September 22: Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time -The parable of the Unjust Steward

September 20th, 2019

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First Reading Amos 8:4-7
Unfair business practices and injustice to the poor will be judged by God.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 113: 1-2,4-6,7-8
Praise be to God, who raises up the poor.

 

Second Reading
1 Timothy 2:1-8 : Paul tells Timothy that prayer for those in authority is pleasing to God because God wills the salvation of all.

 

Gospel Reading
Luke 16:1-13 (shorter form, Luke 16:10-13)

 

 

In today’s Gospel, Jesus relates the parable of the Unjust Steward. It’s a very tricky parable. The steward was a rogue, who dishonestly reduced the quantum of debts of his master’s tenants, but the master praised his cleverness. The master praised not his dishonesty, but his foresight, prudence and astuteness. We can learn a lot of lessons for our spiritual life from the way men behave and organize their worldly affairs. We should not adopt their goals, but we can profitably use their methods for our spiritual well being. We should hate their ends, but we must love to adopt their methods. The children of this world may be wise but their wisdom pertains only to this passing world. Though this worldly wealth is not to be trusted for our happiness, it could be used as subservient to our pursuit of our happiness in the other world. Now is the only time we have got to make good use of our gifts, talents and possession to gain heaven.

September 11 – Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Joyful Finding

September 14th, 2019

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First Reading Exodus 32:7-11,13-14
Moses stands up to God, recalling all of God's great promises.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 51:3-4,12-13,17,19
Once we are forgiven, we can hope for a new heart and a fresh start.

 

Second Reading 1 Timothy 1:12-17
Paul proves it's never too late to repent and serve God.

 

Gospel Reading
Luke 15:1-32

 

The words of the father in the story, to the sulking elder brother, are filled with the pathos of Jesus’ appeal: ‘My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours’. The‘best robe’, the ‘ring’, the ‘sandals’ and the ‘feast’, all marks of special regard, point to a mercy and generosity that have no limits. We are left to imagine the aftermath. Surely, the son’s life is transformed, as he comes, at last, to share in the love in the heart of his father. The future the Saviour promises to the world, in fact, will be a sharing in the love of his Father (cf. John 14:25 etc). The merciful, loving heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is the merciful, loving heart of God our heavenly Father. His mercy tirelessly seeks out each sinner and should the sinner respond there is delirious happiness and rejoicing in the whole court of heaven. To every sinner in the state of mortal sin I say as simply as I can, ‘Your sin is not the big deal you think it is; the big deal is your return to the merciful love of God. Trust in his mercy, not in your sin. And if you continue to sin, continue to trust and to return to his mercy.

September 8 - Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time : Hating our own life

September 5th, 2019

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First Reading Sirach 3:17-18,20,28-29
Humble yourself and you will find favor with God

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 68:4-7,10-11
The just rejoice and exult before God.

 

Second Reading Hebrews 12:18-19,22-24
You have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.

 

Gospel Reading
Luke 14:1,7-14

 

We have yet to comment on the phrase “hating our own life”. This is just an extension of the earlier part. Jesus wants our lives to be lived in total truth and love. Our lives are not to be determined and manipulated by attachments, desires, ambitions or fears and anxieties which can become very much part of ourselves. We are to live in total freedom. “None of you can be my disciples unless he gives up all his possessions.” It is the ability to let go, even of health and life itself. Any aspect of a person or anything that lessens that freedom to follow truth and love is to be “hated” and transcended. Today's teachings are addressed to people who have not yet made the option for discipleship but are considering it. It reminds Luke's Christian readers of the choice they have already undertaken.

 

September 01 - Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time : Take the Lower Place

August 31st, 2019

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First Reading  Isaiah 66:18-21
Nations of every language shall come to see my glory.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 117:1-2
Praise the Lord, all you nations.

 

Second Reading  Hebrews 12:5-7,11-13
Whom the Lord loves, he disciplines.

 

Gospel Reading
Luke 13:22-30

 

 

In the Gospel of Luke today we also hear Jesus talking about humility. Our Gospel acclamation today says “I am meek and gentle of heart.” Indeed this quality of humility is one for which Jesus is very much a role model. We often talk about how Jesus lowered himself to become like us – a God becoming a man! How much more humble could he be? So when Jesus talks about humility we know that he is “walking the talk”! This idea is actually a theme in Luke, and it is the same theme that we read in the first reading: The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. Luke started this theme in the first chapter with the beautiful Magnificat of Mary we heard two weeks ago: He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty. He will end it with Jesus at the Last supper taking on the role of servant.

 

August 25 – Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C : Enter through the narrow Gate

August 31st, 2019

First Reading  Isaiah 66:18-21
Nations of every language shall come to see my glory.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 117:1-2
Praise the Lord, all you nations.

Second Reading  Hebrews 12:5-7,11-13
Whom the Lord loves, he disciplines.

