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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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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