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Vì lỗi kỹ thuật nên số lượng người truy cập sẽ được đếm lại từ tháng 3 ngày 25 năm 2014 và bắt đầu từ con số 1.581.247 (số người truy cập cũ)


All becomes God's Children by the Holy Spirit

The Gospel of this Sunday continues to narrate the Baptism of Jesus Christ. In this Sunday gospel, I would like to reflect on the reality of many non-Christians who are not baptized in the rite of Christian initiation. However, God has still seen them as His children by the Holy Spirit.

I was born and raised in a traditional and conservative Catholic family in Vietnam. I associated with many non-Christians in my neighborhood. As a Catholic, I was taught in my parish in Vietnam that I should pray for conversion of non-Christians and convince them by words as needed to be baptized so that they would be saved.

However, whenever I tried to convince them by words there were arguments, confrontation and anger occurred. Lately in my life, I stopped trying to convince them to be baptized in order to avoid any conflict and tension. I have started to realize thatmany non-Christians have lived their lives even better and more exemplary than many Christians, for example: raising their family with decent job, taking well of their children, reaching out to help their community, especially those who are in need. I continued to pray for them and tried to live a good life as much I could.

Saint Paul, the apostle of gentiles, non-baptized, asks a question in his letter to the Galatians: "Who is living inside the Holy Spirit?" His answer is those who manifest spiritual fruits of the Holy Spirit in their lives such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and chastity. Conversely and ironically, we as Christians have developed a tendency to accept and to live by the spirit of this world such as being egotistic, hatred, argumentative, angry and jealous. I have heard others who share with me that they hesitate to let their family members involve in the church ministry because they do not want to see their family members to be caught up in human conditions in helping the church such as disagreements that might cause division, resentment or anger. In order to avoid any confrontation and conflict, I remind myself that I rather choose to be kind than to be right.

We are not saintsor angels. We are humans and prone to fall. We are struggling and standing in the tension between living our lives by the fruits of the Holy Spirit and by the spirit of this world. In our prayers for non-Christians and our consciousness that God's Spirit living in us to help us to live with our true, divine self or Godself in us and in order to manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit, particularly God's love in us toward others, especially the least of our brothers and sisters who are not able to help themselves. Hopefully, in our intention, prayers and reaching out to help others in their needs, we as Christians become more like Christ in order to attract more people who are not Christians to Christ so they also might want to become Christian either by being baptized or by the Holy Spirit.

In spite of being baptized or not-baptized, born and raised Catholic or new converted, we are all brothers and sisters of each other and children of God in His entire human family by the Holy Spirit.