Dec 13 – Memorial for St. Lucy, virgin, martyr
Lucy (c. 283) was a rich, young Christian of Greek ancestry. She was raised in a pious family, and vowed her life to Christ. Her Roman father died when she was young. Her mother, Eutychia, arranged a marriage for her. For three years, she managed to keep the marriage on hold. To change the mother’s mind about the girl’s new faith, Lucy prayed at the tomb of St. Agatha, and her mother’s long haemorrhagic illness was cured. Her mother agreed with Lucy’s desire to live for God, and Lucy became known as a patron of those with maladies like her mother’s.
Her rejected pagan bridegroom, Paschasius, denounced Lucy as a Christian to the governor of Sicily, who sentenced her to forced prostitution. But when the guards went to fetch her, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. The governor ordered her killed instead. After torture that included having her eyes torn out, she was surrounded by bundles of wood which were set afire; they went out. She prophesied against her persecutors, and was executed by being stabbed to death with a dagger. Her name is listed in the prayer “Nobis quoque peccatoribus” in the Canon of the Mass.
Legend says that her eyesight was restored before her death. This and the meaning of her name led to her connection with eyes, the blind, eye trouble, etc.
- Patron Saint Index
Trouble is coming to the rebellious, the defiled,
the tyrannical city!
She would never listen to the call,
would never learn the lesson;
she has never trusted in the Lord,
never drawn near to her God.
Yes, I will then give the peoples lips that are clean,
so that all may invoke the name of the Lord
and serve him under the same yoke.
From beyond the banks of the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants
will bring me offerings.
When that day comes
you need feel no shame for all the misdeeds
you have committed against me,
for I will remove your proud boasters
from your midst;
and you will cease to strut
on my holy mountain.
In your midst I will leave
a humble and lowly people,
and those who are left in Israel will seek refuge in the name of the Lord.
They will do no wrong,
will tell no lies;
and the perjured tongue will no longer
be found in their mouths.
But they will be able to graze and rest
with no one to disturb them.
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go. Which of the two did the father’s will?’ ‘The first’ they said. Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.’
“Certainly sir”, but did not go.
Saying ‘Yes’ without meaning it is quite a common occurrence now. I recall how as I was growing up, I was taught that your word was your bond. And that was how I built my reputation in my early career, delivering on deadlines whenever I said “Yes, you will get it”, rather than coming up with an excuse why a piece of copy was late.
These days, I make it a point to remind my staff that for me, the most important thing when it comes to dealing with colleagues is to deliver on a promise. If we say that something will be delivered or accomplished by a certain date or time, then we must make sure that it is indeed done and, if possible, even earlier. It irks me greatly when people take a laissez-faire attitude towards a project deadline because to me, it shows utter disrespect for other peoples’ precious time and effort.
In this third week of Advent, how many of us have said a feeble ‘Yes’ in our hearts when asked if we are truly preparing to receive Christ in all His glory come Christmas Day? We must always be mindful that God knows us through and through, and that as long as our hearts are not eager for Him, there is nothing He can do to open the door. Because at the end of the day, the choice is really ours. Are we looking forward to the partying, the merrymaking and the presents? Or are we looking forward to being with our family members and loved ones, reflecting on a year gone by together?
Brothers and sisters, it has been a tough year for many around us. Some of us have been struggling to make ends meet, some have had to make sacrifices in order to keep the family going. Some of us are going through a rough patch at work, some in our relationships. Some of us have lost loved ones and feel alone, some just do not feel life is worth living at all. Whatever your circumstance, know that Jesus is coming to save us. That He is coming into the world to wipe out all oppression, all despair, all fear and all anxiety.
So open your hearts and say ‘Yes’ from within.
(Today’s Oxygen by Desmond Soon)
Prayer: Dear Father, give us a heart that is open to receiving Jesus, your Son.
Thanksgiving: Lord, we give you thanks for all that you have given us this year; especially the crosses you have borne with us, which have made us stronger and taught us about your infinite love.