Pope lauds courageous choices of modern martyrs

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in remembrance of Bishops and Cardinals who died during the past year on November 4 2013 Credit Alberto Chincilla CNA CNA 11 4 13 Pope Francis celebrates a Nov. 4 Mass for the dead. | Alberto Chincilla/CNA.

In his daily homily, Pope Francis spoke of the faithfulness of God, highlighting the importance of trusting him with one's life, and praising those who maintain this trust despite grave persecutions.

"We think of so many mothers, of so many fathers of families, that everyday make definitive choices to go forward with their family, with their children," the Pope expressed during his Nov. 25 daily Mass, adding that "this is a treasure for the Church."

Pope Francis directed his words to those who were present for Mass inside the chapel of the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse.

The Pope began his homily by reflecting on the figures in both of the day's readings who illustrate the importance of trusting God, even in the midst of difficult situations.

He first spoke of the faith of the young Jewish men in the Book of Daniel who were slaves of King Nebuchadnezzar and who remained faithful to the Lord despite the king's threats to kill them.

Afterwards, he recalled how Jesus praised the trust of the poor widow in the Gospel who gave two small coins as an offering, saying that "those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."

"Both of them - the widow and the youth - have risked something," noted the Pontiff, "in their risk they chose the Lord, with a big heart, without personal interest, without pettiness."

"They did not have a stingy attitude," he stated, emphasizing that "the Lord, the Lord is everything. The Lord is God and they entrusted themselves to the Lord."

Making this act of trust was not done "out of a - permit me the word - fanatical intention, no," explained the Pope, saying that instead, "They did it for a different reason: they have trusted, because they know the Lord is faithful."

"They have trusted this fidelity which is always there, because the Lord cannot change, he cannot: he is always faithful, he cannot be unfaithful, he cannot deny himself."

Choosing to be faithful, the Pope continued, is equally important in both smallest and the most difficult situations, highlighting how throughout the history of the Church we see that there are "men, women, old, young, that make this choice."

"When we listen to the life of the martyrs, when we read in the papers of the persecution against Christians today," he observed, "we think of these brothers and sisters in extreme situations that make this choice."

Martyrs "live in our time," he stressed, adding that "they are an example for us, and their example encourages us to commit all our lives for the treasure of the Church."

Pope Francis concluded his homily by encouraging those present "to remember our brothers and sisters that, in all of our history, even today, make significant choices."

"They give us a testimony," he affirmed, stating that "in front of so many that give us a testimony we ask the Lord for the grace of courage."

"Courage to go forward in our Christian life, in normal situations, common to all of us, of everyday and even in extreme situations."

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