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This is day 6 in our Lenten journey. How are you doing? Have you identified something that comes between you and God ?

One of the things that Jesus identified in the Sermon on the Mount as often coming between us and our Father in heaven is the temptation to give up. There is a story about a man whose name was Polycarp. He was the Bishop of Smyrna in Asia Minor for about 40 years. In the year 156 the Roman authorities launched a persecution of Christians. Polycarp was caught and brought into the public arena where he was urged to curse Jesus Christ. He replied, “For 86 years I have been his servant, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme against my King and Saviour?” There upon he was tied to a stake, and as he prayed, the wood at his feet was set ablaze. But the flames could not touch him and a gladiator was sent in to kill him.

Polycarp’s example of not giving up strengthened the Christian community throughout the days of persecution that followed, and into the more peaceful time beyond. We give thanks for Polycarp on February 23.

Bible Reading: Matthew 5: 1-3, 10-12