Because we are the Body of Christ. We suffer together. We grieve together. We persevere together.
We are the Body of Christ. We get up when we fall. We move forward when we stumble. We forgive when we are wounded.
St. Teresa of Avila once famously said that Christ has no body on earth but yours -- he needs our eyes, hands, and feet to do his work.
We are the Body of Christ. We continue what Christ began.
And as the Body of Christ, we also await a resurrection.
That is our greatest hope.
The people of Our Lady of Salvation understand that. Their prayers and lit candles and continued presence in a place of destruction stand as a testament to that -- a beautiful hope that will not die.
"They will seize you and persecute you," Christ said. "You will be hated because of my name." But he also added: "It will lead to your giving testimony."
It is a testimony that the persecuted people of Iraq give with every moment of their lives -- just by staying together, and praying together, and hoping together.
This Sunday, pray for them. Pray for the families struggling to keep their faith, and finish their prayers.
Pray for all of the members of the Body of Christ around the world who carry the cross of persecution. Their wounds are our wounds, their loss is our loss. Pray that they can persevere and, as Christ said, "secure their lives."
And so we pray to our Blessed Mother . . .
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Our Lady of Salvation, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs . . . Pray for us.