January 28th, 2015
First Reading Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Moses tells the people that God will raise up for them a new prophet.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 95:1-2,6-7,7-9
A song of praise to the Lord.
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Paul expresses his concern that those who are married are more likely to face
the distractions of earthly life than those who are celibate.
Jesus’ teaching always contrasted sharply with that of the
scribes. What Jesus taught them that day, as well as the way he
presented and demonstrated his message, simply amazed them. In one word,
Jesus taught with authority, the scribes did not. “They were
astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not
as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). What does it mean to teach with
authority? When we compare and contrast the teaching of Jesus with that of the
scribes we notice three distinguishing qualities: The teaching of Jesus is
(a) from the heart and not just from the head, (b) focuses on the spirit and
not on the letter of the law, and (c) inspires a positive change of heart
in the hearers. There was a transparency about what he was saying. And
most important of all – he backed up his words with deeds. Can we say the same
thing with regard to our words? Do deeds accompany our words? Today we
have a glut of words but many of them are rendered worthless by insincerity
or poisoned by falseness. Therefore what is needed is credibility because
“example is better than precept”.
January 22nd, 2015
First Reading Jonah 3:1-5,10
God spared the people of Nineveh because they heeded the message God sent
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 25:4-5,6-7,8-9
The Lord teaches us his ways.
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Paul warns the Corinthians that they must act differently because the world in
its present form is passing away.
It must be noticed that the disciples are about
their everyday tasks as fishermen; they are casting their net into the sea, in
their boat, mending their nets. But the summons of Jesus shatters all these
external signs of their settled life as successful fishermen. They leave what
their peer group would have seen as signs of their success: their nets, their
boas, their hired servants and their father to follow Jesus as he journeys in
response to the will of his Father. Thus the disciples were able to discern
what is temporal and what is eternal. Because this world
is temporary and the world to come is permanent, and our permanent inheritance
depends on how we live now with God’s grace, we are wise to have a detachment
from the things of this world. Detachment does not mean that we don’t love our
spouses, that the things that hurt us do not really hurt, that the things that
make us happy don’t really give us joy, that we don’t really need physical
things, and that these things do not have their own value. Detachment does mean
that we see all these persons and good things—and the hardships of life—in
light of eternity. Marriage, sorrows, joys, material things, and work find
their real meaning in the light of Christ. No earthly good—as truly good as
these can be—is our final end. No earthly evil—as truly evil as these can be—is
the last word either.
January 15th, 2015
First Reading 1 Samuel 3:3b–10,19
The Lord calls Samuel.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 40:2, 4, 7–8, 8–9, 10
A prayer of commitment to follow the will of the Lord.
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 6:13c–15a,17–20
Paul reminds the Corinthians that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.
The Gospel reading presents John the Baptizer sharing
his faith with two disciples and with Andrew sharing his faith with his brother
Peter. Significantly, John mentions Andrew three times in his Gospel. Each time
Andrew is bringing someone to Jesus. Each time Andrew is sharing his faith. If
we believe the Gospel is good news, why don’t we share it with others? Or if we
believe Jesus is the greatest treasure the heart can possess, why don’t we
share our faith with others? Like John and like Andrew let us never hesitant to
share our in Jesus with others.
January 9th, 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015
19:00 – Departure from the Airport of Rome/Fiumicino to Colombo
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
09:00 – Arrival at the Colombo International Airport, Katunayake WELCOME
13:15 – MEETING with the Bishops of SRI LANKA at the Archbishop’s House,
Colombo – 08
17:00 – COURTESY VISIT to the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of
Sri Lanka at the President’s House.
18:15 – INTERRELIGIOUS MEETING in the Bandaranaike Memorial International
Conference Hall (BMICH) Colombo.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
08:30 – Celebration of Holy Eucharist and Canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz in
Galle Face Green Colombo
14:00 – Departure to Madhu Shrine
15:30 – MARIAN PRAYER at the Shrine of our Lady of Rosary of Madhu
16:45 – Departure to Colombo
Thursday, January 15, 2015
08:15 – Visit to the Chapel of the “Benedict XVI Cultural Institute” at
08:45 – Farewell ceremony at the Colombo International Airport, Katunayake
09:00 – Departure from Colombo to Manila
Official Hymn for Pope Francis
Visit to Sri Lanka 2015
January 9th, 2015
(The first reading from Cycle A, Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7, may also be
Isaiah calls upon the people to return to the Lord.
(The psalm from Cycle A, Psalm 29:1-4,9-10, may also be
A prayer of praise for God's salvation.
1 John 5:1-9
(The second reading from Cycle A, Acts of the Apostles
10:34-38, may also be chosen.)
The Spirit of Truth testifies on behalf of Jesus, God's Son.
we celebrate the Lord’s baptism by John in the River Jordan. Jesus had no
need to be baptized, but the first theologians say that in His Baptism, with His body and His divinity he blessed all the
waters, so that the waters would have the power to give Baptism. Today
is a good day to remind ourselves about the Baptism we have received. As
Catholics we believe that God has come
to us in Jesus Christ to share His very own life with us. God loves us
and wants to share His life with us and become totally a part of how we live,
in all that we think, say and do. And how does that happen? As Catholics, we
encounter God and receive His life into our lives through sacred signs called ‘Sacraments’. And
there are Seven Sacraments. So the sacraments are a sign and instruments of how God shares His very life with us. We
experience God’s saving presence
in and through the sacraments. That is why the Sacraments are so important to
us. That is why the Holy Mass is so important to us. Baptism gives us a new identity as God’s son and
daughter. Baptism is an initiation into a way of living, an inauguration into a lifetime adventure
in which we try to claim everyday our belovedness
in God as we share His very life.
