THOMASIANS SHOULD reflect on the sacrifices they are willing to make for their faith as following Christ often involves defying popular views, UST Vice Rector Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P. said.
In his homily during the mass for the feast of the Thomasian martyrs, Tiongco said members of the UST community should draw inspiration from the stories of those who died for the faith.
“The ultimate sacrifice of the Thomasian martyrs can serve as a call to action. Their lives challenge us to consider what we are willing to do for our faith and our convictions. To what extent can we sacrifice our lives for the Lord?” he said on Friday, Nov. 10.
In a materialistic world marked by greed and power-seeking, Tiongco said the martyrs’ rejection of societal alignment became a testament to the challenges faced by those who defy norms.
“Being a follower of Christ often means going [against the] grain of popular mentality which can lead to various forms of opposition that Thomasian martyrs, whose lives we celebrate today, stood as [a] living testament to this truth,” he said.
“They faced persecution, torture, suffering, and ultimately death. Not because they were imperfect; not because [they were] flawed, fragile, or weak. But because they were reflections of Christ in a world that times rejects him.”
Tiong said the path of discipleship is not an easy journey, citing the experiences of the Thomasian martyrs. True belonging to the world goes beyond affiliations with various communities as people ultimately belong to God, he added.
“The Thomasian martyrs knew this very well because they were administrators, educators, clergy, [and] students but above all they were disciples of Christ. Their sense of belonging to God was so profound that it eclipses all other affiliations, compelling them to stand firm in their faith even when they face [the] ultimate sacrifice which is the offering of their lives for the truth,” the vice rector said.
The Dominican priest reminded Thomasians that following Christ is a spiritual journey that may involve difficulties.
“The Thomasian martyrs, in their courage and sacrifice, did not consider themselves greater than Christ. They wholeheartedly embraced the role of servants, administrators, educators, [and] missionaries, responsibly accepting hardships while fulfilling and living their mission,” he said.
“They remind us that our ultimate allegiance is to God in a world filled with distractions and competing loyalties. Their example that our faith should be the cornerstone of our lives enables us to assess whether our actions, our decisions and priorities align with our Christian values.”
The feast carried the theme, “Thomasian Martyrs: Beacons of Faith, Hope, and Love.” It was celebrated after the triduum held from Nov. 7 to 9 in honor of the Thomasian martyrs.
Arranged on the altar of the Santisimo Rosario Parish church and lit in a warm glow of red were images of St. Antonio Gonzáles, St. Domingo Ibañez de Erquicia, St. Lucas del Espίritu Santo, St. Guillaume de Courtet, St. Tomás Hioji de San Jacinto, St. Vicente Liem de la Paz, St. Domingo Henares, St. José María Dίaz Sanjurjo, St. Pedro Almato, St. Jeronimo Hermosilla, Bl. Buenaventura Garcίa Paredes, Bl. Jesús Villaverde Andres, Treasurer, Bl. Pedro Ibáñez Alonzo, Manuel Moreno Martines, Maximiano Fendandex Mariñas, José María López Carillo and Bl. José María de Manila, O.F.M. Cap. F – Trisha Tamio