December 17 - Third Sunday of Advent : Shine Jesus Shine

December 13th, 2017

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First Reading   Isaiah 61:1-2a,10-11

The Lord's salvation will be made known to the poor and the oppressed.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Luke 1:46-50,53-54

Mary sings praise to God.

 

Second Reading  1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Paul encourages the Thessalonians to rejoice and pray always.

 

Gospel Reading  John 1:6-8,19-28

 

Today we celebrate Gaudate Sunday, the Sunday of Joy in the midst of the Advent penitential season. We rejoice because the Lord is near to us in the coming celebration of his birth, made present for us now. Today’s Gospel presents John the Baptist once again but this time, as a wonderful companion and friend to Jesus. He made no exaggerated claims of his greatness but claims the truth in clear terms. He could have lied and pretended to be the Christ to gain cheep popularity. But John always spoke the truth and said that he was only the voice but the Word was Jesus, that he was only the messenger but the Message was Jesus, that he was only a shadow but the light was Jesus. In keeping with the life example of John the Baptist the Gospel invites us to let Jesus shine in and through us. Can we allow Jesus to shine in us? That’s the lesson we learn from John the Baptizer.

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December 10 - Second Sunday of Advent : Prepare the way; metanoia

December 8th, 2017

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First Reading
Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11

Isaiah tells the people to prepare a way for the Lord.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 85:9-14

The Lord's salvation is near.

 

Second Reading  2 Peter 3:8-14

Peter teaches that we must always be holy because the return of the Lord cannot be predicted.

 

Gospel Reading Mark 1:1-8

 

The message of Advent can never change or be changed: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John preaches repentance, metanoia, change, renewal, and return to God. Change yourselves from deep within, is the focus of his message. Our preparation is an essentially an opening of our inner being to God's comforting and healing presence so that the Holy Spirit can transform and make a new creation of us. Repentance begins with recognizing our need for change and renewal, with dissatisfaction with who and what we are, and with the progress we have made in following Christ. This recognition of our unsatisfactory spiritual condition is basic to desire, and desire is what Advent preparation is all about. 

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December 3 – First Sunday of Advent : Be Prepared

November 30th, 2017

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First Reading   Isaiah 63:16b-17,19b;64:2-7

Isaiah prays for the Lord's forgiveness of the people.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 80:2-3,15-16,18-19

A prayer for the Lord's protection

 

Second Reading  1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Paul gives thanks to God for the faith of the Corinthians.

 

Gospel Reading Mark 13:33-37

 

Today we enter the season of Advent: a time of special preparation for the coming of the Lord. Mark's portrait of the doorman watching out to open for the Lord whenever he suddenly appears is an image of what we are expected to be doing all year long but especially during the season of Advent. The doorman keeps awake in order to recognize and welcome the Lord at his coming. Faith, likewise, transforms us into people who are able to recognize the Lord and willing to receive him. Recognition is crucial because the Lord does not always come in easily recognizable ways. At Bethlehem he came in the form of a baby and people did not recognize him. In the Parable of the Last Judgment, which we heard last Sunday, he said he came to people in the form of the most needy and disadvantaged of this world and many did not recognize him. But true people of faith did recognize him and serve him in these people who live in the blind-spot of society. Faith is first a way of seeing, and then a way of living.

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November 26 - Feast of Christ the King: We will be judged on love

November 23rd, 2017

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First Reading Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17

God himself will shepherd the people of Israel.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 23:1-2,2-3,5-6 

The Lord is our shepherd.

 

Second Reading Corinthians 15:20-26,28 

Because Christ has been raised from the dead, all those who have died will also be raised.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 25:31-46

 

On this, the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year, the Feast of Christ the King, we have heard the Gospel reading about the Last Judgement.  It is an extraordinary text which is not just about a future moment in history, but about the very essence of being a follower of Jesus Christ today.  It is a challenge to each of us and to our Christian community to remember that being a Christian is never just something inward looking.  The Christian life is never self-centred.  God is love and the Christian life can only be a life which reflects that love. The Christian cannot be unconcerned about or uninterested in those around us, especially those who are marginalized. We will be judged by how we have loved and especially about how we have loved not just those near and dear to us but by how we have loved the most marginal, the people with whom we would often not normally have any contact.  Christ’s kingdom will only be fully realized when our world fully witnesses to God’s kingdom: a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice love and peace.  

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November 19 - Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time : Talents, Kingdom and Accountability

November 15th, 2017

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First Reading Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31

The virtues of a good wife are extolled.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 128:1-2,3,4-5

Blessed are those who walk in God's ways.

 

Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

Paul warns the Thessalonians to stay alert because the day of the Lord cannot be predicted.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 25:14-30

 

Today’s readings tell us that God gives everyone enough talents and gifts. He gives sufficient to all. Our gifts vary. He gives us not only for our own (selfish) consumption only but in order that we may use them finally to extend His kingdom. But on our part God appreciates accountability. There will be a day of judgement for everyone based on stewardship. Each will be judged by what was given to him or her. We are called to do the best with whatever we are and we have. What matters at the end is not what people’s talents are but how they are used for the kingdom. What matters is not how big or how many are our gifts, but how faithful and whole hearted are we in the use of them. 

 

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November 12 - Therty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time : Be Ready

November 11th, 2017

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First Reading     Wisdom 6:12-16
Wisdom will come to those who seek it.

