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  Page Updated: April 10, 2021
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Pastor's Corner - Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Greeting you with love and blessings from God.

How was your week? Are you still in the mood of the Easter resurrection? I hope so. Remember, Easter is the most important event in the Lord’s ministry in our faith of Christianity. Resurrection is the keynote because if the Lord is not risen and whatever we believe, it becomes meaningless. Whatever we practice, it becomes emptiness. If God is not risen, he is just a human being, maybe a super hero, but that’s it. He is not the Lord of the dead and the living. In the Resurrection the Lord can give us salvation, he conquers the death of our sins, and shows us the way to salvation. So praise the Lord, Alleluia! The empty tomb is evidence that he is no longer here, he has risen!

I am sure that regardless of the few days of terrible weather of rain and thunderstorms, we are still very blessed to have some very nice weather here in New Orleans. I love the nice weather, because when the weather is nice and pleasant, people seem to be nicer, more pleasant, and are much kinder to each other. Yes, we humans depend so much on the weather to feel good or not good, or soso. Sometimes we don’t even realize that. The moon and the sun control the ocean, and of course, that is affecting the changing of the weather. Even as I dictate my pastor comment today, in the newspaper it reports that in the Caribbean islands there is a volcano named La Soufriere in St. Vincent, Kingstown that erupted twice. Everybody had to evacuate, not only the people who lived on the island close by, but also the tourists. One of the native men who witnessed when it happened, said that the monstrous force of this volcano has been an “out of this world experience.” Of course, as a consequence, the native people have to live in shelters and are asking for help. They are in need of water, dry goods, hygiene products, etc. It is heartwrenching. So please keep them in your prayers and try the best you can to reach out to these people. When dealing with natural disasters, you have no control over anything. It could be you, like them, in the future.

On Easter weekend, we recognized one of our oldest altar servers who will be leaving us this year for college. Gene Roth, III, on behalf of the whole parish I want to thank Gene and his parents who allowed and supported him in this ministry for so many years. Good luck to you Gene, we will continue to pray for you. Thank you again for serving St. Agnes.

Also, last Sunday, we recognized our 2021 Altar Server of the Year, Mari Micaela Medina. Mari is also a very good Lector and is a very talented young lady who can also sing and is an outstanding student. At this time we need more young people involved in our Altar Server and Lector ministry. If you have children or grandchildren who are interested in these ministries, please call the office. Thanks to Mrs. Julie Spencer who has agreed to take over the Altar Server ministry as well as her continued work with the Lector ministry.

Up until today, for more than a year we have been dealing with the corona virus pandemic (COVID-19). Even though we have a vaccine, we are not out of the woods yet. According to statistics, right now the number of deaths due to the virus have been reduced. More people are getting the vaccine than ever, but the sad thing right now is that a lot of young people from ages 2040 are testing positive for the virus. Some even have to stay in the hospital. According to the CDC they tried to promote for more people to get the vaccine, but some still do not want to get it for some unknown reason. To me the vaccination is a prevention and control of the pandemic. Unless you do it, we still are in limbo. Some people have approached me with the question, should I, or should I not get the vaccine? And many people still believe that this is a political disease. Even worse, some people believe that it is a Chinese disease, or Kung Fu disease, or Wuhan disease. If you follow the news, the virus has nothing to with it. There is no limit or boundaries of this virus, it is in the air and it is a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. IT HAPPENED EVERYWHERE! We are so blessed to live in America, where the vaccine is available, and on the other hand, people in poor countries are dying everyday, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Brazil, etc., and the number of deaths are increasing daily because they do not have the vaccination. Some people even tell me that they trust in God more than the Scientists so they refuse to receive the vaccination. I remember a story I heard a long time ago which may shed a little light for those who are reasoning in this way:

A woman sat on the roof of her house as the flood waters rose around her. A man in a small motor boat pulled up and said, “Come on! We’ve got to go!” She replied, “No, thank you. I’m waiting on the Lord to save me.” Not long after that, a helicopter hovered overhead and a rescue worker repelled down to try and save her. She said, “No thank you. I’m waiting on the Lord to save me.” Eventually, the floodwaters rose above her home and she drowned. While standing at the Pearly Gates she saw the Lord and said to him, “Oh Lord, why didn’t you save me? The Lord replied, “I sent you a boat, I sent you a helicopter, what in the world do you want?!”

Reflecting on the story, there is a good lesson. Well, each day someone comes to you with a hand extended, a tool or a tip which will help you out of the trouble. And oftentimes the tip is simple, obvious or may not seem so special. But the source of the answer you seek may appear to be drab or unspecial. Don’t you think that the vaccine we have now is a boat that was sent to us to rescue us from drowning? Remember, it is not one vaccine, but 3 different vaccines. And those in the medical field researched and have been working very hard for over a year to find it. And now you say that you trust in God? My whole lesson is, as humans we all have to trust someone, otherwise no one will trust you. If you don’t trust people, people don’t trust you. It goes both ways. TRUST “BUT VERIFY” IS NECESSARY TO MINIMIZE WASTE AND PROTECT AGAINST THOSE WHO TRY TO FOOL YOU.

Well that’s enough for this week. Please keep the spirit of the Lord’s resurrection in your life and those around you. May God bless you and your loved ones. As I always say, be healthy, be happy, be merry, be cheerful and keep smiling. It makes you younger, healthier, happier, and those around you feel good too. Deo Gracias! Thank you, Merci Beaucoup, and God Bless you!

Fr. Bac-Hai