Milk Powder - Baby Powder
A Vietnamese man said when he first came to the United States that he was amazed at the incredible variety of instant products available in American grocery stores.
He says, “On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk…you just add water and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice…you just add water and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder and I thought to myself, what a country!”
Last week, the Houston Chronicle had a wonderful story, “Recruiting parents for those who were forgotten.” Three years ago, during her visit to the orphanage in Vietnam , Margaret Fleming saw listless of babies languishing in cribs with the three black letters written on the backs of their T-shirt: HIV. “There was no joy in that room and no music. There was no sound except the nurses talking to each other. The nurses didn’t talk to the kids, and the babies would cry a little, and no one would pick them up. So they would stop after a while and fall back asleep.” Fleming said, “I’ve never seen a whole group of children who were so forgotten.” She was there to start the adoption process for a girl whose photo she had seen in an adoption newsletter. That infant would eventually become the sixth child adopted into her Oak Park , Illinois home, and the second to test positive at birth for the virus that causes AIDS (Houston Chronicle July 24, 2005 ).
Fleming was so haunted by her experience in Vietnam that she launched a crusade. In 2003, she created a nonprofit foundation, Chances by Choice, to recruit as many people as possible who would be willing to adopt an unwanted HIV positive child born overseas. “My whole thing is to help the world’s most vulnerable children,” Fleming said.
We might say, “This is American Powder!”
One parishioner has donated $50 a month to help the orphans in Vietnam . Last week she informed me that she wants to double her donation for December. She and her daughter will give $200 to buy Christmas gifts for the children.
This is Christian Powder!
This is Jesus Powder!
Powder for Jesus’ Church
Do you have powder for Jesus’ Church?
Jesus realizes that the need is great. There is not going to be an end. There is always going to be the sick, the poor, the hurting, and the lonely. He could have said, “My cousin John, has been killed. I am exhausted. I want to get away and be alone in solitude.” So He is taking a day off into a deserted place only to be confronted with the overwhelming crowd asking him to heal their sick; he chooses to be compassionate. He takes times to help them. Then when it is late, and the disciples ask him to send the people away to find food. Jesus tells them, “You give them something to eat.”
They only have 5 loaves and 2 fish. The amount of available resources is too small to meet the needs of so large a crowd. But when Jesus tells them, “Bring them here to me.”
The disciples are willing to give him the little they have. And Jesus is able to make miracle out of their little resources.
Our Limited Resources
Now we are getting ready for a new school year. We need teachers for CCE classes. Many of you might say, “I know so little about catechism.”
“I am not a teacher.”
“I do not know how to handle children.”
“I do not have time.”
Yes, your resources might be very limited, but if you are willing to give to God the little resources that you have, God will be able to make miracle and multiply your resources.
We also need your financial contribution to the New Youth Building .
You might have only limited incomes.
You do have so many needs to take care of.
You might be out of work.
You might be a single parent.
And you might say, “I have so little. I am not able to contribute.”
“Let someone else who has more money to contribute.”
There are so many needs and so many demands. You are overwhelm. You need more money before you can give any away.
A salesman said to his sales manager, “Boss, I’ve got to have a raise. There are three other companies after me.”
“Is that a fact?” the manager asked. “What other companies are after you?”
“The electric company, the phone company and the gas company.”
The disciples cannot feed the people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. They suggest Jesus to send people away to take care of themselves. But when Jesus tells them to give the little they have; they give it to him. And He is able to make miracle to feed 5000 men, not counting women and children.
The Armless Jesus
This is the Armless Jesus. There is a story behind it. Isabel Chandler told me that a few years ago when she was cleaning up the CCE workroom, she found a broken crucifix with this Armless Jesus. She decided to keep it to remind her that Jesus does not have arms now, he needs her arms. She also uses this to remind the catechists that Jesus needs them to give him their hands.
The demands of everyday living might overwhelm us. There will come times in our life, when the problem seems so overwhelming, that we might respond to Jesus and say, “Look God, I have got this problem. I have only two hands. I have only limited resources. I have only limited incomes. I have to take care of my needs and the needs of my family. I work all days. Weekend is the only times I have to catch up, to mow the lawn, to clean the house. I do not have time to do Church’s business. Let someone else who has time to do it. I have only two hands.”
But Jesus says, “I am armless, just give me a hand!”
Rev. John J. Tran Kha
Houston , TX
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