When the disciples of Jesus marveled at the Temple, Jesus tells them As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down. Everything we hold dear will eventually go away. They will be destroyed or rot or decay. Only one thing will stand in the end: Jesus Christ in all his glory. There will be wars and insurrections but Jesus said: do not be terrified, for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately. Our strength will fail us, our intellect will fail us, our possessions will fail us. What Jesus is telling us is we need to get our priorities right. When Jesus comes, it will not matter what we possess. So we need to witness for Jesus whatever our situation.
This is what St Andrew Dung Lac and his companions showed. They were martyred in Vietnam between 1920-1862. They remained steadfast in their faith, despite persecutions and threats of death. They were eventually killed for their faith. The witness of Andrew Dung Lac and the countless martyrs in the Church throughout her history shows our lives mean nothing unless it is dedicated for the glory of God.
The First Reading shows us when Jesus comes, he will reap from the earth. We do not know when this will be and Jesus warns us in today’s Gospel: Beware that you are not led astray; for may will come in my name and say, “I am he” and “The time is near!” Do not go after them. There is only one Savior: Jesus Christ. There are no other saviors. Many think one political leader will solve all the problems of society. If you think today is bad, it will get worse. Christians will be persecuted and Christians will need to make a choice between burning a small incense to the god of society or political correctness or to remain faithful to Jesus Christ.
In the end, we hope and pray, we will be steadfast in our faith, because we will all die and when we do, the Psalm tells us: the Lord is coming, he is coming to judge the earth. We will have to face Jesus and give an account of our lives.
Lord, help me to remain steadfast in my faith. When the time comes to profess my faith, let me not waver. St Andrew Dung Lac, pray that I may have the courage to stand for Christ, the King who will come.