One Minute Reflection – 26 January – The Memorial of St Polycarp (c 69 – c 155) Martyr and Apostolic Father of the Church, 1 John 3:10-16; Matthew 10:26-32
“And fear you not them who kill the body and are not able to kill the soul …” – Matthew 10:28
REFLECTION – “They did not nail Polycarp but only tied him up. And so, he was bound, putting his arms behind his back, like a noble ram taken from a large flock for sacrifice, a burnt offering acceptable to and made ready for God. Then he gazed up to Heaven and said: “O Lord God Almighty, Father of Your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through Whom we have received knowledge of You, God of the angels and the powers and of all creation, God of the whole race of the righteous who live in Your sight: I bless You, for You have thought me worthy of this day and hour, to share the cup of Your Christ, as one of Your Martyrs, to rise again to eternal life in body and soul in the immortality of the Holy Ghost. May I be taken up today into Your Presence among Your Martyrs, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, in the manner You have prepared and have revealed and have now brought to fulfillment, for You are the God of truth… And so also I praise You for all things; I bless and glorify you through our Eternal High Priest in Heaven (Heb 4,14), in Your beloved Child, Jesus Christ, through Whom be glory to You and to Him and to the Holy Ghost, now and for the ages to come. Amen.” – Letter of the Church of Smyrna concerning the Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp (69-155)
PRAYER – Lord of all creation, You gave St Polycarp, a place in the company of the Martyrs. Grant that, through his intercession, we may, like him, drink from that cup which Christ drank and so rise to eternal life. Through Christ our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.