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Pastor's Corner - Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Greeting you with love and blessings from God.

Greeting you with love and blessings from God. How was your week? How was your week? I hope things are going well with you and your families. Summertime is really here and the days are very hot. Even when it rains, it does not cool us off very much. But we thank God for it because it could be a whole lot worse.

Once again this week we will celebrate the 4th of July, Independence Day. This marks 243 years that we Americans gained our independence and freedom. As Americans we are so blessed. Our country is still a place that many people from other countries dream of coming to. When I was in China I had a chance to talk with students and young people. 97% of them all wanted to tell me that they “want to come to America”. What do we have over here that makes a lot of people wish to be here? There are many reasons, but there are two main ones that I can think of: FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE! Yes, we have it, but not too many of us really take time to find out what is the REAL MEANING OF FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE, and how did we get there. To me it is very important for each one of us to spend some time to find out about the real meaning of this gift and the price that our ancestors paid over the years and still today, so that we can enjoy it. Otherwise we take everything for granted. You don’t treasure what you have until you really find out what you have and how and why you have it.

The word “Freedom” is like the word “Love,” it is a many splendored thing. Everybody wants to be free, but “Freedom” quite honestly has different meanings for different people. And that’s why we have the Constitution of United States of America, to help us to define the limit of “Freedom” so that everybody can get on the same page. We still have a long way to go. Just think about the document that says, “All men are created equal.” Let’s try to be honest, what do we mean by “All”? Do we really capture what our forefathers really meant when they wrote it? Remember that it took history almost 140 years to define that “all men” in the document also included “women.” Not until 1940, women did not have any rights to vote. Moreover, not until 1975 women didn’t have a right to own a credit card if she was not married, and if married, her husband’s name had to be on it. So, we are still learning a new lesson everyday and hopefully we can improve and learn from our mistakes. More importantly we have to have the courage to change and accept them.

This week we celebrate the 243rd birthday of our nation. We are grateful for our heritage of freedom and commit ourselves to build upon it until the blessings of Liberty are extended to all of our people. In the meantime we must never forget that in the Bible the quote “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” But the problem is the “truth” has too many faces and unless we see the truth in God’s eyes, we can never be completely free. Yes, without that dimension no Freedom worthy without God’s teachings.

PRAYER FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY
JULY 4

Merciful God on this day of national celebration,
as we recall the lives and hopes of our country’s founders,
we pray that their vision may inspire us anew
To protect the weak,
To comfort the fearful,
To defend the mistreated,
To welcome the stranger,
To provide for the needy,
To challenge the greedy and hatefilled,
To relieve the exploited,
To respect the rights and beliefs of others,
and to hold our nation to its pledge Of liberty and justice for all.
For this task we ask your blessing and strength
Now and forever.
Amen.

Well, that’s all for this week. God bless you, keep smiling, be healthy, be happy, be merry, be cheerful and be kind to one another. God loves you and I love you too. On behalf of Fr. Vinh, Fr. Tom, Fr. Heffner, Fr. Christopher, the Deacons and the Staff, we wish you a very happy and safe 4th of July. God bless us, bless our parish, bless our family, and God bless the USA!

Fr. Bac-Hai