Thursday of Second Week of Lent
March 4, 2021
A Generous Heart
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance” (LK 8:15). Today’s Gospel tells us a story about the selfish rich man and the poor perseverant Lazarus. They have two different sets of lives: rich and poor; selfish and generous; ignorant and perseverant. Who are you?
Who is a generous hearted person? God, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Have you seen anyone who has a generous heart? God loves the generous, for God is very generous. Have you ever encountered a poor person? Do you know his or her name? St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “We often talk about the poor but we do not have any poor friends.”
A generous heart is a combination of blessing and gratitude. A generous hearted person is blessed first by God. They are generous because they have “something” to give or to share. They are more blessed because they realize that everything they have is blessed by God. Nothing they could say they deserved it. Their families, possession, position, power, security, education and breath of life are from God.
A generous hearted person is also very grateful. They are generous not because they want to share a little here and there to feel good or to perform “work of mercy”. They are so grateful that they cannot keep what they have to themselves. They need to share. They are generous because they always give. And they give to the last penny like a poor widow (Mk 12:41-44) who put a few cents in a basket. They treat others as their own people with a generous heart, open mind and forgiving spirit.
We are generous not how much we give, but how faithful we give. The poor Lazarus was persevering in his asking. God will judge us justly based on how we treat others with the blessings God has given us. Be generous as God is generous.
Question: Do you consider yourself as a rich or a poor person?
Fr. Tat Hoang, C.Ss.R. is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: The Gospels of Hope: Christ is the Sign
Time: Mar 3, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
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Reflection questions: What signs did Jesus show us? What signs do you want to show or share with others?
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Wednesday of Second Week of Lent
March 3, 2021
Sometimes we are afraid of wanting to become great. Or if we desire to become great we do not want to sacrifice and discipline to become one. Therefore, we never become a true disciple of Jesus. Jesus challenged us:
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.
First, I always thought that Jesus did not want me to be great but to always aim for servant or slave in a sad attitude. Now, I understand that Jesus wants me to give all I have, my soul, my heart, my strength and my mind, to God in service of the poor. That is a great thing to do. Why not? Mother Teresa had a great dream. She decided to take care of each dying and sick person one by one like she’s caring for Jesus. Now, her Sisters of Missionary of Charity exist throughout the world.
Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Katharine Drexel (1858-1955) who decided to use her considerable inheritance for the benefit of the poor. After the death of her father, she and her sister began to use their wealth to have more priests work with the American Indians. Saint Pope John Paul II said she “was a woman of lively faith, deeply committed to the truth revealed by Christ, the truth she knew so well because she constantly listened to Christ’s voice.” She had a great heart for the poor.
Aim to be great … for the glory of God and for the common good of others, especially the poor. Then you will be blessed abundantly by God.
Question: What “one great inheritance” God has entrusted to you that you want to share with others?
Tuesday of Second Week of Lent
March 2, 2021
After being perfect, being righteous, and being merciful, Jesus calls us to be real today. What does it mean to be real?
Be real means say what you mean and do what you say. Jesus warned, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.” Living in the Communist country for 21 years, I heard the same warning in Vietnam as well, “Don’t listen to what the Communists say, but look at what they do.” Basically, we can’t trust the unreal.
Be real also means be honest, equal and dignified to one another because we all are created equally and loving by the same God. Jesus said, “You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.” We are brothers and sisters. Do not treat others differently based on economic, educational, social or spiritual status.
Being truly real means being a servant (leader) to others. Jesus taught, “The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
It is a tough challenge. However, this invitation from Jesus is the truth. We need to live everyday with this realization. If we do otherwise, we are living untruthfully to ourselves and to one another. All our talents and status are gifted from God. They are meant to serve people and bring forth peace, justice and love here on earth.
Question: Would you like to be real as Jesus is real?