Beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing is something we have all heard. We may even apply it to this past political election and the negative discourse met on all sides. Such division was also experienced in the history of our Church. Some may say it is present in our Church today between progressive and traditional voices. Today’s saint, Saint Josaphat, was a Byzantine priest and archbishop who would be gruesomely martyred.
St. Josaphat lived at a time of division trying to reconcile the Orthodox and Catholic communities in Kiev. He attempted to bring unity between the Christians of his world and sought the reform of taxation practices within the Church. In 1623, a violent mob seized him, beat him and killed him, throwing his body into a river. Josaphat was a model of courage and strength amid the disunity of his day in the ongoing efforts in the Church.
In our day, we are called to work for unity and to be courageous models of strength amid adversity. While the Church still suffers from a lack of unity and our ongoing political enmity does not foretell a quick reconciliation, we must be the model for others to continue forward on the journey to the peace that only Christ can give. We may meet opposition, like Josaphat; however, like Paul in his imprisonment we can still communicate through this pandemic and social upheaval a word inspired by the Gospel. Graphic from © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.
The journey continues…