July 27th – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : There’s no way to measure what Jesus is worth

July 22nd, 2014

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First Reading        :  1 Kings 3:5,7-12
Psalm                    : Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130
Second Reading    :
Romans 8:28-30
Gospel                   :
Matthew 13:44-46

 

The Gospel metaphors of a buried treasure and the pearl of great price speak as clearly today as they did long ago. Jesus is the treasure and the pearl of great prize. Is it so in your life as well? We have to find that out because we are going to be changed and formed by what we treasure and love. We become what we treasure and love. Psalmist says: “Therefore I love your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold” (Ps 119). This is what we see in the lives of saints. For them Jesus became the most important treasure in their lives. And so Paul says that he considers everything as mere garbage compared to the value of knowing Jesus (Phil 3:7-8). Can we boast of the same? Can I say that Jesus is the most valuable treasure I have? That there is no way to measure what He is worth? May God give us the grace to say that with conviction. “To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances, to seek Him is the greatest adventure, to find him the greatest human achievement” (St. Augustine). 

 

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July 20th – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time : God gives many chances

July 17th, 2014

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First Reading        :
 Wisdom 12:13,16-19
Psalm                    :  Psalm 86:5-6,9-10,15-16
Second Reading    :  
Romans 8:26-27
Gospel                   :  
Matthew 13:24-43

Central to today’s parable of the wheat and the weeds is the preciousness of the wheat. God is patient, kind, and loving like a grandparent. If you want to know what God is like, picture that farmer in the Gospel. The servants wanted to go and pull up the weeds, and the farmer says, "Well, let's not be too hasty, too quick to judge. Let's give it some time. The landowner refuses to lose any of it in order to get rid of the weeds. “We might pull out some wheat thinking it's a weed." That's God speaking. And it's a picture of God that Jesus himself gives us. And it's the way God treats us, because God loves us very, very much. In its present stage, the world is composed of the good and the bad. The judgment of God alone will eliminate the sinful. Until then there must be patience and the preaching of repentance. We can learn much from God’s patience as we see him allow both the good and the evil to grow together. God wants all to be saved that’s why He keeps the sinner in the world. God gives us many chances and opportunities to repent. What is the weed in me?

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July 13th - Fifteenth Sunday of the Ordinary Time : God’s Word

July 8th, 2014

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First Reading        :  is 55:10-11
Psalm                    :
ps 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14
Second Reading    :
rom 8:18-23
Gospel                   :
mt 13:1-23

 In today’s Gospel Jesus describes four possible responses to the word of God. The seed on the foot path refers to those people who quickly lose the word because they do not understand it. The seed on rocky ground describes those who have no firm foundation. The seed fallen among thorns relates to those who receive the good news, but later abandon it for the lure of the world. Finally, the seed on good soil describes those who hear the word of God, accept it, and conform their lives to it. 

 

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July 6 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Being gentle

July 2nd, 2014

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First Reading        :  Zechariah 9:9-10
Psalm                    : Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14
Second Reading    :
Romans 8:9, 11-13
Gospel                   :
Matthew 11:25-30

 

Todays Gospel contains an important invitation for all of us. It invites us to learn from Jesus because he is "gentle and humble of heart". a beautiful example of the gentleness of Jesus is the way he handled the case of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus didn't shout and rave. he didn't scream and yell. He simple bent over, gentle, and wrote in the sand with his finger. His action stood out like a clap of thunder in the silence of a summer's night. Let us learn from Jesus how to be gentle when the world wants us to be proud and humble when the world wants us to be aggressive

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June 29 - Feast of Saints Peter and Paul : To love Jesus in life and in death

June 26th, 2014

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First Reading         :  Acts 12:1–11  
Psalm                      : Psalm 34:2–9
Second Reading    :
2 Timothy 4:6–8, 17–18
Gospel                    :
Matthew 16:13–19 

 

Today we gather for the solemn celebration of Saints Peter and Paul, the principal Patrons of the Church of Rome. It is interesting to note the personalities of both Peter and Paul. Peter was impetuous, telling Jesus that he would die with him on Holy Thursday night if necessary (John 13:37) but later that night he denied he knew him. Yet what made Peter a suitable candidate for Jesus’ call was his love, so three times Jesus asked him if he loved him and asked him to look after the flock.  Paul was a controversial character in his own way. He had a fiery personality. In his early life he channelled that fire towards persecuting the Christians in Jerusalem, even witnessing the death of Stephen, the first martyr for Jesus (Acts 8:1). After his conversion Paul’s preaching was fiery and upset the churches. As we look at the personalities of Peter and Paul, we see that God called them to use their personalities to spread the Gospel, Peter to use his impetuous love to look after the flock, and Paul to use his training as a Pharisee and his strength of character to ensure that the non-Jews would be welcomed into the church. It is a reminder to us that our talents and our weaknesses too can become God’s means of helping others, if we allow. We don’t have to be perfect for God to work through us, God can work through us, faults and all, as he did with Peter and Paul.

