November 30 - First Sunday of Advent : Be prepared

November 27th, 2014

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First Reading Isaiah 63:16b-17,19b;64:2-7
Isaiah prays for the Lord's forgiveness of the people

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 80:2-3,15-16,18-19
prayer for the Lord's protection

Second Reading 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Paul gives thanks to God for the faith of the Corinthians.

Gospel Reading
Mark 13:33-37

Today we enter the season of Advent: a time of special preparation for the coming of the Lord. Mark’s portrait of the doorman watching out to open for the Lord whenever he “suddenly” appears is an image of what we are expected to be doing all year long but especially during the season of Advent. The doorman keeps awake in order to recognize and welcome the Lord at his coming. Faith, likewise, transforms us into people who are able to recognize the Lord and willing to receive him. Recognition is crucial because the Lord does not always come in easily recognizable ways. At Bethlehem he came in the form of a baby and people did not recognize him. In the Parable of the Last Judgment, which we heard last Sunday, he said he came to people in the form of the most needy and disadvantaged of this world and many did not recognize him. But true people of faith did recognize him and serve him in these people who live in the blind-spot of society. Faith is first a way of seeing, and then a way of living.

 

 

November 23 - Feast of Christ the King: We will be judged on love

November 19th, 2014

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First Reading
Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17 God himself will shepherd the people of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 23:1-2,2-3,5-6  The Lord is our shepherd.

Second Reading
Corinthians 15:20-26,28  Because Christ has been raised from the dead, all those who have died will also be raised.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 25:31-46

On this, the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year, the Feast of Christ the King, we have heard the Gospel reading about the Last Judgement.  It is an extraordinary text which is not just about a future moment in history, but about the very essence of being a follower of Jesus Christ today.  It is a challenge to each of us and to our Christian community to remember that being a Christian is never just something inward looking.  The Christian life is never self-centred.  God is love and the Christian life can only be a life which reflects that love. The Christian cannot be unconcerned about or uninterested in those around us, especially those who are marginalized. We will be judged by how we have loved and especially about how we have loved not just those near and dear to us but by how we have loved the most marginal, the people with whom we would often not normally have any contact.  Christ’s kingdom will only be fully realized when our world fully witnesses to God’s kingdom: a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice love and peace.  

 

 

November 16 - Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time : Talents, Kingdom and Accountability

November 13th, 2014

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First Reading
Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31
The virtues of a good wife are extolled.

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 128:1-2,3,4-5
Blessed are those who walk in God's ways.


Second Reading
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Paul warns the Thessalonians to stay alert because the day of the Lord cannot be predicted.

Gospel Reading Matthew 25:14-30

Today’s readings tell us that God gives everyone enough talents and gifts. He gives sufficient to all. Our gifts vary. He gives us not only for our own (selfish) consumption only but in order that we may use them finally to extend His kingdom. But on our part God appreciates accountability. There will be a day of judgement for everyone based on stewardship. Each will be judged by what was given to him or her. We are called to do the best with whatever we are and we have. What matters at the end is not what people’s talents are but how they are used for the kingdom. What matters is not how big or how many are our gifts, but how faithful and whole hearted are we in the use of them

 

November 9 – Thirty Second Sunday : The Feast of the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica at Rome

November 4th, 2014

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 First Reading
Ezekiel 47:1-2,8-9,12
I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 46:2-3,5-6,8-9
God is our refuge and our strength.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 3:9-13,16-17
You are the temple of God.

Gospel Reading
John 2:13-22

We celebrate today the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome because it is the head and mother church of all churches in the world. On the façade of the basilica there is an inscription in Latin which reads, “The mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world.” The Lateran Basilica is the first church of the Christians at Rome. Every bishop has a cathedral and the Pope’s cathedral is the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The dedication of a church reminds us a deeper spiritual reality: that God’s presence among His people (“God’s home is with human beings! He will live with them and they shall be His People” - Rev 21:3) and that God dwells in our bodies since they were consecrated as sacred temples at Baptism (“you are God’s temple and God’s Spirit lives in you” – 1 Cor 3:16).  May God dwell among us. 

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