Dignity of human work

During this month of May, we have a lot to celebrate. Ancient Roman people would honor the Goddess of flowers by having a lot of festivities. Soon enough Catholics adapted that, and honored our blessed mother instead. so the month of May becomes a month that we honor our blessed mother - praying a rosary. Our community is going to have a block rosary led by the Filipino community every night. We, on zoom, gather together, and pray to our lady. You are welcome to join us in honor of our Mother.

Today, May 1st is international labor day. Workers united, fought for a fair eight-hour work day. You probably have heard this history of Labor Day. In the United States, in 1886, thousands of workers gathered on May 1st wanted to go on a strike asking for an eight hour work day. This is inspired by the manifesto of Karl Marx’s class struggle. They wanted to be free; they wanted to truly work to support the family in such a way that they could survive without being exploited by capitalists. On May 4th, they so-called hay market affair, where a bomb exploded and hurt about 70 policemen. And then they turned deadly, firing and killing multiple workers gathered together. A peaceful strike turned out to be deadly violence. Since then, we have adapted and called this International Labor Day.

However, there's something strange about this day - Pope Pius XII. On May 1st of 1955 he sees an encyclical specifically attacking this movement and establishing something very unique and special to Catholicism worldwide. Call it Saint Joseph feast day. Foster father of Jesus and saint Joseph the worker. Promoting the devotion to saint Joseph and also highlighting the dignity and sanctity of human labor. Something far beyond what communist party envisioned. It is not so much about work that we fight, for what works actually accomplished is what Pope Pius XII advocates. And therefore, the vision of Catholic understanding of dignity, and work, or human labor. Remember what had happened in the first chapter of the book of genesis. When God made men and women, ask them to take care of the earth, and also accomplish the creative act that God has begun. so human dignity, human work and its dignity has to do with that creative act of God. Making this world a beautiful place where God and man could live together, where men and women, when all of us, could together thrive. That is the vision of God's creative work.

So my dear brothers and sisters, why are we talking about this on this beautiful third Sunday of Easter? When in the gospel we encounter a beautiful story of our lord Jesus reappearing again to his disciples. Specifically to Peter. Being the prince of all disciples who will learn a very hard lesson. What does it mean to follow Jesus? Notice what happened to Peter. Peter had been asked by our lord Jesus to lead the 12th. Peter had been asked to follow Jesus to do only one thing, one thing that matters, is to proclaim good news to all people. Yet immediately after Jesus died, what Peter did was quite fascinating. Somewhat contrary to what our lord Jesus had asked him. He went back to his old job. Peter went back to fishing. Peter had forgotten that our lord Jesus called him after the day he caught nothing. He caught nothing, toiled all night long. and our lord Jesus asked him to cast by the side of the boat, and he caught so much fish and he prostrated himself and say : Lord stay away from me I'm a sinful men. Now, Lord Jesus says: from now on, you are going to fish syrup man. You are going to be a fisherman. You're not going to fish anymore; you're going to gather people with me. You’re going to make God's kingdom. Further here in this world, you are going to do God's work now. After Jesus died, what did he do? I'm going to fish. Peter, you're leading people back to where they started. You have forgotten everything I taught you. Abandon the mission immediately, abandoned the mission immediately after Jesus died. Now my dear brothers and sister, it is not bad to fish. no it's not bad at all. It is not bad to earn a living by working with our hands, with our feet, with our heads, with our hearts, with our souls. It is not bad to support our family.

Many people have called me and asked whether I was born in a rich family. and they thought that I was born with a golden spoon in my mouth. it was all wrong it was all wrong. Even though my family owned a lot of businesses in Vietnam, we didn't start out that way. I was born in a very poor family. My mother died young, and we learned first-hand how hard it is to live without food. Bagging for food at the age of 10. I have to go around asking neighbors for rice. Borrowing from them to survive day to day. I had to really pick up trash and sell recycled bottles in order to earn enough to pay for my tuition at the age of 15. Up to 17, I have to work with my own hands, and pay for my own tuition. I work 12 hours, sometimes 16 hours a day, cleaning train stations and I work 15 days out of 30 days. And I study for only 15 days. Thank God I still graduated. But yet I understood very well what it meant to suffer hunger, what it meant to sleep outside without a blanket, and what it meant to be very poor. I also realized that the work that we do, given that it's not evil, given is not bad, given is not against human dignity, it's not beyond our dignity at all to clean dishes for living. it is not beyond our dignity to really mob the floor for living. A worker in a vineyard is no less dignified than a doctor working in the hospital. Most of our Asian parents think that their children should be doctors and lawyers. Because of the title, because of the dignity that society has given them. Therefore, they force their children to study hard, enter into prestigious universities and graduate with high degrees. However, it's not bad to be a Mexican worker working for the church vineyard. it's not bad to stand over there in her street in Berkeley asking for work for eight dollars an hour. It's not bad to support the family by going into construction sites, or vineyards picking up fruits. The dignity of human work, my dear brothers and sisters,. It does not lie into the title that we have. It lies in the fact that we contribute together, meaningfully purposefully building up the family of God here on this earth.

