26 Sep

Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.  (Wis 3:5-6)

Today, the Church celebrates the memorial of Cosmas and Damian.

We know very little about their lives.  All we know for sure is that they suffered martyrdom in Syria during the persecution of Diocletian.

And that is enough.

The martyrs gave their lives for the sake of the Kingdom of God.  They allowed their blood to be shed for the sake of the name of Jesus.

In the early 300’s when all attempts were being made to eradicate the Church, there were many who stood up for the faith and paid the ultimate price.

Given a choice between renouncing the name of the Lord, Jesus and living or holding firm to the faith and dying, these brave souls chose death because they knew a very simple truth:  it is not the kingdom of this world for which we long; but, rather, the Kingdom of God.

And if we must get to that Kingdom by suffering and dying, so be it.

The author of the Book of Wisdom tells us that the souls of the just are in the hands of God.  He also tells us that God’s faithful are often tried and proved, as gold in the furnace.

God is the refiner.

We, the final product of His work, upon completion, are called to Him.

That makes any suffering that we may be subjected to here on earth more than worth it.

FAITH ACTION:  Are the trials in your life weighing you down?  Do you often lose heart?  Do not be alarmed.  God is at your side.  Ask God to receive your many sacrifices this day and to use them as He sees fit.