God's Greatest Gift To You
by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday July 25, 2021
The 49 Christians were bound in chains as they stood in front of the government official who was dressed in his finest robes. "Why have you transgressed the imperial decree?" He scolded them like little children. The decree of which he spoke was promulgated by the Emperor Diocletian -- effective immediately-- throughout the Roman Empire in attempt to choke the Church. Christianity was spreading with a wild fires speed; he had to smother it. What better way than to burn their sacred Scriptures, outlaw the celebration of their rituals, and forbid the gathering of the Christian community on the Lord's Day, Sunday. It was the latter that caused this group to be arrested. "Why did you gather on Sunday in defiance of Rome?" To this question, a man by the name of Emeritus, stepped forward and looked confidently at the official. He answered simply: "Sine Domenico, non possumus" (Without Sunday, we would die). With those words, their fate was sealed. In the year 303, these 49 Christians prayed as they were tortured, until they were finally beheaded one by one. They died because they loved the Mass more than their own lives. Why you may wonder? What's the big deal about Sunday? At every Mass Jesus Christ makes himself fully present in the Most Holy Eucharist. And that my friends, is worth dying for.