August 31 – Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time : Lose yourself

August 27th, 2014

 

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First Reading        :  Jeremiah 20:7-9 | Jeremiah laments but cannot fail to speak in God's name.
Psalm                   :
Psalm 63:2-6,8-9 | Our souls yearn for God.
Second Reading  :
Romans 12:1-2    | Paul encourages the Romans to stay faithful to God.
Gospel                 :
Matthew 16:21-27 

 

Before Peter could truly be a follow Jesus he had to learn the cost of discipleship. Peter had to learn from Jesus how to replace his self-centred ambition and desire for prestige with recognition of the value of self-sacrifice. he had to learn how to lose himself in Christ, to take up his mission, his way of life, and his very identity as his own. Peter had to learn that being a disciple of Jesus means taking up the Cross, not grudgingly enduing it but embracing it, being willing to suffer for the Gospel and getting behind Jesus in order to follow in the way that he leads.  This is what we see in today's Gospel. Let us embrace our little crosses for the simple reason Jesus embraced his cross: for salvation and sanctification of ourselves and the world. 

August 24 -Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time : Who is Jesus for me?

August 19th, 2014

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First Reading         :  Isaiah 22:19-23    | God will remove Shebna from his office as master of the palace.
Psalm                    : Psalm 138:1-3,6,8 | God's kindness is forever.
Second Reading    : Romans 11:33-36 | Paul sings praise to God.
Gospel                   :
Matthew 16:13-20
 
Jesus chose the region of Caesarea Philippi to ask His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” The area was scattered with the remains of ancient Syrian Baal worship, at least 14 temples have been identified. A cave near this city is said to be the birthplace of the Greek god pan, the warrior god. There had also been a great temple of white marble built to the godhead of Caesar. It is as if Jesus deliberately set Himself against the background of the world’s religions in all their splendour and glory to teach his disciples as to who he really was: man and not only God; God and not only man. To know about Jesus and to know Jesus are two different things. We can know about Jesus by listening to someone else or by reading books on him but knowing Jesus is always a result of a personal experience. So the million dollar question is "who is Jesus for me?"

17th August - Twentiethh Sunday in Ordinary Time : Outrageous Grace

August 13th, 2014

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First Reading         :  Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Psalm                     : Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
Second Reading     :
Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
Gospel                    :
Matthew 15:21-28  

 

God’s grace is outrageous, meaning it comes in search of the person who least deserves it. Therefore it might look as scandalous for some. Jews, in the time of Jesus, thought high of themselves. They believed that it’s the fact of being a Jew that brings them God’s favour. But Jesus tried to change this attitude and show them that they were wrong and that what is needed to receive God’s mercy is not the fact that one is a Jew. Jesus showed them that it is only the person who is humble, the one who has a deep faith and the one who accepts his/her nothingness can win God’s favour.  This is exactly what we see in the Canaanite woman of the Gospel. Jesus had to purify her intentions and bring her into a deeper faith before granting her wish. She had humility, she had a deeper faith and she accepted her lowliness and that made God to look down on her. May we follow her example. 

August 10 - Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Fixing our eyes on Jesus

August 5th, 2014

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First Reading          :  1 Kings 19:9a,11-13a
Psalm                      :  Psalm 85:9-14
Second Reading      :
Romans 9:1-5
Gospel                     :
Matthew 14:22-33

 

We can enter into today’s Gospel from two directions: From the side of Jesus and from the side of Peter. From the side of Jesus- When the disciples were struggling in a stormy weather Jesus comes to their help. There are times when life becomes a desperate struggle. At such a time Jesus comes to us across the storms of life, with hand stretched out to save, and with his clam clear voice bidding us take heart ad have no fear. The great truth is that, wherever Jesus Christ is, the wildest storm becomes a calm. From the side of Peter- We see Peter making a mistake and that is taking his eyes off Jesus and looking down at the stormy sea. This is what often happens to you and me. We start off our lives fine. We have our eyes fixed firmly on Jesus. But then something happens to make us take our eyes off Jesus. We look away from Jesus. And that’s when we lose our balance. That’s when we begin to sink. Therefore today’s Gospel invites us to turn our eyes back to Jesus. 

3rd of August- Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Small is Great

August 1st, 2014

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Reading                 :  Isaiah 55:1-3
Psalm                    : Psalm 145:8-9,15-18
Second Reading    :
Romans 8:35,37-39
Gospel                   : Matthew 14:13-21

 

Today’s Gospel suggests that one person can make a difference. Or rather, two people can make a difference: one person and Jesus. When Jesus asked the boy for his meagre offering he trusted Jesus and gave him the little he had: the five loaves and two fish. The boy gave what he had to Jesus. And Jesus shared the boy’s gift with thousands. This is the good news of today’s Gospel: that if we share what we have with Jesus , no matter how small and insignificant it is, he can make it bear fruit beyond our wildest dream. Today’s Gospel tells us that if we offer our talents and gifts to Jesus for his work, he can perform miracles with them. 

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