C--Monday--13th Week of Ordinary--Optional Memorial of St. Junipero Serra

Follow Me

Today’s Gospel is part of yesterday’s Gospel. However, today’s Gospel is the Gospel of Matthew, but yesterday’s Gospel is the Gospel of Luke. This similarity that we called Synoptic Gospel which included the Gospel of Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Both Gospels report the exact words of Jesus saying, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead” when one came and asked him to let him go first and bury his father. What does it mean in his invitation to follow him and let the dead bury their dead?

Father Henri Nouwen, a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer, and theologian. His friend, John Frazer, a Bafta-nominated Scottish actor and writer, once came to visit father Nouwen and told him of many stories happening around the world. He also told father Nouwen a story of his four years old daughter Jessie.

On one morning, Jessie found a corpse of a bird flew into the glass of a window and died. She was a compassion and loving girl. She asked me to have a funeral for this poor bird. The dad agreed and placed the dead bird in a little box and began a procession to bring him to the resting place in their back yard. Dad held the little box contained the corpse of the bird following Jessie who carried the Cross. Jessie’s mom and her little brother followed. When they approached the hole which already dug before the procession, dad placed the little box in and covered with dust, then Jessie stuck the Cross on the top of it. John then asked his daughter Jessie, “Do you want to say a prayer Jessie?” “Yes dad,” she replied. “Lord,” she said, “we just finished buried this poor little bird. He accidentally hit the window and died. We entrusted him to your loving care. I pray that you’re taking care of him carefully. If you don’t take care of him carefully, something happens to him, I will kill you. Amen.” Dad heard that and said to Jessie, “You cannot thread God like that.” “I do dad,” she replied, “it is for the safety of the poor little bird.”

In our prayers, we might not say just like little Jessie expressed, but we might have the intention just like Jessie had meaning if you don’t do this to me or do that to me, I will abandon you or I will leave the Church. Just as an invitation that Jesus invites a man to follow him reported in today’s Gospel, he responded by saying, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father,” have we ever allowed any attraction becomes a stumbling block that blocked us to follow the Lord on our spiritual journey here on earth? If yes, have you and I willed to leave it aside to follow the Lord and to focus our life in him and him alone? If not, what is the purpose of your life here on earth? Have you believed in the eternal life after this life? Decision is yours.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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