March 21st, 2017
First Reading 1 Samuel 16:1b,6-7,10-13a
Samuel is sent to anoint David as king.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 23:1-6
The Lord is our shepherd.
Second Reading Ephesians 5:8-14
The Ephesians are told to live as children of light.
Gospel Reading John 9:1-41 (shorter form: John 9:1,6-9,13-17,34-38)
God’s ways of seeing are not our ways, we hear in today’s First Reading. Jesus illustrates this in the Gospel - as the blind man comes to see and the Pharisees are made blind. The blind man stands for all humanity. “Born totally in sin” he is made a new creation by the saving power of Christ. As God breathed the spirit of life into the first man, the blind man is not healed until he washes in the waters of Siloam, a name that means “Sent.” Jesus is the new source of life-giving water - the Holy Spirit who rushes upon us in Baptism (see John 4:10; 7:38-39). In the restful waters of Baptism He has refreshed our souls. He has anointed our heads with the oil of Confirmation and spread the Eucharistic table before us, filling our cups to overflowing. With the once-blind man we enter His house to give God the praise, to renew our vow : “I do believe, Lord.”
March 15th, 2017
First Reading Exodus 17:3-7
God tells Moses to bring forth water from the rock.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 95:1-2,6-9
Sing joyfully in the presence of the Lord.
Second Reading Romans 5:1-2,5-8
Christ died for us while we were still sinners.
Gospel Reading John 4:5-42
We also have a thirst like the Samaritan woman. What is it that we are thirsting for? By our baptism we have been given the gift of faith and eternal life, but what steps do we have to take to live that life? Do we still thirst for material things, for bodily pleasures, for power or status? How can we let the waters that Jesus describes, quench that thirst in us? Jesus is the source of that water, and by going to Jesus we will find the help, the fullness, the refreshment we need. During this Lenten Season then, let us come to the well and meet Jesus there. He will give us living water, which is water that does not run out because it grows from within, and it quenches our deepest thirst – the thirst for God - “My soul thirsts for God, the living God!” And this is the Good News of today.
March 9th, 2017
First Reading Genesis 12:1-4a
God promises Abram a great blessing.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 33:4-5,18-20,22
God's mercy is upon those who trust in God.
Second Reading 2 Timothy 1:8b-10
Through God's grace we are called to holiness.
Gospel Reading Matthew 17:1-9
The transfiguration of Jesus offers the disciples an ever fuller glimpse of who Jesus is and what he will do. The shadow of the Cross and the imminent suffering and death were always before the eyes of Jesus. The disciples too must become sharers in His Cross. The transfiguration experience provided them an extraordinary strength to face the future. The disciple who witnessed the heavenly glory must also witness his earthly agony at Gethsemane. That is the same for us: suffering and glory are both a call and a gift.
March 1st, 2017
First Reading Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Eve and Adam eat from the tree that was forbidden to them by God.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 51:3-4,5-6,12-13,17
A prayer for mercy
Second Reading Romans 5:12-19
Through the obedience of Jesus, many will be made righteous.
Gospel Reading Matthew 4:1-11
Today on the 1st Sunday of Lent we are taken into the desert. When Jesus was baptized he realized his new identity (of being God’s Son) and the mission for which God had sent him (to save mankind through the way of the Cross). Now in the desert the devil tries to test both Jesus’ Identity and Mission. The devil is trying to make Jesus doubt of His identity as the divine Son and propose three easy ways to achieve His Mission. The first temptation is the proposal to give into “pleasure”instead of the Cross. The second temptation is the proposal to be addicted topower and popularity and the third temptation is the proposal to be greedy forwealth. Jesus did not displease God and loose his Sonship. He chose the narrow road of the Cross to bring us salvation.
February 24th, 2017
First Reading Isaiah 49:14–15
Can a mother forget her infant? Even should she forget, I will never forget you
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 62:2–3,6–9
Only in God be at rest, my soul.
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 4:1–5
The Lord will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and manifest the intentions of the heart.
Gospel Reading Matthew 6:24–34
We are by nature prone to be anxious and troubled about many things. In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus confronts us with our most common fears. We are anxious mostly about how we will meet our material needs—for food and drink; for clothing; for security for tomorrow. Yet in seeking security and comfort, we may unwittingly be handing ourselves over to servitude to “mammon,” Jesus warns. “Mammon” is an Aramaic word that refers to money or possessions. Jesus is not condemning wealth. Nor is he saying that we shouldn't work to earn our daily bread or to make provisions for our future. It is a question of priorities and goals. What are we living for? Where is God in our lives? Jesus insists that we need only to have faith in God and to trust in his Providence.
