August 20 – Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Outrageous Grace

August 16th, 2017

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First Reading   Isaiah 56:1,6-7

The Lord reveals his salvation to all.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8

All the nations will praise God.

 

Second Reading Romans 11:13-15,29-32

God's favor to Israel is irrevocable.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 15:21-28

 

Jesus heals the daughter of the Canaanite woman because of her great faith.

 

Knowing about Jesus debate with the Pharisees helps us to understand this coming Sunday's Gospel. In fact the story heightens the surprise and shock we feel as we hear Jesus exchange with the Canaanite woman. The woman, who is not Jewish, approaches Jesus, requesting that he heal her demon-possessed daughter. At first Jesus ignores her; he says nothing. The disciples ask Jesus to send her away, and Jesus agrees, remarking that he was sent to minister to the Jews alone.

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August 13 - Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Fixing our eyes on Jesus

August 11th, 2017

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First Reading  1 Kings 19:9a,11-13a

The Lord appears to Elijah in a whisper.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 85:9-14

The Lord is the source of salvation.

 

Second Reading  Romans 9:1-5

Paul speaks of the blessings that have come to the Israelites.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 14:22-33

 

We can enter into today’s Gospel from two directions: From the side of Jesus and from the side of Peter. From the side of Jesus- When the disciples were struggling in a stormy weather Jesus comes to their help. There are times when life becomes a desperate struggle. At such a time Jesus comes to us across the storms of life, with hand stretched out to save, and with his clam clear voice bidding us take heart ad have no fear. The great truth is that, wherever Jesus Christ is, the wildest storm becomes a calm. From the side of Peter- We see Peter making a mistake and that is taking his eyes off Jesus and looking down at the stormy sea. This is what often happens to you and me. We start off our lives fine. We have our eyes fixed firmly on Jesus. But then something happens to make us take our eyes off Jesus. We look away from Jesus. And that’s when we lose our balance. That’s when we begin to sink. Therefore today’s Gospel invites us to turn our eyes back to Jesus. 

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August 6 - Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Transfiguration

August 2nd, 2017

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First Reading  Daniel 7:9-10,13-14 

The prophet Daniel describes his vision of one like the Son of Man who received dominion from God.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 97:1-2,5-6,9

A Song of Praise to God our King

 

Second Reading  2 Peter 1:16-19

Peter says that the voice heard from Heaven confirmed the truth of his testimony about Christ.

 

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. 

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July 30 – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : There’s no way to measure what Jesus is worth

July 25th, 2017

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First Reading 1 Kings 3:5,7-12

Solomon pleases God when he asks for a wise and understanding heart to better govern the people.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130

The law of the Lord is more precious than silver and gold.

 

Second Gospel Reading Romans 8:28-30

God chose us to be conformed to the image of his Son.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 13:44-52 (shorter form: 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 23 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : God gives many chances

July 18th, 2017

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First Reading  Wisdom 12:13,16-19
God has shown himself to be a God of justice and mercy.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 86:5-6,9-10,15-16
A prayer to God for mercy.

 

Second Reading  Romans 8:26-27
The Spirit intercedes for us with God.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 13:24-43
(shorter form: Matthew 13:24-30)

 

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 16 - Fifteenth Sunday of the Ordinary Time: God’s Word

July 15th, 2017

 

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First Reading  Isaiah 55:10-11

The Word of the Lord shall achieve its purpose.

 

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 65:10-14

A prayer of praise to God for his abundance.

 

Second Reading   Romans 8:18-23

Together with all of creation, we await God’s redemption.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 13:1-23 (shorter form: Matthew 13:1-9)

 

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 9 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Being gentle

July 6th, 2017

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First Reading Zechariah 9:9-10

The Lord shall come to reign in Zion.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 145:1-2,8-11,13-14

A prayer of praise to God who is our king.

 

Second Reading Romans 8:9,11-13

Those in whom the Spirit of God dwells must now live according to the Spirit, not the flesh.

 

Gospel Reading 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 18 - Corpus Christi - The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

June 14th, 2017

 

First Reading   Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14b-16a

Moses tells the people to remember how God delivered them from slavery in Egypt.

 

Responsorial Psalm    Psalm 147:12-15,19-20

Praise God, Jerusalem!

 

Second Reading    1 Corinthians 10:16-17

Though many, we are one body when we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ.

 

Gospel Reading 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 11 - Trinity Sunday : God’s Love overflows

June 8th, 2017

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First Reading   Exodus 34:4b-6,8-9

Moses pleads for God’s mercy on Mt. Sinai.

 

Responsorial Psalm   Daniel 3:52-56

We praise God who is exalted above all forever.

 

Second Reading   2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Paul urges the Corinthians to live in peace with one another and with God.

 

Gospel Reading 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 4 - The Solemnity of Pentecost: Transformation

June 1st, 2017

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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

  

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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