May 27 - Feast of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit

May 24th, 2018

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First Reading  Deuteronomy 4:32-34,39-40

Moses teaches the people that Yahweh is the only God

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Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 33:4-5,6,9,18-19,20,22

A prayer for the Lord's mercy

 

Second Reading  Romans 8:14-17

Through the Spirit, we have been adopted as children of God.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 28:16-20

 

 

Jesus called God his Father, but did so in a special way. Jesus called his Father “Abba”, an Aramaic word, which means something like our “Daddy.” (Aramaic was the language in Palestine at the time of Jesus). So now we do not look on God as distant from us. Our heavenly Father is our Abba, he is our Daddy, the most perfect Daddy we could have. He is someone we can turn to in good times as well in bad, someone who will listen to us, someone who wants our good. The baby Jesus is described with the name “Emmanuel” in the Gospel of Matthew. Emmanuel means GOD IS WITH US. In Jesus, God is really With Us. Jesus is our brother. Paul sums it up very well, “If God is on our side, who can be against us.” (Rom 8:31). Jesus himself called the Spirit “the Comforter.” Like the Father and Jesus, the Spirit is also on our side to help us when we need. Paul says, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness.” (Rom 8:26). On this Sunday every year we remember that God is our Father, our Daddy or Abba, and our brother Jesus who is Immanuel, God with us, and that nothing can separate us from his love except sin, and that God is also the Spirit who helps us in our weakness. Since God is a Daddy, and a Son who is Immanuel, God with us, and a Spirit who helps us in our weakness, let us continue to turn to God in our times of need. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

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May 20 - The Feast of Pentecost: Holy Spirit teaches us, reminds us and lets us speak

May 17th, 2018

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First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11

The Holy Spirit descends upon the apostles gathered in Jerusalem.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 104:1,24,29-31,34

God's Spirit renews the earth.

 

Second Reading  1 Corinthians 12:3b-7,12-13

We are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

Gospel Reading John 20:19-23

 

Speaking to the Apostles at the Last Supper, Jesus said that after he left this world he would send them the gift of the Father, that is, the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 15:26). This promise was powerfully fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, who were gathered in the Upper Room. This extraordinary outpouring was not limited solely to that moment, but was an event that was renewed and still continues to be renewed. Christ glorified at the right hand of the Father continues to fulfill his promise, sending upon the Church the life-giving Spirit, who teaches us, reminds us, and lets us speak. The Holy Spirit teaches us to follow Jesus and to walk in his footprints. He reminds us of all that Jesus said. He is the living memory of the Church, and when he reminds us, he helps us to understand the words of the Lord. He lets us speak with God in prayer and lets us speak to men through prophecy, making us humble and docile “channels” of God’s Word. Prophecy is made with candour, to openly demonstrate the contradictions and injustices, but always with compassion and constructive intent. 

 

 

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May 13 - The Feast of Ascension: We are Pilgrims

May 10th, 2018

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First Reading Acts of the Apostles 1:15-17,20a,20c-26

Matthias is chosen to take Judas' place among the apostles.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 103:1-2,11-12,19-20

Bless the Lord who rules heaven and earth.

 

Second Reading 1 John 4:11-16

God is seen in our love for one another.

 

Gospel Reading John 17:11b-19

 

Today we celebrate the feast of Ascension. The Ascension of Jesus reminds us that during our lives we are “only passing through” on this earth, as we say. We are pilgrims on a journey. Just as Jesus’ earthly life was temporary, and he ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father, so also our lives here are temporary, will come to an end, and we will meet God in the next life. The Ascension of Jesus reminds us in all of our busyness not to forget what life is all about. The Ascension of Jesus reminds us that God has great plans for us that are out of this world. The Ascension also reminds us what Jesus said before the ascension: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations...”. It calls us to bear witness to Jesus through our words and deeds. Be proud of you Catholic faith. Don’t be ashamed to practice it in public. 

