Friday of 13th Week of Ordinary Time Cycle C


On this 186th day of 365 days of a year, the Church remembers these two saints: Saint Anthony Zaccaria, priest, and Saint Elizabeth of Portugal. One was a doctor turned priest, the other was a queen and mother. One was a popular preacher who founded in Milan the Clerics Regular of Saint Paul called Barnabites for the reform of society, the other was a lover of the poor and peacemaker in the royal family. One sought collaboration between clergy and the laity, and the other was a patroness of Catholic charities. The Gospel chosen for this day was a call of Matthew from his own writing.

A month after his acceptance into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, his friend met him and asked, “Now my friend, you are Catholic. I’m sure you know a lot about Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith now. So, where was Jesus born?” “I don’t know,” he replied. Who were the names of his twelve apostles? “I don’t know neither,” he responded. “What did he teach us?” a friend continued with questions, “And what was his ministry?” “I absolutely have no idea,” he replied. It seemed like you don’t know anything about Jesus Christ whom you follow, and you called yourself a Christian, a Catholic? The man responded saying, “I’m very embarrassed that I don’t know much about Christ and his Church, but I know very clearly that: Three years ago, I was an alcoholic. I lost my job. My house was taken away because of my late payments. Each day I came back from work drunk. My wife and children were almost to the point of leaving him. Now, I’m totally a different person. I’m sober, and I almost finish paying all my debts. Everybody is happy and proud of me in my family. I know very clearly that it’s him, Jesus Christ, who changed my life. That’s the only thing I know about him.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus passed by, Matthew reported in his writing, “He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.” Matthew was a tax collector, and so, he was considered as a sinner. When he left everything to follow Jesus, he might not know a lot about him. All he knows about Jesus is that he changed him, and he is not the man that he used to be any more.

Are you and I the same the day that we baptized into the Catholic faith, the day that we received our first Holy Communion, and the day that we received our Confirmation to complete our Sacraments of Initiation? Have you found yourself the same from the day that you married to your spouse to this day? Has Jesus Christ ever been in your lives to change you to become who you are now? Matthew was changed from a tax collector, a sinner, became Jesus’ disciple, what have you and I changed since the day we follow Christ?


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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