June 28 - Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: God who is close to us

June 23rd, 2015

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First Reading  Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Death entered the world through the work of the devil.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 30:2,4,5-6,11,12,13
A prayer of thanksgiving to God for having rescued us

Second Reading  2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15
As Christ became poor for our sake, so must we share with those in need from our abundance.

Gospel Reading
Mark 5:21-43 ( shorter form, Mark 5:21-24,35b-43)

Why did Jesus go all the way to Jairus's house and take his little daughter by the hand in order to bring her back to life? Why not just do it from a distance? It is because God wants to be close to us; he wants to share His very life with us (the divine life), he wants to live in friendship with us. He wants to be part of our lives (to get involved with us -in all its ups and downs- and wants us to be a part of His life.  That’s the whole meaning of INCARNATION: God becoming man. He is Emmanuel: God with us. God truly does want to walk by our side through the Church’s sacraments. They are instruments through which God enters into the very flesh and blood of our daily lives just as Jesus entered into the house of Jairus. Our God doesn't keep his distance; he walks by our side.

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time: A God who guides me through storms of life

June 17th, 2015

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First Reading  Job 38:1,8-11
The Lord answers Job's complaints.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 107:23-24,25-26,28-29,30-31
A song of praise to God for rescue

Second Reading  2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Those in Christ are a new creation.

Gospel Reading
Mark 4:35-41

The sea is a wonderful metaphor in Scripture. It represents evil, chaos and disorder. So, when Jesus calms the storm and the sea is stilled, it is a symbol for us that God can still the chaos and disorder in our lives. In some versions of the Bible, it says that “Jesus rebuked the storm…” which is an illustration of the divine power of God at work in the world. Life is so unpredictable, we don’t know what surprises lie in store for us from day to day, even from hour to hour. The words of God to us in Isaiah 43 are so beautiful. His promise is this: “Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.” That is the experience of Christians throughout history. That is the experience of so many of us. For those of us who are currently in the storms and chaos of life, the promise of God holds good for us today.

June 14 - Eleventh Sunday of the Ordinary Time: God works in mysterious and surprising ways

June 11th, 2015

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First Reading  Ezekiel 17:22–24
I, the Lord, bring low the high tree and lift high the lowly tree.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 92:2–3,13–16
They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Second Reading  2 Corinthians 5:6–10
The lives of all are to be revealed before the tribunal of Christ.

Gospel Reading
Mark 4:26–34

Today we read two of the three seed parables of Mark. All three are about seeds. The first parable tells about a farmer who planted seed. Some was planted in good soil, some in bad soil. Only the seed in the good soil bore fruit. This reveals that the kingdom can grow only in good hearts that are open to God. The second parable, which we read in today’s gospel, tells how seed grows beneath the soil without the farmer knowing how. It’s a mystery to him. This reveals that God’s kingdom grows in our heart in a marvellous, mysterious way, without our knowing how. The third parable, which we also read in today’s gospel, contrasts the tiny seed to the large beautiful plant that grows from it. This reveals that the tiny seed of the kingdom in our heart will eventually grow into something beautiful. It is from the smallest of all beginnings that great things will come. For all this to happen we must trust God and remain patient. If we trust God and remain patient, things will work out in God’ own time and in God’s own way. 

June 7 - Solemnity of Corpus Christi: Bread that liberates

June 3rd, 2015

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First Reading  Exodus 24:3-8 
The covenant is established between God and the people.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 116:12-13,15-16,17-18
God brings salvation.

Second Reading  Hebrews 9:11-15
Christ is the mediator of the new covenant.

Gospel Reading
Mark 14:12-16,22-26

God’s nourishment at times does not seem as tasty as some foods that the world offers, and so the faithful at times dream of other meals, like the Israelites in their exodus from Egypt. They remembered the meals they had in Egypt, but had a “selective memory” at the times of their temptation and forgot that they ate at the table of slavery. A similar temptation is present today. If we look around, we realize that there are so many offers for food that don't come from the Lord and that apparently satisfy more. Some are fed with money, others with success and vanity, others with power and pride. But the food that truly nourishes and that satisfies is only that which the Lord gives! Man has both a physical hunger and another hunger, a hunger that cannot be satisfied with ordinary food. This is a hunger for life, a hunger for love, a hunger for eternity. Manna, the miraculous bread that fed the Israelites, is a sign of the food that satisfies this profound hunger that there is in man. Jesus gives us this food, by becoming himself the living bread that gives life to the world. His body is the true food under the species of bread; his blood is the true drink under the species of wine. Let us celebrate and adore.

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