April 23 - 2nd Sunday in Easter : The Doubting Thomas

April 20th, 2017

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First Reading   Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47

The first community of Christians grows as its members meet to pray and break bread.

 

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 118:2-4,13-15,22-24

God’s love is everlasting.

 

Second Reading   1 Peter 1:3-9

We have new hope because of Jesus’ Resurrection.

 

Gospel Reading John 20:19-31

 

When Jesus appeared on Sunday Thomas was not with the twelve. Some suggests that he was seeking Jesus alone while Jesus was with the assembly of his followers. That could be the Evangelist's way of telling the reader that encounter with the Risen Lord is something that happens not so much in the privacy of the individuals religious initiative and practise as much as in the fellowship with the community of believers, that is the Church. Do we have to look far to see such Thomases in our society today, men and women who deep down in their hearts seek the risen Lord, but who seek him outside the worshipping and believing community? They try to draw near to God by engaging in all sorts of self-imposed devotional exercises. Religion, they say, is personal, and they are right. But religion is also communitarian, and this they need to learn just as Thomas did.

 

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April 15 – Easter : New Life in Christ

April 15th, 2017

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Old Testament Readings and Psalms

Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26

Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13 and Psalm 46

Genesis 22:1-18 and Psalm 16

Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 and Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18

Isaiah 55:1-11 and Isaiah 12:2-6

Baruch 3:9-15, 3:32-4:4 or Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6 and Psalm 19

Ezekiel 36:24-28 and Psalm 42, 43

Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Psalm 143

Zephaniah 3:14-20 and Psalm 98

 

New Testament Reading and Psalm

Romans 6:3-11 and Psalm 114

 

Gospel

Matthew 28:1-10

 

The Significance of Jesus’ resurrection today is that it offers for all believers the hope of a new life here and now. Yes, we will all rise from the dead one day and share in eternal glory. But, even today, here and now we experience the power of Easter glory, the effects of Jesus’ rising from the dead. Every time we suffer a defeat, fail in some exam, are plagued by some crippling disease, we experience a bit of death. But if we believe in the presence of the risen Jesus in our midst, we will discover new dreams to pursue, new challenges to take on and new reasons to try again. Every time we are overwhelmed by problems, discouraged by disappointments or beset by worries, we are diminished in some way. But if we believe in the real power of the risen Christ, we will find that the impossible becomes possible and the unreachable becomes reachable. We all testify to the power of the Resurrection among us when we don’t let evil and death get the better of us but let the way of Jesus triumph in our lives through faith, hope and love. The Risen Jesus we encounter in the Eucharist is our strength to live the significance of Easter: to transform sorrow into joy, defeat into victory, despair into hope, darkness into light, hatred into love and the tomb of death into freedom of life. May the Risen Christ who came forth from the tomb on Easter enable us to shake off the fetters of evil and sin and give us the grace to live with him. Amen. 

 

 

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April 14 - Good Friday : Cross - the sign of God’s love

April 13th, 2017

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First Reading         :  Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm                     : 
Psalm 22
Second Reading     : 
Hebrews 10:16-25
Gospel                    : 
John 18:1-19:42                

Sometimes we ask the question “where was God when his beloved Son was crucified ?”. St. Ignatius of Antioch speaks about the “passion of my God”. It tells us that the Father was personally involved in Christ’s suffering and that he actually participated in it. In the same way sometimes we are tempted to ask “Where was God when my son/daughter died?, Does God loves me? Does he really care for me? I challenge you to pick up your crucifix, look at the bruised and mangled body of Christ and still ask that question because back will come the answer loud and clear “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son”. Amen.

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April 13 - Holy Thursday : Divine Surrender

April 12th, 2017

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First Reading         :  Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14
Psalm                     : 
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Second Reading     : 
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel                    : 
John 13:1-17, 31b-35     

 

The mystery of Holy Thursday embraces the supreme, threefold gift of the ministry of the Priesthood, the Eucharist and the new Commandment of love. The Basic idea of the entire Holy Thursday Mass is contained in the symbolic sign of the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus. This is more than an act of service, although He himself tells them and us that we must imitate him. it points to the very nature of Jesus' redeeming life and work: it is not we who redeem ourselves by anything we do; it is Jesus proclaiming himself as the Saviour. We see Jesus emptying himself. Thus we are invited to participate in the mystery of (his) divine surrender.

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April 9 - Passion Sunday : Marching with Jesus

April 7th, 2017

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Gospel at the Procession with Palms  Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus enters Jerusalem as the crowd waves palm branches and shouts, "Hosanna!"

First Reading  Isaiah 50:4-7
The Lord's Servant will stand firm, even when persecuted.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 22:8-9,17-20,23-24
A cry for help to the Lord in the face of evildoers

Second Reading  Philippians 2:6-11
Christ was obedient even to death, and God has exalted him.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 26:14—27:66

                        

Indeed, we have reached the climax of the liturgical year, the highest peak of salvation history, when all that has been anticipated and promised is to be fulfilled. By the close of today’s long Gospel, the work of our redemption will have been accomplished, the new covenant will be written in the blood of His broken body hanging on the cross at the place called the Skull. The palms that we use today should be sings that we are willing to follow and march with Jesus not only in moments of glory but also in times of fall and agony.

