Homily for the Memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
Again this morning, our readings are calling attention to the end times, reminding us of the fragility of life and the uncertainty about when the Lord is going to call us to return to Himself. This last week of the liturgical year is always an invitation for us to reflect on how we are living our lives. Have we taken our relationship with the Lord seriously? Have we followed all that He has taught us? Have we always striven to do His will? If we can’t answer those questions in the affirmative, then this should be our wake-up call.
The Father desires nothing more than to have us return to Him. But that takes effort on our part. We have to put in the work. We have to remain faithful to Him until death, when we do that, we will receive the crown of life…of eternal life with Him. That is something our saints for today, the Vietnamese martyrs, understood. They were told to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ or face death. They refused and were killed. They remained faithful to the Lord even in the midst of severe persecution and their reward was sainthood, was eternal life with God.
The same will be true for us. No, we won’t necessarily be forced to give our lives for the faith, but our faithfulness will be challenged on a daily basis. Will we remain rooted in God’s love and follow His will? Or will we be unfaithful and risk spending eternity separated from God? The choice is ours to make.