Divine Office | Christ has called us to his kingdom and glory

In today's Office of Readings we encounter a reading from St Ignatius of Antioch's letter to the Church of Smyrna (d. 107 A.D.). He was the second bishop of Antioch after St Peter (the first being Evodius). He was arrested (some writers believe that he must have been denounced by a fellow-Christian), condemned to death, and transported to Rome to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena. In one of his letters he describes the soldiers who were escorting him as being like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.” In the course of his journey he wrote seven letters to various churches, in which he dealt wisely and deeply with Christ, the organisation of the Church, and the Christian life. They are important documents for the early history of the Church, and they also reveal a deeply holy man who accepts his fate and begs the Christians in Rome not to try to deprive him of the crown of martyrdom. He was martyred in 107. For a reflection, "Christ has called us to his kingdom and glory," please click on the image. Peace be with you!