"Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let no one among you be made to suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer. But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed but glorify God because of the name. For it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, how will it end for those who fail to obey the gospel of God? "And if the righteous one is barely saved, where will the godless and the sinner appear?" As a result, those who suffer in accord with God's will hand their souls over to a faithful creator as they do good." (1 Peter 4: 12-19)
For Mass this morning, I chose to celebrate the optional memorial of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, martyrs; I was drawn to the readings presented in the lectionary for the memorial as well. The Epistle struck me as all together relevant to what we are experiencing as Catholics in our day and time. If persecution must come, it is good that we face it with perspective, with our eyes wide open.
Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, one a bishop and one a layman, pray for us!