June 19 — St Philip Minh, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
St Philip Minh and The Vietnamese Martyrs, also known as the Martyrs of Annam, Martyrs of Tonkin and Cochinchina, Martyrs of Indochina, or Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, are saints on the General Roman Calendar who were canonized by Pope John Paul II. On June 19, 1988, thousands of overseas Vietnamese worldwide gathered at the Vatican for the Celebration of the Canonization of 117 Vietnamese Martyrs, an event chaired by Monsignor Tran Van Hoai.
2 Cor 12:1-10
Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well.
As we enter the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to find ourselves living lives of dependency. We are dependent on our governments for keeping our societies safe and functioning. We are dependent on nurses and doctors for our personal health and taking care of those who fall sick due to the virus. We are dependent on each other for company and comfort.
Trapped within these relations of dependency, it is easy for one to feel frustrated, and even despondent, over our lack of agency and independence in these difficult times. I have certainly felt this on more than one occasion.
Yet in today’s gospel reading, Jesus reminds us that God provides all that we need. That our anxiety over our lives and daily needs do not add a single moment to our lifespan. Rather, we are called to trust in God, and to let tomorrow take care of itself. It is true that in our present circumstances, we are truly none the wiser as to what tomorrow will bring.
Will the pandemic slowly ebb away as more become vaccinated? Or better yet, will it suddenly disappear as quickly as it had come, just like the 2003 SARS crisis? Or will more new variants emerge to threaten our physical and mental well-being? How about our children? How are we going to continue keeping them safe? How will our pandemic conditions affect their childhoods?
These are questions that keep me up at night. And, try as I might, it is not at all easy to push them out of my mind. But no matter how many times I ask these questions, I also know that only God possesses the answers. And that only in His time will the answers to all our anxious questioning be revealed.
But right now, all we can do is to trust in Him. And to seek Him first, rather than seek out answers to questions that we cannot possibly answer.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Jacob Woo)
Prayer: Lord, we pray for the faith and discernment to continue trusting in Your providence and protection. We ask that You continue to guide us in our daily struggles.
Thanksgiving: We thank the Lord for His presence, even in the messiness of our everyday lives. We are thankful for all the blessings that He continues to shower upon us, even in these tough times.