CURE FOR RHEUMATISM

10 October 2003 MISSION SUNDAY (29TH Sunday) Matt 16: 15-20

 

[Should anyone want to wish me a happy birthday, I will be seventy on October 22. Fr. Gene Thalman M.M. [email protected]]

 

Let us imagine for a moment, that it is not Fr. Hoh but it is Jesus standing in this pulpit this morning on this mission Sunday, Oct. 19, 2003. I think Jesus sermon would be short and simple: St. Patricks Catholics, when you were baptized, I commissioned you to preach the gospel to all created things in Wang Tau Hom, Hong Kong and China. Fr. Hoh, please make a report. Then Jesus would sit down and wait for our response. [N.B: Please provide a special chair for Jesus.]

 

I would then proudly say: Jesus, St. Patricks community has been energetically and consistently proclaiming the gospel to the people of Wang Tau Hom by our example and by our services to the elderly, the children, the handicapped. We have social activities such as the flower arranging club, English classes, bar-b-ques to which we invite non-Christians. In this way, we are planting the seeds of the gospel.

 

And Jesus would get up and say: Fr. Hoh, I am really happy with St. Patricks community. But I have one more question. Do the Catholics ever speak directly to non-Christians on Wang Tau Hom about me?

 

Direct Evangelization: I am sure that many of you know Mr. Kwok who lived in Wang Tau Hom all his life. Well, a few months ago he died at the age of eighty-seven. He went to the heavenly gate and St. Peter says: Let me see your baptismal certificate? Mr. Kwok says: I was never baptized. So St. Peter says Mr. Kwok, why didnt you go to St. Patricks Church and develop a friendship with Jesus? Mr. Kwok answered: None of my Catholic friends ever invited me.

 

We, Wang Tau Hom Catholics, know that the journey from unbelief to belief is personal and unique to each person. So we dont haphazardly run up to people on the street and ask: Have you been saved? We know we must choose appropriate times and approaches to invite the people of Wang Tau Hom to hear the good news. This demands discretion and sensitivity. But we must not be overly cautious. Fortunately the Holy Spirit will always help us to determine when is the proper time and place to make the invitation.

 

But wouldnt it be sad if even someone in Wang Tau Hom did not get to hear the good news because he/she never received a genuine and loving invitation from a member of St. Patricks community?

 

The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion [jolly relationship] between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love. (Catechism of the Catholic Church: # 850)

 

Religion is about the important things in life. People dont want to hear about religion. They want to hear your personal experience? How did you come to follow Jesus? Why are you glad that you are a Catholic? What happens when you pray? What do you like most about Jesus?

 

One day an educated man cynically asked a laborer. You are a Catholic. Prove to me the doctrine of transubstantiation? How can bread and wine be changed into the body and blood of Christ? The laborer had no education but he answered: I cant explain transubstantiation. But neither can you explain to me how Jesus could take a drunk, a man who had a terrible temper, who beat his wife and whose children feared him, and changed into become a loving parent and a faithful husband.

 

For many years Mrs. Wong Chuen has had painful rheumatism. Today I saw her in the market. Would you believe it! She was walking briskly and smiling. She said: Fr. Hoh, I have good news. The doctor gave me a new pill and all my pain is gone. I am in a hurry. I want to tell my friend, Mrs. Sz-To Uen Kam. She also has rheumatism and it might help her too. Off, she ran like a rabbit!

 

If your Faith is truly good news for you personally, you, too, will feel an urge to share it!

 

RESPONSE:

 

1.      Personal Level: Many Catholics are shy in speaking about religion. Join a bible study-prayer group. With your Catholic friends, you can get in the habit of telling others about your experiences in following Jesus. Then it will be easy to do the same with non-Christians.

 

2.      . Parish Community: Evangelization is the task of every Christian. But I also wish our parish had a little evangelization committee. Everybodys job is no ones job. Perhaps there are three people here this morning who are not involved in any service to the parish who would wish to help form such a committee. The committee could learn the Churchs teaching on evangelization. It could prepare a monthly passout that we can give to non-Catholics. When parents bring their children to school, they pass by our parish bulletin board. The committee could prepare attractive displays. The committee could organize tea parties for non-Catholic spouses.

 

Wouldnt it be wonderful if the next Wang Tau Hom person who goes to the gates of heaven can tell St. Peter: I am from St. Patricks in Wang Tau Hom. Some years ago a Wang Tau Hom Catholic told me about what wonderful things Jesus did for him. So I got interested. Here is my baptismal certificate.

 

 

 

 

 

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HOMILETIC NOTES

10 October 2003 MISSION SUNDAY (29TH Sunday) Matt 16: 15-20

 

ONE WORD: EVANGELIZATION

 

TWO WORDS: DIRECT EVANGELIZATION

 

THEME: Christ wants everyone to come to know the truth. Our privileged mission is to proclaim the good news to all in Hong Kong and China.

 

SCRIPTURE TEXTS:

 

Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation. Mk 16:15.

 

for he wants all men to be saved and come to know the truth. 1 Tim 8:4.

 

Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. Zachariah 8: 23.

 

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:

 

# 850 The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.

 

#851 Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth.

 

 

SERMON APPROACHES:

 

1.       Difficulties in proclaiming gospel in Hong Kong

A. Religion has bad image.

B. People on Wang Tau Hom are just too busy to think about religion.

C. Catholics are not like the Mormons. We are shy about talking to our friends about our

Faith.

 

ILLUSTRATION

 

Recently, I discovered that I was instrumental in leading a gentleman to our Faith. It was not through my profound knowledge of theology or my counseling skills. It was 1962. I could barely speak Chinese. But the pastor of the parish had assigned me to be chaplain to the parish Scouts. My scouting background was zero. So I joined a Scout Training Program. What a horrible experience for a 27-year-old tenderfoot! But one young fellow trainee was so impressed that this clumsy foreigner would submit to the indignities of marching and tying knots that he decided to become a Catholic. He became the principal of one of our Catholic schools in Hong Kong. [By the way after two days of training, I received my Gilwell Woggle which I treasure.] -- Fr. Gene Thalman M.M.

 

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CHEWING THE WORD OF GOD

10 October 2003 MISSION SUNDAY (29TH Sunday) Matt 16: 15-20

 

1.      ____T/F We should first of all, tell Wang Tau Hom people about the teachings of

Church.

2.      ____T/F St. Peter was angry with Mr. Kwok because he wasnt baptized.

3.      Mrs. Sz-To reminds us that when Chinese and Filipino people have g____ n____ they spontaneously s______ it with their n_________rs.

4.      The ultimate p_____ of m_______ is none other than to make men [women and children] share in the c_________ between the F_____ and the S___ in their S______ of love.

5.      (Optional) Tell an experience in which you attempted to share the Faith with a non-Christian. What was the result? What might you have done differently?

 

(Hints: birds, gratitude, mission, Saints, Faith, Spirit, Sign, share, Son, message, neighbors, good, nice, communion, purpose.).