July 7, 2022
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
This past weekend, one of my friends from my home parish of St. Joseph Hien in Minneapolis stepped forward in faith to profess her perpetual vows with the Dominican Sisters in Houston, Texas. It was a beautiful to see her freely give her life to Jesus. There were many ways she could have lived her life, but in love she chose to serve the Lord as a Dominican sister.
Within the past month, I have been able to celebrate with many of my friends their own step forward into a lifelong commitment. My cousin got married, my classmate was ordained a priest, and my friend professed her final vows with the Dominicans. One of the things that stuck out as I was reflecting on these vocations was that each one was a commitment made in love. It is love that first attracted each one to their vocation, and it is love that moves each one to commit themselves to the one that they love. A wise priest at the seminary once said, “Love wants to make and keep promises.” There is no force when it comes to love, love only calls us forward to commit ourselves to the one we love. Love seeks freedom so that it can bind itself to the one it loves. When someone falls in love, they seek to bind themselves to the one they love with a promise, and what more can be promised than a lifetime of love? Once the promise has been made, the one in love spends the rest of his or her life fulfilling that promise.
Love is beautiful because it can be manifested in a countless number of ways. The number of people that have ever lived is the number of ways love can make and keep its promises. This past week I got to celebrate that gift of love with Sister Vincent Ferrer Lan Thuy Pham, OP. I look forward to seeing all the many ways the next generation will give themselves in love, and I am always delighted to see and celebrate those that have already given themselves freely in love and continue to fulfill their lifelong promise to their beloved.
Father Joseph Nguyễn