 

Responsorial Psalm.   Psalm 63:2,3-4,5-6,7-8
Our souls are thirsting for God.

 

Second Reading.   1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
(shorter form: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
God will raise all those who have died.

 

Gospel Reading
Matthew 25:1-13

 

Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, teaching his disciples the importance of being prepared to receive the Kingdom of Heaven.

According to marriage customs of Jesus’ day, a bride was first “betrothed” to her husband but continued for a time to live with her family. Then, at the appointed hour some months later, the groom would come to claim her, leading her family and bridal party to the wedding feast that would celebrate and inaugurate their new life together.

This is the background to the parable of the last judgment we hear in today’s Gospel.

In the parable’s symbolism, Jesus is the Bridegroom . In this, He fulfills God’s ancient promise to join himself forever to His chosen people as a husband cleaves to his bride . The virgins of the bridal party represent us, the members of the Church.

We were “betrothed” to Jesus in Baptism and are called to lives of holiness and devotion until He comes again to lead us to the heavenly wedding feast at the end of time (see Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-4 ).

 

Please note

We appolagize for the delay of this week posting due to  a technical difficulty with the hosting website.

 

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November 5 - Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time : Beware of pride!

November 1st, 2017

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First Reading  Malachi 1:14 - 2:2b,8-10

Through the prophet Malachi, God judges the priests of Israel and calls them to be more faithful to the Covenant.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 131:1-3

We find peace in the Lord.

 

Second Reading  1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9,13

Paul gives thanks to God for the way in which the Thessalonians received the word of God.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 23:1-12

 

 

In today's Gospel Jesus says, He who exalts himself will be humbled. Today we are reminded of the deadliest of all sins- pride. It tops the list of the even deadliest sins. It is defined as the exaltation, the glorification of the ego. A person is in a dangerous position if he or she thinks that the world is revolving around him or her, that he or she is indispensable. When a person thinks this way, he or she is already on the way to destruction. Every Christian therefore, despite the temptations to Pharisee-ism in all of us, is to seek to render selfless service rather than to obtain titles, recognition or power. Our Christian love demands of us to manifest God's love in our life. Let us remember Jesus saying, The greatest among you must be your servant. The best soil for the growth of Christian virtue is humble service and detachment - detachment from not only things, but from praise and prestige. And this is the Good News of today.

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October 29 - Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time : To love as Jesus loves

October 27th, 2017

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First Reading : Exodus 22:20-26

The Lord teaches that compassion ought to be shown to the alien and to the poor.

 

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 18:2-4,47,51

The Lord is our strength.

 

Second Reading : 1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10

Paul tells the Thessalonians that their conversion to the Lord has been an example to all believers.

 

Gospel Reading : Matthew 22:34-40

 

In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to love God and the neighbour alike. Loving God and loving neighbour are two aspects of the same commandment to love. Our foremost duty is to love God with our entire selves. This love of God should be expressed in the way we love our neighbours. We need to love others with as much concern as we have for ourselves. We see what true love is in the life of Jesus: the sacrificial love. That's why he once said: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." (John 13:34). All of us want to love like Jesus. We want to be generous, forgiving, and compassionate enough to love people unconditionally. But no matter how hard we try, it just doesn't work. Our humanness gets in the way. Therefore let us ask Jesus to help us to love the way he loved. 

 

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October 22 – Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Caesar Vs. God

October 18th, 2017

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First Reading : Isaiah 45:1,4-6

The Lord chooses Cyrus to subdue the nations for the sake of Israel.

 

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 96:1,3-10

Sing praise to the Lord.

 

Second Reading : 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b

Paul greets the Thessalonians, recalling the Gospel they received.

 

Gospel Reading : Matthew 22:15-21

 

Every Christian holds dual citizenship, each one of which has its own benefits and duties. Our birth made us citizens of an earthly nation; our baptism made us citizens of a heavenly Kingdom. Obedience to the spiritual Law, obedience to the temporal law! This is the summary of today's gospel. As far as possible, we need to live out both of these citizenships responsibly. We can be good citizens of earth, giving to Caesar what belongs to him, as well as good citizens in Christ's Kingdom, giving to God what belongs to him. But through the centuries, the many Christian saints and martyrs have taught us that if we are ever forced to choose between the two, if ever Caesar tries to take what belongs to God, we must be faithful to our true, everlasting homeland, even if it means suffering painful consequences here on earth. 

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October 15 - Twenty eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time: When God calls don’t give excuses

October 12th, 2017

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First Reading : Isaiah 25:6-10a 

The Lord will provide richly for his people.

 

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 23:1-6

The Lord is our shepherd.

 

Second Reading : Philippians 4:12-14,19-20

Paul tells the Philippians that God provides whatever he needs.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 22:1-14 (shorter form Matthew 22:1-10)

 

Often in the rich symbolism of a wedding feast, with its abundance of wine, food and a union of love, is used to speak of God’s taking final possession of his people. Today in the Gospel we see how the ones invited to the banquet gives excuses for not attending the wedding feast. They had other interest: a farmer a business. Indeed, these other attractions were so powerful than the wedding feast of the king. This same thing can happen to some of us. God is waiting to meet us and give us his blessings though the Sacraments (specially the Holy Mass and the Sacrament of Confession) but at times we will not realize this and go after mundane things. E.g. our business becomes important than the Sunday Mass. Can we learn something from this parable?  

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