The Light Of Christ – Fr. Viet Nguyen

Fr. Viet Nguyen’s Homily November 1, 2020

“Today we celebrate All Saints’ Day and have you ever been into a church and actually, well actually our church has beautiful stained glass here, but most churches have stained glass don’t they, surrounded, there’s never usually just clear windows that you can look outside and the stained glasses have these beautiful colors each depicting a different person, a different Saint. In different churches they have different Saints for each window, but what is the one common thing of all those windows? If there is no light, nothing is there. There is no beauty in it. Without the light it doesn’t shine forth. You can’t see it and so is true with all the Saints. There’s one common thing of all the Saints and it’s the light of Christ. The Saints, those who are sanctified, those who are made holy, those who are blessed, those who are happy , the Saints, they all let the light of Christ illuminate from them. If you look at the stained glass windows, if we turn off the lights, again it would be dark and yes, each Saint is different and that’s the beauty of it just like each one of us are different, but the one common thing is the light that shines forth that lets that beauty shine forward. It’s kinda said that the Saints for us, it’s like Christian constellations in the skies. It illuminates the future for us what we’re each called to and we are all called to be saints. To be a saint isn’t just an extraordinary feat for just extraordinary people, but it’s really the ordinary call for each one of us. In the first reading, it talks about the white cloth that they wear that it’s washed with the blood of Christ that it shines brightly. In the second reading it says that we will be like Christ. Image the transfiguration of Christ when he transfigured before his two apostles. He was bright as white, brighter than white. It just shined forth. When each one of us was baptized what were we given? We were given a white cloth put over us to represent the washing of original sin from our lives but then we were told, well actually your parents and Godparents were told, ‘Keep in unstained.’ Keep it unstained and so the Saints are ones who have kept it unstained, but not by their own merit, by living the light of Christ in their life by doing the will of God in their life. At your baptism you were given a candle and your parents and Godparents were told, ‘Keep this light burning brightly.’ Keep it burning brightly and so the light of Christ is burning in each one of us, but just like in the scriptures do we keep it covered under a bushel basket or do we bring it to the top of a hill and let it shine brightly? But there’s always a tension in each one of us. There’s a tension of doing God’s will and not doing God’s will. Doing God’s will and then kind of what we want to do and so there is a tension. There is a tension there. St. Paul calls that tension, he stated, ‘I do the things I don’t want to do and I don’t do the things that I want to do.’ I think we can each kind of relate to that, thinking the things you know you should do, that you desire to do that you want to do and how hard it is to do it sometimes or how easy it is to do the wrong thing at times and so there is always a tension, but how? How do we become like all the Saints, the ordinary call to holiness for all of us? We’re given the playbook today in the Gospel, the Beatitudes. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the merciful and really blessed could be replaced with happy. Happy are those who… One of the main things if you were to ask anyone in their lives, ‘What do you want for your life?’ Generally Christian or non-Christian will say, ‘I want to be happy.’ right? Well if you want to be happy, follow the Beatitudes. I can say with certainty that all the Saints followed the Beatitudes and it’s not that it’s easy, but that it helps purify our hearts to do the will of God and that’s the thing that’s how we keep our white alb unstained, that’s how we keep the light of Christ burning within us is the Beatitudes to purify our hearts to do the will of God that tension is no longer there that it’s easy to do the will of God. ‘No longer I that lives, but Christ lives in me.’ St. Paul says and that’s what we’re all called to today.

This weekend is our national vocations awareness and so our ultimate call for all of us is to be saintly, to be holy, but we all each have a vocation for how that’s done, the single life, the consecrated life and the married life. Many of you here have already found your vocation and it’s through that vocation that you will find your sanctity to find your wholeness. In marriage you purify each other. There’s always that tension sometimes of doing your will and doing what’s best for the family and for your marriage and so as you let go you purify yourselves. That’s why your marriage day, your wedding day is actually the worst day in your marriage. Why? Because every day after that you continue to grow in love for each other. You start purifying your life and so with myself as a priest my ordination day was actually the worst day in my priestly life because every other day after I grow in my relationship with God to keep our lives here to keep the light burning brighter, so we each have our call. How are you living that call? How are you letting the light of Christ shine in your life? As you come before the Lord today where Christ is truly present before us in the Eucharist, let us come to Him with our sins, our struggles, our anxieties. Let go of those. Sacrifice those so that we can receive the Eucharist, Christ in our hearts so it will nurture our souls, sustain us and so that the light of Christ will burn even brighter in our lives today. Amen.”