Feb 23 – Memorial for St. Polycarp, bishop and martyr
St. Polycarp (69-155) was an associate of, converted by, and disciple of St. John the Apostle. He was a friend of St. Ignatius of Antioch, and he fought Gnosticism. He was the Bishop of Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey), and was a revered Christian leader during the first half of the second century.
The Asia Minor churches recognized Polycarp’s leadership and chose him as representative to Pope Anicetus on the question of the date of the Easter celebration. Only one of the many letters written by Polycarp has survived — the one he wrote to the Church of Philippi, Macedonia.
At 86, Polycarp was to be burned alive in a stadium in Smyrna, but the flames did not harm him and he was finally killed by a dagger, and his body burned. The ‘Acts’ of Polycarp’s martyrdom are the earliest preserved reliable account of a Christian martyr’s death. He is considered an Apostolic Father of the Church.
– Patron Saint Index
“Your will be done”
Do we trust God in times of uncertainty?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to be retrenched from their jobs. Personally, I am still looking for a job. However, with the economy being in such a bad state, I wonder if I may eventually have to settle for a job with a lower monthly paycheck. One of my friends, who is disabled, has recently graduated from university; and one year later, he still cannot find a full-time job. Telling people at this time, “Let God’s will be done, and everything will fall into place” may appear to be counter intuitive.
Yet, I have realized that despite all the turmoil and turbulence, there is still hope in the world. Two disabled friends of mine have gotten their dream jobs, and they’ve been inspiring me to pursue my job search relentlessly. Just last week, I was called for three interviews, and I am now waiting for the outcome of these interviews.
I have also discovered the joy of patience during these difficult times, that God will eventually work out something in our favour. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Sometimes, we may feel that the Lord is not listening to us or He might be ignoring us, but we need to have the faith that He will help us, or even that He is helping us right at the moment. And that whatever job we get, whether or not we will get our dream job or not, it is a blessing from Him. And it will be our duty to glorify God in our work, just as it is our duty to glorify Him in our words and actions.
In the meantime, let us pray for each other to find meaningful employment so that we can put food on our tables to feed our families, and settle our bills and payments.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Brenda Khoo)
Prayer: Dear Lord, for those among us who are struggling to find employment, please help us to develop our faith and patience in our job search, and to not give up hope. Please also help us to accept whatever job we are given, and to glorify You in our job through our words and actions. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank You for always taking care of us and wanting the best for us. For those among us who are struggling to find a job, thank you for giving us the hope, perseverance and determination to continue our job hunt. And for those among us who have gotten or are retained in a job, thank you for this blessing, and may you grant us the grace to help our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, who are in need of employment. Amen.