January 15 - Second Sunday of the Ordinary Time: Pointing Christ out to others

January 11th, 2017

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First Reading  Isaiah 49:3,5-6

God's servant, Israel, will be made a light to the nations.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 40:2,4,7-10

God desires obedience.

 

Second Reading  1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Paul greets the Church in Corinth.

 

Gospel Reading

John 1:29-34

 

John the Baptist found his reason for existence. He was to point out the Lamb of God to the world.  His mission is not different from the mission of every Christian.  We are to point out the Lamb of God to the world. There is nothing greater that any of us can do in our lives than point Christ out to others, first to our children who must follow us in pointing to the Lord for others to find him, and then to all who meet us. John the Baptist was not a typical person of his time.  He was extraordinary.  When we consider his life, we realize that it was not John’s dress or preaching that made him extraordinary, it was the fact that he found the purpose for his life.  He looked to Jesus and said, “There is the Lamb of God.” We have been called to do the same.

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January 8 - The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord: The Star of Wonder

January 4th, 2017

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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.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 2:1-12

 

 

In Matthew 2: 9-11, the ageless story describes a Star in the East guiding three wise men, or magi, to the place of the divine birth of Christ. According to medieval legends, the three wise men were named Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar. These three priest-kings and wisemen brought royal gifts to the divine infant: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Melchior brought a golden cup, which, according to legend, was preserved by the Blessed Virgin Mary and was the same cup used in the institution of the Holy Eucharist. Balthazar brought a gold box of frankincense. Gaspar brought a curiously chased flask of myrrh, a royal embalming oil. The gift of gold symbolizes the kingship of Christ, which represents our own true royal Self-hood and our giving of love and service as directed and commanded by that Self. The gift of frankincense symbolizes the Godhead of Christ and our own gifts of honour and reverence to our indwelling Divinity. The gift of myrrh is a prophecy of the death and burial of the earthly body of Christ, which represents our understanding and empathy for the suffering of humanity. Let us pray that just as the Magi were guided by a star we too be guided by the signs of the times to find God and worship Him.

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January 1 – Solemnity of Mary the Holy Mother of God: The mind of Christ

December 31st, 2016

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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.

Gospel Reading
Luke 2:16-21

The mystery of her divine motherhood that we celebrate today contains in superabundant measure the gift of grace that all human motherhood bears within it, so much so that the fruitfulness of the womb has always been associated with God’s blessing. Mary is the mother and model of the Church, who receives the divine Word in faith and offers herself to God as the “good soil” in which he can continue to accomplish his mystery of salvation. The spiritual meaning of Mary’s motherhood was made known by St. Augustine who said “Prium concepit in mente quam corpore” which means Mary conceived Jesus in her mind before conceiving Him in her womb. May was filled with Christ her son, she became the faithful disciple of the Lord. We are called upon to do the same: to put on and live with the mind of Christ. One of the instructions given to us in the Bible is to have the mind of Christ. We read in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” May the Virgin Mary, whom today we venerate with the title of Mother of God, help us to contemplate the face of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. May she sustain us and accompany us in this New Year: and may she obtain for us and for the whole world the gift of peace. Amen!

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December 25 - Christmas Day: God had visited us

December 22nd, 2016

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First Reading  Isaiah 9:1-6
To those in darkness, a child will be born who will have dominion over the earth.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 96:1-2,2-3,11-12,13
Sing a new song to the Lord.

Second Reading  Titus 2:11-14
God has appeared, bringing salvation to all.

Gospel Reading
Luke 2:1-14

 

Today we celebrate Christmas, the mystery of Incarnation, God becoming man, the astonishing entrance that God made into our broken world. Again and again the beauty of this Gospel astonishes us that God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into our arms. It is as if God were saying: I know that my glory frightens you, and that you are trying to assert yourself in the face of my grandeur. So now I am coming to you as a child, so that you can accept me and love me. God is born for us but the question is whether we are ready to welcome him. The most unfortunate and the saddest sentence is found in the Gospel of Luke: “There was no place for them in the Inn” (Lk 2:7). Centuries have passed but this stark reality still continues in our lives. God wants to come in but we keep our doors closed. Why should we not also be moved by curiosity to see more closely and to know what God has said to us? At this hour, let us ask him to touch our hearts with the holy curiosity and the holy joy of the shepherds, and thus let us go over joyfully to Bethlehem, to the Lord who today once more comes to meet us. Amen

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December 18 - Fourth Sunday in Advent: Joseph, the just man

December 14th, 2016

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First Reading  Isaiah 7:10-14
Ahaz proclaims the sign that the Lord will give: a virgin shall give birth to a son, Emmanuel.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 24:1-2,3-4,5-6
The Lord is the King of Glory who established the earth.

