Thursday of 16th Week of OT Cycle C--Feast of Saint James, Apostle

Are You and I Here to Serve or to Be Served?

When James and John, the sons of Zebedee, asked Jesus to be sit one on the left and one on the right of Jesus in his kingdom, Jesus reminded not only these two but all of his disciples saying, “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” What does it mean when you and I, by the virtue of our Baptism, are called to be priest, prophet and king? As a priest, we are called to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with God. Also, when we come to Mass, we are invited to fully participate in the Mass with the priest who presides the Mass by reading the readings before Mass, engaging into singing and responding during Mass, and sharing one Body and one Cup of the Body and the Blood of Christ. As a prophet, we are invited to speak for God, not just by words but by the way we live. As a king, we are invited to do good to one another and to be loyal to one another. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many, we are invited, by the virtue of Baptism, to actively live in the life of a priest, prophet and king.

At the office of a psychological counselor, a beautiful young lady said, “Everything I want, my husband gives me. I have everything, I meant everything, I want, but somehow I still feel empty inside. Would you help me doctor?”

The counselor didn’t say anything to her but asked her assistant to tell the lady of her own story. The assistant began saying: “My husband died a year ago, and three months ago, my son also died in an automobile accident. I felt like I had lost everything. I was sad. I couldn’t sleep, and I couldn’t smile. I couldn’t eat, and I lost a lot of weight. One day, I came home late after work. As soon as I opened my garage, a cat just ran inside. I came out, and she meowed and walked around my feet with her tail paddling on my feet. It was a cold evening, and I felt sorry for the cat. So, I let her inside. I gave her a glass of warm milk. After that, she meowed and curved her body around my feet that made me smile. That was the first time I smiled after a while. I thought to myself, if helping a cat that helped me smile, then helping someone would make me happy. Next morning, I toasted some sandwiches and brought to an elderly lady who was sick in my neighborhood. Each day, I tried to do something for someone to make them happy. I finally understood that we could never be happy if we just waited for someone to bring happiness to us, but we would be happy when we did something to make someone happy.”

The lady cried in listening to this story. She finally learned that she could buy anything and everything she wanted, but she lost what money could not buy. She began to practice what the assistant shared.

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, have you and I been here to serve others or to be served by others? Is serving others our responsibility or it is a call to follow Christ? Have we had to do marvelous things or great things in order to help someone or we just do small thing such as smile, being kind in words and in deeds, taking time to listen to our loved ones, friends or someone with great love? Decision is yours.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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