November 23 - Feast of Christ the King: We will be judged on love

November 19th, 2014

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

November 13th, 2014

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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 9 – Thirty Second Sunday : The Feast of the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica at Rome

November 4th, 2014

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 First Reading
Ezekiel 47:1-2,8-9,12
I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 46:2-3,5-6,8-9
God is our refuge and our strength.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 3:9-13,16-17
You are the temple of God.

Gospel Reading
John 2:13-22

We celebrate 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. 

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November 2nd - All Souls Day : I believe in the life to come

October 30th, 2014

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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.

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November 2 - Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time : Beware of pride!

October 28th, 2014

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First Reading
Malacihi 1:14-2:2

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 130 

Second Reading
Thessalonians 2:7-9:13 

Gospel Reading
 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.

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October 26 - Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time : To love as Jesus loves

October 22nd, 2014

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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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World Mission Sunday 2014

October 16th, 2014

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Mark 16 : 15 - 20

 

Annually, World 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.

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October 19 – Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Caesar Vs. God

October 16th, 2014

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

October 9th, 2014

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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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October 5 - Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: God’s Patience versus Our accountability

October 1st, 2014

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First Reading : Isaiah 5:1-7
The Lord compares the house of Israel to a vineyard.

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 80:9,12-16,19-20
The Lord protects his vineyard, the house of Israel.

Second Reading : Philippians 4:6-9
Paul encourages the Philippians to stay faithful to the teaching they received from him.

Gospel Reading : Matthew 21:33-43

Today’s parable teaches us about the need to produce fruit in our lives. God gave us his vineyard so that we would produce a bountiful harvest for Him and not remain lazy and selfish. The parable teaches also about God’s patience with us and our accountability to God. The vineyard owner made three efforts to get the tenant farmers to change their ways. When he saw more patience was futile, he passed judgement on the tenants. He held them accountable for their actions. It is the same way with God and us. Our heavenly Father is infinitely patient. But the time will come when God’s patience will give way to judgement. We, too, will be held accountable for our actions. 

 

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