Finding God in the chaos

By Father Nghia Nguyen

North Texas Catholic

8/10/2020

woman prays in front of churchwoman prays in front of church


During this time of the pandemic, we could ask, “How can God allow such evil on his people?” I remember reading the Book of Genesis and wondering the same thing.

From Cain and Abel, Noah and the flood, Joseph’s betrayal by his brothers and being sold into slavery, to the 10 plagues in Egypt, we can easily see the evil within the stories but we can also see the mercy.

Sometimes it is hard to see how God’s work is present in the darkest moments of history, but if we look with the eyes of faith, we can see God’s work daily.

Take an example from the story of Joseph. We can see all sorts of evil from this story: jealousy, attempted murder, slavery, and revenge. We can see the good in this story as well: brotherly love, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy.

During this period of COVID-19, we have witnessed how the world can change in one moment. In the beginning of the pandemic, we saw how people reacted in a manner of selfishness — the belief to look out only for number one. But we also saw incredible acts of charity and mercy. From the selfless acts of kindness in donations of food and other essential items to our parish outreach center, to the donation of masks for the clergy so that we were protected in our daily visits with people, God is always at work within the chaos.

The use of our talents varies from vocation to vocation, but every one of us is ultimately called to the vocation of holiness. [ Lumen Gentium, V (39) ]

Again, take Joseph’s talent of interpreting dreams. His brothers were jealous of him because of the dreams he had interpreted. But that same talent is what saved him and his family in the end. Joseph chose to use God’s gift in the manner it was intended to be used. 

During the pandemic, the Church had to find new ways to reach parishioners when the stay-at-home order was enacted. One of the talents I believe God gave me was the love of technology and electronics. I was able to set up our parish for livestreams so that our parishioners could join us virtually. 

I also saw God’s work in our first responders, nurses, and doctors all pulling together to help each other during this difficult time. Some even went to areas most affected by COVID-19 and risked their lives in service to others. By using our talents for others, we can see God’s work and mercy in times of uncertainty.

I remember in elementary school my teachers would often ask this question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Many of us would answer something along the lines of the profession our parents are in or something noble like a doctor, lawyer, or astronaut. At this time, I would like to challenge you — instead of thinking about what you want to be, ask God what He wants you to be. The only way you can do this is to earnestly ask God in prayer “What do You want me to be or do?”

God knows every one of us intimately; He did create us after all. I firmly believe we all have a purpose in life, whatever that may be, and that if we use the talents that God gives us, we can help each other build up the Kingdom of God even through the darkest of times. God continues to remain with His people through the works of the Church. God’s mercy continues to shine even in the darkest of times. So pray for your vocation, and ask God how you can use the talents He has given you to serve your brothers and sisters in Christ.   

 

Father Nghia Nguyen

Ordained on May 21, 2016, Father Nghia Nguyen serves as the parochial vicar of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Keller and as  Vocations Liaison with the Vocations Office.

woman prays in front of church

During this time of the pandemic, we could ask, “How can God allow such evil on his people?”

Published (until 8/10/2033)