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(LifeSiteNews) — On this episode of The Bishop Strickland Show, Bishop Joseph Strickland invites us to act like the first Christians in their approach to living the Gospel amid threats of persecution.

Bishop Strickland began the show by stating that abortion is really foundational to all the violence that we’re seeing, all the problems, all the lack of respect for human beings, not just the respect for their life … but just respect for persons, respect for their rights, respect for their freedoms, all of the things that this country is founded on.”

“The very best of America is respecting the rights of others, the right to free speech, the right to protect yourself. And all of those are eroding because there’s a lack of just basic respect for life,” he continued. 

His Excellency further commented on a letter by new USCCB president Archbishop Timothy Broglio that condemned a vote by the U.S. Senate last month which added abortion to health care coverage under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In the letter, Broglio also urged Catholics within the U.S. military to witness to the Gospel by advocating for the protection of the unborn and “to refuse any participation in the evil of abortion.”

We need to speak to the name of Jesus and say the name of Jesus means that every conceived child is sacred to God and we need to speak up for them,” Strickland said about Broglio’s letter.

His Excellency further commented on a recent law signed by radical pro-abortion Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz that makes the state a “haven” for those seeking to thwart other states’ laws against abortion, saying, “We need to really be very clearly against it because there are too many people being swept into this … evil attitude of disrespect for life. And the things you see are just more atrocious all the time. And we’ve got to speak against it because silence leaves us complicit with what’s happening.

Later in the episode, Bishop Strickland discussed the first martyrs of the Catholic faith in light of recent readings at the Ordinary Form of the Mass, saying, “They inspire us … all through the ages, from the first century to the 21st century, people have died for the faith that Jesus Christ died to share with us … And as the Church has said from those early times, ‘The blood of the martyrs is the seed of faith.’ And it’s that that reminds us what will you die for, and that your life in Christ is something we should all be willing to die for.”

Encouraging his listeners to imitate the first Christians in their willingness to become martyrs and make sacrifices for their belief in Christ, His Excellency continued: “And I think again, going back to the first century Christians … look at the apostles. They didn’t always get it right. You know, they scattered when Christ was on the cross, but they came back. And I think that hopefully inspires us as well. The apostles were real people, real men, failing, with sins, but ultimately they were willing to die rather than deny the faith.”

And we have to look to them to be a model of faith. And when we fail, when we’re weak, when maybe … they’re demanding something at work that is anti-faith or anti-Christian, anti-Catholic, maybe we knuckle under for a bit, but if we come back, we can be forgiven and strengthened to continue to live the faith,” he added. “So I think the saints, and the early Christian saints especially, can really inspire us to see the whole spectrum of human behavior. They’re not always getting it right, but they inspire us, especially the martyrs. They were willing to die rather than apostatize, and that inspires us.

His Excellency concluded his remarks by inviting Catholics to speak the Truth, saying that “as a bishop, really as any Christian in our own sphere of influence, we need to speak up. If we’re mothers and fathers, if we’re businesspeople, we need to speak up for the truth and not just go along with whatever the company’s saying, or whatever the rest of the family’s saying. We’ve got to, even when there’s resistance, and sometimes real sacrifice, we have to follow Christ who paid the ultimate sacrifice of His own divine and human life for us.

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