Monday of 23rd Week of Ordinary C--Saint Peter Claver, Priest (USA)

Is It Good to Do Good or to Do Bad on the Sabbath?

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Peter Claver, priest, born at 1581 at Verdu, Catalonia, Spain in 1581. As a son of a farmer and influenced by Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, he became a missionary priest in America. He ministered physically and spiritually to slaves and converted about 300,000 people. He organized charitable societies among the Spanish in the New World similar to those organized in Europe by Saint Vincent de Paul. Saint Peter Claver did what exactly Jesus posted the question to the Scribes and the Pharisees reported in today’s Gospel saying, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”

Saint Peter introduced Jesus to 300,000 people, Jesus healed the sick, cured the diseases and even restored a withered hand of a man reported in today’s Gospel. Restoring his hand on the Sabbath that stirred up anger, envy and jealousy among the Scribes and the Pharisees.

Story told that Buddha once was on the hands of a robber that before he killed him, he asked him to do him a favor. Buddha asked him to chop off a branch of a plant. Took out his sword, he chopped off a branch of a plant in a blink of the eyes. Buddha then asked him to put back that branch to the plant in which the robber laughed and said that he’s not an idiot because it’s impossible to put it back to the plant. To him, Buddha responded that he’s really an idiot when he used his strength and energy to kill and to destroy. The one who really has energy and strength is the one who is able to create and to restore.

What have you and I been able to do in this walk of life if it’s not to create and to restore and not to kill and to destroy? How can we create and restore if it’s not to learn to love one another? Who can we love others if we cannot even love our own self whom we cannot even bring ourselves into the existence by ourselves? If we cannot bring ourselves into the existence by ourselves, then we do not have a choice to end our lives. Decision is yours.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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