February 15th, 2017
First Reading : Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
Psalm : Psalm 119:33-40
Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23
Gospel : Matthew 5:38-48
Jesus tells his disciples: “Do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you”. And this is the liturgical theme for today: “love your enemies”. Humanly speaking this is not an easy thing to do but Jesus wants us to aim higher than the tax collectors. We are to imitate God’s perfection. When people hate their enemies and resent them, they end up hurting themselves far more than they hurt their enemies. The person we hate has the power to rob us of our peace of mind and capacity to love. Our hatred is not hurting them at all. It only turns our own days and nights into a hellish turmoil. There is a Chinese Proverb which goes like this: "He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself". It’s the same lesson we find in the Letter to the Romans: “Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good” (Rom 12:21).
February 8th, 2017
First Reading Sirach 15:15–20
The eyes of God see all he has made.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 119:1–2,4–5, 17–18,33–34
Happy are those who walk in the way of the Lord.
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 2:6–10
God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit.
Gospel Reading Matthew 5:17–37
Today's Gospel invites us to understand the deeper meaning of religion and the difference between observing the “letter of the law” and “the spirit of the law”. It was Jesus’ teaching that it was not enough not to commit a sinful act (like murder or adultery); the only thing sufficient was never even to wish to commit a sinful act. It means that thoughts are just as important as deeds, and that it is not enough not to commit a sin; the only thing that is enough is not to wish to commit it. By Jesus’ standards a man is not a good man until he never even desires to do a forbidden thing.
January 31st, 2017
First Reading Isaiah 58:7-10
In the work of justice, light shall break through darkness.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 112:4-9
The just person will be a light in the darkness.
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Paul shows that he came to Corinth preaching Christ crucified.
Gospel Reading Matthew 5:13-16
So, when Jesus says to his followers – “You are the salt of the earth”, it simply means that a follower of Jesus must lend flavour to life, bringing joy & gladness, happiness & peace, justice & love, care & concern, hope & consolation, among whom he lives. Just as insipid salt is of no use in flavouring or preserving food, so too the so-called 'disciples' are of no use if they fail to live as Christ teaches. Jesus also says we are the light of the world. By itself light is no good. It is only good when it shows us something other than itself. That is what Christians are called to do - to live lives that show the presence of God in the world. If we do not do this there is darkness and, without doubt, the world is today in deep darkness in many ways. We Christians must ask ourselves if we are giving out light.
January 27th, 2017
First Reading Zephaniah 2:3, 3:12-13
There will be a people who remain sheltered from God's anger.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 146:6-10
The Lord is faithful forever.
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
God chooses the weak to show his power.
Gospel Reading Matthew 5:1-12a
Today's reading is the beginning of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which is found in
Matthew's Gospel. Jesus describes those who are truly fortunate, the lucky ones of their
day. “Blessed” is sometimes translated as happy, fortunate, or favored. But it is not
emperors, conquerors, priests, and the wealthy who enjoy this favor. Rather, it is the
common people, those whom earthly success has largely passed by: the poor, the meek,
the persecuted, and the peacemakers. Jesus is saying that divine favor is upon those
who are poor, those who mourn, those who are persecuted. This news might have been
welcome—and surprising—to the crowds who heard Jesus that day.
How can this be? The answer is that even though they may have been denied worldly
success, what cannot be taken away from them is their potential to live rightly by one
another. It is all too easy for those who enjoy the pleasures of this world from their
hilltop mansions to float above such obligations. Jesus goes on to say that so long as
ordinary people stand for the right things and do not retreat in their rightness before
those who seem to have more power, what is right will prevail. It’s their kingdom — a
kingdom organized not from the top down, but from the bottom up. In the Beatitudes,
Jesus offers a description of the community of goodwill His teachings will build in this
world – if we follow them
January 18th, 2017
First Reading Isaiah 8:23-9:3
The people in darkness have seen a great light.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 27:1,4,13-14
The Lord is our refuge, our light, our salvation.
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17
Paul urges the community at Corinth to be united as people baptized in Christ's name.
Jesus begins his ministry not from the Holy city of Jerusalem but from Galilee, the land of Herod Antipas, the ruler who had just arrested John the Baptist. Matthew saw this as a fulfillment of ancient prophecy (Is 9:1-2). Light has come into a land of darkness (Jn 8:12). Christ’s work goes on wherever even one true follower of his is found for there still many who live in darkness and in the shadow of death. Each of us has areas of darkness in our lives. Darkness can stand for many things: fear, illness, pain, sin, error, loneliness, despair, oppression etc. As followers of Christ we are called to be bearers of His light
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