My Dear Friends, who is a martyr? The one who lies his or her life for Jesus. I just wander how many parents present in this Church would be rushing to organize the Baptism of their children if they were aware that they are putting them on the path to be martyrs. I guess that we would have very few baptisms. But why? What is wrong about giving up ones’ life for Jesus? Our Blessed Lord says: “The one who wants to save his life will lose it but the one who loses his life for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel will save it for life eternal.”
On December 13, the Church remembers St Lucy, a martyr from the early centuries of the Church. I am always touched by her words which we recall in our priestly morning prayers for her fest day: “I am the lowly servant of the Lord, who wished only to offer everything to the living God. Now since there is nothing left to be offered, I give myself to him.” These are the words of a young girl who like all of us wanted to be happy and she did find such a happiness. It is in surrendering one’s life to the Lord so that one’s light may shine before people so that they could see one’s good deeds and praise our heavenly Father. John the Baptist made it very clear that that what drew people to him was the light of Christ already shining from him. It wasn’t his own light but the light of Christ. It reminds us of Moses who during the march from Egypt to the Promised Land would enter the Holy Place in the Sacred Tent to speak with God. When he was leaving the Tent his face was shining from his exposure to the Almighty God.
My Dear Sisters and Brothers! Each single person in this Church is called to be a witness – a martyr of Christ. Most of us won’t be faced with the kind of martyrdom St Lucy met but you and I are called to be martyrs by our commitment to Christ, by our perseverance and faithfulness to our life vocation, by our selflessness, by making sacrifices and doing all these things not to get people admiration but to direct people’s admiration to Our Blessed Lord whom we have encountered and got so impacted by that encounter that we now believe that our lasting joy and happiness is in making of our life an offering to the One who has created us and who has redeemed us.