A patient sufferer, condemned by his enemies to work in a horse-stable, the good shepherd, Pope Marcellus, is our leader today to the King of Martyrs, Christ, our Good Shepherd.
Why must a human being suffer, physically, spiritually, or both? This has always been and ever will be, the great problem—indeed a problem and a riddle for the worldly individual, but not for the follower of Christ, who finds the answer at the foot of the Cross.
For the Christ-loving soul, there is no suffering for suffering sake, there is suffering only for Easter sake, with its peace and strength and never fading victory.
The mystery of the Cross is the great answer, a solution, which the carnal-minded man will never find. St. Marcellus found it, and having found it, suffered gladly as a true athlete of Christ. "I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou has upheld me and has not made my enemies to rejoice over me."
Let us pray: Sanctify this fast, O God, and mercifully enlightening the hearts of Thy faithful, do Thou hear favorable those to whom Thou grant the grace of devotion. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.