That's why saying Joseph as a carpenter could sustain and maintain God's family. That's why Jesus could be a carpenter working with his hands, with his heart, and with his soul. That's why fishing is not bad. but my dear brothers and sister, carpentry, working in a vineyard, or working in a hospital, and elsewhere, it's not an end in itself. It just means doing something far greater, that's why Peter is wrong to go back fishing and forget about the ultimate mission that our lord entrusted to him. That's why working for you, and for me, men and women of faith, just focusing on work alone is problematic. That's why communist is problematic. That's why communism and struggle class struggle is problematic. That's why it's evil. Because it fixates workers on the work itself. Have forgotten about beyond, what is beyond work. life with God, life with God, a beautiful human family, meaningful work and human dignity. So my brothers and sisters, what our lord Jesus asked Peter today is a waking up call asking Peter once again: did you not remember that I asked you to feed my lamb? Did you not remember that I asked you to feed my flock? did you not remember that I asked you to feed my sheep? Peter has forgotten the meaning of his work. from now on, Peter said lord you know that I love you. Peter now remembers that the good lord asked him to give three things, three things.

first by his Words. He has to feed his people by the Words entrusted to him but the Word has given to him. For so long our lord Jesus taught him all along for the years. Our lord Jesus said Peter from now on you're going to feed my people with the word that I entrusted to you. N5ot your words but the words I entrusted to you. That’s why Peter, after the Pentecost, could come out to the open and told the people who just killed Jesus, who he was fearful of that you, all of you who hurt, who killed, who persecuting the people who follow Jesus, that I have nothing to share with you other than the lord Jesus, other than the faith I have in him. Peter now boldly came to the people that he believed in Jesus. He wants to share words of wisdom, of life that Jesus has given him. So, Peter now did not say his opinion. Peter now says his ultimate word received from Christ.

The second thing that he has to provide God's people with is his personal example. Peter is no longer to say it. Peter has to live it, Peter had to endure the persecution, Peter has to suffer on on behalf of Christ, feeding God's people with his personal experience. Peter is no longer the Peter of old. Denying and running away like chicken. no, Peter has to lead, now Peter has to make a decision, Peter has to feed his people, God's people with ultimate examples of his life. how he prayed, how he served, how he cared, and how he ultimately died.

Finally Peter has to give up his own life. In feeding God's flock, blood has to be shed. So my brothers and sisters, those are the three things that Peter has to honor the work of God, honor the one single work and mission entrusted to him to proclaim good news to all, in God's vineyard, in God's church. You and I have plenty of work to do.

You are doctors, you are engineers, you are people with great professional skills. Please don't fall into the trap of communist party asking us to fixate on our work alone. let's fix it on the beyond of what we do, works that we do, our means to achieve a greater end. and that greater end is life with God, life with one another, and having God at the center of our life. that's where our dignity, where the dignity of our work lies. and I ask you to consider this coming May 28th we're going to have a clean up day. meaning we're going as the community of faith, as a family taking care of what we have, as our coming home. I'm asking you to consider. we're going to have a work day together, for three hours or so. we're going to clean everything that we have here in the church, on a mission, or else. where within the campus. we go, and we have a sign up sheet soon for you. If you would like to clean up, picking up trash, hauling tree branches, or picking up, or cleaning the church, I'm asking you to consider making a little gesture of your dedication and love of this community.

