July 9 is the Feast Day of the Holy Martyrs of China。

With the bishop’s permission, we will celebrate it on Sunday, July 5, 2020. 

Where your heart is

In the Gospels, Jesus tells His disciples not to seek security in the things of this world, but in the treasures of heaven. Hence, Jesus exhorts them to be steadfast in faith, and He tells them a parable to illustrate what He means: A servant was entrusted with his master’s household, but he began to eat, drink and get drunk, and he beat the other servants. When the master returns unexpectedly, he will severely punish that unfaithful servant. On the contrary, a faithful servant would be vigilant in doing the master’s will. When the master returns, the faithful servant would be blessed.

Jesus also tells us: “Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Lk12:34) That “heart” is the center of a person’s being which determines what is most important for a person. Let us therefore examine our own hearts and determine which treasure we hold dearer – those of this earth or those of heaven. Hopefully, we will choose treasures that will not only last beyond this lifetime, but will give us peace of mind and heart, again and again, in this lifetime.

As we await the second coming of Jesus Christ, we may find ourselves waning in faith and begin acting like the unfaithful servant. Thoughts of unfulfilled promises can drag down our faith. Time and again, we need to be energized in faith. It behooves us to realize that faith is not a dead word, but a lived experience. In those moments when every reasonable hope seems to wither, we must remember that we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (Heb12:1) – the patriarchs, the martyrs, the holy men and women, and all the faithful servants whom God has so abundantly blessed.

Today, we celebrate the Feast Day of the Holy Martyrs of China. There are 120 martyr saints of China from the 17th century to 1930. The majority were killed during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. The martyrs include 87 native Chinese and 33 foreign missionaries; among the 87 were four Chinese priests, lay men, women and children with ages ranging from 9 to 72. These Chinese martyrs were forerunners to about 30,000 others who were martyred during the Boxer Rebellion in China during the late 19th century. On October 1, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized the martyrs who gave their lives for the faith in China. One of them was 18 year old Chi Zhuze, who cried out to those who had just cut off his right arm and were preparing to flay him alive: “Every piece of my flesh and drop of my blood will tell you that I am a Christian.”  These martyrs cannot force those who martyred them into accepting the Christian faith, but they definitely held on to the Good News of Jesus Christ even unto death.

Sign up now for Mass intentions for July 2020. Please check the available dates and use the digital form in our church website.