"Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin." Lk 17:2
Sometimes it is an early event in our lives that causes us to pause and wonder about God and where God is taking us. St. Josaphat told a friend that as a boy when he was looking at an icon of the crucified Christ, a ray of light from the icon penetrated his own heart, an event he never forgot and which became the foundation of his spiritual life.
Today, Josaphat is honored not only for his martyrdom but as the patron of reunion between what the Second Vatican Council called our separated brethren and the Roman Catholic church. The word brethren is worthy of our reflection. When we look at all people as children of God, and as our brothers and sisters, our attitude changes. Though we may differ deeply with some of our brothers and sisters, we never denigrate them as persons. Rather, we hold up what is good and exemplary in their lives.
Most of us learned this lesson from our parents. Never wanting to separate from their children, parents insist on seeing the good in their children, even when their children separate from them politically and religiously.
That is what Josphat did, especially in his final hours. As a mob threatened his community, he asked: "Why are attacking my servants? Take your anger out on me,"St Josaphat and they did. Beaten, shot and beheaded, he died as any good father would in defense of his faith and his "children."
Today, pray for reunion among Christians.
Have you had an experience of Christ's love that continues to sustain you??