May 28 - Ascension of the Lord : Call to be witnesses

May 27th, 2017

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First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 1:12-14

After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, the apostles return to Jerusalem and gather in prayer with Mary, the mother of Jesus.

 

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 27:1,4,7-8

The Lord is our salvation.

 

Second Reading    1 Peter 4:13-16

If you suffer for Christ, you will be blessed.

 

Gospel Reading John 17:1-11a

 

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 21 - Sixth Sunday of Easter: An invitation to love

May 18th, 2017

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First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 8:5-8,14-17 

The people of Samaria accept the Gospel of Jesus proclaimed to them by Philip.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 66:1-7,16,20

Sing praise to God, all the earth.

 

Second Reading  1 Peter 3:15-18

Be ready to give explanation for your hope in Christ.

 

Gospel Reading 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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May 14 - Fifth Sunday in Easter : Jesus is the Way

May 11th, 2017

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First Reading    Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7

The early Christian community chooses seven people to serve at table so that the Twelve can devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.

 

Responsorial Psalm     Psalm 33:1-2,4-5,18-19

The Lord is merciful toward those who trust in him.

 

Second Reading    1 Peter 2:4-9

Those who have faith are chosen in Christ to be a holy priesthood.

 

Gospel Reading John 14:1–12

 

Last Sunday we celebrated Christ the Good Shepherd. Today, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, we celebrate Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The Gospel Reading of today from St. John, is taken from the Farewell Discourse at the Last Supper, and addresses concerns of the disciples that would arise because of the departure (i.e. death) of Jesus soon to occur. Jesus said to Thomas: "I am the way and the truth and life". Jesus does not merely teach us the way but He is the way (No one comes to the Father, except through me- Jn 14,6). Jesus does not merely declare what is true but He is the truth (...we have seen his glory...full of grace and truth- Jn 1,14). Jesus does not merely reveal the life to come but instead he is the life (I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly- Jn 10:10). Therefore Jesus is the way which we must follow. he is the truth which we must believe and he is the life which we must live. So what do we make of this saying of Jesus? What do they mean to us?

*'I am the Way' – Jesus is a road. A road is a journey. And we go to God the Father through Jesus and we call Jesus the Way, because he is the visible manifestation in human form of all that his Father is.

*'I am the Truth' – the Truth that meets us on the road. We Christians have not got the Truth. The Truth has got us. Jesus is God's gift of his true self to us. As God revealed His true self to Jesus, we look up to Jesus to reveal God to us.

*'I am the Life' – this journey of Truth gives us life. When we believe in Jesus, we find life. More, He becomes our life.

In short, what living the Christian life is really all about is living with Jesus in faith. It is to make the Truth and the Life - the Father Himself - really ours by following Jesus who is the Way.

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May 7 - Fourth Sunday in Easter : I am the Gate

May 4th, 2017

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First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 2:14a,36-41

Peter and the other apostles baptize 3,000 people.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 23:1-6

The Lord is my shepherd.

 

Second Reading  1 Peter 2:20b-25

We have been healed by the wounds of Christ

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Gospel Reading

John 10:1-10

 

Today is the 4th Sunday of Easter and it is commonly known as “Good Shepherd Sunday,” a day in which the Church recalls the relationship between God and His people as described in the image of Shepherd and Sheep. Today we hear Jesus saying “I am the gate for the sheep”. Shepherds would become the gate to the sheep fold. They would lie in front of the opening to the fold so that nothing could enter without them knowing. Human gates provided entrance to the fold and protection from threats outside. What Jesus is trying to tell us is this: that his relationship and dedication to us is as close as the shepherd’s to his sheep. Like the shepherd Jesus is always with us and knows each one of us in a deeply personal way. But the problem is whether we are able to recognize his voice from the many voices we hear every day?

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April 30 - Third Sunday in Easter : God who walks with us

April 27th, 2017

 

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First Reading   Acts 2:14,22-33 
Peter and the apostles announce that Jesus has been raised from the dead.

 

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-11
God will show us the path of life.

 

Second Reading   1 Peter 1:17-21
You were saved by Christ’s sacrifice.

 

Gospel Reading Luke 24:13-35

 

Today we here the Gospel story of Emmaus, and the two disciples who left Jerusalem after the Crucifixion, only to encounter Jesus on their way. They are scandalized by the failure of the Messiah in whom they had hoped and who now appeared utterly vanquished, humiliated, even after the third day. Pope Francis used the story of Emmaus while in Brazil to address those many lapsed Catholics who have given up on the power of the Church to bring us Jesus. He spoke to the Bishops of Brazil on 28 July 2013: “Here we have to face the difficult mystery of those people who leave the Church, who, under the illusion of alternative ideas, now think that the Church – their Jerusalem – can no longer offer them anything meaningful and important. So they set off on the road alone, with their disappointment. Faced with this situation, what are we to do? We need a Church, unafraid of going forth into their night. We need a Church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a Church capable of entering into their conversation. Today, we need a Church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a Church which accompanies them on their journey; a Church able to make sense of the “night”contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and sisters from Jerusalem; a Church which realizes that the reasons why people leave also contain reasons why they can eventually return. I would like all of us to ask ourselves today: are we still a Church capable of warming hearts? We need a Church capable of accompanying them on the road back to Jerusalem! A Church capable of helping them to rediscover the glorious and joyful things that are spoken of Jerusalem, and to understand that she is my Mother, our Mother, and that we are not orphans! We were born in her. Where is our Jerusalem, where were we born? In Baptism, in the first encounter of love, in our calling, in vocation". Are you ready to take up this challenge because you/we are the Church. Are you, as a member of the Church, capable of warming hearts?

