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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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St. Andrew Dung-Lac
& the Vietnamese Martyrs

Daniel 2:31-45
Daniel 3:57-61
Luke 21:5-11

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the last stand

"The stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth." —Daniel 2:35

The writer of Daniel surveyed four hundred years of world history and saw it as a series of breakdowns. Empire after empire, dynasty after dynasty had collapsed. Jesus accurately prophesied a similar end for the great Temple in Jerusalem. He claimed: "The day will come when not one stone will be left on another, but it will all be torn down" (Lk 21:6).

Our world and our bodies deteriorate. Yet, "we do not lose heart, because our inner being is renewed each day even though our body is being destroyed at the same time" (2 Cor 4:16). "We do not fix our gaze on what is seen but on what is unseen. What is seen is transitory; what is unseen lasts forever. Indeed, we know that when the earthly tent in which we dwell is destroyed we have a dwelling provided for us by God, a dwelling in the heavens, not made by hands but to last forever" (2 Cor 4:18—5:1).

We look forward to the future. Every day we are being spiritually built into "a holy temple in the Lord" (Eph 2:21), while world empires and other temples, even our bodies, are being destroyed. Finally, the "edifice of spirit" (1 Pt 2:5) that we are becoming will be completed. Then everything else will fall apart, the world will end, and Jesus will return for "a glorious church, holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle or anything of that sort" (Eph 5:27). We will be the only thing left standing because our Cornerstone and Foundation is the Rock Jesus (Ps 118:22; 1 Cor 3:11; Dn 2:44-45).

Prayer:  Father, enable me to stand erect, hold my head high, and praise You when I see my world falling apart.

Promise:  "The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future; this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure." —Dn 2:45

Praise:  St. Andrew Dung-Lac would not renounce Jesus Christ. He and his 116 companions gave their lives as martyrs.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 3, 2009

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