Tuesday of 1st Week of OT A

Profess with Our Lips and Live with Our Faith

An atheist loves to climb mountains. One day, on his trip to the top of the mountain, he accidentally slipped and fell. On his falling, he luckily got hold of a branch of a tree. Nobody was around him, and everything seemed to stop in front of his eyes. A thought came to his mind, “Why don’t I try to call on God for help?” He then called out, “Please God.” All he heard was his own echo. He persistently called out again, “Please God, if you really exist, come and help me. I promise to follow you and teach others to follow you.” After a period of silence, he suddenly heard a whispering voice to his ears saying, “Anyone when confronted with death always said like you.” “Oh no,” the atheist responded, “I’m not like the rest of the humanity. You see, I begin to believe in you God. Please, save me and I will glorify you all the rest of my life.” A mysterious voice responded, “Okay, good. I will help you. Now, let go off the branch.” Out of disappoint he called out, “Let go off the branch? Do you think that I’m crazy?”

In today’s Gospel, Saint Mark reported to us a scene of a man possessed with an unclean spirit calling out to Jesus saying, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Have you and I ever addressed to Jesus like that man possessed by an unclean spirit? What have you to do with me, Jesus? Have you come to destroy me? I know you are the Holy One of God. We all know who Jesus is, the Son of God. We all have no problem to proclaim that he is the Son of God and God himself. However, we might doubt in his mercy and forgiveness, and we follow the evil desires and our own will. “I was born and raised in the Catholic faith,” we might say, “and I received my Sacraments of baptism, first Holy Communion, and Confirmation. However, I left the faith because I didn’t marry in the Catholic Church.” “I left the Church,” someone else said, “because I married in the Church and divorced. It took too long to go through the annulment, and it costed too much money.” “I left the Church,” others said, “because of this priest or that priest.”

There are millions of reasons to excuse ourselves. The moment we doubt the mercy and forgiveness of the Lord, the moment that we deny his presence in our lives. Satan’s problem is the sin of pride that he doesn’t trust in the mercy and forgiveness of God and asks for forgiveness. How would we trust in the mercy and forgiveness of the Lord? Perhaps, we are invited to learn to humble ourselves to acknowledge the need for God and his forgiveness. How would we humble ourselves in front of God to acknowledge the need for God in our lives if we cannot even humble ourselves to acknowledge the need for one another, to learn to forgive one another, and to learn to love one another rather criticizing and judging one another? We might not have problem to proclaim that Jesus is God and the Son of God on our lips, but have we believed and trusted in his mercy and forgiveness? How would we demonstrate that faith?


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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