Wednesday, November 24, 1999
First Reading: Daniel 5: 1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
Psalms: Daniel 3: 59, 62-67
Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 12-19
Feast of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, priest, and his companion martyrs of Vietnam
On June 19, 1988, Pope John Paul II canonized a group of martyrs to the exalted position of saint, as recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. This group of martyrs consisted of 117 people who died for the Roman Catholic Faith in the nineteenth century in Vietnam. Among the group, Saint Andrew Dung-Lac is mentioned my name, most probably because he was a priest and the most visible. The majority of the canonized group remain unnamed. Nonetheless, the fact remains that these people all gave their lives preferring the Eternal Life with Christ to the worldly life that was offered to them. Andrew Dung-Lac was a diocesan priest in Vietnam. He was born around 1839. The information available does not state when, specifically, he died, but the fact of his death - a death by martyrdom - are authenticated by Holy Mother Church. As with all the Saints, we are called to seek the intercession of the person whose feast is celebrated, in some manner taking their life into our own, examining where we can imitate this person best. Not all of us will be called to shed our blood for Christ. All of us are called to die to ourselves and to live in Christ, through total surrender, every day. Let us all, in this final week before Advent, recall in our hearts first and then our minds, the total obedience given by Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions to God. Let us ask his intercession so that, with Godís grace, we, too, may die to self and life in and for Christ alone, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.