To Give A Glimpse – Fr. Viet Nguyen

Fr. Viet Nguyen’s Homily November 9, 2019

“The reason why I wanted to read the long version (of the Gospel today) was the Sadducees put this question to Jesus.  They didn’t believe in the resurrection so they thought they could trick Jesus by their wording, so they basically asked, ‘Who’s husband is she in the resurrection in Heaven?’ And Christ says, ‘There is no need for marriage in Heaven.’  So, she’s neither. She is God’s.

In this week, I visited many of the classrooms for school and the kids would ask me many questions about the faith and of course there is always the question of ‘Why can’t priests get married?’  Well to answer that question is to really look at marriage at what it is. Marriage is the love of a man and a woman, but ultimately for them to get to Heaven is for each other to raise each other up to Heaven and once they’re there, then there’s no point for marriage.  We’re all called to holiness. We’re all called to be in Heaven with God and each one of our vocations is called us to it. Each one of our vocations is that very thing, to grow in holiness and for a priest, the reason why we don’t get married is what they say is ‘celibacy for the Kingdom’.  Often times in our lives we say no and we say yes to certain things, but don’t forget for every no you say, you’re saying no to something else and for every yes you say, you’re saying no to something else, so often times people put up to priests, ‘Well why can’t you get married?’ As if the Church is holding us hostage, but the point of priests not getting married is to be an example of what is to come that it’s through our relationship with God and Christ that fulfills us to keep us.  We’re called to be witnesses in different ways. How are you being called to be a witness to Christ.

In the first reading from Second Maccabees it talks about these Martyrs who are killed and we might think it’s gruesome and how gruesome it was back then, but there are Martyrs today more than ever.  I was remembering in 2015 there was Coptic Christians that were martyred by Isis brutally. There were Martyrs in Mexico very recently. There is martyrs where we don’t even know, but what is a martyr?  We think of martyrs purely by them dying for Christ with their blood, but we’re all called to be martyrs. A martyr is a witness to Christ and Christ calls us more than where we are now, but he’s calling us to heaven, the resurrection.  Those martyrs who died with their lives are bing a witness. They’re saying yes to Christ which is saying no to their own life. People can’t understand that, but if we look at their yes it gives us great hope. A priest says no to marriage and says yes to celibacy for the Kingdom to give a glimpse a small glimpse of Heaven in the world that it’s through our relationship with Christ that we can go on and will fulfill us.  A husband and a wife says yes just to each other, to be faithful to each other until death do them part and saying no to any other relationships to give us a glimpse of God’s grateful love in the world in his creation in the world, so for every yes we say, we say no to something else and for every no we say, let us make sure we know what yes we are saying to.  In today’s Gospel God calls us to look at the resurrection to come for that to be hope for us, not despair. So as you come before the Lord today where Christ is truly present before us in the Eucharist let us continue to ask the Lord for the strength and the courage to deepen our faith in Him to say yes to Him so that ultimately we can be in Heaven with him in the resurrection to come.  Amen.