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April 23 - 2nd Sunday in Easter : The Doubting Thomas

April 20th, 2017

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First Reading   Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47

The first community of Christians grows as its members meet to pray and break bread.

 

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 118:2-4,13-15,22-24

God’s love is everlasting.

 

Second Reading   1 Peter 1:3-9

We have new hope because of Jesus’ Resurrection.

 

Gospel Reading John 20:19-31

 

When Jesus appeared on Sunday Thomas was not with the twelve. Some suggests that he was seeking Jesus alone while Jesus was with the assembly of his followers. That could be the Evangelist's way of telling the reader that encounter with the Risen Lord is something that happens not so much in the privacy of the individuals religious initiative and practise as much as in the fellowship with the community of believers, that is the Church. Do we have to look far to see such Thomases in our society today, men and women who deep down in their hearts seek the risen Lord, but who seek him outside the worshipping and believing community? They try to draw near to God by engaging in all sorts of self-imposed devotional exercises. Religion, they say, is personal, and they are right. But religion is also communitarian, and this they need to learn just as Thomas did.

 

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April 15 – Easter : New Life in Christ

April 15th, 2017

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Old Testament Readings and Psalms

Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26

Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13 and Psalm 46

Genesis 22:1-18 and Psalm 16

Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 and Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18

Isaiah 55:1-11 and Isaiah 12:2-6

Baruch 3:9-15, 3:32-4:4 or Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6 and Psalm 19

Ezekiel 36:24-28 and Psalm 42, 43

Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Psalm 143

Zephaniah 3:14-20 and Psalm 98

 

New Testament Reading and Psalm

Romans 6:3-11 and Psalm 114

 

Gospel

Matthew 28:1-10

 

The Significance of Jesus’ resurrection today is that it offers for all believers the hope of 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. Every time we suffer a defeat, fail in some exam, are plagued by some crippling disease, we experience a bit of death. But if we believe in the presence of the risen Jesus in our midst, we will discover new dreams to pursue, new challenges to take on and new reasons to try again. Every time we are overwhelmed by problems, discouraged by disappointments or beset by worries, we are diminished in some way. But if we believe in the real power of the risen Christ, we will find that the impossible becomes possible and the unreachable becomes reachable. 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 faith, hope and love. The Risen Jesus we encounter in the Eucharist is our strength to live the significance of Easter: to transform sorrow into joy, defeat into victory, despair into hope, darkness into light, hatred into love and the tomb of death into freedom of life. May the Risen Christ who came forth from the tomb on Easter enable us to shake off the fetters of evil and sin and give us the grace to live with him. Amen. 

 

 

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April 14 - Good Friday : Cross - the sign of God’s love

April 13th, 2017

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First Reading         :  Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm                     : 
Psalm 22
Second Reading     : 
Hebrews 10:16-25
Gospel                    : 
John 18:1-19:42                

Sometimes we ask the question “where was God when his beloved Son was crucified ?”. St. Ignatius of Antioch speaks about the “passion of my God”. It tells us that the Father was personally involved in Christ’s suffering and that he actually participated in it. In the same way sometimes we are tempted to ask “Where was God when my son/daughter died?, Does God loves me? Does he really care for me? I challenge you to pick up your crucifix, look at the bruised and mangled body of Christ and still ask that question because back will come the answer loud and clear “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son”. Amen.

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April 13 - Holy Thursday : Divine Surrender

April 12th, 2017

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First Reading         :  Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14
Psalm                     : 
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Second Reading     : 
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel                    : 
John 13:1-17, 31b-35     

 

The mystery of Holy Thursday embraces the supreme, threefold gift of the ministry of the Priesthood, the Eucharist and the new Commandment of love. The Basic idea of the entire Holy Thursday Mass is contained in the symbolic sign of the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus. This is more than an act of service, although He himself tells them and us that we must imitate him. it points to the very nature of Jesus' redeeming life and work: it is not we who redeem ourselves by anything we do; it is Jesus proclaiming himself as the Saviour. We see Jesus emptying himself. Thus we are invited to participate in the mystery of (his) divine surrender.

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April 9 - Passion Sunday : Marching with Jesus

April 7th, 2017

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Gospel at the Procession with Palms  Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus enters Jerusalem as the crowd waves palm branches and shouts, "Hosanna!"

First Reading  Isaiah 50:4-7
The Lord's Servant will stand firm, even when persecuted.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 22:8-9,17-20,23-24
A cry for help to the Lord in the face of evildoers

Second Reading  Philippians 2:6-11
Christ was obedient even to death, and God has exalted him.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 26:14—27:66

                        

Indeed, we have reached the climax of the liturgical year, the highest peak of salvation history, when all that has been anticipated and promised is to be fulfilled. By the close of today’s long Gospel, the work of our redemption will have been accomplished, the new covenant will be written in the blood of His broken body hanging on the cross at the place called the Skull. The palms that we use today should be sings that we are willing to follow and march with Jesus not only in moments of glory but also in times of fall and agony.

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