“Being prepared to face any difficulty, to uphold our Faith in the Lord!”
(Based on Acts 16:1-10 and Jn 15:18-21 – Saturday of the 5th Week in Easter)
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?
Are we 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 difficulty, to uphold our Faith in the Lord?
Are we going to stamp the Cross of Christ and Faith in Him…
Or we bold and courageous to sustain our witnessing to Jesus in the world?
God Bless! Live Jesus!
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
HOW IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED? – Signs and symbols
A sacramental celebration is woven from signs and symbols. In keeping with the divine pedagogy of salvation, their meaning is rooted in the work of creation and in human culture, specified by the events of the Old Covenant and fully revealed in the person and work of Christ.
Signs of the human world. In human life, signs and symbols occupy an important place.
As a being at once body and spirit, man expresses and perceives spiritual realities through physical signs and symbols.
As a social being, man needs signs and symbols to communicate with others, through language, gestures, and actions. The same holds true for his relationship with God.
God speaks to man through the visible creation. The material cosmos is so presented to man’s intelligence that he can read there traces of its Creator.
Light and darkness, wind and fire, water and earth, the tree and its fruit speak of God and symbolize both his greatness and his nearness.
Inasmuch as they are creatures, these perceptible realities can become means of expressing the action of God who sanctifies men, and the action of men who offer worship to God.
The same is true of signs and symbols taken from the social life of man: washing and anointing, breaking bread and sharing the cup can express the sanctifying presence of God and man’s gratitude toward his Creator. (CCC # 1145-1148)