If we would do good to others, we must, like St. Andrew, keep close to the cross.
(modified) From 1894 Butlers Daily Lives of the Saints
ST. ANDREW was one of the fishermen of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilei, and brother, perhaps elder brother, of St. Peter, and became a disciple of St. John Baptist. They are called by Jesus to become “fishers of men”
Andrew seemed always eager to bring others into notice:
- when called himself by Christ on the banks of the Jordan, his first thought was to go in search of his brother, and he said, “We have found the Messias,” and he brought him to Jesus.
- It was he again who, when Christ wished to feed the five thousand in the desert, pointed out the little lad with the five loaves and fishes.
St. Andrew went forth upon his mission to plant the Faith in Scythia and Greece, and at the end of years of toil to win a martyr’s crown. After suffering a cruel scourging at Patrae in Achaia (Greece), he was left, bound by cords, to die upon a cross.
When St. Andrew first caught sight of the gibbet on which he was to die, he greeted the precious wood with joy. “O good cross! “ he cried
“made beautiful by the limbs of Christ, so long desired, now so happily found! Receive me into thy arms and present me to my Master, that He Who redeemed me through thee may now accept me from thee.”
Two whole days the martyr remained hanging on this cross alive, preaching, with outstretched arms from this chair of truth, to all who came near, and entreating them not to hinder his passion.
Ancient text indicates that the cross Andrew was bound to was originally a typical Latin cross similar to the one the Christ was crucified on. Andrew argued that he was not worthy to hang on such a cross as the Lords. His cross was then tipped to form the Chi or X cross, now known as “Saint Andrews Cross.”
The solemnity of Christ the King was declared when the world (or specifically Europe) began to shift from a land of monarchies to one of republics and democracies. With the rearrangement of Europe two prominent dictatorships gained control, these were Hitler and Mussolini. The Solemnity of Christ the King was a reminder of who truly was King of all creation, as greedy men tried to carve out their dynasties. I wrote more about that (here)
The collapse of monarchies and the rearrangement of states has occurred long ago, and this celebration is a perpetual reminder of the true King. Today, it is not only individuals that seek to climb to the throne. Governments have established their structure. Today it is government agendas that challenge the kingdom, and these agendas are often advanced by a select few that have advanced large sums of money.
That money is used to fund an army of media moguls that proclaim a message of social dictators that are often obscured from view. Those hidden kings are the ultra elite that lobby for a society that fits their whims. I don’t care to list their agenda, but listen to main stream media (MSM) and you will hear it clearly.
They are the large organizations that fund campaigns to meet their agenda. they are the one percent of the top one percent, a tiny fraction of society that tries to tailor society to their own whims. They are loud, and boisterous, and arrogant; they are the voice that is heard above all others. Listen to the news, listen to a politicians agenda.. Today the king is what money controls. Kingdoms are bought and sold.
This isn’t from the days readings, but somehow it seems relevant. It’s from the first book of Kings:
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
The Solemnity of Christ the King is a poignant reminder that the LORD often speaks quietly, and in a whisper. It is that whisper that those earthly kings try to drown out, that is the reason for their noise. The clamor is so that their opinion is heard above all others, especially above Christ the Kings. Those moguls of the airwaves, and of the press know they must speak loudly to be heard. They know they must they must drown out the truth if they are to rule. What they have is something they are selling, and not something they possess. They have an agenda, not Wisdom. Along with the well-financed social agendas of the day, Christ the King whispered. He whispered this:
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
Who has heard a news anchor or MSM talk show host scream about this? Has it made the news? Truth speaks in a whisper. No sales pitch needed.
Ez 34:11-12, 15-17
1 Cor 15:20-26, 28
Here is an older post from 2014. Some background of these saints from another post is here
One of the things that is so memorable about Andrew Dung-Lac is that he was born a poor pagan Vietnamese. His catechesis was coupled with food and shelter, and then baptism. He was not born into Christianity, and the country he lived in was not historically Christian, and he was ethnically Vietnamese. Why do these points interest me? To start, Andrew became a priest, and taught catechism. That was a step up from the impoverished life he was born into, but does not begin to explain this person’s character. Andrews’s character and spirituality come out after the first time he went through imprisonment and persecution for his Christian faith. That persecution was under the emperor’s directive, and was wide spread; though Andrew was able at first to gain freedom with the support of his congregation. This is the part where this priest’s character and spirituality are revealed. After that persecution the priest changed his name, modified his location, and continued his mission. After imprisonment, how easy would it have been for him to simply remove his collar and blend in amongst his countrymen? He was ethnically Vietnamese, so blending in would have been easy. The persecutions going on in that country were among the most brutal in history, yet he did not remove his clerical collar, and to me that speaks volumes about the extent the Holy Spirit descended onto that priest. At his baptism he was initiated into the faith with water, at his first persecution was proof positive that he had received that Spirit. As he continued preaching and baptizing people into the faith, those persecutions continued and they were directed at Christians with unspeakable brutality. Andrew continued with his mission until he was beheaded for the faith at the age of forty-four. His story contains examples of the three types of baptism, that one of water, of the spirit, and by blood. The brutality towards Christians in that country at that time were horrendous. Andrews’s story is easy to tell because it is a brief biographical sketch of a single person. There were one hundred and seventeen martyrs, and each had their own unique story, though I am certain they all had that desire to live and die for their faith and preach the gospel of Christ. It was that faith that defined them, not their ethnicity or social standing. They were European and Vietnamese, Priests, Religious, and Lay people: all placing their faith in Christ. Their story of faith is remarkable and unforgettable.