 

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May 6 - Sixth Sunday of Easter: Sacrificial Love

May 3rd, 2018

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First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 10:25-26,34-35,44-48

The gift of the Holy Spirit comes to Cornelius and his household, and they are baptized.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 98:1,2-3,3-4

A song of praise for God's salvation

 

Second Reading  1 John 4:7-10 God is love.

 

Gospel Reading John 15:9-17

 

 

Jesus is talking of a very special kind of love, love that does not think of oneself but sacrifices for the sake of the other. This is unselfish love, loving the other for the other’s sake without anything in it for oneself. As we read in Ephesians, “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph 5:2); “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:25). To make sure we would not confuse this very special type of love with other types of love, which often are more lust than love, the writers of the New Testament used a very special word to describe the love of Jesus for us and the love of God for us. They said Jesus loved us with agape love ἀγάπη (agape). That is love that does not think of oneself but sacrifices for the sake of the other. Jesus is our model for loving with this sacrificial love, agape love, loving the other for their benefit without putting ourselves first. When does Jesus show us that agape love most of all? When he died on the cross for us. That is why in the Gospel today Jesus also says, “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). May Jesus help us to live that agape love. 

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April 29 - Fifth Sunday of Easter: God prunes us

April 26th, 2018

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First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 9:26-31

Paul is accepted by the apostles at Jerusalem.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 22:26-27,28,30,31-32

The whole world shall praise the Lord.

 

Second Reading  1 John 3:18-24

God commands us to believe in Jesus Christ and to love one another.

 

Gospel Reading John 15:1-8

 

Jesus sets forth two situations. The first is negative: The branch is dry, it bears no fruit, and so it is cut off and thrown away. The second is positive: The branch is living and healthy, and so it is pruned. This contrast already tells us that pruning is not a hostile act to the branch. The vinedresser expects much from it; he knows it can bear fruit; he has confidence in it. The same happens on the spiritual plane. God intervenes in our lives with the cross. It does not mean he is irritated with us but, in fact, the opposite. This is even truer in the spiritual life. Holiness is like a sculpture. Leonardo da Vinci defined sculpture as "the art of removing," i.e. of taking away the pieces of marble that are in excess, so that the figure can emerge that one has in mind. Christian perfection is also obtained like this, by removing and making useless pieces fall off, namely, desires, ambitions, projects, carnal tendencies that disperse us and do not let us finish anything. Thus God would take the chisel, which is the cross, and begins to work on us. He takes the pruning shears, and begins to prune us.

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April 22 - Fourth Sunday of Easter: to carry each other on our shoulders

April 19th, 2018

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First Reading Acts of the Apostles 4:8-12
Peter announces an act of healing in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 118:1,8-9,21-23,26,28,29
A prayer of thanksgiving to God for his kindness

 

Second Reading 1 John 3:1-2
God revealed his love for us by calling us children of God.

 

Gospel Reading John 10:11-18

 

Traditionally, this fourth Sunday of Easter is known as “Good Shepherd Sunday,” because each year the Church presents us with our Lord’s beautiful description of himself as a shepherd who has tender, merciful love for his sheep. For many years now, the Church has also designated this Sunday as World Day of Prayer for Vocations. So we pray today in a special way in this Holy Mass that God will call many more men to the great adventure of being shepherds for his flock. Jesus the Good Shepherd carrying us on his shoulders is symbolized in a beautiful way by the Pallium which archbishops wear over their shoulders while celebrating Mass. The Pallium is made from lamb’s wool. During the Mass for the inauguration of his Pontificate on Sunday April 24th 2005 Pope Benedict explained the significance of the Pallium when he said that the Pallium is an invitation to carry one another, we are all to be shepherds to each other, to carry each other on our shoulders.

 

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April 15 - Third Sunday of Easter: With God everything makes sense

April 13th, 2018

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First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 3:13-15,17-19

Peter preaches that Jesus has been raised from the dead and calls upon the people to repent.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 4:2,4,7-8,9

A prayer seeking God's favor

 

Second Reading  1 John 2:1-5a

Those who know God keep his commandments.

