Normally, we celebrate a saint's feast day on the day when they died. This is true for almost all saints' feast days. But there are three exceptions: The birth of Jesus Christ, the birth of Mary, and the birth of St. John the Baptist. John's birth shows us once again that God's will is being carried out in time. We must thank God and praise Him for His loving plan of redemption for humanity. At the same time, we should strive to emulate St. John the Baptist, who pointed the way to Christ and announced his presence when at last he came. The question of John's contemporaries -- "What will this child be?" is a question for all of us today: "What will I be [for Christ]?"
In his teaching about the Reign of God, Jesus uses two very helpful parables. He likens the Reign of God to a mustard seed, something so very small that can grow into a very large shrub. We, too, though small can do great things because God is with us. The other parable is of a farmer who sows seed in his field and then waits for the harvest. Even though he tends the field and waters it, how it grows is a mystery. So it is with the Reign of God. It is already sown among us on earth, and it is developing according to God's plan. We must trust in God's will always, while cooperating with God as co-workers: tending, feeding, and expanding the Reign of God.
Hoy en el evangelio, Jesus nos enseña del reino de Dios. Él usa el ejemplo de una semilla de mostaza: es algo bien pequeño, pero una vez sembrado en la tierra llega a ser una gran planta. Los pajarillos y los otros animales disfruten su sombra. Iqualmente nosotros -- aunque seamos pequeños -- podemos hacer cosas grandes, porque el Espiritu Santo vive dentro de nosotros. Con Dios, todo es posible.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says, "A Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand". He could very well be speaking about creation after the fall. In Genesis we hear how sin entered the world, and we see the effects of our parents' disobedience: separation, division, discord. The Good News is that God sent His Son into the world to bring us unity -- with God, with each other, and with all of creation. May all of us strive to maintain that bond of peace and unity that is ours through the gift of God's Holy Spirit.
(This is a short homily because after I gave it a priest translated it in Vietnamese for the congregation. Also, 17 young people were confirmed during this liturgy)
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. The Eucharist is God's gift to humanity, and it brings us into communion with God. God wants us to be one with Him, and this is possible through our union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. How to have union with Jesus? By eating his Body and drinking his Blood. That is why the Eucharist is Viaticum: food for the way. May we return to this Living Food again and again so that we have life within us -- and eternal life at the end of the age.
(Starts with applause for Confirmation candidates.) (Bilingual homily).
We know a little about the mystery of God - as a Trinity of Persons -- because God has willed it thus. God has been revealing Himself to His creation over time, and with the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, we now know that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are caught up in the love that is God, and thus we are to amplify that love in the world.