Saint for the day: Callistus (died c. 222)
Ephesians 1:11-14 – Psalm 33 – Luke 12:1-7
“Whoever wishes to come after me, must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me, says the Lord.” (Today’s ‘Communion Antiphon: Matthew 16:24)
The life of today’s saint, Callistus, should give all of us hope since he was faced with many difficulties in his up and down life as pope. Sometimes we sit here in our 21st C world and think, “what a mess everything is. Our world – and Church – are going to Hell in a hand basket!” Yet all we have to do is look at history to see that there have always been problems and Holy Mother Church has not always resolved them in a “gospel sort of way.”
I say that should give us hope in that in spite of our failure to act according to the Gospels God is still able to restore us and bring us back into union with that for which we seek. Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.“ A light that darkness could not overpower. Everything done in darkness will be revealed in light! Scary? Sure. But we should come to it with the realization that Jesus is more concerned to save us than to damn us.
If Callistus (and his nemesis, Hippolytus) can both be considered “saints” there is hope for you and me! And the same can be said of those who think that “the Church” is falling apart because of extremes in orthodoxy and/or liberation. This is not the first time that there have been ‘scuffles’ over one thing or another and it certainly won’t be the last. Bottom line: WE are the Church and that Church can be no better or worse than we, it’s members, make it. God has gifted us with His Holy Spirit – a “spirit” of creativity – to do our best to keep it going according to the Gospels and the words and teachings of Jesus. It’s not “us against ‘them” but it is us for us that will keep the Church on the right track. No room here for us to say, “It’s not working! Let’s jump ship, divide the spoils and … (you fill in the rest!) The Church is not going to be “good” because of “them” but because of you and me. Amen!