C--Tuesday of 11th Week of OT--Saint Gregory Barbarigo

New Commandment: Love One Another

Today’s Gospel is a continuation with yesterday’s Gospel from the writing of Saint Matthew. Jesus teaches us a new way of life or rather a new way of love. The question then, how do we love or how ought we to love?

Love those who love us is easy. This is what most of us do. I once invited to a dinner, and I came with nothing but myself. One friend with a bottle on his hand, saw me with two empty hands and said to me, “Here, hold my bottle. It’s difficult to come to a dinner with our bare hands.” I had to say that I was a little embarrass since I was a little busy that day that I didn’t have time to go to get anything before I came. In fact, I was a little late when I came. Love is easy to express when we learn to share or to exchange.

I came from a culture that men tend not to openly express their love for others by hugging or kissing even to their loved ones. It’s not that they don’t have love or affection especially towards their loved ones. They do have that love and affection towards their loved ones, but they don’t show it in action because it would indicate that they are weak or soft men. Also, when a person puts his or her hands together around their chest, it does not mean that he or she is getting mad like it often expressed in American culture. In Vietnamese culture, it’s completely different meaning. It is, for example, to show respect to the Lord in the Church. It is also to show respect to the elders or to a higher status in society and many others but not getting mad at someone.

There might be many ways to express how to love someone, but the Lord Jesus teaches us new way of love by loving even to the one(s) who does not like us or hate us.

There were two men got shot with an arrow. The first man calmly took it out and bandaged it, and the wound was healed after a few days. The second one was angry and took off the arrow and continuously hit himself more. When others tried to stop him hurting himself, he was angry more and tried to hurt others as well.

This arrow is the verbally attack of the one who shot the arrow. A wised person is the one who heard it then left without saying or arguing anything back. A fool is the one who tried to fight back. Jesus invites us not to fight back, but to learn to forgive and to pray for the person who hates us or hurts us somehow and someway. This is a great and new commandment to love one another as he himself loves us to the point of suffering and died on the cross just because of loving us. Decision is yours.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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