Faithfulness - no matter what
It is very unlikely that you or I would ever face torture of such a horrific intensity and magnitude or even its "modern" equivalents.
We may thank God that we may not be put to such a test, and yet we should take the opportunity of this reading to reflect on the challenges to our faith that we ourselves face.
Sadly, whereas the faithful men and women of old so often remained true to the law of God despite the most painful of tortures, you and I too often choose to break the rules of God rather than endure a little discomfort: from the discomfort of resisting the temptations of the flesh to the discomfort of being unpopular.
It is just a little thing, we rationalize, it doesn’t really mean anything – I still love God and that won’t change just because I... (fill in the blank).
(Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, be merciful to me - a sinner.)
The old man in today’s first reading died a slow, painful death rather than eat pork in violation of the law God gave to Moses and he did not even have the example of Christ, as you and I have.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – who suffered, died, and rose again for our sakes – give us the grace and the strength to be absolutely faithful to him and his truth, no matter what pain, discomfort, or loss we may fear or endure.
(adapted from a previous post)