 

Second Reading  Romans 1:1-7
Paul greets the community at Rome and declares himself a servant of Christ Jesus.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 1:18-24

 

Today is the fourth Sunday in Advent. Christmas will dawn in few days. Matthew’s story of the birth of Jesus centres on the person of Joseph. The mystery is so great that Joseph cannot understand what is happening. In his puzzlement, the Lord calls Joseph to a remarkable act of faith and obedience. Joseph, in wordless response to the word of God communicated by an angel, rose and ‘took his wife to his home’. A total and unquestioning acceptance of the word of God is Joseph’s first action in Matthew’s infancy story. St. Joseph shows us the value of grace under pressure. He always found himself in emergency situations during the brief period of his life on earth: having to accept a young wife who is pregnant before they are married, having to travel to faraway Bethlehem, having to flee as refugees into Egypt etc. He had to face a lot of pressure, a lot of crisis and a lot of emergency situations but God’s grace was sufficient for him. St. Bernard comments that God never gives us a challenge or a call or a duty without the sufficient grace to accomplish it. Joseph leads the way and shows us the quality of trust and commitment to the coming of God, which should mark the lives of each and every one of us this Christmas.

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December 11 - Third Sunday of Advent: Rejoice

December 8th, 2016

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First Reading  Isaiah 35:1-6,10
In the day of the Lord, all sorrow and mourning will cease.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 146:6-7,8-9,9-10
The Lord will save his people.

 

Second Reading  James 5:7-10
Be patient, and be ready; the coming of the Lord is near.

 

Gospel Reading
Matthew 11:2-11

 

The third Sunday of Advent is called the "Gaudete Sunday" -- Rejoice Sunday, the Sunday of joy. The Liturgy speaks of Joy in order to give us courage since our hearts can easily become frightened and weighed down by the hardships we face. We can lose patience in our sufferings as we await the coming of the Lord. That’s what happened to John the Baptist as we hear in today’s Gospel. He is in a dungeon, the victim of a petty tyrant and his vengeful, immoral consort. It is just possible that, in the dark, vile hole of a prison John is having some doubts about Jesus as the Messiah. Therefore Jesus gives John the reassurance, echoing the words of the Prophet Isaiah, that He is truly the awaited messiah. All of us are searching for happiness, but why are so few truly happy and even those who are happy are only happy for such a short time? It is because our approach is wrong. We go up the wrong side and we decide to take the wrong way up. Revelation says: "God is love," but man has tried to reverse the phrase so that it says: "Love is God"! Thus, when we say, "Happiness is God," we divinize our little experiences; we make happiness into an idol. This explains why he who seeks God always finds joy while he who seeks joy does not always find God. Therefore let us pray that we will always ‘seek joy in the Lord’

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November 4 - Second Sunday in Advent : A voice crying in the wilderness

December 2nd, 2016

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First Reading  Isaiah 11:1-10
A descendent of Jesse will usher in a time of peace.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17
The Messiah will bring justice and peace to the nations.

Second Reading  Romans 15:4-9
Both Jews and Gentiles glorify God for the salvation found in Christ Jesus.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 3:1-12

 

The Church’s use of John the Baptist over the Advent Season invites us to join John’s audience in these days of preparation. The kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the one who is able to separate the wheat from the chaff is coming. John never saw a superhighway, but he uses the image in order to prepare the way for the coming of the world’s most wonderful and most extraordinary traveller, the Messiah Jesus, into our lives. The highway John wishes to construct is within our hearts. It hasn't a number, but it does have a name-conversion. Conversion results when a person realizes profoundly that the message and the life of Jesus make sense and is infinitely desirable. Conversion takes place when Jesus and his message cut through the moments of pain, tears, worry, fear and uneasiness in our lives. Conversion means meeting Jesus in his word and allowing Him to become directly involved in our lives. Once this happens, life can never be the same for us.

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November 27 - First Sunday in Advent : Be awake and be Prepared

November 25th, 2016

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 First Reading  Isaiah 2:1-5
Isaiah describes his vision in which all nations are gathered together by God in peace. 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 122:1-2,3-4,4-5,6-7,8-9
Rejoicing, let us enter the house of the Lord. 

