Gospel Thought for Today
24th November: Memorial of Saint Andrew Dŭng-Ląc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Gospel: Luke 21:12-19
Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
“I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.”
“Andrew Dŭng-Ląc, who heads the group of 117 Vietnamese martyrs, was born in Bac Ninh, a village northeast of Hanoi. It was in Hanoi that, as a boy of twelve, he met the faith through a Catholic lay catechist. After his baptism, Andrew studied Chinese, Latin, and Theology. He was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1823. His fervent preaching and simple, prayerful demeanour endeared him to his parishioners, who raised the money to ransom him from prison the first two times he was arrested. A third time he was arrested with fellow priest Peter Thi. After refusing to recant under torture, the two men were beheaded on 21 December 1839.” The strength and endurance of these priests and their companion martyrs did not come from their own efforts. It came from Christ who assured His disciples – then and now – of His wisdom in proclaiming the Gospel to believers and non-believers. Indeed, “[T]he inheritance of the martyrs is not a matter of heroism but of fidelity. And fidelity is matured by turning one’s gaze towards Jesus, who is the model of the Christian life, the model of every witness, and the model of every martyr” (Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan).
- Has anyone hated you because of your faith and how did you deal with it?
- How persevering are you in times of trials?
- How open are you to Christ’s promised wisdom in times of trials?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Through the prayers and example of Saints Andrew Dŭng-Ląc and Companion Martyrs, fill us with wisdom that we may courageously proclaim Your Good News to all. Amen.