MAY YOU ALL HAVE A BLESSED LENT SEASON
Repent, and believe in the Gospel (become one with Jesus)–F-TC
What do we understand of Today's Gospel as Jesus announces, “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdome of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel”
In today's Gospel, we hear how Jesus was triumphant over Satan while in the desert. Jesus did not allow Himself to be seduced by Satan. He came on earth to overthrow the worldly kingdom of Satan that all started when Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Jesus came on earth to reclaim God's Kingdom. After forty days in preparation for his public ministry, Jesus began proclaiming the message of salvation. He proclaimed that a new era is about to begin and a new covenant and relationship is being established between God and God’s people. He told them that the time has come which is the moment of fulfillment. He told them that God’s long waited promise of a Savior, the “Kingdom of God” is at hand. The Kingdom has come through Jesus, our Lord. The presence of the loving power of God is evident in his teaching, in the healing of the sick, in the liberation of people from evil forces, in the welcoming of the rejected, in the forgiveness and reconciliation of sinners, in the raising up of people from death. And God’s loving Redemption is finally accomplished by the laying down of Jesus’ own life on the cross for the sins of the world.
Today, Jesus invites all of us to enter that Kingdom by the call for our true repentance. This call is not just to feel sorry about our past mistakes. It is a good start, but Jesus is calling us to take one step further - to commit ourselves to a total change of heart, to change our whole way of living in this world like St. Paul who underwent a radical change and became a totally new person in Christ. Jesus also calls us to believe in the Gospel. We are called not just to believe that the Gospel is true, but more importantly, to believe in Jesus Himself, to live in his Kingdom and to be one with Him. This involves a total commitment to the way of life presented in the Gospel by following Jesus faithfully both in our words and deeds.
There is a story of a Salt-man who had heard a lot about the magnificence of the ocean. He always wanted to see and experience for himself how great the ocean was. One day standing before the huge, calm mass of water with the inviting small waves rolling in and out, the Salt-man asked the ocean if he could touch it. The Ocean replied, “Come on in and feel me for yourself.” The Salt-man went forward slowly and stepped into the ocean. Immediately he noticed a change in himself. His toes were missing, then his feet. The Salt-man felt a sense of relaxing as his body weight got lighter. He slowly entered the Ocean and soon was completely melted into it. Then he said, now I know what the ocean is; I am one with it.
This is the kind of relationship in which God invites all of us to join Him. He invites us to get to know him personally, to become one with Him.
We are now entering the great season of Lent. We are called to prepare ourselves for the celebration of the most important event that is the center of our belief, the Paschal Mystery. This is a time of penance, fasting and prayer. It is a way of purifying ourselves from our mistakes due to human weaknesses and renewing our commitment to follow Jesus. We are no longer asked by the Church to observe the severe penances and fasting as in the past. However, it is the time that we should be seriously making sacrifices as a preparation for this great event. It should be a time for reflection on our faith and our personal commitment as Christians. Perhaps, there are many ways in which we fail through thoughts, words and actions to be the kind of people that the Gospel challenges us to be. Lent calls us to fast in the spirit of the Gospel. This is not just about eating and drinking less but more importantly, it is the fasting of our hearts. A true fasting heart is the one, which has no room for hatred, envy, jealousy and selfishness. A true fasting heart is one which possess nothing else but passionate, forgiving and love. It is a tender, loving heart that is always sensitive to the pains and sufferings of people around us. Especially those elderly poor in the world that Teresa Charities is currently serving; because of you, the donors and all volunteers of Teresa Charities who have the tender and loving hearts. A true fasting heart in the spirit of the Gospel should have the same sacrificial commitment as the Salt-man when he entered the ocean. He felt good in releasing all of his given saltiness to enhance the water. We too, are asked to give ourselves to others by using all of the given talents that God has entrusted to us.
My friends, as we continue with the Eucharistic celebration, may the Holy Spirit help us to prepare ourselves during this holy season of Lent, to receive the Word of God with open hearts, to become one with Him, and learn from Him of a sacrificial and loving heart that we will be able to live our lives fully not just for ourselves but also for the good of others.
Deacon. Theman Pham
Welcome to Teresa Charities Website !
Teresa Charities was founded in 2002 and incorporated in 2004. It is the work of many people, but principally the work of the founder,
Deacon Vu Thanh An. Thank you.
Teresa Charities, Inc.
3601 SE 74th Ave Portland, OR 97206
Phone: 1 (877) 252-5136
PO Box 13237
Portland, OR 97213-0237
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