Friday of 33rd Week of Ordinary--Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

The Crown of Martyrdom for Those Who Are Ready

Today, the Church remembers Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, who is the patron Saint of music. Cecilia was a rich, beautiful, and noble Roman maiden, had vowed her virginity to God as a child. “Pure be my heart and undefiled my flesh; for I have a spouse you know not of—an angel of my Lord,” Cecilia said. These words changed the heart of her young husband Valerian that he received Baptism. In a few days after, he and his brother Tiburtius who had been brought by him to the knowledge of the Faith sealed their confession with their blood. At the threats of the prefect, Cecilia responded, “Do you not know that I am the bride of my Lord Jesus Christ?” Because of this courageous act, the death was appointed for her was suffocation. She remained a day and a night in a hot-air bath, heated seven times its hottest, but the flames had no power over her body, neither was a hair of her head singed. The executioner sent to dispatch her struck with trembling hand the three blows which the law allowed, and left her still alive. For two days and nights Cecilia lay with her head, half severed on the pavement of her bath, fully sensible, and joyfully awaiting her crown; on the third the agony was over, and in 177, the virgin Saint gave back her pure spirit to Christ.

The Church chose the parable of the ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom for this feast of Saint Cecilia. In those ten virgins, five were wise and five were foolish. The foolish went without preparation, and the wise went with preparation. The wise ones prepared extra oil which is their faith and patience in waiting for the bridegroom. Cecilia, like the wise virgins, prepared herself with courageous faith to testify for the Truth, her spouse who is Jesus Christ her Lord. Her faith let her suffered a martyrdom but won her a crown of martyrdom. Cecilia is most remembered today as the patron of musicians due to this legend: "While the profane music of her wedding was heard, Cecilia was singing in her heart a hymn of love of Jesus, her true spouse.” Her courage, evangelization, and love of God in the midst of persecution and strife won her a crown of martyrdom is to help us examine ourselves: How is our faith in following the Lord Jesus Christ in these days of age? How would we spread the Word of God to others if it’s not through our love for one another even in the midst of difficulties and challenges of life? Decision is yours.

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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