 

Gospel Reading Luke 24:35-48

 

In today’s Gospel we see how Jesus trys to help the disciples understand that all that had taken place—his suffering, death and resurrection—made sense. That was something that took the disciples a while to get their heads around, as suffering never makes sense to any of us.  So Jesus had to help them understand not only that he was alive, but that all that had taken place was meant to happen. They were meant to happen and they fitted into God’s plan for the world. All of us are continually faced with difficult situations of suffering. So often we cannot make sense of why we have to suffer and we may even see it as a punishment. Even though we don’t have a direct answer to this question, what Jesus says to his disciples in this Gospel is a help, because it reminds us that everything that happens fits into God’s bigger plan. The point is that God can bring good out of every situation, even turning the evil work of people into good.  But for the most part we cannot see that.  We are just faced with each individual situation of suffering and that is hard.  However, the Lord is telling us that there is a bigger picture which makes sense of everything that happens.  When we die we will then see that picture and it will all make sense to us. 

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April 8 - Second Sunday of Easter : Peace, Forgiveness and Faith

April 5th, 2018

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First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35
The first Christian community shared their possessions, and no one was needy.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 118:2-4,13-15,22-24
The Lord's mercy endures forever.

Second Reading  1 John 5:1-6
Those who love God keep his commandments.

Gospel Reading John 20:19-31

 

Thomas does not not refuse the proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus but simply insists that the risen Jesus must fulfill all his expectations. The following Sunday Thomas is challenged by Jesus himself to come to the true peace which only authentic faith can produce. Like Thomas, are we sometimes 'not there' when Jesus comes, or, again like Thomas, do we want God to behave int he way that might suit us best? The story of Jesus was written for us, so that we might deepen our belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. such belief is life-giving. 

 

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Apri1 1 - Easter Sunday : Experiencing Easter Everyday

March 30th, 2018

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First Reading  Genesis 1:1—2:2 God creates the heavens and the earth. (shorter form, Genesis 1:1,26-31a)

Second Reading Genesis 22:1-18 (shorter form, Genesis 22:1-2,9a,10-13,15-18) God puts Abraham to the test.

Third Reading Exodus 14:15—15:1 The Israelites pass through the Red Sea.

Fourth Reading Isaiah 54:5-14 The Lord promises to redeem Israel.

Fifth Reading Isaiah 55:1-11 A call to return to the Lord who is merciful

Sixth Reading  Baruch 3:9-15,32—4:4 Israel is told to follow the way of God's commandments.

Seventh Reading  Ezekiel 36:16-17a,18-28 The Lord will cleanse Israel for the sake of his holy name.

Epistle  Romans 6:3-11 Those who have been baptized have died with Christ.

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,22-23 God's mercy endures forever.

Gospel Reading Mark 16:1-7

 

The significance of Jesus' resurrection is that it offers for all believers the hope pf a new life here and now. Yes, we will all rise from the dead one day and share in eternal glory but even today, here and now we experience the power of Easter glory, the effects of Jesus' rising from the dead. we all testify to the power of the Resurrection among us when we don't let evil and death get the better of us but let the way of Jesus triumph in our lives through our faith, hope and love. 

 

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Mach 30 - Good Friday : By His wounds we have we healed.

March 29th, 2018

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First Reading  Is 52:13—53:12

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25

Second Reading  Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Gospel Reading   Jn 18:1—19:42

  

Today we venerate the wood of the Cross because it was by His Cross that Jesus redeemed the world. No one can separate Jesus from His Cross: Where Christ is there is the Cross and where there is the Cross there is Jesus. The world may look at the Cross as a threat or as a curse or as a headache. But for a Christian the Cross is the road to salvation and holiness. Pope St. John Paul II said on the canonization of Bl. Padre Pio “difficulties and pain, is accepted with love become a privileged path to sanctity”. Each one of us has been given some type of a Cross. The presence of the Cross in our lives tells us that we are in the surest road to sanctity. Therefore let us ask the grace to embrace our little crosses with love. Because it is in the Cross that we find forgiveness, healing and salvation.

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