Jun 2 – Memorial for Sts Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs
Saints Marcellinus and Peter (sometimes called Petrus Exorcista – Peter the Exorcist: Marcellino e Pietro) are venerated within the Christian churches as martyrs who were beheaded. Hagiographies place them in 4th century Rome. They are generally represented as men in middle age, with tonsures and palms of martyrdom; sometimes they hold a crown each.
Next night, the Lord appeared to him and said: “Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome.”
Bearing the truth and standing by it is a task of unalloyed proportion; it welds the energy of resilience to the bar of assurance to pass the divine test of confidence. The fall of man [Gen. 3:10-11] began with disobedience; it resulted from the betrayal of truth. Truth is the constant of testimony Christ referred to as the witness we must bear knowing him. In today’s world of decaying conscience, truth is the albatross of reality people are struggling to conquer, in pushing through the environment of sins and compromised living order. In truth, there could be pains; but it is also the ultimate deliverance that rests on salvation. We cannot witness Our Lord Jesus Christ outside truth because salvation is only served on the platter of truth.
In 2015, two families in a community in South-South of Nigeria were embroiled in a land dispute and the death of an old woman, Mrs. Savage, the patriarch of one of the feuding families in suspicious circumstances caused a severe stir that tore the conscience of the community — the woman was strangled to death. Her family held the opposing family in the land dispute responsible. The problem was how this accusation would be proved. The elders of the community were worried and the ready option was to consult the gods of their oracle. This line of thought was going to pull down the wall of feelings among the Christians in the community, particularly for those who opposed the thought of approaching the oracle; but the problem remained, how would the riddle be solved? And yet, God remains supreme.
On the day the woman was killed, there was an occasion at the local Catholic Parish in the community. The altar boys were rounding up a week-long seminar organised by the parish priest, Rev Fr. James Tuse. One of the altar servers, Chibez, brought a video camera to cover the event’s last day. At the end of the occasion, he headed home, and as he approached late Mrs. Savage’s house he noticed a flock of birds on a tree and stopped to take shots to capture the birds. In the process, he captured Mr. Isidore coming out of late Mrs. Savage’s house; apparently, he was the one that killed Mrs. Savage (Mr. Isidore was from the opposing family accused of killing Mrs. Savage). The capture of Mr. Isidore in the camera and video was not intentional, so Chibez did not read any meaning to it. Some weeks later, when the death of Mrs. Savage ensued into communal desperation, Chibez took the video to Rev. Fr. James Tuse to look at, as the evidence that captured Mr. Isidore leaving late Mrs. Savage’s home on the day she was killed. The situation threw up the meaning of witnessing for truth, the constant that Christ talked about. Rev. Fr. Tuse called the elders of the community and played the video that implicated Mr. Isidore, who subsequently owned up to the crime. It shows that truth is the witness that remains a constant testimony in any circumstance or situation.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike, KSJI, KSG, JP)
Prayer: Lord, Our Father in Heaven, who superintends over the universe, help us not to stray away from the truth, guide us to live in truth according to your dictations. We trust that you will guide and help us through the paths of truth as we journey through the worries of this world. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, Our Father, thank you for helping and guiding us to see truth as a constant testimony of your reality. We thank you for this insight into what truth can achieve. Help us stand by the truth no matter the situation. Amen.