did last was his faith, which keeps returning to me in stories remembered, acts of faith and words never forgotten.

Some day someone, perhaps even some of you, will plant my body in the earth, like a grain of wheat.  And what will remain will be nothing of what you see, only what has touched the heart with faith and hope and love.

So let us be like Saint Ignatius today, and center our lives on what truly matters…what lasts and lives once the grain of wheat has been planted in the earth in expectation of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.