February 2nd : Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - The Presentation of the Lord

January 31st, 2014

 

First Reading         Micah 6:1-8
Psalm                    :  Psalm 15
Second Reading  1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Gospel                  Matthew 5:1-12

Today, 40 days after the celebration of the birth of the Lord we gather to celebrate the Presentation of the Lord. We commemorate the ritual purification of Mary as prescribed in the Law of Moses after the birth of Jesus. We celebrate and remember the fact that 40 days after the birth of a Jewish boy, it was the custom to take him to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to God by his thankful parents and so Mary the Mother of Jesus and Joseph the foster father of the Lord take him to the temple in accordance with the Law. This Feast reminds us that just as Mary consecrated Jesus to God we too have been consecrated at our Baptism and so we are called "Children of God". This feast celebrates the fact that God keeps His promises! Not only does God keep His promises to a chosen people through a purified lineage and a virgin mother but also to particular individuals like Simeon.

 

 

26 th January : Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Light shines in darkness

January 23rd, 2014

First Reading       : Isaiah 9:1-4
Psalm                    : Psalm 27:1, 4-9

Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Gospel                  :
Matthew 4:12-23

Jesus begins his ministry not from the Holy city of Jerusalem but from Galilee, the land of Herod Antipas, the ruler who had just arrested John the Baptist. Matthew saw this as a fulfillment of ancient prophecy (Is 9:1-2). Light has come into a land of darkness (Jn 8:12). Christ’s work goes on wherever even one true follower of his is found for there still many who live in darkness and in the shadow of death. Each of us has areas of darkness in our lives. Darkness can stand for many things: fear, illness, pain, sin, error, loneliness, despair, oppression etc. As followers of Christ we are called to be bearers of His light. 

 

 

19th January : Second Sunday of the Ordinary Time - Pointing Christ out to others

January 16th, 2014

 

 First Reading       : Isaiah 49:1-7 
Psalm                    : Psalm 40:1-11 
Second Reading : 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 
Gospel                  : John 1:29-42

 

John the Baptist found his reason for existence. He was to point out the Lamb of God to the world.  His mission is not different from the mission of every Christian.  We are to point out the Lamb of God to the world. There is nothing greater that any of us can do in our lives than point Christ out to others, first to our children who must follow us in pointing to the Lord for others to find him, and then to all who meet us. John the Baptist was not a typical person of his time.  He was extraordinary.  When we consider his life, we realize that it was not John’s dress or preaching that made him extraordinary, it was the fact that he found the purpose for his life.  He looked to Jesus and said, “There is the Lamb of God.” We have been called to do the same.

January 12th : Baptism of the Lord - Identity & Mission

January 9th, 2014

First Reading       : Isaiah 42:1-9 
Psalm                    : Psalm 29 
Second Reading : Acts 10:34-43 
Gospel                  : Matthew 3:13-17 

 

Today, we celebrate the feast of Jesus’ baptism by John. His baptism marks the start of a new world, a new creation. As Isaiah prophesied, the Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove - as the Spirit hovered over the face of the deep in the beginning (see Genesis 1:2). It was a special experience in the life of Jesus and so made a lasting impact on His life. His Baptism experience made clearer to Him that He is indeed God’s Son (divine identity: “This is my beloved son”) and that He was born with a special mission to fulfill (divine Mission of salvation).  So today, let us see Jesus’ baptism as his new beginning for us and reawaken to our sonship in the Son (we are God's children) and the mission which God has entrusted to each and every one of us, that our Father might call us what he calls His Son - “my beloved. . . in whom I am well pleased.”

 

January 5 : The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord - The Star of Wonder

January 1st, 2014

 

First Reading       : Jeremiah 31:7-14

Psalm                    : Psalm 147:12-20

Second Reading : Ephesians 1:3-14

Gospel                  : John 1:(1-9), 10-18

 

In Matthew 2: 9-11, the ageless story describes a Star in the East guiding three wise men, or magi, to the place of the divine birth of Christ. According to medieval legends, the three wise men were named Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar. These three priest-kings and wisemen brought royal gifts to the divine infant: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Melchior brought a golden cup, which, according to legend, was preserved by the Blessed Virgin Mary and was the same cup used in the institution of the Holy Eucharist. Balthazar brought a gold box of frankincense. Gaspar brought a curiously chased flask of myrrh, a royal embalming oil. The gift of gold symbolizes the kingship of Christ, which represents our own true royal Self-hood and our giving of love and service as directed and commanded by that Self. The gift of frankincense symbolizes the Godhead of Christ and our own gifts of honour and reverence to our indwelling Divinity. The gift of myrrh is a prophecy of the death and burial of the earthly body of Christ, which represents our understanding and empathy for the suffering of humanity. Let us pray that just as the Magi were guided by a star we too be guided by the signs of the times to find God and worship Him.

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