Jan 13 — Memorial for St. Hilary, bishop and doctor of the Church
St. Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) was known as Athanasius of the West. He was born to wealthy polytheistic, pagan nobility. His early life was uneventful as he married, had children (one of whom was St. Abra), and studied on his own. Through his studies, he came to believe in salvation through good works, and then monotheism. As he studied the Bible for the first time, he literally read himself into the faith, and was converted by the end of the New Testament.
Hilary lived the faith so well that he was made Bishop of Poitiers from 353-368. He opposed the emperor’s attempt to run Church matters and was exiled; he used the time to write works explaining the faith. His teaching and writings converted many and, in an attempt to reduce his notoriety, he was returned to the small town of Poitiers, where his enemies hoped he would fade into obscurity. His writings nonetheless continued to convert pagans.
Hilary introduced Eastern theology to the Western Church, fought Arianism with the help of St. Viventius, and was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1851.
- Patron Saint Index
“Christ too shared equally in it”
There is a saying in Singapore — “Kia si”, or “Afraid to die”. The joke is that Singaporeans are afraid of anything that will put them in jeopardy, be it their personal lives, or careers. It is for this reason, it is said, that many Singaporeans tend to be more reticent, preferring to keep their views to themselves in order to maintain their safety.
In today’s First Reading, it talks about how people have been kept in slavery through their fear of death. While there is a Jewish concept of the afterlife, there are differing views about how this would happen.
In the Christian faith however, physical death would only allow one to move on to the next stage of one’s life. Essentially, one’s soul never does die and physical death does only give rise to the death of the body, and not anything else.
Jesus is our model, not because of the fact that He is our God. Instead, He is our model because He was man. He walked amongst us and truly understands what it means to be human. He does not lead and guide us from a position of power. Instead, He leads and guides us as a true brother. He knows.
Let us continue to seek Him. To live our lives fully and without fear. Let us not be ‘kia si’ (‘afraid to die’).
(Today’s Oxygen by Paul Wee)
Prayer: We pray for strength to lead our lives fully, and without fear. We ask You Father, to always recognise that our lives is more than just our time on earth.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for being our model of faith, Lord Jesus. Help us to walk in Your steps every day!