The Boxer Rebellion or the Boxer Uprising was an anti-imperialist uprising which took place in China towards the end of the 20th century.
It was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness (Yihetuan),known in English as the “Boxers,” and was motivated by proto-nationalist sentiments and opposition to foreign imperialism and associated Christian missionary activity.
The well-trained, athletic young men were referred to as “Boxers,” because of the martial arts and physical exercises that they practiced.
On one such occasion, during this Boxer Rebellion, some insurgents captured a Christian mission school and blocked all the gates but one.
In front of that one gate, was placed a Cross – flat on the ground.
Then the word was passed to those inside that any who trampled the cross underfoot would be permitted their freedom and life, but that any refusing would be shot.
Terribly frightened, the first seven students trampled the cross under their feet and were allowed to go free.
But the eighth student – a young girl – refused to commit the sacrilegious act.
Kneeling beside the cross in prayer for strength, she arose and moved carefully around the cross, and went out to face the firing squad.
Strengthened by her example, every one of the remaining ninety-two students followed her to the firing squad!
The example of the one brave and faithful child inspired others to also be bold in their defence of faith.
These children, strong and courageous, laid down their lives, to be obedient to their faith.
>> Fear of death could not strangle their faith!
>> Fear of persecution could not suppress their conviction!
The Gospel of the Day is a mighty invitation by Jesus to remain steadfast and bold even in the face of persecutions in defence for our faith in Him.
And this steadfastness is in imitation of Jesus, our Master, who Himself underwent a miserable series of pain, persecution , suffering and humiliation, and yet remain totally faithful to His Mission.
Jesus says, “If the world hates you, realise that it hated me first… If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (Jn 15: 18, 20b)
The Lord is very clear in His teaching and preaching:
>> Friendship with Jesus would mean hostility from the world.
>> Non-compromise with Jesus’ teaching would result in antagonism from the world.
Our Lord Himself had to undergo this pain of rejection, persecution and opposition throughout His life…
>> At His birth, King Herod sought to terminate His life
>> After Baptism, Satan sought to tempt Him out of His mission.
>> During His ministry, the Pharisees and Scribes would misunderstand and misjudge Him
The Lord alerts His disciples that the same will be true in their lives too, if they too chose to remain faithful to their vocation.
As a follower of the Lord, we too need to be aware that sufferings and hardships on being Christian is sure to come our way.
What is our attitude and disposition to these trials that we face because of our faith in Christ?
Do we be bold and courageous…
… even when we are to face isolation or seclusion due to standing firm in our values and principles in the Lord?
Do we live our life in joy and calmness…
… even when we have to face misunderstandings and become an object of laughter, or called as “old-traditionalist” as a result of being staunch in following the Gospel values?
>> The world constantly ensnares us with temptations to abandon the Cross…
>> The evil one very often traps us with hardships to dilute our faith in the Lord…
Are we going to yield in to such temptations and enticements…
>> Or are we prepared to face any amount of difficulty, to uphold our Faith in the Lord?
Are we going to stamp the Cross of Christ and Faith in Him…
>> Or are we bold and courageous to sustain our witnessing to Jesus in the world?
God Bless! Live Jesus!