Rev. John Kha Tran

A man was dressed up ready to go to work. Before leaving the house, he went into the kitchen to take a cup of coffee. As he was walking toward the breakfast table, his 6 years old son ran in to him. The hot coffee spilled out all over his shirt and pants. Madly he jelled and cursed at his son for being careless. He blamed his wife for not watching the boy. Angrily, he went back to his room, changed his clothes. And he slammed the door as he walked out to his car. He drove off to work in his madness.

Not wanting to be late for work, so he was driving fast. Suddenly police car came from behimd flashing. He was given a ticket for speeding.

He showed up late at work and realized that he had left his suitcase at home.

His boss was not happy with him because he was late and had missed an important meeting at the office.  His whole day was ruined.

At home, his wife resented him for his temper and for the way he treated his son. She had to deal with the boy’s crying and hurt feelings. He refused to finish his breakfast and did not want to go to school.      

What would happened if the father had chosen to react to his son differently?

For example, he could be calmly saying “Son, be careful and watch before you turn and walk around here in the kitchen. I don’t want you and I to get burned and hurt around here. I forgive you but from now on, please be careful and watch your steps. Then he calmly walked up to his room to change and go to work.  

Which response is more reflecting of the Holy Spirit?

The second one! Right, it is the second one. The first response was the reaction under the spirit of the flesh! The second response was the reaction under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord! It is good; peaceful, forgiving and loving. Every one of us is encouraged to respond to one another with the Spirit of the Lord.

The Disciples on Fire

In our readings today we find a church that is on fire with the Holy Spirit. The disciples were all together in the upper room waiting. And suddenly the room is filled with the sound of a wind. They couldn’t tell where it was coming from; they could only hear it. They were wondering what’s going on, then suddenly the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks and they started speaking in different languages. They couldn’t understand each other but those who were staying in Jerusalem for the feast heard them speaking in their own native tongues. They understood them. Some supposed they were drunk, but Peter quickly put an end to that line of thinking with a powerful speech which he made. He clearly explains the Gospel to these people and boldly declares the good news about Jesus Christ. The people accept his message and that day some three thousand persons were saved. 3,000 people in one day! Can you imagine? It’s amazing what God can do when we are ready to be used.

These apostles, who previously had not had the courage to even stand up with Jesus when he was being persecuted were suddenly changing the world. Peter who had denied that he had even known Jesus was now preaching to the multitudes.

What happened? What caused such a significant change? How can we experience that same kind of life-giving, life-inspiring change in our own lives?

We on Fire

A person who is on fire with the Holy Spirit is Ready to be Used. The disciples were ready to be used for God’s works. We can make ourselves ready to be used. Prepare our hearts, our minds,and our lives so that God can set us on fire. Make ourselves available so that God can use us for his Kingdom.

A person who is on fire with the Holy Spirit is able to Communicate to people from different cultures and speak in different languages. Through the Holy Spirit, people who speak English should be able to understand and relate to those who speak Spanish.

People who speak Spanish should be able to understand and relate to those who speak English. The Perpetual Adoration people should be able to understand and relate to the Bingo Players on Friday nights. The Happy Hearts should be able to understand and relate to the CCE Students. The young should be able to relate to the older people.

The Living Water Prayer Group should be able to communicate and relate to the poor who come to St. Vincent de Paul’s Social Services for assistance. We should be able to communicate and relate to one another. That is the indication that we are on fire with the Holy Spirit.

Taking the Time to Care

Douglas Maurer, 15, of Creve Coeur, Missouri, had been feeling bad for several days. Mrs. Maurer took Douglas to the hospital in St. Louis where he was diagnosed as having leukemia. The doctors told him in frank terms about his disease. They said that for the next three years, he would have to undergo chemotherapy. They didn’t sugarcoat the side effects. They told Douglas he would go bald and that his body would most likely bloat. Upon learning this, he went into a deep depression.

His aunt called a floral shop to send Douglas an arrangement of flowers. She told the clerk that it was for her teenage nephew who had leukemia. When the flowers arrived at the hospital, they were beautiful. Douglas read the card from his aunt without emotion. Then he noticed a second card. It said: "Douglas - I took your order. I work at Brix Florist. I had leukemia when I was seven years old. I’m 22 years old now. Good Luck. My heart goes out to you. Sincerely, Laura Bradley."

His face lit up. "Oh wow!" he said.

It’s interesting: Douglas Maurer was in a hospital filled with millions of dollars of the most sophisticated technological equipment. He was being treated by expert doctors and nurses with competent medical training. But it was a sales clerk in a flower shop, a young woman making $170 a week, who - by taking the time to care, and by being willing to go with what her heart told her to do - gave Douglas hope and the will to carry on.
(John M. Braaten, The Greatest Wonder Of All, CSS Publishing Co.).