Today, June 28, is the Memorial of St. Irenaeus of Lyons.
St. Irenaeus is famous as a Father of the Church, a theologian whose writings did much to combat gnosticism, and as the compiler of the oldest extant list that includes all those books, and only those books, that make up the canon of the New Testament.
St. Irenaeus was a disciple of St. Polycarp of Smyrna, who was a disciple of St. John the Apostle, the famous bishop-martyr, who is the subject of the earliest extant extra-biblical account of a Christian martyrdom.
St. Irenaeus was martyred under the persecution of Septimus Severus in the year 202.
During our family prayers for the Memorial of St. Irenaeus, we read an excerpt from St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy that could serve as good advise for those posting on social media:
“Beloved: Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord with purity of heart. Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels. A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the Devil’s snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will.” (2 Tim 2:22b-26)
It’s a good lesson to keep in mind.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.