November 24, 2020
by Beth Samson
Creighton University's Campus Ministry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 504

Revelation 14:14-19
Psalm 96:10, 11-12, 13
Luke 21:5-11

Praying Ordinary Time


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In my ministry with college students, and in my own experience, in the last 8 months, I have noticed that many are feeling distant from God and tried in faith. The significant ways we experience God in relationships with others has been affected by our need to remain physically distant in order to keep each other safe from the COVID-19 virus. So many of the holy places and holy relationships we are used to having in our daily lives are not as accessible in the ways to which we were accustomed.

In praying with St. Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions, martyrs of Vietnam, I cannot help but find hope in their story. They were persecuted for their faith. Vietnam in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries was not welcoming of the Catholic religion and hundreds of thousands died because of their faith. Hundreds of thousands of people found ways to practice, share, and grow in their faithfulness despite being threatened and persecuted. Their faith was stronger than their fear.  

In the Gospel today, Jesus warns us against deception and fear. There is so much in this world that causes fear, and this is where Jesus meets us - asking us not to be afraid, but to live in faith. Which is certainly easier said than done. So, when we look at the lives of St. Andrew Dung-Lac and the martyrs of Vietnam, how can we not have hope that we, too, can live in faith rather than fear - in faith that God still meets us in our daily lives, even if we have to look anew in these days for how and where.

I invite you to join in me in prayer.

Loving God, there is so much that causes us fear. We ask for the grace of fervent faith, that instead of living out of fear, we live out of faith. We know you are with us and we ask for the grace of renewed spirit that we may find the ways you meet us in our daily lives. We offer gratitude for the lives, witness, and faithfulness of St. Andrew Dung-Lac and his fellow martyrs, that we may find hope through their story. We pray that you continue to watch over all who have COVID-19, those who love them, and those who provide care for them. Amen.

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