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天主聖三節講道 Homily Trinity Sunday June 12, 2022

Homily Trinity Sunday June 12, 2022

This weekend’s readings are chosen to bring our appreciation of the Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit from our human perspective. These last few weeks our attention has been focused on the holy Spirit coming forth on Pentecost.

In the first reading from Proverbs, we hear from the persona called the WISDOM of GOD, in other words the Holy Spirit. We hear how the wisdom of God accompanied God as the world was created – the fountains, the mountains, the hills, the fields and the clods of earth. The greatest message is that this wisdom of God found delight in the human race !

In the second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Romans, we hear about how with our faith, we face the trials and challenges of life with endurance. With this endurance we develop our character and ultimately our hope. All of this is nurtured by the love of God which flows into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Finally in the Gospel of John, we hear how the spirit of truth will be given to us in time. This spirit of truth or the Holy Spirit will take what begins in the Father, and given to the Son, and then given to us! So we see how this unifying aspect of keeping us connected to the Father and the Son is the task of the Holy Spirit. Unity of us with God the Father is thus achieved through the Holy Spirit.

Now we can see oh my gosh, this unity was there from the beginning of the created world as we heard in the Proverbs. Remember how the Holy Spirit took delight in the human race ! In the second reading, we now can appreciate how our character is molded through the presence of the Holy Spirit working in our lives to give us patience and endurance to face the challenges of life on earth. Through these character traits of discipleship, we then receive the grace of hope in our lives.

Yes, there is a reason why something happens in our life! But that reason may not be evident nor clear to us for years.

As I find myself now ministering in an intensely multicultural ministry, I only have to look back on my own life experience to realize that I indeed have lived in a very wide range of cultural environments.

Let me give you some of the major challenges and I have faced in my life:

One of the earliest challenges I faced was being the only Chinese American family living in the Italian American neighborhood of North Beach in San Francisco. I had to walk about 10 blocks to get to Chinatown; During my childhood years I began to learn the differences being Asian American and Italian American !

Another challenge was when I graduated from high school and moved from inner city life to central California to do my undergrad studies at UC Davis. During these college years I learned the differences between inner city life and rural life.

The next challenge was moving from Davis to southern California, where I did my graduate studies at UC Riverside. During these years I learned the subtle differences of living in the commuter life of southern California.

The next challenge was moving from Riverside, CA to Waltham, Massachusetts where I spent 3 years on a research fellowship at Brandeis University. This university had mostly students of the Jewish American culture. These years gave me time to learn about the Jewish American life.

The next challenge was moving from a northeastern context to a Texan context at Texas A&M University. This switch gave me the insight from living in a monocultural neighborhood. This provided a time for me to learn of the struggles of African Americans and how the segregated lifestyle affected them.

The next challenge was to make the leap of faith from protestant life to Catholic life. This was a special time when I learned how to deepen my spiritual life to cope with the massive tensions of working towards gaining tenure in my teaching career.

The next leap of faith was to make the decision to transition from being a lay Catholic to being a member of a religious order, the Franciscan Friars. This change gave me the insight of how I could live life with perspectives of head, heart and hands! As a Franciscan friar I began teaching in Catholic colleges and began to appreciate how my teaching of biology could not ignore the role of God in the created world.

The next leap of faith was when I asked to teach during the summer in the Philippines. This was my first experience of living where Catholic Asians were the majority in their society and not the minority!

The most important spiritual lesson I learned from the Philippine culture was how important humility was in my personal identity. Becoming a priest was never a consideration in my Catholic life until I lived in the Philippines where I would be frequently asked “When are you getting ordained?”

The light bulb came on when I realized how much as a Chinese American in the USA we are taught to be humble and not presumptuous! I had been waiting to be asked! In the American culture there is a respect for the decision of friars to be a brother! So, people in the US would never ask “When are you getting ordained?” For this reason, I was never asked this in the US!

The last challenge I want to share is how I preached from a multigenerational pastoral setting in parishes to a mono-generational context when I ministered as a chaplain in a retirement home! Speaking to an audience of many age groups is so different from an audience where everyone is older than you!

So, I now see in the many different times and ways, how slowly the Holy Spirit has been working my life. Little did I know of this Chinese Catholic Community when I was walking from North Beach to Chinatown all the way to when I was preaching to a faith community in a retirement center.

So, as we heard in the Gospel reading, "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” Every moment of my life is being brought to bear on this time I am to accompany you all in this faith community here at St Leander Parish.

I come to be with you as a teacher, as well as a preacher, as well as someone who has lived and worked around the world.

I come to be with you with my analytical skills which I developed to address basic research problems in plant stress hormones are now applied to address basic pastoral challenges in a very diverse faith community.

I come to you as a fellow disciple of Jesus Christ who has shown up to give the Holy Spirit a chance to guide me and to lead me to help build the kingdom of God on Earth.

Come Holy Spirit! Come and guide all of us as find those new gifts in ourselves which are now needed with the challenges which are presented to us.

Come Holy Spirit! Come and guide us all! Come Holy Spirit!

Fr. Fong



天主聖三節講道 2022 6 12 日星期日













下一個挑戰是在德薩斯州 A&M 大學從美國東北部環境轉向南部德州環境。這個轉變讓我從生活在單一文化社區中,洞察到並了解到非裔美國人的掙扎以及曾被隔離的生活方式下如何影響了他們一切。








所以,正如我們在福音中讀到:我還有許多事情要告訴你們,你們現在不能承擔。” 我深信在我生命中以往的每一刻都在裝備我,為我準備這個特別時刻,我將在聖利安達堂的這個華人信仰團體陪伴,事奉您們。







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