for those who would like to participate in this upcoming great festival, the weekend that we have in honor of the founding day - june 10, 11 and 12, we are asking for volunteers to help out with different tasks. greeting people, directing traffic, helping with the festival events, and helping with the liturgies, and all that. please consider, because this is the work of God entrusted to all of us, further God's kingdom by participating in small or big ways so I thank you in advance, and may God and saying Joseph, the mother of all workers, bless us all


這個月底堂區要做一次 聖母月回歸父家清潔日 的活動
下個月的 Mission建堂225週年 的週末慶祝活動

五月,是一個值得慶祝的月份。 古羅馬人用五月來慶祝鮮花女神。 天主教將五月訂為聖母月。在這個月,我們以頌念玫瑰經來紀念真福的母親 - 聖母瑪麗亞。 我們堂區每晚都會有一個由菲律賓社區領導的玫瑰經祈禱, 經過 Zoom , 歡迎您加入我們的玫瑰經祈禱,專心的來紀念和光榮我們的母親 。

5月1日是國際勞動節。 在美國,1886 年 5 月 1 日,成千上萬的工人聚集起來罷工。這罷工是受馬克思階級鬥爭宣言的啟發,來爭取每天8 小時的工作日。工人們想要在不受資本家剝削的情況下,爭取工作及生存的權利,來養家糊口 。接著在5 月 4 日 ”乾草市場事件” 中引爆了炸彈,炸傷了大約70多名警察,警察開槍殺死了多名聚集在一起的工人。 一個和平的罷工示威馬上就轉變成為一個致命的暴力事件。 為了紀念這個五月初的勞工平權運動,5月1日就被定為國際勞動節。

5 月 1 日對天主教而言,也是非常特別的一天。教宗庇護十二世在 1955 年 5 月 1 日發表了一篇通諭,抨擊了國際勞工節,同時也為天主教建立了聖若瑟節。若瑟是耶穌的養父,也成了所有工人的主保。這篇通諭宣示對聖若瑟的虔敬,也彰顯了人類工作的尊嚴和天主的神聖。天主教對工作的神聖和人類勞動的理解遠遠超出共產黨的思維。我們關切的是工作的成效而不是工作本身。創世記第一章說。當天主創造男人和女人時,天主要他們照顧地球,繼續完成天主的創造工程。因此,人類的尊嚴、他的工作以及工作的尊嚴都與天主的創造有關。天主要讓這個世界成為一個美麗的地方,讓天主與人類生活在一起,讓男人和女人,和所有的人在一起茁壯成長,來持續天主的創造,這就是天主創世對工作的願景。

兄弟姐妹們,為什麼在復活節的第三個主日談論這些呢?在今天的福音中,主耶穌再次顯現給他的門徒,特別是顯現給伯多祿。伯多祿是門徒之首,他在這次耶穌的顯現中學到一個非常深的教訓,那就是跟隨耶穌的意義是什麼?讓我們看看伯多祿。主耶穌曾派遣伯多祿帶領12 門徒。耶穌要求伯多祿做一件重要的事,那就是向所有的人宣揚天主的救恩。然而,在耶穌死後,伯多祿的行為與主的要求恰恰相反。伯多祿回到了原來的工作捕魚去了。伯多祿忘了當初主耶穌是在他捕魚一無所獲之後才召喚他的。伯多祿捕魚整夜操勞,一無所獲,然後主叫他拋網到船邊,捕到了許多魚。事後,伯多祿跪下說:”主,請離開我,因為我是個罪人。“ 主耶穌說:”從現在開始,你要去做捕人的漁夫。“ 主說:“你不再捕魚了;你要和我一起召集所有的人去建立天主的國度。去更遠的地方,做天主的工作。” 但是耶穌死後,伯多祿做了些什麼?他忘記了耶穌的教訓,他立即放棄了所賦予的使命。兄弟姐妹,捕魚也不錯,一點也不差。用我們的手、用我們的腳、用我們的腦、用我們的心,用我們的靈魂工作來養家糊口也是應該的。

很多人問我是否出生在一個富裕的家庭。錯了。儘管我家在越南擁有很多產業,但我出生在一個非常貧窮的家庭。我母親早逝,我們親眼目睹了沒有食物的生活是多麼的艱難。從 10歲開始我就每天四處向鄰居借米飯來生存。我必須撿垃圾和賣回收瓶來支付我的學費。 從15歲到17歲,我每天工作 12 小時甚至16 小時清理火車站。每個月我必須工作15天,只靠剩下的15天來讀書。感謝天主,我還是畢業了。但是我非常清楚忍受飢餓是什麼,露宿在外沒有毯子是什麼,以及貧窮是什麼。我也意識到,我們的工作,只要不邪惡,不是壞事,不違背人的尊嚴,為了維持生活而洗碗或擦地板,並不傷害我們的尊嚴。

