June 1 - Ascension of the Lord : Call to be witnesses

May 29th, 2014

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First Reading          :  Acts 1:12-14
Psalm                      :  Psalm 27:1, 4, 7-8
Second Reading      : 
1 Peter 4:13-16
Gospel                     : 
John 17:1-11

 

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. 

 

May 25 - Sixth Sunday of Easter: An invitation to love

May 23rd, 2014

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First Reading         :  Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
First Reading         :  Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20
Second Reading     : 1 Peter 3:15-18
Gospel                    : 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.

May 18 - Fifth Sunday in Easter : Jesus is the Way

May 15th, 2014

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First Reading         :  Acts 6:1-7
First Reading         :  Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
Second Reading     : 1 Peter 2:4-9
Gospel                    : 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.

 

May 11 - Fourth Sunday in Easter : I am the Gate

May 8th, 2014

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First Reading         : Acts 2:14, 36-41
Psalm                     : Psalm 23:1-6
Second Reading    : 1 Peter 2:20-25
Gospel                   : 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?

May 4 - Third Sunday in Easter : God who walks with us

May 1st, 2014

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First Reading         :  *Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm                     :  
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
Second Reading     :  
1 Peter 1:17-23
Gospel                    :  
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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