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In the weekday eucharistic lectionary for this day, we read from 2 Maccabees and Luke's version of the parable of the talents. Both are gruesome stories and speak of the violence that the early Christian community witnessed and experienced. For Christians such as we who live in relative peace and security, it is good for us to be reminded that there can be a cost to being a disciple and that cost is being paid by Christians in other parts of the world. Followers of other faiths are not exempt in a world where the state often demands more than what is rightfully the state's to claim.