September 28 – Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Deeds and not only words

September 24th, 2014

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First Reading : Ezekiel 18:25-28
It is possible to turn from sin and preserve one's life.

 

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 25:4-9
A prayer to God for mercy.

 

Second Reading : Philippians 2:1-11 (shorter form Philippians 2:1-5)
Be like Christ who humbled himself and was exalted by God.

 

Gospel Reading
Matthew 21:28-32

 

The Parable teaches that discipleship is fundamentally about what one does, not just about what one says. Some may claim in words to be religious, but their lack of deeds and lack of genuine repentance and obedient faith betray their hypocrisy. Yet amazingly, the grace of God shown in repentance can draw even notorious sinners into the kingdom. The kingdom is promised not to those who merely say “I will go”, but to those who actually do the will of the Father.  

September 21 – Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Gods Generosity

September 18th, 2014

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First Reading          : Isaiah 55:6-9
God's ways are far beyond the ways of human beings.

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 145:2-3,8-9,17-18
God is near to those who call upon him.  

Second Reading         : Philippians 1:20c-24,27a
Paul tells the Philippians to live for Christ.

Gospel Reading         : Matthew 20:1-16

Our God is a God of surprises. It is this strange and unexpected generosity with creates problems. Those who think they can calculate exactly how God must act are in for a surprise. All work in the vineyard should be delighted that some receive what is just, while others have been blessed with God’s great generosity. Who are we to question why? Can God not do what He likes with his love? The point is that it is His kingdom and not ours. Even the grumbler is called ‘my friend’. God doesn't count or measure when he gives. He makes too much vine at the wedding, more than 100 gallons of it. He multiplies much bread and there were 12 baskets of bread left over. He pays a day’s wages even to those labourers who came to work at the last hour. When God does things he does in a BIG way. 

September 14 - Twenty fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time : The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 9th, 2014

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First Reading       :  Numbers 21:4b–9
  | anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he or she was healed
Psalm                   :  Psalm 78:1–2, 34–34, 36–37, 38
  | Do not forget the works of the Lord.
Second Reading   :  Philippians 2:6–11
   | Jesus Christ, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped.
Gospel                  :  John 3:13–17

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Gospel clearly shows us that when Moses raised the Serpent on a pole to save the people from their sins how this foretold that Christ would be lifted high on the cross to save us from our sins. For Christ took the price of all our sins upon himself and was raised. To us it is promised that if we look to him in faith we will be saved and exalted as well. This is the importance of the crucifix in the Christian Tradition. We do not have empty crosses because an empty cross didn't save us. Christ crucified is the sign of our salvation. You can choose to have your suffering have meaning by offering it for others. Or you can choose to have it be pointless by grumbling and complaining about it. My suggestion to you: Look to Christ crucified on the cross. Exalt the cross in your life. Live out your baptismal priesthood. You choose between freedom for meaning or freedom from meaning. You suffer for someone or you suffer from afflictions. The happiness and peace you seek (which means the triumph, the exaltation, the victory and the glory) is found (only) in the way of the Cross, the way of Christ.

September 7 - Twenty Thired Sunday in Ordinary Time: restoration of the erring brother or sister

September 4th, 2014

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First Reading       Ezekiel 33:7-9 | The Son of Man is appointed as guardian of Israel.
Psalm                 : Psalm 95:1-2,6-9  | Song of praise to God, our salvation.
Second Reading : Romans 13:8-10  | The Law is summarized in the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself.
Gospel                : Matthew 18:15-20  

 Notice that both the Gospel and the First Reading presume that believers have a duty to correct sinners in our midst. Ezekiel is even told that he will be held accountable for their souls if he fails to speak out and try to correct them. This is the love that Paul in today’s Epistle says we owe to our neighbours. To love our neighbours as ourselves is to be vitally concerned for their salvation. We must make every effort, as Jesus says, to win our brothers and sisters back, to turn them from the false paths. We should never correct out of anger, or a desire to punish. Instead our message must be that of today’s Psalm - urging sinner to hear God’s voice, not to harden their hearts, and to remember that He is the one who made us, and the rock of our salvation.

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