Welcome to the Church of the Nativity family. Since its dedication on October 21, 1989, our community has faithfully committed to our mission: We are a praying, learning and caring community fulfilling the mission God gives us in baptism by our worship in faith, by our witness in hope, and by our service in love. We invite you to journey with our community in Christ, thus will be said, “Day by Day the Lord added to their number” (Acts 2:47). Our Nativity School is led by faith-filled, loving professional staff who provide not only excellence in academics for our children so that they may excel in life, but help cultivate and form our children to come to know, love and serve God through the gifts God has blessed each of them. We are a Dynamic Parish and look forward to walking with you and your family to pray, worship, and give thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us. In joy and in sorrow, we will live out together the witness of faith, hope and charity. At the Church of the Nativity, there will always be room “in the inn” (Luke 2,7).
“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, the message today is about discipleship. We are all called by God. Often, in this busy world, we have so many things occupying our time, it makes it difficult to hear God’s call. Almost everyone has a mobile phone and/or internet. We may think that, if we have all these technologies, we can be better organized, more resourceful, and we can free up more time. However, the opposite is true. The more we have, the more preoccupied we are. Technology, like a cell phone, now becomes a member of our family. We take it everywhere we go. Even while we’re having a meal with a friend or family, the cell phone is right there. And, sometimes, I see people in restaurants using their cell phones instead of conversing with one another. Moreover, some of us are so good that we can talk, eat, and text at the same time. We are now slaves of technology.
My brother and sisters, as a society, we have managed to have technology control our time and even our life. Since this is now the case, we can’t hear God when he calls us. Do we even recognize when God is calling us? This weekend’s first reading, God calls Samuel three times. When Samuel went to Eli the third time to ask if Eli had called him, Eli said, ‘‘If you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening’.” (1Samuel 3:10). The problem is that we do not hear God’s call to us, and we also fail to recognize when He calls. God often uses others to call us to do His will. He calls us when our family members are sick. He calls us through the poor, through the elderly-like our aging mother, father, and grandparents-, through the Church, and through someone who needs forgiveness, compassion, charity, and love.
God calls every one of us to either the vocation of married life, the priesthood, the religious life, or living a single, chaste life. All these callings have equal dignity. However, the more we allow the world to occupy our time, the more difficult it is to hear God when He calls us. It is our duty as parents to teach our children how to hear the Lord.
Every Sunday at Mass the Lord looks at us as He looked at Andrew and Peter in the Gospel. He sees the potential in us, and He wants to bless us. He calls us to be His disciples and to bring Him to the world by living out our faith.
In order to hear and recognize when God is calling us, we must prioritize our life with God and place our relationship with Him at the forefront. Only then, will everything else in our life be properly ordered. Let us recall why we are here each Sunday. We come to give praise and thanksgiving to God for His Son and to be nourished and strengthen by His Word and the Eucharist. We come to church and make the sign of the cross with holy water to remind us that we are God’s children, and that we have returned home to Him. We come to hear His Word through the readings, the psalms, the Gospel, and yes, even in the homily. We join our brothers and sisters in the choir to sing songs to elevate our soul to God in prayer. In the Eucharist, we receive Christ in us to nourish, strengthen, and attune our souls so that we can hear Him when He calls. We gather as a community to remind us that we are not alone, and that God is in our midst. And when God calls us, let our response be:
“Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Fr. Minh Do