 Second Reading  Romans 13:11-14
Be prepared, salvation is near. 

 Gospel Reading
Matthew 24:37-44  

 Today we begin a new season of Advent and it is its 1st Sunday. Now, in the general literal sense, the word 'advent' means 'coming of someone,' but in the Christian Liturgical sense it specifically implies to 'the coming of Christ.' So specifically therefore, with the start of Advent today, we begin the period of expectation and waiting for the coming of Christ, our Savior — his birth on the first Christmas day. But actually, the Lord comes to us in three ways: the first coming of Jesus about 2000 years ago when he came as our Savior (Coming in history), the second coming is the glorious return of Jesus in future at the end of time (Coming in Majesty) and the third coming is situated between the first two comings. It is Jesus' daily coming into our hearts here and now at every moment of every day in the sacraments – very specifically through the Eucharist, and therein lies a challenge for us as well as a comfort (Coming in Mystery). Thus in a general sense, the period of Advent encompasses all time viz. Past, Present & Future. So, a Christian in this sense is always a citizen of Advent. Therefore, it is not surprising that we begin the new Liturgical Year this Sunday, with the same theme of 'the coming of Christ', where we ended it last Sunday.

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November 20 - The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Thirty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time), Cycle C - Thy kingdom come!

November 16th, 2016

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First Reading  2 Samuel 5:1-3
David is anointed king.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 122:1-2,3-4,4-5
Enter the house of the Lord rejoicing.

 

Second Reading  Colossians 1:12-20
Hymn to Jesus as the first-born of all creation.

 

Gospel Reading Luke 23:35-43 

 

Today, the last Sunday of ordinary time the Church in a special way invites us to celebrate Jesus Christ our anointed king who overcame suffering and death, and so brought us out of darkness into his kingdom of light. On 7th July 2009, during the funeral of Michael Jackson, the presiding pastor said: “Behold the king of pop ready to face the King of the world.” Today (34th Sunday), the entire world stands still and bows to the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Rev 17, 14), and the Holy Mother Church celebrates the feast of Christ the King and Sovereign ruler of the Universe (Dan 7, 14). Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925 in response to growing nationalism and secularism. In initiating this feast, the Church wanted to take our worship of Jesus from the privacy of our hearts and to proudly proclaim his public reign as well. The title of the feast was “Jesu Christi Regis” (Our Lord Jesus Christ the King). Again, in his 1969 motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis, Pope Paul VI gave the celebration a new title: “Iesu Christi universorum Regis” (Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe). He also gave it a new date: the last Sunday in the liturgical year and assigned to it the highest rank, that of “Solemnity.” As we celebrate this feast let us ask ourselves: “Who reigns in my heart? Jesus or the evil one? Am I happy to be a subject of His kingdom? What are the values of his kingdom that I admire and try to inculcate into my life? 

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November 13 - Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Jesus left the Temple and departed from it

November 8th, 2016

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First Reading  Malachi 3:19-20
The day of justice is coming, says the Lord.


Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 98:5-6,7-8,9
Sing praise to God, who rules with justice.


Second Reading  2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
Paul urges the community to follow his example and to earn their keep.


Gospel Reading
Luke 21:5-19


In today’s Gospel Jesusportrays for us, graphically, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. ForJews, the destruction of these two things was equivalent to the end of theworld. Precisely for this reason, the Church uses this gospel passage as one ofits readings for the end of the liturgical year. It wants us to reflect on theend of the world. But what’s the significant it has in our lives? What does itmean to us personally? We read the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus, before Hisprediction of the destruction of the Temple, ‘left the Temple and departed fromit’ (24:1). Jesus not only went out of the Temple, He also departed from it andnever returned to it. He did not depart on His own accord, they drove Him off;He did not reject them, rather they had rejected Him. When He departed from theTemple, its sanctity, glory and defense departed. The most beautiful and magnificentTemple in the world turned into the most ruinous heap. Three days after Hedeparted the veil of the Temple was rent – making everything in the Templecommon and unclean. Woe descends upon anyone from whom the Lord departs. If wedrive away His presence from our souls, it will become desolate, as desolate asthe Temple of Jerusalem. That will be the end of the world to us. When Jesusdeparts from my life, that is going to be my experience of the end of theworld.

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