Mẹ Cứu Giúp

WHAT DID HE SAY?

An elderly couple were driving across the country.
The woman was driving when she got pulled over by the highway patrol.
The officer said, "Ma'am did you know you were speeding?"
The woman, hard of hearing, turned to her husband and asked, "What did he say?"
The old man yelled, "He says you were speeding!"
The patrolman said, "May I see your license?"
The woman turned to her husband once again and asked, "What did he say?"
The old man yelled, "He wants to see your license!"
The woman gave the officer her license.
The patrolman then said, "I see you are from Arkansas. I spent some time there once and went on a blind date with the ugliest woman I've ever seen."
The woman turned to her husband and asked, "What did he say?"
The old man yells, "He said he thinks he knows you!”

We don’t want to hear someone telling us:  ‘You are no good; you are worthless; you are ugly; nobody cares about you!’”
Instead, we want to hear: “You are my beloved Son and daughter; with you I am well pleased!” (Lk 3:22).

Children of God

At Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. His Father tells him how proud he is of him. “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This is a wonderful affirmation for Jesus.
God is giving his personal blessing to Jesus’ mission in the world.

It’s good when any parent says to a child, “I’m proud of you.” Every child needs to hear that message from a parent. Actually every one of us here would love to hear this affirmation as well.  

We receive this blessing and affirmation from God when we were baptized. St. John writes in chapter 3 of his First Letter:
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

At baptism we are born into God’s family.
We become children of God.
We receive a new identity.
We become brothers and sisters of Christ and become heirs to God’s Kingdom.
We are beloved children of God.
God is also telling us, “This is my beloved son, this is my beloved daughter.”
We do not have to do anything to become God’s beloved.
This is a birthright given to us at Baptism.
Birthright means you do not have to earn it.
You have been born into a family. You just belong to that family.
Your mom and dad just accept you and love you because they gave birth to you. They will take care of you no matter what.

As a parent, just think about how much stuff you need to carry in order to bring a child on a trip with you. If your child is an infant, you have to bring diapers and formula, a portable crib, books & toys for the trip, a car seat for the airplane and rental car, a stroller, not to mention all the varieties of clothes for all possible climate changes. It is easy to understand why today's moms and dads often buy minivans, S.U.V.'s, or suburban to haul all the kids and especially all their equipment. Your child does not have to ask you. You just know you need to provide for them with those stuffs because they will need them.

That is the way God treats us. He loves us. He provides the world and everything in the world for us to use, to entertain, to play and have fun on our journey.

So we are God’s beloved children just as Jesus is God’s beloved Son. How about the second part of the saying: “With you I am well pleased!”

Can God say this to every one of us? 

“With You I am Well Pleased!”

Last week, after a funeral, a woman stopped me at the narthex and asked me:
“Father, do you still remember me?” I was not sure. I just vaguely remembered her face. So I told her, “I am not sure I remember you!” She said, “Yes, you should remember me. Three years ago, you kicked me out of the church!”

I was taken aback. I asked, “Really? I don’t believe that I could ever kick anyone out of the Church!”

She assured me that I did. So I asked her, “How did I do that?”

She said, “Three years ago, I came to you asking you to bless my marriage and give me Communion, but you did not do it for me. You told me that I could not be married in the Church again because I had been married before. But I went to other church and they accepted me.” I said, “I am so sorry that I could not do it for you.” She said that she would come back to talk to me.

I have been thinking about that incident. I told her that I could not bless her second marriage unless she and her current husband agree to seek annulments from their previous marriages.

For those of you who are married. You know that you have made your vows to your spouse: for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in good times and in bad, in sickness or in health, you would love and respect each other all the days of your lives. Unless it was a joke; you are bound by your vows to each other and to God until you die. I cannot release you from your vows. The Church cannot release you from your vows. You cannot release yourselves from your vows. God said whatever He puts together man must not divide; and Jesus reaffirmed it.

If we want God to hear God saying “With you I am well pleased,” we better do what is pleasing God. We are not here to please ourselves. We are not here to do whatever we want to do.

Yes, we are God’s beloved children. This is a birthright given to us. But if we would like to hear God telling us, “With you I am well pleased!” we should live a life that is pleasing to God. God is pleased with Jesus because Jesus comes to do God’s will. At the most difficult time of his life, he is still able to say to his Father, “It is not my will but your will be done.” God is well pleased with Jesus because Jesus devoted His entire life to do God’s will; and he gave His life for others. Are you living for yourself or for others? Are you giving your life for anybody?

It is important for us to stop and ask ourselves, “Am I doing God’s will?” “What kind of works am I doing for God?”

Michael Oher

I just saw the movie Blind Side and was inspired by the story. The movie was about Michael Oher. They called him Big Mike. Big Mike was a homeless black boy. He never knew his father. His mother was addicted to crack cocaine.  Michael attended 11 schools in nine years. If not in a foster home, he lived with friends. A turning point came when Tony Henderson, who allowed Michael to crash on his sofa, brought him along when he took his son Steven to enroll at Briarcrest Christian School on the other side of town. Oher ultimately was admitted as a special-needs case.
Another pivotal moment occurred during his first Thanksgiving break, when Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy spotted Oher as they drove past a bus stop near the school. It was snowing.
Oher, then 16, was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts.
Sean, then a volunteer assistant basketball coach at the school who had met Oher at the gym, grabbed the wheel. Next came a U-turn.
Leigh Anne got out of the car, talked to Michael. "She cried the second she met him, and it was over." She took him home.
The Tuohys took in Oher, allowing him a safety net in their home in upscale East Memphis two blocks from the school. Sean says the generosity was not the result of any epiphany or even as much as a family meeting.
"We think God sent him to us," Sean says. "Earthly explanations don't make sense."
Oher says, "They've got big hearts. To take somebody from my neighborhood into your house? Nobody does that. I don't think I'd even do that. I'd help you out, but with a daughter and with all the violence and drugs where I come from ... they didn't have to do that. I owe a lot to them."
I like the part when Michael asked Leigh Anne to help him get his driver's license.
Leigh Anne asked him, “You don’t have a car, why do you want to have a driver license?”
Michael said, “I just want to have something to carry with me to say something about who I am.”
He wants to have an ID card.

For us, Baptism is our ID. We have a seal on us. We are the children of God. Children of God should learn to honor God and love others. Children of God should open their hearts and welcome others with love and generosity. God will be pleased with us if we generously take care of His Church and His people.

I was inspired by the story of Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. They love each other and love their children. They are a loving family. They have so much love that they can share with a black homeless boy. I am sure God is also pleased with them. I hope many of us can also share our love with others and live a life that is pleasing to God.

Rev. John Kha Tran
Houston, TX