Second Sunday of Lent
Feb. 28, 2021
Listen to Jesus
Did you hear it? No. Did you see it? No. “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” We are called to listen to Jesus every day. Each person hears differently.
God called to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” he replied.
Then God said: “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you.”
Both Abraham and Isaac walked up to the same destination of sacrifice. But each person carried a different message and understanding. Abraham goes up to sacrifice his own son. He was worried and stressed out. His son Issac was innocent and obedient to his father. He might feel religious and fun.
In order to listen to God’s voice, one needs to be attentive to it. Listen to hear. Listen to see. Listen to understand. And listen to live out God’s message in our lives. Abraham listened and brought Issac to sacrifice him. Then Abraham listened again in order to stop killing his own son.
Each day, each incident and each gathering/meeting, God shows us a different message with a different angle of truth. We need to be flexible and open to re-discern and re-decide again. Do not hold on to our fixed idea out of fear. One of the biggest obstacles of hearing and listening is our own mindless and fixed perception/philosophy about someone or something. We don’t want to change. Period.
Be calm. Be quiet. Be not afraid. Listen…without agenda.
Question: How can you listen with your beautiful eyes, positive imagination and generous heart?
Saturday after First Sunday of Lent
Feb. 27, 2021
This morning I read an article from my own Redemptorist news about 7 lay missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer joining the Redemptorists in Argentina. I asked myself why these 7 people wanted to commit their lives for this mission? What moved them to become joyful missionaries? The answer I found was they listened to Jesus’ invitation and they followed him. Today, Jesus invites us to be perfect. Do you dare to be perfect?
How can I become perfect and holy? Jesus has the answer for you: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” Some of us would argue, “But I have neither enemies nor persecutors. Am I perfect?” Then you are ready to become “missionaries of love” for others.
We are called to be holy, perfect, merciful like God. “For he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” We sometimes choose the best of the best to fall in love, to befriend with or to care for. We choose a famous church or school or business to go to. We want to gain before we want to lose ourselves. We think about ourselves before we think for others.
We are called to go beyond ourselves to share God’s goodness with one another. Like the seven lay missionary Redemptorists, they go out of their own needs and the needs of their families to “preach” the Gospel of love to all.
Question: Do you dare to be perfect as God is perfect?
I believe everyone needs to learn about forgiveness. We need forgiveness from others or from God. And we need to forgive others because they might hurt us in the past or they indirectly make mistakes that impact us. As Christians we MUST forgive and be forgiven. No forgiveness … no true peace.
Fr. Tat Hoang, C.Ss.R. is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Gospel of Hope: Jesus
Time: Feb 24, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 858 3393 4275
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Tuesday of the First Sunday of Lent|Feb. 23, 2021
Bread and Forgiveness
Bread and forgiveness must be two important elements for Jesus. Jesus asks us to pray brief and to the point. “Do not babble like pagans”.
Prayer is important in life. Many of us either feel inadequate or don’t know how to pray. Some of us believe that we are professional pray-ers. We pray very loud. We recite many prayers. We repeat a lot.
Bread is not only important but also necessary. Everyone needs to eat. We pray that we have enough food to eat every day. Sometimes we want to secure our storage room or food pantry for the next 10 or 20 years, not daily bread. Because of that we could become so anxious and fearful for the unknown future. Do we trust in God for our future so that we can easily share with others what we have now?
Forgiveness is not only important but also necessary. We are called to forgive those who directly hurt us and those who make wrong decisions in their lives. When we forgive do not forgive half way or 50% but forgive completely and thoroughly. The best of almsgiving or giving is to for-give.
Question: Is it easy for you to forgive someone or some party?