 

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June 22 - Corpus Christi - The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

June 19th, 2014

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First Reading          :  Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16
Psalm                      :  Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20
Second Reading      : 
1 Corinthians 10:16-17

Gospel                     :  John 6:51-58

 

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. One of our Eucharistic Acclamations after the Consecration is “When we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come again.” That is what Paul wrote to the Corinthians (1 Cor 11:26). How can we say that when we gather for the Eucharist we proclaim Jesus’ death? When we gather for the Eucharist it is to be an act of love, reflecting the love of Jesus sacrificing himself on the cross for us. If we gather for the Eucharist and we really don’t care about each other then our Eucharist is meaningless. Once again in the same chapter Paul says that our Eucharist is a shame if we do not love one another. When we gather for the Eucharist it is to be an act of love, reflecting the love of Jesus sacrificing himself on the cross for us. Our daily lives must reflect the Eucharist we celebrate. Each day, we must give of ourselves, pour out our lives in service and in love of others. How? In small ways — almost unnoticed, but so real and sometimes not convenient to do. For example: "Daddy, will you come play with me?" "Mom, will you help me?" The phone rings: "I wonder if you could help me…" Or "I need to talk to you because..." An older person in the family: how about a visit, a call or a letter? In Eucharist, we celebrate here in worship what we must live out there in daily life. That is why the Eucharist is essential to Catholic belief and fundamental to Catholic life. 

 

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June 15 - Trinity Sunday : God’s Love overflows

June 11th, 2014

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First Reading          :  Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9
Psalm                      :  Daniel 3:52-56
Second Reading      : 
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Gospel                     :  
John 3:16-18

 

Today is Trinity Sunday. Our God is not simply one. He is three-in-one. A community of persons united in love. Therefore, there’s no chance that we’re merely expressions of God’s neediness. Instead, we’re an expression of God’s love. Perfect love, which God is, is giving, generous, overflowing. It can’t contain itself. You and I might understand ourselves, then, as an overflowing of God’s love. And since we’re made in God’s image, we can say that we’re both created by overflowing love, and created for overflowing love. Which makes our existence both a gift, and a possibility- a possibility to give and receive love the way God does: a perfect love without conditions, without limits. The Trinity is not something to be argued about or explained in rational terms but a mystery to be experienced, the mystery of our own unity in God. It is a sanctifying and mysterious presence, like a bright cloud with a voice of fire and the fluttering of wings, an indwelling Spirit, a boundless Light, a presence we manifest in ourselves whenever we invoke the Holy Trinity in the Sign of the Cross: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

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June 8 - The Solemnity of Pentecost: Transformation

June 3rd, 2014

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First Reading          :  Acts 2:1-11

Psalm                      :  Psalm 104:1,24,29-31,34
Second Reading      : 1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13
Gospel                     :  John 20:19-23


Today we are celebrating the great 
Solemnity of Pentecost. If, in a certain sense, all the liturgical solemnities of the Church are important, Pentecost is uniquely so. This is because, having reached the 50th day, it marks the fulfilment of the event of the Passover, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus through the gift of the Spirit of the Risen One. The disciples are locked in the upper room out of fear. But Jesus brings them Peace. The violence of the darkness which attempted in vain to quench the light has produced peace. Death has turned into life and peace and thus the disciples’ fear turns in to joy. Here we find the beginnings of the transformation which the death and resurrection of Jesus can produce. Pentecost puts an end to fear by calling men and women to forgiveness. The wholeness and holiness which Jesus’ gift of the spirit has brought into the lives of the disciples are now available, through them, to the forgiven sinner.

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June 1 - Ascension of the Lord : Call to be witnesses

May 29th, 2014

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First Reading          :  Acts 1:12-14
Psalm                      :  Psalm 27:1, 4, 7-8
Second Reading      : 
1 Peter 4:13-16
Gospel                     : 
John 17:1-11

 

Today, the feast of Christ’s ascension, we celebrate the crowning of his Easter victory over sin and death. The ascension is not really about Jesus going away but about Jesus becoming the Lord of all creation. It is a joyous day, a day to look upwards at where Christ, our Brother, sits in glory at the right hand of the Father. Our destiny is to share in the glory of Christ. We often forget this and pursue goals that are not really worthy of our calling. Today’s feast also reminds us to become witnesses of the Lord. “You are my witnesses” (Acts 1:8) said Jesus as he ascended. That was aid to every follower of his, from the ones who saw his ascension down to us who have only heard about him, yet have believed. In fact, witness to Christ in the world for any believer has to begin with oneself. 

 

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May 25 - Sixth Sunday of Easter: An invitation to love

May 23rd, 2014

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First Reading         :  Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
First Reading         :  Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20
Second Reading     : 1 Peter 3:15-18
Gospel                    : John 14:15-21

 

In today's Gospel Jesus says: "If you love me you will obey my commandments". There are three ways we can look upon the commandments of Jesus: (1) As a restriction to our freedom, something we hate to do, (2) as a guide to our growth, health and well being, something we should do, (3) As an invitation to love, something we want to do. Jesus presents his commandments as opportunities to express our love for him. Thus today's gospel invites us to check our motives. Why do we obey Jesus' commandments? Do we obey them out of fear of punishment? Do we do it more out of hope for reward? or do we do it more out of love for Jesus? Love seeks only to be of service. This is the challenge today's gospel sets before each one of us.

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