Sermon for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost – August 5, 2012 by Father Trinh
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
I am Father Trinh and I assist Father Ringrose in a traditional chapel in Virginia. And at the invitation of your Pastor, Monsignor Perez, I am glad to be here.
St. Luke, reported to us that the Lord Jesus used the parable of two men, a Pharisee, and a sinner – a Publican, to teach us about being just, but not despising others. Being humble, truly, and not being a doormat for the enemies of the Lord to destroy our faith. Let us listen to the word of the Lord. First the Pharisee who feels good about himself, like many modernists, have good self-esteem, like many modernists, and both in a masked way that appear as though he is humble and praying, “Lord, I give You thanks that I am not like the rest of men, (the tail of pride starts always) extortioners, unjust, adulterers“. He used two names to judge his neighbor, without being asked by the Lord to judge others. And also, this Publican, again, the Lord did not ask him to judge others, the Lord did not give him the responsibility to judge others, but he judged anyway. And as he started to mention something that sounded good that we traditional Catholics need to pay attention to because we might do the same. Of course, the list that I am about to read doesn’t mean that we do that as bad, but rather, how we do it, will decide whether it is good or bad.
What is it, then, he claims, “I fast twice a week”. That’s not easy. Usually I fast on Friday. I try at times to fast on another day, and it is difficult for me, so I know that it is good to be able to fast twice a week. Yet, it is not good to claim the amount of fasting we do, to demand from God, Look how good I am. We cannot do that. Or else, as the Lord Jesus tells us, “You are a useless servant.” Work hard, but when you finish serving Me, say simply, I am a useless servant. If I have a chance, I will be lazy. I don’t do much for you, Lord. That is the attitude of a true humble servant.
So we can see that here this man fasted, which is good. But he claimed it in the wrong way because he has allowed pride to guide him in doing the fasting. Ask yourself, When I am fasting now, am I doing it for the Lord or am I doing it for me so that I can be proud and demand the Lord to treat me in a different way because I do much for the Lord?
And he goes on, “I give tithes of all that I possess”. It is not easy to do. You know that in the Old Testament, just law demands 10% of your income must be turned in to the church. In Virginia, not here because I am only the guest priest here, I make sure to tell the people, In the old Testament you need to contribute 10% to the church. If you don’t, you are stealing from God. Let me say, 10%. How come I see a lot of one dollar bills and even quarters running around. I don’t think that’s 10%! Why are people afraid to contribute to God, to fulfill one of the six guidelines of the Traditional Church to support your pastor so that he can have the means to do much good for the people. You know, of course, your pastor is very precious. He did not tell me. This is my own saying, okay? He did not tell me. But you had better send at least 10% to Monsignor Perez. If not, may I challenge you, why are you afraid that God cannot take care of you so that you have to keep some money back, rather than giving it to your pastor. Why? If you need money, go straight to God and complain to Him. But, don’t go to me, of course, because I don’t have the power to help you. Go to Him, Lord, how come I have to (inaudible), I have to pile up more monies into my bank account, and I cannot even fulfill the law of giving 10% to the church. Help me.
It does not end there. I remind my people, this is Old Testament. We are in the New Testament, at least 12% according to Father Trinh! Of course, I don’t need to threaten excommunication to any of you. I trust that you are good Catholics who love the Lord Jesus and who are not afraid to sacrifice more for the Lord. Make sure whatever percent you give, know that the Lord knows it. Monsignor Perez will not be able to pay back much for you. In fact, he should not. As your pastor, he continues to pray for you and support you by the sacraments, the prayers, the sacrifices. But your reward, and I am serious, will be great in heaven. We priests should not promise you much on this earth. Otherwise, you become lazy, and then end up in hell. I hope that we don’t.
So, let us do good for the Lord, and, yet, not claiming – Do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. Contribute to the Church and trust that Monsignor Perez, your pastor, will know what to do. Don’t stand there in the corner and say, Monsignor, may I ask when will you thank us, when will you send a list of how much money that we send to you? Don’t do that, because if you for ask too much of a reward on this earth, we will be sidetracked and cannot focus on heaven.
Moving on. The sin of the Publican, he wants to lift up his eyes to heaven, but he realizes that he is not worthy. True humility is not appearing as being humble. I’m not saying that every time you and I do something like this, that we are not truthfully humble. I’m not saying that. What I am saying is, Be careful in what the church tries to teach us here. Do not fake humility. I use St. Francis’ definition, Humility is being who you are before God. No makeup. No over-values. Accept who we are, sinners, receiving the grace of God. That is being humble.
O, Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner. Can you, especially when you feel despair, when you feel that the whole world is against you, or worse, when even the Catholic Church seems to oppress you, can you still, like this Publican, perhaps so beaten down that you are so tired that you can’t even lift your eyes but yet out of humble Catholic faith, you lift up your soul to the Lord, Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner, a poor Catholic, a traditional Catholic, in the time of the crisis of faith. Have mercy on me because I don’t know how much or how long that I can hold on to the true faith and not compromise You and Your truth, Lord Jesus Christ. And, as the Lord said, If we are truly humble in our heart, recognize God and only God, the Lord Jesus Christ, as our Savior, then the Lord will bless that humility in us.
