We Can Do Nothing Else (((Homily )))
by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday November 22, 2020
It's the year 303AD, emperor Diocletian sits on the throne of Rome when a brilliant idea enters his head. He decrees that “the sacred texts and holy testaments of the Lord and the divine Scriptures be found, so that they could be burnt; the Lord’s basilicas were to be pulled down; and the celebration of sacred rites and holy reunions of the Lord were to be prohibited” (Acts of the Martyrs, I). Thus began one of Christianity's worse persecutions. A group of 49 Christians who would become known as the Martyrs of Abitene, defy the emperor and secretly meet at a clandestine Mass in the private home of Octavius Felix. Soldiers burst in and arrest everyone. What happens next would galvanize the rest of us.