Wednesday of 5th Week of Lent A

Living Faith in the Words of Jesus Cancel Our Sins and Death

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the third of thirteen children, was born on November 25, 1881 at Sotto il Monte (Bergamo) of a family of sharecroppers. At the age of forty-two, he was called to Rome to reorganize the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. He was nominated to titular archbishop of Areopolis and apostolic visitator to Bulgaria in 1925. While he was in Bulgaria, he received a letter from a priest wrongly accused him of many things. He didn’t defend for himself nor dislike this priest. Years passed, he was elevated to Cardinal then was elected to Pope as Pope John XXIII. He once invited the priest who wrongly accused him before to Vatican. This priest was worry that Pope John XXIII might get mad at him because of his letter wrongly accused the Pope before, but the Pope didn’t get mad and said to him, “I never get mad nor hate you. I thank you for your letter. I am also a person with many errors and mistakes. I have kept your letter in my Bible and read in it every day to examine myself. Each time I do that, I remember you and pray for you.” A wonderful living faith that Saint Pope John XXIII set example for us by forgiving and praying for the one who wrongly accused him.

In today’s first reading, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego testified for the Truth by denying to worship the false god or the golden statue. They were put into hot furnace to be burn alive, but King Nebuchadnezza saw the fourth one among these men looks like a son of God saved them from fire and hurt. Their living faith in the true God had saved them from harm.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus taught the Jews saying, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The words of Jesus are the living faith that whoever remains in his words will be his disciples and know the truth, and the truth will set him free. In other words, when we believe in the words of Jesus and act on them, these words have power to keep us away from sins and death. Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed and worshipped the truth God that they were saved from fire and death, who have you and I worshipped in our spiritual life? Just as Jesus reminded the Jews that his words help them to know the truth and the truth will set them free, have you and I believed in his words, the Bible? What would we do with his words that we believe? Can the Words free us if we just allowed the Words stay in our mind only? If the Words cannot touch our heart to carry out into actions, does it matter to believe in the Words? Belief or faith in the Words will become meaningless if we cannot allow the Words touch our heart and deliver it into actions. Decision is yours.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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