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April 2 - Fifth Sunday in Lent : He is our Life

March 30th, 2017

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First Reading   Ezekiel 37:12-14
God will open the graves and restore the people of Israel.

              

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 130:1-8
With the Lord is forgiveness and mercy.   

                            

Second Reading   Romans 8:8-11
The Spirit of God dwells in you.

 

Gospel Reading
John 11:1-45 (shorter version John 11:3-7,17,20-27,33b-45)

 

 

May be you just feel like Lazarus, dead to life, no energy, no trust in anyone, no faith in God. No matter what it is, remember, Jesus is able to give life and fill us with meaning. Jesus is waiting to roll away the stone that hides us from his sight, that hides us from God, that blocks our way to a rightful place in life. His power can give us life. Jesus is asking each and every one of us the same question he asked Martha and Mary, “Do you believe this?” What is your answer?

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March 26 - Fourth Sunday in Lent : Spiritual Blindness

March 21st, 2017

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First Reading   
1 Samuel 16:1b,6-7,10-13a
Samuel is sent to anoint David as king.
 

Responsorial Psalm    Psalm 23:1-6
The Lord is our shepherd.
 

Second Reading     Ephesians 5:8-14
The Ephesians are told to live as children of light.
 

Gospel Reading John 9:1-41 (shorter form: John 9:1,6-9,13-17,34-38)

 

God’s ways of seeing are not our ways, we hear in today’s First Reading. Jesus illustrates this in the Gospel - as the blind man comes to see and the Pharisees are made blind. The blind man stands for all humanity. “Born totally in sin” he is made a new creation by the saving power of Christ. As God breathed the spirit of life into the first man, the blind man is not healed until he washes in the waters of Siloam, a name that means “Sent.” Jesus is the new source of life-giving water - the Holy Spirit who rushes upon us in Baptism (see John 4:10; 7:38-39). In the restful waters of Baptism He has refreshed our souls. He has anointed our heads with the oil of Confirmation and spread the Eucharistic table before us, filling our cups to overflowing. With the once-blind man we enter His house to give God the praise, to renew our vow : “I do believe, Lord.”

 

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March 19 - Third Sunday in Lent : Living Water

March 15th, 2017

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First Reading  Exodus 17:3-7

God tells Moses to bring forth water from the rock.

 

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 95:1-2,6-9

Sing joyfully in the presence of the Lord.

 

Second Reading   Romans 5:1-2,5-8

Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

 

Gospel Reading John 4:5-42

  

We also have a thirst like the Samaritan woman. What is it that we are thirsting for? By our baptism we have been given the gift of faith and eternal life, but what steps do we have to take to live that life? Do we still thirst for material things, for bodily pleasures, for power or status? How can we let the waters that Jesus describes, quench that thirst in us? Jesus is the source of that water, and by going to Jesus we will find the help, the fullness, the refreshment we need. During this Lenten Season then, let us come to the well and meet Jesus there. He will give us living water, which is water that does not run out because it grows from within, and it quenches our deepest thirst – the thirst for God - “My soul thirsts for God, the living God!” And this is the Good News of today.

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March 12 - Second Sunday in Lent : Transfiguration

March 9th, 2017

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First Reading  Genesis 12:1-4a

God promises Abram a great blessing.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 33:4-5,18-20,22

God's mercy is upon those who trust in God.

 

Second Reading   2 Timothy 1:8b-10

Through God's grace we are called to holiness.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 17:1-9

 

The transfiguration of Jesus offers the disciples an ever fuller glimpse of who Jesus is and what he will do. The shadow of the Cross and the imminent suffering and death were always before the eyes of Jesus. The disciples too must become sharers in His Cross. The transfiguration experience provided them an extraordinary strength to face the future. The disciple who witnessed the heavenly glory must also witness his earthly agony at Gethsemane. That is the same for us: suffering and glory are both a call and a gift. 

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March 5 - First Sunday in Lent: Overcoming Temptation

March 1st, 2017

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First Reading  Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Eve and Adam eat from the tree that was forbidden to them by God.

 

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 51:3-4,5-6,12-13,17
A prayer for mercy

 

Second Reading   Romans 5:12-19
Through the obedience of Jesus, many will be made righteous.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 4:1-11

 

Today on the 1st Sunday of Lent we are taken into the desert. When Jesus was baptized he realized his new identity (of being God’s Son) and the mission for which God had sent him (to save mankind through the way of the Cross). Now in the desert the devil tries to test both Jesus’ Identity and Mission. The devil is trying to make Jesus doubt of His identity as the divine Son and propose three easy ways to achieve His Mission. The first temptation is the proposal to give into “pleasure”instead of the Cross. The second temptation is the proposal to be addicted topower and popularity and the third temptation is the proposal to be greedy forwealth. Jesus did not displease God and loose his Sonship. He chose the narrow road of the Cross to bring us salvation.

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