In The Silence – Fr. Viet Nguyen

Fr. Viet Nguyen’s Homily February 15, 2020

“Have you ever had trouble making decisions in your life?  Have you ever had trouble wondering what was the right thing to do or say?  I think especially now that communication is so available it’s even harder to really make decisions.  There’s a thing such as decision paralysis where we’re given so much information it’s overwhelming. We don’t know what to do with it.  In some ways we shut down. Do you know how you’re feeling right now? Do you really know how you feel? If I were to ask you, how are you feeling?  Would you know what to say or are the words just like ‘fine’ or ‘okay’ or ‘good’ or would it be easier for you if I had a picture of multiple emotions maybe words?  Often times we’re better at deciphering the world looking outside of ourselves than really looking within. The one thing we have control over we don’t really know what’s going on.  We never have enough silence to really understand what’s going on, but we’re always concentrating on the outside.

Today in the Gospel Jesus said that he didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.  The pharisees and scribes always concentrated strictly on the law the things of exterior things in their life, made sure that of that was put together they were following the rules, but Christ is saying that that’s not the most important thing, but what’s going on within?  What’s going on within you? But how do we do that? How do we really understand what’s going on within us and why?

In the second reading they talk about the wisdom of God how it’s above all human understanding, the wisdom of God and really that’s the Holy Spirit.  Jesus left and he said the spirit will come and teach you everything. The apostles said, ‘don’t leave. What are we supposed to do with our lives if you aren’t guiding us?’  But he said, ‘The Spirit will come and guide you to teach you everything.’ And so the Spirit is with us each and every one of us, but are we listening? Are we listening to the Spirit or are we gauging our life on our newsfeed of what’s going on in the world, what’s going on outside of us then first looking at ourselves starting with the foundation of our life?  Jesus says, ‘Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no.’ That seems fairly simple, but I think it’s harder than we think. Even within ourselves we might say yes we might say no to something else, but we’re thinking of something else. There’s a discrepancy. That’s why even I remember in Facebook there was always a maybe button and that’s the most comfortable because you don’t have to make a decision you don’t have to look at where you are now.  You can figure that out later, but the only thing we have control over is the present moment and where we are right now.

Every yes we say, we’re saying no to something else and vice versa and every no we say in our life, we’re saying yes to something else.  Do you realize that in your life? When you say yes and no to something. For instance you’re saying yes to coming to church right now. Maybe you’re saying no to exercise.  Maybe you’re saying no to other things in your life, but what are you saying yes to? You’re saying yes that my faith is important. Sometimes we just go through the motions of life and then we just react to everything outside of us and we wonder why nothing changes, but sometimes we have to stop, acknowledge what we’re doing because that’s the first step to change, to know where we’re at now is the first step to change because then you can acknowledge where you’re at know your no’s know your yes’ and then move forward, but you have to be grounded in your faith you have to be grounded in prayer to know those things.  So how do you find out? Take time in prayer. Take time in the silence of your day. If it’s uncomfortable then maybe there’s a reason for that there’s maybe something stirring within that you just don’t want to acknowledge, but if you never acknowledge it for what it is it doesn’t go away so take it to prayer. Spend time in the silence in prayer and then listen. Where’s the Holy Spirit, the wisdom of God, calling you to? You can’t change the world for say outside of you, but you can start with yourself. Is that enough for you? As you come before the Eucharist today where Christ is truly present before you in the Eucharist, let us continue to ask the Lord for the strength and courage to sit in silence to listen to our hearts whatever comes up and then have the courage to respond to it so that our yes will mean yes and our no will mean no.  Amen.”