We’re All Connected – Fr. Viet Nguyen

Fr. Viet Nguyen’s Homily February 9, 2020

“Now I want you to think about a little baby, a little baby or a little child.  In some ways they’re very selfish. They cry because they want food and all they do is sleep and eat and use the restroom and eat and sleep, but that’s how they’re staying alive, but what do parents teach children as they grow up?  What do they teach them? They start to tech them that the whole world doesn’t revolve around them that we’re all connected and we all have to help out whether it be in your families to help out your family or help others in their life.  We teach our children that very thing. When they are baptized we give the light of Christ to them. We tell their parents and Godparents to keep this light shining brightly meaning that they have the capacity to love, but it has to be cultivated, sometimes it has to be taught.  I think that sometimes we have forgotten that in our lives that as we grow older that we forget to cultivate how to love. In today’s Gospel Jesus talks about this light that if you have this bright light, why would you hide it? As baptized Christians we’re all given that light of Christ within us to shine brightly, but often times we don’t.  Why? Why don’t we shine it brightly? Or how? How do we do it? How do we continue to shine it brightly? Today in Isaiah it shows you how. What does it say in Isaiah? It says, ‘feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked and then your light will shine like the dawn and your wounds will be healed.’ It’s in the very act of giving that we receive.  Dorothy Day, someone who has worked with social justice in the Church and people know of her. One of the quotes she has is that ‘every baptized person every day should indirectly or directly act upon the corporal or spiritual works of mercy.’ That means every single day our actions as baptized Christians should directly or indirectly relate to the corporal or spiritual works of mercy.  For me in some ways that’s kind of a gut check because that’s a good reflection at the end of the day. Has my life, has my actions directly or indirectly related to the corporal or spiritual works of mercy? I think that’s a good way to live, but in some ways it’s in doing those things that we get out of ourselves. That’s why we have the young people at school do service hours to build that capacity to love where you wouldn’t expect to, but to be a light of Christ again is more than just us.  It’s realizing that we are all one that we’re all connected that it’s not just my family or maybe just our parish or our state, but everything we do in the world is connected and in doing so we have to take care of each other and that’s why we’re called to do that to shine brightly.

We often talk about evangelization to spread the word of God to everyone, but the best way to evangelize is with our very actions and I think we do that very well with Catholic Charities, but do YOU do it in your life?  I know we all know this, but one of the spiritual things in life is that you can’t think your way into right action. Often times we’re taught that if we jut knew more about it then maybe then we’ll do it or it would force us to do it, but you can’t think your way into right action.  Often times you have to act your way into right thinking and that’s a spiritual principle I think Christ teaches us that if you continue to love others then your heart transforms into His. You start to see the world as he sees it. Now wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing? So as you come before the Lord today where Christ is truly present before you in the Eucharist let us continue to ask the Lord for the strength and the courage to do the spiritual and corporal works of mercy in our lives to open ourselves up to receiving his love but also giving his love away so that we can be a light of Christ to the world.  Amen.”