January 2nd, 2015
First Reading Isaiah 60:1-6
Jerusalem shall be a light to all nations.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-11,12-13
Every nation on earth shall worship the Lord.
Second Reading Ephesians 3:2-3a,5-6
Gentiles are coheirs in the promise of Christ.
The Feast of
the Epiphany could be understood by the three S. The first S is,
to See. The wise men saw the star and they followed. God speaks to
us through signs. Are we able to see and understand those sings? God tells us
not to see with our physical eyes but to see with our hearts. The second S
is Search. The wise men were searching for Christ. Once we have
found the star we have to hvae a great desire to put our desire into action and
seek after that sign. The last S is Submit or to obey. The
wise men did this once they found Jesus and offered to Him the best of
everything. All signs finally lead us to worship the Lord. Is there a star out
there beckoning you? The star is the good out there to be sought, the truth to
be embraced. Even our regrets about our weaknesses and sinfulness which can
sometimes stir up our conscience could be that twinkling star. It may be a
feeling of anger or guilt, or perhaps a sense of loss. Let that not frighten
you. Let it not create clouds to hide it from you. Follow where that star leads
and when it stops, go into the house, prostrate yourself and offer your gifts.
The Eucharist that we celebrate today can be itself an epiphany, an encounter
with that Star, a marvellous revelation of the love of Jesus in Word and
Sacrament, for those who believe. May our celebration today be an epiphany that
leads us to see God more clearly, love him more dearly, and follow him more
December 29th, 2014
First Reading Numbers 6:22-27
God gives a blessing for the Israelites.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 67:2-3,5,6,8
All the people sing praises to God.
Second Reading Galatians 4:4-7
God sent his Son to make us children of God.
In the first reading we find the ancient prayer
of blessing which God gave to Moses to hand on to Aaron and his sons: “The Lord
bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be
gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace”
(Num 6:24-25). There is no more meaningful time than the beginning
of a new year to hear these words of blessing: they will accompany our journey
through the year opening up before us. The Mother of God is the
first of the blessed, and it is she who bears the blessing; she is the woman
who received Jesus into herself and brought him forth for the whole human
family. Thus we can say that the
message of hope contained in this blessing was fully realized in Mary. This
was the very experience that the shepherds of Bethlehem too had, who reappear
in today’s Gospel. They had the experience of standing in God’s presence and
seeing the Blessing. Let us ask the grace to behold this Blessing, to receive
that blessing and to be a blessing to all whom we meet.
December 26th, 2014
Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3
(or the first reading from Cycle A: Sirach 3:2-7,12-14)
God fulfills his promise to Abraham, and Sarah gives birth to a son.
Psalm 105:1-6,8-9 (or the psalm from Cycle A: Psalm 128:1-5)
A prayer of thanksgiving to God for his faithfulness to his covenant.
Hebrews 11:8,11-12,17-19 (or the second reading from Cycle A: Colossians
Paul examines Abraham's example of faith.
Luke 2:22-40 (or shorter form: Luke 2:22,39-40)
This Feast of the Holy Family
can help us see that families can be holy. The story of the Holy Family
is the story of life not always turning out the way you expected. It’s the
story of a teenage mother, conceiving a child before she was married.
It’s the story of an anxious father, confronting scandal, planning on divorce.
It’s the story of a family forced to become refugees, living as immigrants in
the land that once held their ancestors as slaves. It’s the story of a
missing child, and days of anxious searching by his parents. The Holy Family
has to go through all the difficulties and challenges like a normal human
family. But there had two great qualities: Trust in God and sacrificial love.
These are the same two qualities which will bring happiness and fulfilment to
our families as well.
December 23rd, 2014
To those in darkness, a child will be born who will have dominion over the
Sing a new song to the Lord.
God has appeared, bringing salvation to all.
was born in a stable and laid in a manger. Why did God chose this messy
condition, this dirty place to be born? The crib/the stable is a symbol. It is
a symbol of our tainted nature, symbol of our wounded humanity and messy world.
God wanted to be a part of this messy and sinful world. God wanted to be born
to a broken and a wounded world. If the Word truly dwelt among us, then he was
part of a family that, like most, was fairly dysfunctional, a mix of the good
and bad, the saintly and the sinful, the glorious and the not so glorious. And
this is such good news for us. The good news of Christmas is that God himself
pushed into the dysfunctional and ambiguous family of man. And he continues to
join us, even though we, like so many of his Israelite ancestors, are unworthy
of him. Like them, we are flawed, compromised, half-finished. But he becomes
our brother anyway. That's the amazing grace of the Incarnation. What appears
to be our most chaotic, congested, convoluted times in our lives might be the
best time for God to enter and be born (and flood us with his saving
December 20th, 2014
2 Samuel 7:1-5,8b-12,14a,16
The Lord promises David that he will raise from his descendents a kingdom that will endure forever.
A prayer of praise to the Lord for his faithfulness to his covenant.
Paul praises God for making his revelation known.
Today’s Gospel presents to us the Annunciation to Mary by archangel Gabriel. Mary knew that from the human point of view she may not even be able to bring her pregnancy to its full term but she had faith to believe that what is impossible for us is possible for God. And so with that faith she said “yes.” She surrendered into the hands of God, and it really was surrendering because she did not know what the consequences would be. But she had faith to believe that no matter what difficulties would follow, God would provide a way out and a remedy. Mary’s final words to the angel are a model for each of us, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) And because Mary surrendered to God, Jesus came. Mary shows us how to be a follower of Jesus, making a loving surrender into the hands of God who loves us. When we wonder if we can make such an act of trust and abandonment into the hands of God let us remember that when God calls us he also gives us the grace.
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