Gospel Reading
Luke 13:22-30

 “The gate to perdition is the devil, through whom we enter into hell; the gate of life is Christ, through whom we enter into the kingdom of Heaven. The Devil is said to be a wide gate, not extended by the mightiness of his power, but made broad by the license of his unbridled pride. Christ said to be a strait Gate not with respect to smallness of power, but to His humility; for He whom the whole world contains not, shut Himself within the limits of the Virgin’s womb” (St. John Chrysostom).

August 18 : The Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven – Crown of Glory

August 31st, 2019

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII, exercising papal infallibility, declared in "Munificentissimus Deus" that it is a dogma of the Church "that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." As a dogma, the Assumption is a required belief of all Catholics; anyone who publicly dissents from the dogma, Pope Pius declared, "has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith." The "Magnificat," which we find in Luke's Gospel, indicates that the praise of the Holy Virgin, the Mother of God, intimately united to Christ her son, regards the Church of all times and places. The evangelist's report of these words presupposes that the glorification of Mary was already present at that time and that he saw it as a duty and task of the Christian community for all generations. Mary's words tell us that it is a duty of the Church to recall Our Lady's greatness in faith. This solemnity is, then, an invitation to praise God and to look to Our Lady's greatness since we know who God is by gazing about the faces of those who are His.

 

August 11 - Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Being Faithful & Being Prepared

August 31st, 2019

First Reading  Wisdom 18:6-9
The Hebrew people awaited the salvation of the just.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 33:1,12,18-22
Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Second Reading  Hebrews 11:1-2,8-19
We will look for the city designed and built by God.

Gospel Reading
Luke 12:32-48

 

Today the Gospel speaks to us -as the first theme-  of the need to be prepared since our God is  a God who comes, a God who visits us. He can come to us in many ways. For example through the Sacraments, through the Word of God, through the Priest, through the Community gathered for worship, through the poor, the sick and the lowly, He could come and speak to us through our live events and experiences etc etc. Are we ready to welcome him in all these modes of his coming? The second theme for today speaks to us the need to be faithful at all times. Thus Mother Theresa of Calcutta would say : "God did not call us to be successful, but to be faithful." It is not what we do that matters at the end but how far we have been faithful to Him and His Gospel. Let us ask God for the grace to be prepared all the time to welcome Him and that we be faithful we He calls us. 

 

August 4 - Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Fool’s Vanity

August 31st, 2019

Trust in God - as the Rock of our salvation, as the Lord who made us His chosen people, as our shepherd and guide. This should be the mark of our following of Jesus. We can harden our hearts in ways more subtle but no less ruinous. We can put our trust in possessions, squabble over earthly inheritances, kid ourselves that what we have we deserve, store up treasures and think they’ll afford us security, rest. All this is “vanity of vanities,” a false and deadly way of living, as this week’s First Reading tells us. This is the greed that Jesus warns against in this week’s Gospel. The rich man’s anxiety and toil expose his lack of faith in God’s care and provision. That’s why Paul calls greed “idolatry” in the Epistle this week. Mistaking having for being, possession for existence, we forget that God is the giver of all that we have, we exalt the things we can make or buy over our Maker (see Romans 1:25). Jesus calls the rich man a “fool” - a word used in the Old Testament for someone who rebels against God or has forgotten Him (see Psalm 14:1). We should treasure most the new life we have been given in Christ and seek what is above, the promised inheritance of heaven. We have to see all things in the light of eternity, mindful that He who gives us the breath of life could at any moment - this night even - demand it back from us.

 

July 28 - Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Asked and Answered

August 31st, 2019

First Reading  Genesis 18:20-32
Abraham pleads with God to save the innocent people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 138:1-3,6-8
Lord, on the day I cried for help, you answered me.

Second Reading  Colossians 2:12-14
You were buried with Christ in Baptism and also raised with him.

Gospel Reading
Luke 11:1-13

 

Though we be “but dust and ashes,” we can presume to draw near and speak boldly to our Lord, as Abraham dares in this week’s First Reading. The mystery of prayer, as Jesus reveals to His disciples in this week’s Gospel, is the living relationship of beloved sons and daughters with their heavenly Father.  Our prayer is pure gift, made possible by the “good gift” of the Father - the Holy Spirit of His Son. It is the fruit of the New Covenant by which we are made children of God in Christ Jesus (see Galatians 4:6-7; Romans 8:15-16). Jesus teaches His disciples to persist in their prayer, as Abraham persisted in begging God’s mercy for the innocent of Sodom and Gomorrah. This intriguing story of Abraham interceding for Sodom is not really about a numbers game but about the significance of salvation for the righteous in a corrupt community. Authentic prayer opens us up to the action of God's Spirit, bringing us in line with God's desires, and making us into true disciples, obedient to Jesus and to the Father who has sent him. Prayer becomes one of the ways by which we follow Jesus in the Christian life.

July 21 - 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Serving God and Serving Neighbour

August 31st, 2019

Last Sunday we were shown through the Parable of the Good Samaritan how important it is to serve our neighbour : "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice". And in today's Gospel Jesus completes that by showing how important it is to serve God and give Him our fullest attention by highlighting Mary who was at His feet. Martha stands for the service to the Neighbour while Mary stands for the service to God. Thus we need to be both Martha and Mary.

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