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Saturday, November 24, 2001

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Vietnamese Martyrs

1 Maccabees 6:1-13
Psalm 9
Luke 20:27-40

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denial is just a river in egypt!

"Sick with grief because his designs had failed, he took to his bed. There he remained many days, overwhelmed with sorrow, for he knew he was going to die." —1 Maccabees 6:8-9

Before King Antiochus died, he looked back over his reign and observed: "I was kindly and beloved in my rule" (1 Mc 6:12). King Antiochus thought he was a "nice guy" and benevolent king although he:

  • killed mothers with their babies hung from their necks (1 Mc 1:60-61),
  • cut out the tongues of some of his opponents (2 Mc 7:4),
  • scalped and cut off the hands and feet of seven brothers who opposed him (2 Mc 7:4) while their mother looked on, and
  • fried seven brothers and their mother (2 Mc 7:5).

Likewise, Hitler and Stalin may well have thought of themselves as wonderful humanitarians who did so much good for the human race even through concentration camps, gas chambers, starvation bunkers, and gulags.

The human capacity to deny the reality of sin is shocking. We can abort millions of babies supposedly to show how compassionate we are to the poor. We can break the Church into pieces and say we are obeying the Lord rather than defying Him. We can build a culture of death and be proud of our progress.

Let us cry out: "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!" (see Lk 18:13)

Prayer:  Father, free me from self-deception.

Promise:  "They become like angels and are no longer liable to death. Sons of the resurrection, they are sons of God." —Lk 20:36

Praise:  St. Andrew Dung-Lac, a Vietnamese priest, was beheaded in 1839 for his faith in Jesus. He was canonized in 1988. St. Andrew, teach us to pray for the people of Vietnam.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, May 8, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 18, 2001