January 1 st 2014 : Solemnity of Mary the Holy Mother of God - The mind of Christ

December 30th, 2013

First Reading       : Numbers 6:22-27 
Psalm                    : Psalm 8
Second Reading : Galatians 4:4-7 
Gospel                  : Luke 2:15-21

The mystery of her divine motherhood that we celebrate today contains in superabundant measure the gift of grace that all human motherhood bears within it, so much so that the fruitfulness of the womb has always been associated with God’s blessing. Mary is the mother and model of the Church, who receives the divine Word in faith and offers herself to God as the “good soil” in which he can continue to accomplish his mystery of salvation. The spiritual meaning of Mary’s motherhood was made known by St. Augustine who said “Prium concepit in mente quam corpore” which means Mary conceived Jesus in her mind before conceiving Him in her womb. May was filled with Christ her son, she became the faithful disciple of the Lord. We are called upon to do the same: to put on and live with the mind of Christ. One of the instructions given to us in the Bible is to have the mind of Christ. We read in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” May the Virgin Mary, whom today we venerate with the title of Mother of God, help us to contemplate the face of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. May she sustain us and accompany us in this New Year: and may she obtain for us and for the whole world the gift of peace. Amen!

December 29th : Feast of the Holy Family - Jesus-Mary-Joseph

December 27th, 2013

 

First Reading       : Isaiah 63:7-9

Psalm                    : Psalm 148

Second Reading : Hebrews 2:10-18

Gospel                  : Matthew 2:13-23

 

On this Sunday we celebrate the feast of “The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” which is very much part of this season and it enables us to continue to ponder the mystery of Christmas and learn the lessons that this season has to teach us. Actually, the birthday celebration of the Christ child naturally leads us to contemplate the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as model of all Christian families. For a large part of his life Jesus was part of a family, but his family-life is shrouded in mystery. We always imagine that the Holy Family must have been an extremely happy family. Yet, like every other family, it too had from time to time its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows, its problems and difficulties. In fact, challenges faced them right from the very beginning. In the Gospel Reading of today from St. Matthew which is unique to his Gospel, we have the story of 'the Flight into Egypt.' It shows us that not even the Holy Family was spared the trials and sufferings of every family. But they are called a “HOLY” family because they sought God’s purposes in their lives and not their own comforts. This family is holy because God is present in it and also it is responsive to the demanding word of God spoken in the very trying circumstances of their daily lives. Let us ask the Holy Family to bless all our families. 

December 25 : Christmas Day - God had visited us

December 23rd, 2013

 



First Reading       :
Isaiah 9:2-7 
Psalm                    : Psalm 96 
Second Reading : Titus 2:11-14 
Gospel                  : Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)

Today we celebrate Christmas, the mystery of Incarnation, God becoming man, the astonishing entrance that God made into our broken world. Again and again the beauty of this Gospel astonishes us that God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into our arms. It is as if God were saying: I know that my glory frightens you, and that you are trying to assert yourself in the face of my grandeur. So now I am coming to you as a child, so that you can accept me and love me. God is born for us but the question is whether we are ready to welcome him. The most unfortunate and the saddest sentence is found in the Gospel of Luke: “There was no place for them in the Inn” (Lk 2:7). Centuries have passed but this stark reality still continues in our lives. God wants to come in but we keep our doors closed. Why should we not also be moved by curiosity to see more closely and to know what God has said to us? At this hour, let us ask him to touch our hearts with the holy curiosity and the holy joy of the shepherds, and thus let us go over joyfully to Bethlehem, to the Lord who today once more comes to meet us. Amen

December 22 : Fourth Sunday in Advent: Joseph, the just man

December 17th, 2013

First Reading       : Isaiah 7:10-16 
Psalm                    : Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 
Second Reading : Romans 1:1-7 
Gospel                  : Matthew 1:18-25 

Today is the fourth Sunday in Advent. Christmas will dawn in few days. Matthew’s story of the birth of Jesus centres on the person of Joseph. The mystery is so great that Joseph cannot understand what is happening. In his puzzlement, the Lord calls Joseph to a remarkable act of faith and obedience. Joseph, in wordless response to the word of God communicated by an angel, rose and ‘took his wife to his home’. A total and unquestioning acceptance of the word of God is Joseph’s first action in Matthew’s infancy story. St. Joseph shows us the value of grace under pressure. He always found himself in emergency situations during the brief period of his life on earth: having to accept a young wife who is pregnant before they are married, having to travel to faraway Bethlehem, having to flee as refugees into Egypt etc. He had to face a lot of pressure, a lot of crisis and a lot of emergency situations but God’s grace was sufficient for him. St. Bernard comments that God never gives us a challenge or a call or a duty without the sufficient grace to accomplish it. Joseph leads the way and shows us the quality of trust and commitment to the coming of God, which should mark the lives of each and every one of us this Christmas.

December 15 : Third Sunday of Advent - Rejoice

December 12th, 2013

 

First Reading       :  Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm                    :  Psalm 146:5-10
Second Reading :  James 5:7-10
Gospel                  :  Matthew 11:2-11

 

The third Sunday of Advent is called the "Gaudete Sunday" -- Rejoice Sunday, the Sunday of joy. The Liturgy speaks of Joy in order to give us courage since our hearts can easily become frightened and weighed down by the hardships we face. We can lose patience in our sufferings as we await the coming of the Lord. That’s what happened to John the Baptist as we hear in today’s Gospel. He is in a dungeon, the victim of a petty tyrant and his vengeful, immoral consort. It is just possible that, in the dark, vile hole of a prison John is having some doubts about Jesus as the Messiah. Therefore Jesus gives John the reassurance, echoing the words of the Prophet Isaiah, that He is truly the awaited messiah. All of us are searching for happiness, but why are so few truly happy and even those who are happy are only happy for such a short time? It is because our approach is wrong. We go up the wrong side and we decide to take the wrong way up. Revelation says: "God is love," but man has tried to reverse the phrase so that it says: "Love is God"! Thus, when we say, "Happiness is God," we divinize our little experiences; we make happiness into an idol. This explains why he who seeks God always finds joy while he who seeks joy does not always find God. Therefore let us pray that we will always ‘seek joy in the Lord’.

Dec 8 : Second Sunday in Advent - A voice crying in the wilderness

December 4th, 2013

 

First Reading       :  Isaiah 11:1-10 
Psalm                    :  Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 
Second Reading :  Romans 15:4-13 
Gospel                  :  Matthew 3:1-12

 

The Church’s use of John the Baptist over the Advent Season invites us to join John’s audience in these days of preparation. The kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the one who is able to separate the wheat from the chaff is coming. John never saw a superhighway, but he uses the image in order to prepare the way for the coming of the world’s most wonderful and most extraordinary traveller, the Messiah Jesus, into our lives. The highway John wishes to construct is within our hearts. It hasn't a number, but it does have a name-conversion. Conversion results when a person realizes profoundly that the message and the life of Jesus make sense and is infinitely desirable. Conversion takes place when Jesus and his message cut through the moments of pain, tears, worry, fear and uneasiness in our lives. Conversion means meeting Jesus in his word and allowing Him to become directly involved in our lives. Once this happens, life can never be the same for us.

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