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常年期第13主日 HOMILY 13th Sunday OT A July 2, 2023



Franklin Fong, OFM

July 2, 2023


This weekend’s lectionary readings bring our attention to our basic human need to be welcomed by those we have interactions with. The longing to be welcomed, accepted, liked appreciated is a basic need of human life. Somebody has to acknowledge our worth and be attentive to us. We matter!


But there are too many closed hearts and closed doors.

Elisha in the first reading is over joyed to find open hearts and an open door. The prophet is welcomed and offered room and board by a woman and her husband. Why does she welcome him? She welcomes him because he is a holy man of God and a bearer of God’s word. In return for their hospitality the elderly couple is blessed with the birth of their first child!  


St Paul in the second reading assures us that if we live our baptism we are to reach out to others and we will share in the welcome and the fullness of life that Jesus received from his Father. And, as those baptized into Christ, we can in charity be alive to God and to others. We can welcome them! In doing so, we can also die to the sin of self-centeredness. We can welcome our real selves.


In the Gospel from Matthew, we hear Jesus tell the apostles to welcome others, if they wanted to count on God’s welcome of them. Even a cup of cold water given to a thirsty person does not go unnoticed by God. We must first to love God above all others and to check the temptation to seek first ourselves. Then with the love of God in our hearts, we are to reach out to others. Only in this way do we truly love ourselves.


So, to summarize then, the first reading teaches us how to be a good and faithful disciple. We are encouraged to be like Elisha who learned from Elijah how to preach the good news and goes out doing it, not knowing what might happen! The second reading reminds us to live in the spirit and not for material and sinful ways for the world. Finally the Gospel reading describes the cost of discipleship that we must be ready to give up on our comfort zones, we must not hesitate, and must give priority to our faith journey.


I want to share some of my own faith journey which exemplifies these very points. My first and only teaching job after I completed my doctorate in biology was to teach in the Soil & Crop Sciences Department at Texas A&M University. As in all academic positions, I had to not only teach graduate students but to have a strong research program. My research area was in studying how plants responded to the increasing air pollution in the air. Teaching full time meant offering 3 courses a semester. My courses typically had about 80-100 students in a class of students who usually grew up on farms but wanted to do something else in agriculture. My research was focused on describing the physiological and biochemical damage done by air pollution and how to minimize such injury in the plants. I had published over 30 papers and received support to do my research from national granting agencies. Even though I was very successful in my teaching and research and had received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, it was much more stressful than I had anticipated.


As a spiritual relief I started attending the Friday noon mass at the nearby St Mary’s Catholic Church attended by mostly students. Not being Catholic, I simply joined the community to pray and meditate at the end of the week! After several months of this, I thought, it would be nice to begin the week as well! So, I started attending the Monday and Friday noon masses. Well, after a few months, I added Wednesdays. And it was not long before I was attending Monday through Friday, every day.  


Not surprisingly, I met university staff members who were Catholic. It was at their introduction that I met Poor Clare Sisters and began my learning about Franciscan spirituality. A year later I was in the RCIA program and was received into the Catholic Church at Easter Mass. I am most thankful to Dorris Turner, Campus Architect who invited me to consider becoming Catholic. And most thankful for Sr Bernadette Mueller, the Poor Clare Sister who invited me to consider becoming a Franciscan friar.


So for my faith journey it was the role of daily mass and prayers which gave me peace of mind and heart! For that place of peace I paid attention to how Christ was present in my life and what new challenges were being placed before me !  


What we do for one another we are doing for God. Yes, to follow Christ in dying and rising may be painful, but for our seeking the true good of others at all costs to our own interests we have the assurance of enjoying forever the hospitality of our divine host. 


There is more to gain than to lose in life. There is more to receive than to give in our lives. The return in receiving is greater than the sacrifice in giving.


Whenever we receive and welcome others, we receive and welcome Jesus himself!  


Reflect in the coming days on your faith journey:

  • How and when you have received others?    
  • Where was Jesus in your life?


Brothers and Sisters of the Chinese Catholic Community 

that is the Good News for this 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time.  

Alleluia Alleluia





常年期(甲年)第十三主日 (07/02/2023)

讀經一: 列王紀下 4:8-11, 14-16
讀經二: 保祿宗徒致羅馬人書 6:3-4, 8-11
瑪竇福音 10:37-42












所以,總結一下,讀經一教我們如何成為一個優秀的人和忠實的門徒。我們被鼓勵效法厄里叟一樣,向厄里叟學習如何傳福音並以行動致力實行,雖然眼前不知道成果將會怎樣!交給天主吧!讀經二提醒我們要活在聖神裡,不要為物質而活和活在罪惡中。最後,福音描述了作為真正門徒的代價,我們必須準備好放棄我們安逸的舒適區,我們必須毫不猶豫,並且必須考慮將我們的信仰, 成聖之路為生命首要優先。


我想分享一些我自己的信仰歷程,它體現了以上這些重點。我完成生物學博士學位後的第一份也是唯一一份教學工作是在德州A&M大學土壤和農作物科學系中教學。與所有學術職位一樣,我不僅要指導研究生,還要擁有並負責推行多項重大的研究計劃。我的研究領域是研究植物如何應對日益嚴重的空氣污染。全職教學意味著每學期開設三門不同課程。我的課程通常有大約 80-100 名學生,一群通常在農場長大但想在其他在農業方面做點貢獻的學生。我的研究重點是研究農作物生理和被空氣污染造成的生化損害以及如何最大限度地減少這種損害。我發表了三十多篇論文,並獲得了來自國家級機構研究資助和經費支持。儘管我在我教學和研究的事業上非常成功,並獲得終身教職並晉升為副教授,其壓力比我想像的要大大得多。




自然地,我認識了信奉天主教的其他大學教職員。是在她們的介紹下,我認識了Poor Clares修會,並開始認識並了解方濟會的靈修精神。一年後,我參加了慕道課程(RCIA)並被錄取。之後在復活節的彌撒中領受了聖洗聖事。我最感謝Doris Turner 女士,她是德州A&M大學的校園建築師,是她邀請我考慮成為天主教徒的。另外最感謝的是Poor Clares修會的Sister Bernadette Mueller修女,是她邀請我考慮加入成為方濟會修士的。


因此,在我的信仰歷程中,每日彌撒和祈禱的功效給了我平安,一份心靈的安穩!通過那份平靜的心靈,我關注察覺到基督如何進入並出現在我的生命中,以及那些擺在我面前的新挑戰 !









  • 您如何以及何時款待過他人?

  • 耶穌在你生命中的位置?


華人天主教徒兄弟姐妹們,這就是常年期第 13 個主日的好消息。