December 9th, 2014
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.
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.
December 2nd, 2014
First Reading Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11
Isaiah tells the people to prepare a way for the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm
The Lord's salvation is near.
Second Reading 2
Peter teaches that we must always be holy because the return of the Lord cannot
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.
November 27th, 2014
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
prayer for the Lord's protection
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Paul gives thanks to God for the faith of the Corinthians.
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.
November 19th, 2014
Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17 God himself will shepherd the people of Israel.
Psalm 23:1-2,2-3,5-6 The Lord is
Corinthians 15:20-26,28 Because
Christ has been raised from the dead, all those who have died will also be
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.
November 13th, 2014
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
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
November 4th, 2014
I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the
God is our refuge and our strength.
1 Corinthians 3:9-13,16-17
You are the temple of God.
today the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome because it is
the head and mother church of all churches in the world. On the façade of the
basilica there is an inscription in Latin which reads, “The mother and mistress
of all churches of Rome and the world.” The Lateran Basilica is the first
church of the Christians at Rome. Every bishop has a cathedral and the Pope’s
cathedral is the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The dedication of a church
reminds us a deeper spiritual reality: that God’s presence among His people
(“God’s home is with human beings! He will live with them and they shall be His
People” - Rev 21:3) and that God dwells in our bodies since they were
consecrated as sacred temples at Baptism (“you are God’s temple and God’s
Spirit lives in you” – 1 Cor 3:16). May God dwell among us.
October 30th, 2014
First Reading : Wisdom 3:1-9
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 23:1-6
Second Reading : Romans 6:3-9
Gospel Reading : John 6:37-40
What happens to us
when we die? We believe that firstly we will be judged. After judgment three
choices await us: hell, Purgatory or heaven; hell for those who have rejected
God, heaven for those who die as saints and Purgatory for everybody else. We
would all like to go immediately to heaven when we die but are we living in
such a way that we will die as saints? Would it be more realistic to expect to
spend time in Purgatory being purified? Only perfect love can see God face to
face so in Purgatory we are purified that we may see God face to face. Today we
pray for all the souls who are still in Purgatory undergoing purification and
growing in love before they are ready to see God face to face in heaven. It is
out of our belief in Purgatory that today’s feast springs. If we didn't believe
in Purgatory today’s commemoration of the holy souls and our prayers for them
would not make sense.
October 28th, 2014
Mathew 31 : 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.
October 22nd, 2014
First Reading : Exodus 22:20-26
The Lord teaches that compassion ought to be shown to the alien and to the
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.
October 16th, 2014
Mark 16 : 15 - 20
Mission Sunday is celebrated on the next-to-last Sunday in October. As
described by Pope John Paul II, World Mission Sunday is "an important day
in the life of the Church because it teaches how to give: as an offering made
to God, in the Eucharistic celebration and for all the missions of the
world" (see Redemptoris Missio 81). It is a special Sunday set aside by the Church for the
public and annual renewal of our commitment to missionary activities. Mission
Sunday was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926 as the day of prayer and
propaganda of mission. Therefore, Christ who opened wide his arms on the cross,
and the Holy Mother Church, the visible sign of Christ on earth ask us to join
our hands and hearts in continual prayer for the success of missionary
activities. They encourage us never to lose heart in order that Missio dei (God’s
mission) may be sustained, and all peoples come to know the salvation of our
Lord and God.
- Older Posts »