St Ignatius of Antioch
“You load on men burdens that you yourselves do not move a finger to lift.”
Today is the feast day of St Ignatius of Antioch, who was the bishop of Antioch, which was an important Christian community in the first century. He was martyred for his faith but wrote on the way to his death, “It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth. Only let me attain to Jesus Christ.” He inspired others through his words and actions, and showed how great his faith and love for God were by giving up his life.
How does St Ignatius compare to the Pharisees and lawyers in Jesus’ time in his following of God? They were very strict in imposing rules on others, but showed no mercy or compassion. St Ignatius did not ask anyone to do what he would not do himself. He was full of energy, instead of being an empty tomb. He did not take the seat of honour, but was put to death by his enemies. His example of faith has been passed down to us ever since. If we follow the example of St Ignatius as a disciple of Jesus, we will still have an effect on people in 2,000 years as he did.