10 October 2003ÝÝ MISSION SUNDAY (29THÝ Sunday)Ý Matt 16: 15-20
[Should anyone want to wish me a happy birthday, I will be seventy on October 22.ÝÝÝ Fr. Gene Thalman M.M. [email protected]]
ÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝ 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.Ý I think Jesusí sermon would be short and simple:Ý ìSt. Patrickís Catholics, when you were baptized, I commissioned you to preach the gospel to ìall created thingsî in Wang Tau Hom, Hong Kong and China. Fr. Hoh, please make a report.î Then Jesus would sit down and wait for our response.Ý [N.B: Please provide a special chair for Jesus.]
ÝÝÝÝÝ I would then proudly say:Ý ìJesus, St. Patrickís 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 ìflower arranging clubî, English classes, bar-b-ques to which we invite non-Christians.Ý In this way, we are planting the seeds of the gospel.î
And Jesus would get up and say: ìFr. Hoh, I am really happy with St. Patrickís community.Ý But I have one more question.Ý Do the Catholics ever speak directly to non-Christians on Wang Tau Hom about me?î
Direct Evangelization: I am sure that many of you know Mr. Kwok who lived in Wang Tau Hom all his life.Ý Well, a few months ago he died at the age of eighty-seven. He went to the heavenly gate and St. Peter says: ìLet me see your baptismal certificate?îÝ Mr. Kwok says:Ý ìI was never baptized.îÝ So St. Peter says ìMr. Kwok, why didnít you go to St. Patrickís Church and develop a friendship with Jesus?î Mr. Kwok answered: ìNone of my Catholic friends ever invited me.î
We, Wang Tau Hom Catholics, know that the journey from unbelief to belief is personal and unique to each person.Ý So we donít haphazardly run up to people on the street and ask: ìHave you been saved?îÝ 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.Ý 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 wouldnít 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. Patrickís community?
ÝìThe 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.î (Catechism of the Catholic Church: # 850)
Religion is about the important things in life. People donít want to hear about religion. They want to hear your personal experience?Ý How did you come to follow Jesus?Ý Why are you glad that you are a Catholic?Ý What happens when you pray?ÝÝ What do you like most about Jesus?Ý
One day an educated man cynically asked a laborer. ìYou are a Catholic. Prove to me the doctrine of transubstantiation?Ý How can bread and wine be changed into the body and blood of Christ?îÝ The laborer had no education but he answered:Ý ìI canít explain transubstantiation.Ý 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.î
For many years Mrs. Wong Chuen has had painful rheumatism.Ý Today I saw her in the market.Ý Would you believe it!Ý She was walking briskly and smiling.Ý She said: ìFr. Hoh, I have good news.Ý The doctor gave me a new pill and all my pain is gone.Ý I am in a hurry.Ý I want to tell my friend, Mrs. Sz-Tío Uen Kam.Ý She also has rheumatism and it might help her too.î Off, she ran like a rabbit!
If your Faith is truly good news for you personally,Ý you, too, will feel an urge to share it!
1. Personal Level: Many Catholics are shy in speaking about religion.Ý Join a bible study-prayer group.Ý With your Catholic friends, you can get in the habit of telling others about your experiences in following Jesus.Ý 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.Ý ìEverybodyís job is no oneís job.îÝ 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 Churchís teaching on evangelization.Ý It could prepare a monthly passout that we can give to non-Catholics.Ý When parents bring their children to school, they pass by our parish bulletin board.Ý The committee could prepare attractive displays. The committee could organize tea parties for non-Catholic spouses.Ý
Wouldnít it be wonderful if the next Wang Tau Hom person who goes to the gates of heaven can tell St. Peter:Ý ìI am from St. Patrickís in Wang Tau Hom.Ý Some years ago a Wang Tau Hom Catholic told me about what wonderful things Jesus did for him. So I got interested. Here is myÝ baptismal certificate.î
10 October 2003ÝÝ MISSION SUNDAY (29THÝ Sunday)Ý Matt 16: 15-20
THEME: Christ wants everyone to come to know the truth.Ý Our privileged mission is to proclaim the good news to all in Hong Kong and China.
ìGo into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation.î Mk 16:15.
ìÖfor he wants all men to be saved and come to know the truth.î 1 Tim 8:4.
ìLet us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.î Zachariah 8: 23.
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
# 850 ìThe 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.î
#851 ìThose who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation.Ý But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth.î
1. Difficulties in proclaiming gospel in Hong Kong
A.Ý Religion has bad image.
B.Ý People on Wang Tau Hom are just too busy to think about religion.
C.Ý Catholics are not like the Mormons.Ý We are shy about talking to our friends about ourÝÝÝ
Recently, I discovered that I was instrumental in leading a gentleman to our Faith.Ý It was not through my profound knowledge of theology or my counseling skills.Ý It was 1962. I could barely speak Chinese.Ý But the pastor of the parish had assigned me to be chaplain to the parish Scouts.Ý My scouting background was zero.Ý So I joinedÝ a Scout Training Program.Ý What a horrible experience for a 27-year-old tenderfoot!Ý 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.]Ý -- Fr. Gene Thalman M.M.
CHEWING THE WORD OF GOD
10 October 2003ÝÝ MISSION SUNDAY (29THÝ Sunday)Ý Matt 16: 15-20ÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝ
1. ____T/FÝ We should first of all, tell Wang Tau Hom people about the teachings ofÝ
2. ____T/FÝ St. Peter was angry with Mr. Kwok because he wasnít 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. ÝìThe ultimate p_____ of m_______ is none other than to make men [women and children] share in the c_________ between the F_____Ý and the S___Ý in their S______ of love.î
5. (Optional) Tell an experience in which you attempted to share the Faith with a non-Christian.Ý What was the result? ÝWhat might you have done differently?
(Hints:Ý birds, gratitude, mission, Saints, Faith, Spirit, Sign, share, Son, message, neighbors, good, nice, communion, purpose.).