Relationship With God – Fr. Viet Nguyen

Fr. Viet’s Homily July 28, 2019

“You know all this scripture is talking today about persistence and being persistent reminds me of kind of my niece.  She is about two and a half, almost three and if anyone has children or know children know that they can be quite persistent on asking why.  Why this or why that? The curiosity almost eagers them on. It was actually today when I was having breakfast with my parents and my brother and my niece where after I was leaving, I was coming back to do 11:45 Mass and she says, ‘Where are you goin?’  and I say, ‘I’m going back to Church.’ She said, ‘why?’ and I said, ‘Because I have to say Mass’. She says, ‘Why?’ So finally I just told her, ‘When there is a need, it has to be fulfilled.’ And she says, ‘okay.’ You know, she probably didn’t understand anything I said, but she accepted it not really knowing what it meant, but it was okay to move on.  Today in the Gospel, the disciples asked Jesus about his relationship with God. They always see him going off to pray either before or after miracles, so finally they ask him, ‘Jesus teach us how to pray. Teach us to have the relationship you have with the Father.’ And so he gives us this prayer, the Our Father and I could talk quite a bit about this one perfect prayer and all the parts to it, but the one thing I want to focus on is the beginning words.  The beginning words is how you address God. How does Jesus have us address God as our Father. Father. In the language that he spoke it would have been Abba as in father, but you know it’s more of an intimate address to God. In our language today it might be something like daddy or dad, so it has a very affectionate address to the Father and I think that’s very key when we pray because it’s a relationship. Our prayer to God first and foremost should be a relationship, so if I were to ask you, ‘how do you address God?’  What would it be? Do you address God as God? Do you address God as your savior or your Father or maybe your higher power? How do you address God when you pray because the way you address him is how the relationship really is lived out and our relationship with God should be an intimate one. I always compare our relationship to a child and their parents and just as much as times in our life where we’re learning and kids always learn. They learn by example, but you know the key to a parent’s job for their children is to teach them how to stay in relationship with the world, how to live within the world, how to act within the world, society, so that when they grow up and the parents aren’t there they can survive and they can make friends, but you know often times you might have to discipline your kid or tell them they’re doing it wrong and correct them and maybe they might not like it, but you know as I matured in my own life I look back now with fresh eyes to see my upbringing and really my parents were doing it all out of love.  They could see something in my life that I couldn’t see, but really that’s how our prayer with God should be as well that he’s teaching us and as our spiritual life grows in prayer, we’re hoping to see the world through his eyes, to hear through his ears and wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing if we could, but that takes time doesn’t it? It takes trust just like any relationship, so how is your relationship with God?  Where is it?  Is it non-existent?  Well maybe it’s time to start.

As you come before the Lord today where Christ is truly present before you, the very same Christ who taught us how to pray in today’s Gospel, let us continue to have the strength and the courage to bring our struggles to Him, to be vulnerable like a child is to their parents, to address Him however you might address Him so that you can continue to grow in your relationship so that one day we can see as God sees and hear as God hears.  Amen.”