“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!’….Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence they come?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know’. And he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’”
Rev. 7:9-10, 13-14
Love is humble. This vision of glory in heaven reassures the martyrs that their sacrifice is not in vain, and yet if asked if this glory is the reason they laid down their lives, they would say no: they did so out of love of Christ. In embracing their suffering and death, true martyrs do not think of themselves, but look to the Lord. In these days as many in the Church face trials, challenges and even persecution, their eyes must be on the Master and on him alone. Not even the taste of glory can make martyrdom palatable, but love can. We must always be humble, and even more so when we suffer lest we fall prey to arrogance and self-aggrandisement, and lose the blessing. We must remain servants.
Among our intentions, let us remember today, on St Genesius’s feast day, the men and women of the theatrical and cinematic arts.