Today, as we celebrate the memorial of Sts John Fisher & Thomas More, Shane Hyland, Leader of School Evangelisation at St Joseph’s Regional College reads from the Gospel of Matthew (6: 19-23) in which Jesus says, ‘Anyone who finds his life will lose it, anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.’

Shane says this is a hard teaching. It is reflective of our need to have difficult conversations about our deeply held belief about the world and our purpose in it. Sometimes our Catholic faith is a source of conflict when we come into contact with those who subscribe to other ways of living.

This teaching follows on from Jesus’ teaching us to love our enemies. So it’s not as though he is teaching us here to abandon people because they believe differently to us. It is a teaching that helps us to challenge ourselves to love those most dear to us who may live differently.

The end of this passage also tells us that we need to take up our cross. Without taking up our cross we cannot accompany those who think differently. We must, first of all, be witnesses and lose our self-centred tendencies or what Jesus calls here, our life, in order that we find our real purpose, that is, our life in him.

Saints John Fisher and Thomas Moore both held their ground against King Henry VIII in defence of Marriage and of the Catholic church. Bishop John Fisher stated that he would rather die like John the Baptist did in defence of marriage. Moore like Fisher rejected the kings claim that he was the head of the church over and against the Pope. They were both beheaded for their opposition to the King.

So, on this memorial of two martyrs and defenders of the church, Shane invites us to ask St John Fisher and St Thomas More to pray for us.