Consequently, may I suggest to you, at home for the next week to do these things; to view your humility before God.
Number one, have a good self-examination. We have five fingers. Number one, good self-examination of our sins. Ask God for the grace to recognize our sins clearly and simply.
Number two, ask God for the grace and do it, feel sorry sincerely, for our sins. That is true humility, sincerely sorry for our sins.
Step three, make good resolutions. In short, Lord, with your grace I promise I will not sin again. And when we sincerely make that good resolution to the Lord, we are being humble and God will guide us to holiness.
Number four, go to the traditional Catholic priest, not the new priest, and confess your sins simply, frankly and humbly. How do you do it simply, frankly and humbly? State the sin. For example, Father, I steal. And how many times? Is it mortal sin? Father, I robbed the bank two times. Don’t beat around the bush, because that will reflect to me you are not humble and you do not trust that the Lord knows your sins already. And He is ready, through me, the priest, to listen to you so that He can forgive you your sins and send you back healed; Catholic. Don’t beat around the bush.
For example, “Father, women, now how they dress, very terrible. Father, I cannot help it. So, I have a–“ You just blamed the woman because of how they dress and they might have to go to hell for it, unless those women are your daughter or your wife and then you are supposed to correct them. Otherwise, the Lord will condemn you. But to a stranger, it is not our business to judge them harshly like that. How we judge them, but moderately. Thank God, I saw all of you, unless I missed someone, dressed very conservatively in a traditional way. Even though I know it is hot outside, but some of you make sure that you are dressing modestly. Not judging your neighbor in the way that the Church asks us to do. You show them the example. Many times you don’t need to tell them. You might say, I am sorry that you are too poor, and do not have enough clothes to cover yourself. Sometimes we do not need even to say so.
With men, long sleeves, if possible a tie, not necessary, but even at times have a coat. That is the way you share with your neighbor. Respect the Lord, because the true Lord is here.
Of course, for the woman, head cover and cover all the parts so that for the Lord, you dress for the eyes of the Lord, and for your husband alone. That is the purpose. And that is being truly humble. You feel confident you are a good Catholic and that you do not need to put on unnecessary makeup and things that attract others unduly.
Lastly, number five, receive the penance, go out, kneel down and do it right away, if possible. Otherwise, you forget. That is the five steps that help to build up humility. The humble Catholic will not delay confession for long, and he or she will make it, even weekly, that they will come to confession.
Ask the Lord for the grace that you will be humble enough that you will be a true and good traditional Catholic, that you don’t try to change the commandment of the Lord, because by doing so means we are too proud to recognize the Lord and His teachings.
Consequently, in the modern time, if the Lord, the Bible, tradition, through – I forget how many — 260 plus popes for two thousand years more or less of Catholic teachers, there is only one God, the Lord Jesus Christ. And it is none of our business to try to worship another person as God. To do so is not humble. Don’t try to fool me and others by saying, Oh, Father, I need to obey my bishop. Did your bishop obey all of the popes that were loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, why not? Are you humble enough to recognize once the Lord Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me, the Lord Jesus Christ”. Forget about Buddha, Mohammed or whatever. They are mere men. When they bury them, they rot right there. They cannot be resurrected because they are mere men. The Lord Jesus resurrects out of death and many other miracles and teachings to confirm to us there is only one God. Then, who are we to claim that I have to obey some man, even [though] he beat[s us] and violates the law and says, You are wrong, Lord. You say only one God, but I decide there is more than one. That is arrogant and cannot be accepted.
Learn to be humble. If the Lord seal it and say to us, There is only one God, the Lord Jesus Christ, be it, and be ready to pay the price for believing so.
If you still insist, Father, I practice that. Will you guide me to be more humble to please the Lord. Yes, I can. The church can. Next step, learn traditional Catholic catechisms well, so that you will not accept ecumenical in whatever form, that we humbly admit the truth, the wisdom of our Savior, the Lord Jesus trying to guide us, and we don’t need to use pop psychology, modern theology, what’s this, what’s that. True and rich, the gospel of the Lord, leave the gospel of the Lord as is. In other words, allow the Lord to separate us from the world. If you think, to be nice to your neighbor too much, you are not humble, because you need to train your own soul to be nice to your God, to be pleasing to your God who is suffering now because He is being abandoned even by His own people. Being humble is to recognize Our Lord right now is being scourged again and not many people wanting to come to the true Mass, true adoration without jumping up and down and making ourselves feel good and displeasing the Lord.
Even in worshiping now, many Catholic communities focus on themselves, how to please themselves, rather than on how to please the Lord. That is not humility. Humility is to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as God, and treat Him so, and no one else.
Lord, Jesus Christ, help us to be truly humble, to follow You, even though the whole world might turn against us, and even some part of the modern church which abandoned You, would condemn us, give us the humility and a simple traditional Catholic faith that we would praise You and refuse to let go of You and Your commandments.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.