When our life passes on unrecognized and unappreciated ... when we are rebuffed or snubbed ... when faced with our inner poverty and emptiness ... do we witness the humility and meekness of Jesus?
When the exigencies of life overwhelm us ... when frustrations abound and threaten our peace ... when we weary of doing good ... do we witness the patience and gentleness of Jesus?
When painful memories surface ... when we are tempted to strike back in revenge ... when our own sinfulness and failures disgust and sadden us ... do we witness the forgiveness and love of Jesus?
When fatigue or sickness sets in and our bodies and spirits sag ... when we despair of our efforts to grow in holiness and wholeness ... when we have no desire to take up our cross each day ... do we confess Jesus as our strength and salvation?
When the shallow values and false security of the world attract us ... when boredom creeps in and dulls our hearts ...when the easy way out appeals to us ... do we confess Jesus to be the way, the truth and the life?
This is the martyrdom of everyday living -- and it belongs to all of us who follow the Lord. Do we lovingly embrace it in a spirit of gratitude and joy ... as an invitation to deepen our love relationship with our Beloved Bridegroom ... as an occasion to strengthen our faith in Him as Lord of both our own lives and all creation ... as an opportunity to confess to the world around us that Jesus alone is our God and our all?
In all the events of our lives, do we claim Jesus as our peace and joy, seeking refuge only in Him? Do we boldly proclaim with St. Paul and the martyrs of all the ages, "Yet in all this we are more than conquerors because of Him who has loved us" (Rom. 8, 37)? Regardless of circumstances, do we firmly believe that nothing will separate us from the love of Christ and therefore do we remain steadfast in faith, rejoicing in hope, clinging to the good, and counting it all joy?
Moment by moment life unfolds, inviting us to enter into its unique martyrdom and, therefore, to enter more deeply, more fully into the paschal mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ. What kind of martyr are we? To whom or what do we give witness?
Dear Lord, King of Martyrs, with your mercy ever before my eyes, may I give solid witness to you today in whatever martyrdom you chose for me. Amen.