Monday of 32nd Week of Ordinary C--Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop

How Would We Recognize the Lord in Those in Need?

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop, became a Christian catechumen against his parents’ wishes. Therefore, at the age of fifteen, he was seized by his father, a pagan soldier, and enrolled in the army. One’s winter day, when stationed at Amiens, he met a beggar almost naked and frozen with cold. Having no money, he cut his cloak in two and gave him the half. That night, he saw our Lord clothed in the half cloak, and heard him say to the angels, “Martin, yet a catechumen, has wrapped me in this garment.” This caused him to be baptized, and shortly after he withdrew from the army. He later became bishop and converted many, especially pagans including his mother.

The Church chooses today’s Gospel reading for the feast of Saint Martin of Tours to remind us the acts of charity that he has specially paid attention in his ministry. Just as Saint Martin of Tours gave half of his cloak to a beggar, the Lord emptied himself completely to vest on himself our very human flesh to become like all of us in everything except sin. Just as his love for his brother in need, the Lord also reached out to those sinners and isolated ones. Have you and I ever reached out to those in need? Or we may ask, are they really in need? Or when we sent money to help them once, they will constantly send letter to ask for more? Someone came and asked the Church to help paying their electric bill, for example, they came in with a good looking car. Their house was full of stuffs and a big screen TV in the guest room.

Reflecting on this Gospel, I asked myself, what if the Lord comes into our lives now and asks for help, how has he dressed himself? With no clothes, no sandals, no car, no nothing? Or has he come as one who is not naked, has car, has a house, and has things? Or how would we recognize the Lord when he’s hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick or in prison so to help him? May Saint Martin of Tours intercede for us so to live out the teaching of the Lord just as he himself lived and modeled for us. The decision is yours.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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