因為社會賦予工作的頭銜與標籤,大多數亞洲父母認為他們的孩子應該做醫生或律師。因此,強迫孩子努力讀書,進入名牌大學,以高學歷來爭取這些工作。然而,葡萄園工人的尊嚴並不亞於醫院裡的醫生。一名為教堂葡萄園工作的墨西哥工人,站在伯克利街道上,每小時 賺8 美元的工作者,或到建築工地,或去採收水果來養家糊口的工作者都一樣的美好。親愛的兄弟姐妹們,工作的尊嚴。並不在於工作的名稱或標籤,它在於我們一起貢獻,有意義地,有目的地,在這個地球上建立天主的家園。

木匠若瑟以工作來維持和維護天主的家庭,耶穌是一個用雙手,用心,和靈魂來工作的木匠,一樣的,捕魚也是個很好的工作。 親愛的兄弟姐妹們,木匠,葡萄園工人,或醫療人員,以及其他行業的工作者都好。因為工作並不是目的,它只是代表藉著工作我們將成就偉大的事。

這就是為什麼伯多祿忘了主託付給他的使命,而回去捕魚是錯誤的。單單專注於工作,對我,對有信仰的人來說是有問題的。這就是為什麼共產主義和階級鬥爭是有問題的,邪惡的。 因為它使工人只專注於工作,沒有超越。人類的工作必須超越。與天主同在,才有美好的人類和家庭,工作才有意義和尊嚴。 兄弟姐妹們,主耶穌今天與伯多祿的對話對我們來說是一個警告。主耶穌問伯多祿:你忘了我要你餵養我的羊群嗎? 伯多祿忘記了他的工作。 當伯多祿說“主啊,你知道我愛你”時,他想起來了。 良善的主要求他作三件事。

第一件事是說聖言。多年來聖言與伯多祿在一起,教導他,餵養他。 耶穌說從現在開始你要用我託付給你的聖言來餵養我的羊。不是你的話,而是我託付給你的話。 這就是為什麼伯多祿在五旬節之後就公開告訴那些剛剛殺害耶穌的人,那些他害怕的人,那些傷害,殺害,迫害跟隨耶穌的人, 大膽地承認他相信耶穌, 願意分享耶穌賜給他的智慧聖言和生命。 伯多祿不再陳述自己的意見,他只分享主基督賜給他的聖言。

第二件事是以身作則。 伯多祿不能只說聖言,現在他必須活出聖言。他要忍受迫害,要受苦。要代表基督,用他個人的經歷來餵養天主的子民。 伯多祿再也不是一個否認與逃避迫害的弱者。 他必須領導,必須決定,必須用他生命的終極榜樣來養活天主的子民。 以自己為榜樣讓大家看到應如何祈禱,服務 ,關心,和死亡。

最後一件事是奉獻自己的生命。 伯多祿尊重託付給他的工作和使命,他的使命是向所有人,在天主的葡萄園中,教會中宣講救恩。餵養天主的羊群,必須流血,他奉獻了自己的生命。兄弟姐妹們,你和我還有很多工作要做。


聖母月回歸父家清潔日 5 月 28 日,我們將要有一個清潔日。讓我們一起工作三個小時,清理所有與堂區有關的東西。作為我們這個信仰團體,團結起來,願意維護和回歸父家的象徵。我們會準備一份報名表。如果你願意清潔、撿垃圾、收拾樹枝、或打掃教堂及校園內的任何事情,請你填寫的這個報名表。

6 月 10 日到12 日,我們有一個Mission San Jose 教堂建堂225週年的周末慶祝活動。我們也正在徵求志願者幫助堂區來服務這個特別的節日。如果你願意問候人群,指揮交通,幫助活動,禮儀,等等。請考慮參加我們的自願團隊。這是天主託付給我們所有人的工作。無論大小,讓我們同心協力來推展天主的國度,謝謝你們,願天主和工人的主保聖若瑟祝福我們。