Rev. John Kha Tran

A man said, “Last night I was sitting on the sofa watching TV when I heard my wife’s lovely voice from the kitchen.”
“What would you like for dinner my love . . . chicken, beef or lamb?”
I said, “Thank you, I’ll have chicken.”
She replied, “You’re having soup. I was talking to the cat.”
(Bill Kerley, Houston Chronicle).

Another person wrote: “I love my husband very much. I like giving him back rubs, massaging his head, cuddling and kissing him. In return he does the same for his motorcycle and his fishing boat. His motorcycle and the fishing boat are the only things he cares about. They do nothing for me except standing on my driveway.”

I have never heard of anyone complaining that he or she has received so much love and affection; but I do have heard many people complaining of not receiving enough love and affections from others.

Last year (2009), Derrion Albert, a 16 years old honor student, was killed in the street of Chicago while others standing by watching him being attacked by four other youths without doing anything to stop the attack. It was even worst when news reported that two security guards of a building nearby, saw the attack and did nothing to stop it.

In New York City a mailman, shot by a sniper, was ordered to leave a building lobby. He was ordered to leave because he was dripping blood.

In Oklahoma City a woman gave birth unexpectedly on a city sidewalk. Bystanders turned their faces and ignored her. A taxi driver looked, and then sped away. A nearby hotel refused to provide her a blanket.

In Dayton, Ohio, a dozen people saw a woman drive her car into the Miami River. They watched indifferently as the woman climbed on the car’s roof and screamed that she couldn’t swim. The woman drowned (King Duncan, www.Sermon.con).

It is horrible to hear news like these, but incidents like this have happened. This is the symptom of apathy. Apathy has been defined as loss of motivation, interest or emotions. When and what make people become lack of interest and concern for others?

Late For Class

Years ago on a seminary campus a New Testament professor was lecturing on the parables. This professor was known for his strictness. He often penalized students even if they were tardy! After spending a fair amount of time on the parable of the Good Samaritan, he posted a notice on the board telling the students that that day’s class was being moved to the other side of the campus. On the only route to the new class room, he staged a drunk lying on the ground asking for help. To the professor's amazement, not one of the students stopped to help this man--they all were in too big of a hurry to get to class lest they be penalized for being late (Johnny Dean, www.eSermons.com).

Be Kind!

Be kind to people. We all appreciate people who take time to show kindness to us. The world needs kindness so much. We need kindness. You never know what sort of battles other people are fighting. Often just a soft word or a warm compliment can be immensely supportive. You can do a great deal of good by just being considerate, by extending a little friendship, going out of your way to do just one nice thing, or saying one good word to others.

A young woman wrote to Abby,
Dear Abby: I am writing to thank the schoolteachers, librarians and counselors who were kind to me when I was an at-risk child. My mother was mentally ill, my father was absent, and the school was my haven. I often wish I could tell some of those adults who helped me along the way that I did make it, that I turned out OK, and that I’m so grateful for the little and big ways they intervened in my life.
To all who serve children: Please know that even very small kindnesses give hope and strength to the child who doesn’t receive them elsewhere.”-Turned out OK.

One special joy for me to be the pastor at our parish (St. Bart’s) is your kindness. Whenever I ask for your support, I always receive more than expected. The hospitality ministry has chosen their motto, “Father asks, we serve!” Last week, when his term as the Grand Knight of the KC Council 6950 was over, Chic Saez stepped down from his position; he sent me note to reassure me of his support by saying that he is only a phone call away. It is always good to hear someone telling me, “Call me when you need me!” I cannot name all of your kindness here, but you and I are trying to be like the Samaritan in the Gospel parable today. Who was that Samaritan?  

The Samaritan

According to the commentary from Origen of Alexandria (c. 185 AD - c. 254):

  • The man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho was Adam.
  • Jerusalem was paradise.
  • Jericho was the world.
  • The brigands were enemy powers.
  • The priest represented the law.
  • The Levite represented the prophets.
  • The Samaritan was Jesus Christ.
  • Adam’s wounds were his disobedience.
  • The animal that carried him was the body of the Lord.
  • The Inn, open to all who wished to enter, was the Church.
  • The two silver coins represent the “love” of the Father and the Son.
  • The innkeeper was the head of the Church who was entrusted with its administration.
  • The promised return of the Samaritan was a figure of the second coming of the Savior.

Anyone could be that wounded traveler. Neither the law, nor the prophets could save him. Only Jesus, the Samaritan, who, moved with compassion, came upon us, bore our sins and suffered on our behalf. He brought us into the Church. He entrusted our lives to the care of Church until He returns.

To Inherit Eternal Life

To answer the question from the Scholar of the law, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus gave this parable and told the Scholar as well every one of us, “Go and do likewise.”

A former English Communist returned from China, told of her experiences there and mentioned in particular what she had observed at a mission hospital conducted by a group of Catholic nursing Sisters.

“What I saw was hard to believe,” she confided to a gathering of Protestant women at the Hotel Commodore in New York.

“There was scarcely a square foot in the whole place not covered by some poor Chinese sick or wounded. Yet nobody was turned away. Some spot was found for everyone. And what care they got! Every person was treated with a tender and tireless solicitude I have seldom seen.”

“The Sisters in charge of the hospital obviously were Europeans, but from what country I wasn’t sure. So I asked the Sister Superior, “Sister, to what country do you and the other nuns belong?”
Without a moment’s hesitation she replied in words I’ll never forget: “We belong to no country. We belong to the world. We are sisters in Christ. We are sisters of all men.” (Treasury of Catechism Stories # 172).