Livonia, Michigan

From Fr. Tom

Welcome to the 5th Sunday of lent!

Isn’t our Lenten journey fascinating and joyful!? But what is more fascinating is that we have only two more weeks until the Easter celebration! Please continue our desert journey with Jesus, pray, fast and love and we’ll be blessed with the most beautiful Easter ever!

Today’s Gospel teaches us that new life and eternal life are possible only through the self-sacrifice and service. Our covenant with God can never be complete if we are not ready to walk His path of suffering and dying for others. By his cross, He showed us an example we should follow. A TRUE CHRISTIAN DOES NOT SEEK HIS OR HER OWN COMFORT AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS. Salt gives its taste by dissolving in water. A candle gives light by burning its wick and melting its wax. We gain eternal life only through self-suffering and death for others. “We make a living through what we get but we make a life by what we give.”

It may sound absurd and unimaginable to some, each time God reminds us of loosing our lives if we love it, but this is the absolute truth about our Christian life and calling. This is what defines the Christian life. If there is anything that distinguishes a worldly person and a Christian, it is the ability to offer oneself, taking the risk with one’s life at stake to save another, to deny and deprive oneself of one’s comfort and pleasure to make the life of others better. Parents can go hungry to feed their children. They can starve to send them to school, but it becomes difficult for us as Christians to let go in order to make someone else better. Are we not deceiving ourselves?

Everyone values his or her own comfort. All humans have the instinct of self-preservation, so no one wants to die for another. Does it look like Jesus does not have that instinct as a man? Sure, he does, but He went against it to save us. Does it look like Jesus enjoyed suffering? Of course NOT! No one loves to suffer, but Jesus accepted willingly to suffer because he loves us and valued our salvation more than his life.

Have you ever risked your life for another? Have you ever deprived yourself of some comfort to help another? St. Maximillian Kolbe followed the footsteps of Christ when he volunteered to die in place of another Man. Do we still have leaders who deny themselves comfort to build the nation? What of heroic sacrifices? Do we still have people willing to donate blood or organs to save the life of another?

We need to rediscover who we are. Christ’s death for us on the cross will be meaningless if we cannot accept the slightest inconvenience to accommodate others. If we cannot make simple or heroic sacrifices to make others better than our selves. We need to step out of our comfort zone to discover thousands whose lives we can change by our sacrifices. We have to voluntarily embrace suffering to achieve a higher good in the society. WE CAN TRANFORM THE WORLD BY OUR SINCERE SACRIFICES AND SERVICES!!! Many things are going wrong today because no one wants to suffer or make the sacrifice. When we suffer in pursuit of worthy cause of action, we come out better persons, we touch lives, we make a difference, we transform the world.

May God help us to discover what it takes to be His children. May He increase His grace within us to be ever ready to give up what matters most to us in sacrifice and service to others out of love for Him.

I keep you and your family always in my prayers.

~Fr. Tom