Rev. John Kha Tran

There was an old couple who argued a lot, and they decided to travel before they died. One place they wanted to see was Israel. While they were there, the wife died.

When the husband tried to see what arrangements he could make for her funeral, the mortician told him that he could bury his wife in Israel for $2,000 or they could send her body home to the United States, but it would cost him $20,000 to transport her.

He thought for a moment and said we’ll send her to the United States.

A friend asked him why he would spend so much money to send his wife’s body back home. He said, “I heard a story that one time a person rose from the dead here in Israel and I can’t take that chance!”

The Resurrection

The Gospel reports that early in the morning, Mary Magdala and other women go to the tomb to visit Jesus’ body. They are still weary and saddened. They are concerned about how to remove the stone away from the entrance. This means they do not expect a resurrection. In their minds and hearts, they believe that Jesus is dead and his body is still kept in the tomb. To their surprise, when they get there, the entrance to the tomb is open. The angel informs them of the resurrection, and instructs them to go and tell the disciples to meet Jesus in Galilee. This is a true story. It has been told over and over for the last 2000 years. Jesus dies and rose from the death. There is no dispute. Many people have believed in Jesus. A lot of them have shed their blood and died for the name of Jesus. The Church continues to witness, “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.” This faith in Jesus is still alive. The Church has kept this faith alive. And we are part of this. We are helping to keep this faith in Jesus alive in the world. There is, however, an amnesia in today world. Many people do not want to us to talk about Jesus. Many people do not believe in the Resurrection.

Many of our leaders in the government do not want to talk about Jesus. Many people do not only want separation between Church and State. They also want separation between the country and God, the country and Jesus. Yes, it is no longer just separation of Church and States. It is now separation between the nation and God in practice. The Ten Commandments and the Bible are not allowed to be taught to our children in our public education system. The Cross is not welcome in Public Square. Marriage is no longer honor as a loving relationship between a man and a woman. The life of innocent babies is not respected. More than ever before, the world needs to know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. He is the Savior of the world. He is the God and Savior of life. We need to proclaim our faith in Jesus louder, to witness our faith in Jesus bolder and to conform to Jesus’ teachings and way of life more faithfully. 

Source of Amnesia

There are reasons that the world does not want to hear about Jesus’ story. The world is having an amnesia. And Satan is behind this amnesia. I want to point out two popular practices in our modern culture to prove that Satan is behind this amnesia. The first one is abortion. Satan is telling our people and our government that there is no other life than this life. There is no hope in the Resurrection. Just look at this life. You have only this life to live. You have only this life to enjoy. You decide for your own life. So just enjoy yourself. Why bother yourself with another baby. Why bother yourself with antoher life. It is causing problem and inconvenient to you and to your life. It costs you too much. It costs the nation too much. Abortions and the policy to support abortions are evidences that our government and many people do not believe in the human souls and in the Resurrection. They do not believe there is life after death. Therefore they want to promote abortions. They want to support abortions. Satan wants them to forget about life, forget about Jesus, forget about the Ressurection.

Jesus is the opposite. Jesus loves all human souls. Jesus loves human life. That is the reason he becomes human, suffers and dies so that all people can live forever. Jesus loves life and so we love life. If we profess that we believe in Jesus and in his resurrection, we cannot support abortions. We cannot support people who support abortion either. There is no choice in this matter. With Jesus we must choose life. The faith in Jesus’ resurrection demands our choice for life. There is no dubious on this issue.

Satan is also behind the movement to redefine the meaning of marriage. Marriage is instituted by God from the beginning of creation. God intends the loving union between a man and a woman to be the sign of His love in the world. There are two important signs of God’s love I want to talk about. The first sign of God’s love is creational. God loves, therefore, He creates the world and life in the world. God wants the union of a man and a woman in marriage to continue his work of creation. The primary purpose of marriage is to create human life. To create life is a sign of God’s love. The second sign of God’s love is self-giving. God continues to give and to provide for humanity. Parents’ love for their children is the signs of God’s love. They bring their children into the world, and like God, they continue to love, provide care and support their children. Parents continue to sacrifice for their children. Same-sex couples, by nature, do not have these two characters in their union.

Satan wants to erase this sign of God’s love in the world. He wants humanity to live in amnesia; therefore he promotes same-sex marriage. He tricks people into thinking that it is a human right. It is equal right. Same-sex marriage is equal with the traditional form of marriage. The truth is that same-sex is not in God’s plan. Satan is shrewd in his plan to lure us away from God. He wants to erase our memories of God. He wants us to forget that Jesus Christ has died for us. He wants us to forget about the resurrection and life after death.   

Baptismal Promises

On Easter Sunday, all Catholics make a renewal of Baptismal promises to remind us of who we are and what we are about in this world. It is calling us from the state of amnesia to the state of nostalgia. We are Christians, and Christians have mission in the world. Our mission is to profess and proclaim the death and resurrection of the Lord until he comes again. There are two dimensions of our Baptismal promises. The first is to make the declaration to dissociate ourselves from Satan, from his works and from all his empty promises. The second dimension is to profess our faith in the Trinitarian God, the Father who is the Creator of heaven and earth, the Son who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. These are the essential elements of our Catholic faith.