HOMILY WEEK 34 02 – Year II
Optional Memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
(Rev 14:14-19; Ps 96; Lk 21:5-11)
A message offered us by the movie Dead Poet’s Society is Carpe Diem – to grasp the day, to make the most of our time each day.
Our liturgy today in this final week of ordinary time encourages us to make all our time here on earth quality time.
Every once in a while, we hear of “end times” scenarios which seem to stir up a certain excitement, buying of provisions, building of bunkers, etc. Our faith can free us from any such concern with its invitation to always be ready for the end times by living within the kingdom of God each and every day.
Richard Rohr OFM, spiritual writer and speaker, offers us a very helpful insight into making the most of our activities – “The way we do anything is the way we do everything.” So, changing one thing in our lives can influence everything else we do, and help us to better “Carpe Diem.”
According to The Word Among Us, Jesus inaugurated his kingdom when he came on earth, and now asks us to work together to buid a better world, in whatever area he is calling us to to do that.
God doesn’t want us to live in fear. God wants us to remember that he is not only just but merciful as well. As long as we stay close to the Lord, we have no reason to be afraid. Instead, we should see Jesus’ coming as a sign of joy and the promise of our final, glorious rescue. In spite of the darkness around us, we can place our hope in him and look forward to the reign of God when all things will be put right. Imagine what a glorious day that will be!
Today, the church invites us to honor the Vietnamese martyrs. In the 16th century Christian missionaries went to live among the people of Vietnam. The evangelization of Vietnam began with the establishment of two Vicariates Apostolic in 1659. There are now 6 million Catholics in Vietnam, some10% of the population. This growth is due to the fact that the seed of the Faith was watered by the blood of the martyrs of Vietnam missionary clergy, local clergy, religious and the ordinary Christian people. From the 17th to 19th centuries, no less than 53 decrees, signed by the lords and emperors of the country from 1625 to 1886, launched one persecution after another, each one more savage than the last. Over the whole territory of Vietnam, some 130,000 Christians were killed in these persecutions. Andrew Dung-Lac (born 1785) and Peter Thi, Vietnamese priests, were beheaded on December 21, 1839. Over the centuries the names of most of them have been lost, but their memory is still alive in the Catholic community.
Celebrating the Eucharist, our greatest prayer and our one great act of fidelity, as Ron Rolheiser writes, is truly living out Carpe Diem, making great use of our time.
So remember, Carpe Diem – let us strive to make all our time quality time living in the kingdom of God.