“Who wants to go to Heaven?!” The priest shouted enthusiastically to me and about two hundred other teenagers present at a summer retreat. Everyone raised their hand as if trying to reach up to touch the pearly gates right at that moment.
“Wonderful! Now how many of you want to die?!”
. . .
“What? No martyrs?”
No hands went up and our once joyful faces blushed with confusion, and for me, a little bit of shame. I remember thinking, Yes, I want to go to Heaven, but I want to get there by dying peacefully in my sleep, like Rose from the movie Titanic.
The lives of martyrs can seem so heroic, extreme, and, well, painful. The life of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc and his companions can attest to that; but they were neither impressed nor oppressed by the threat of martyrdom. They knew that Heaven not only awaited them, but was the crown of life that awaited all those who were faithful until death (Revelation 2:10c).
And so they pressed on promoting the faith throughout Vietnam, converting, defending, encouraging, believing, and unwavering unto death.
You may or may not die a martyr’s death, but what are you willing to let die in your life so that Christ might live in the life of someone else?
Do you hold on to your reputation, finances, or comfort at the expense of proclaiming the Gospel? Do you worry and hold on to this temporary life more than you joyfully await the eternal one? Are you afraid of what God might have in store for you if you completely surrender and follow Him?
Take your honest responses to Jesus and ask for the intercession of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc and all the martyrs of the Church to help you be bold in living the Catholic faith here on earth so as to live eternity in Heaven.Yes, I want to go to Heaven. // @chikasworld Click To Tweet