Emmanuel Youth Choir was born on September 22, 2018, after Father Loi Huynh, our Pastor, and Father Thong Nguyen, our Chaplain, realized the need for an English mass for the Vietnamese youth at Our Lady of La Vang church in San Jose. We celebrated the choir's first feast day on December 24, 2018. Our choir chose the name "Emmanuel", meaning "God is with Us" to remind all of us that we need God at every step of our life and with every breath that we take each day. With Him beside us and within our hearts, we can conquer any obstacles in our life. And every time we come together, we come to Him with a humble heart to thank him for everything that He has given us and we praise Him for His Greatness and His Love with songs and music.
Our Mass Time and Practice Schedule:
Our choir sings every Saturday at 4:00 PM at Our Lady of La Vang Church (located at 389 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113 (corner of 9th Street and Santa Clara Street). We practice 1/2 hour before and 1/2 hour after mass. If you love to sing, play music, and/or would like to serve the Church in the Church music ministry, please come and join us in singing hymns of thanksgiving and praise to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
“My secret is simple: I pray”
— Mother Teresa of Calcutta
First Sunday in Advent, Cycle B, Sunday, December 3, 2023
Jesus tells the parable of the talents, in which he teaches about the importance of using the gifts that God has given to us in service to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Background on the Gospel Reading
This week’s Gospel speaks of how Jesus’ disciples are to conduct themselves as they await the Kingdom of Heaven. In the preceding passages and in last week’s Gospel, Jesus taught that there is no way to predict the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. His disciples must, therefore, remain vigilant and ready to receive the Son of Man at any time.
Jesus’ parable talks about Christian discipleship using economic metaphors. Before he leaves on a journey, the master entrusts to his servants a different number of talents, giving to each according to their abilities. A talent is a coin of great value. Upon the master’s return, he finds that the first and second servants have doubled their money, and both are rewarded. The third servant, however, has only preserved what was given to him because he was afraid to lose the money. He has risked nothing; he did not even deposit the money in a bank to earn interest. This servant is punished by the master, and his talent is given to the one who brought the greatest return.
Read in light of last week’s parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids, this parable teaches that God’s judgment will be based on the service we render to God and to one another in accordance with the gifts that God has given to us. Our gifts, or talents, are given to us for the service of others. If we fail to use these gifts, God’s judgment on us will be severe. On the other hand, if we make use of these gifts in service to the Kingdom of Heaven, we will be rewarded and entrusted with even more responsibilities.
This Gospel reminds us that Christian spirituality is not passive or inactive. Our life of prayer helps us to discern the gifts that have been given to us by God. This prayer and discernment ought to lead us to use our gifts in the service of God and our neighbor. God’s grace allows us to share in the work of serving the Kingdom of Heaven.