Human Do-ers or Beings? – Fr. Viet Nguyen

Fr. Viet’s Homily July 20, 2019

“What are we?  Are we human do-ers or are we human beings? We identify ourselves by what we do or how we can do it or if we can do it or not and I think that comes into play of, even in today’s world with artificial intelligence or even with machines and the development of technology that people worry about what will happen.  There’s been many movies where it shows the machines taking over the world, that they can do it better than we can and maybe they can do tasks better than we can. Our lives are shifting and it will start to shift in these next 10-20 years that jobs will change, but will we change? Does it affect who we are because we aren’t doing it anymore or because a machine can do it better than we can?  So are we human do-ers or human beings?

In today’s Gospel it’s the story about Martha and Mary, about Jesus coming before them and in that culture it is right that both the sisters should prepare for their guest, so Martha isn’t doing anything wrong, but when she says to Jesus, ‘Tell my sister to come help me’ and Jesus says, ‘She has chosen the better half and it will not be taken from her.’  That’s not saying that one is better than the other. You know, they’re both needed, us spending time in silence with the Lord, but also doing things. But Jesus is saying that the most important thing should be our relationship with Christ, should be being with him and that satisfaction of that relationship, so I ask you again, are you more satisfied by what you do or who you are?  Are you more fulfilled by what you do, or who you are? The Lord is telling us that relationship is most important, our relationship with our spouse, our family, the people we serve, but especially Christ. Once we lose the relationship, then what we do really doesn’t matter. In our Catholic Church is always faith and works and it talks about that, that faith and works, works by what we do, but faith without works isn’t really faith at all and works without faith is the same, but the thing is, is our relationship with Christ should really stimulate all of that, that our relationship with Christ, our faith, who we are, should move us to the things we do and how we treat others and how we pray.  If it doesn’t move us or do anything than maybe look at that, maybe work on your faith. What does the Lord move you to do in your life? Sit with him. 

My challenge for you is just to sit with the Lord and try not to do so much.  Often times the hardest things to do is just to sit in silence before the Lord.  I’ve found it easier to busy ourselves with the prayers and I’m not saying the prayers aren’t good, but again it should be rooted in our relationship with God.  So is your life rooted in your relationship with God, are you a human doer, or are you a human being? God calls us as human beings to be with Him for eternity, so as you come before the Lord today where Christ is truly present before us, let us continue to ask the Lord for the strength and courage to be with him, to sit with him and if we can’t, then bring those struggles to him so that he can lift that burden from our hearts.  Amen.”