December 1 - First Sunday in Advent : Be awake and be Prepared

November 29th, 2019

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First Reading Isaiah 2:1-5
Isaiah describes his vision in which all nations are gathered together by God in peace.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 122:1-2,3-4,4-5,6-7,8-9
Rejoicing, let us enter the house of the Lord.

 

Second Reading Romans 13:11-14
Be prepared, salvation is near.

 

Gospel Reading
Matthew 24:37-44

 

 

 

Today we begin a new season of Advent and it is its 1st Sunday. Now, in the general literal sense, the word 'advent' means 'coming of someone,' but in the Christian Liturgical sense it specifically implies to 'the coming of Christ.' So specifically therefore, with the start of Advent today, we begin the period of expectation and waiting for the coming of Christ, our Savior — his birth on the first Christmas day. But actually, the Lord comes to us in three ways: the first coming of Jesus about 2000 years ago when he came as our Savior (Coming in history), the second coming is the glorious return of Jesus in future at the end of time (Coming in Majesty) and the third coming is situated between the first two comings. It is Jesus' daily coming into our hearts here and now at every moment of every day in the sacraments – very specifically through the Eucharist, and therein lies a challenge for us as well as a comfort (Coming in Mystery). Thus in a general sense, the period of Advent encompasses all time viz. Past, Present & Future. So, a Christian in this sense is always a citizen of Advent. Therefore, it is not surprising that we begin the new Liturgical Year this Sunday, with the same theme of 'the coming of Christ', where we ended it last Sunday.

 

November 24 - Solemnity of Christ the King : ” Thy kingdom come!”

November 21st, 2019

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First Reading 2 Samuel 5:1-3
David is anointed king.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 122:1-2,3-4,4-5
Enter the house of the Lord rejoicing.

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Second Reading Colossians 1:12-20
Hymn to Jesus as the first-born of all creation.

 

Gospel Reading
Luke 23:35-43

 

Today, the last Sunday of ordinary time the Church in a special way invites us to celebrate Jesus Christ our anointed king who overcame suffering and death, and so brought us out of darkness into his kingdom of light. On 7th July 2009, during the funeral of Michael Jackson, the presiding pastor said: “Behold the king of pop ready to face the King of the world.” Today (34th Sunday), the entire world stands still and bows to the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Rev 17, 14), and the Holy Mother Church celebrates the feast of Christ the King and Sovereign ruler of the Universe (Dan 7, 14). Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925 in response to growing nationalism and secularism. In initiating this feast, the Church wanted to take our worship of Jesus from the privacy of our hearts and to proudly proclaim his public reign as well. The title of the feast was “Jesu Christi Regis” (Our Lord Jesus Christ the King). Again, in his 1969 motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis, Pope Paul VI gave the celebration a new title: “Iesu Christi universorum Regis” (Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe). He also gave it a new date: the last Sunday in the liturgical year and assigned to it the highest rank, that of “Solemnity.” As we celebrate this feast let us ask ourselves: “Who reigns in my heart? Jesus or the evil one? Am I happy to be a subject of His kingdom? What are the values of his kingdom that I admire and try to inculcate into my life? 

November 17 - Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Jesus left the Temple and departed from it

November 14th, 2019

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First Reading Malachi 3:19-20
The day of justice is coming, says the Lord.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 98:5-6,7-8,9
Sing praise to God, who rules with justice.

 

Second Reading 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
Paul urges the community to follow his example and to earn their keep.

 

Gospel Reading
Luke 21:5-19

 

In today’s Gospel Jesus portrays for us, graphically, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. For Jews, the destruction of these two things was equivalent to the end of the world. Precisely for this reason, the Church uses this gospel passage as one of its readings for the end of the liturgical year. It wants us to reflect on the end of the world. But what’s the significant it has in our lives? What does it mean to us personally? We read the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus, before His prediction of the destruction of the Temple, ‘left the Temple and departed from it’ (24:1). Jesus not only went out of the Temple, He also departed from it and never returned to it. He did not depart on His own accord, they drove Him off; He did not reject them, rather they had rejected Him. When He departed from the Temple, its sanctity, glory and defense departed. The most beautiful and magnificent Temple in the world turned into the most ruinous heap. Three days after He departed the veil of the Temple was rent – making everything in the Temple common and unclean. Woe descends upon anyone from whom the Lord departs. If we drive away His presence from our souls, it will become desolate, as desolate as the Temple of Jerusalem. That will be the end of the world to us. When Jesus departs from my life, that is going to be my experience of the end of the world.

 

November 10 – Thirty second Sunday in Ordinary Time : Heaven is our Home

November 8th, 2019

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First Reading 2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14
Jewish martyrs give witness to their faith, even unto death.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15
The just person will live in God's presence.

 

Second Reading 2 Thessalonians 2:16—3:5
Paul encourages the Thessalonians and asks for their prayers.

 

Gospel Reading
Luke 20:27-38 

 

 

In today’s Gospel we find Jesus in reply rejecting the caricature that the Sadducees present of heaven, a caricature that suggests that it is a simple continuation of the earthly relationships of the spouses. Eternal beatitude is not just an increase and prolongation of terrestrial joys, the maximization of the pleasures of the flesh and the table. The other life is truly another life, a life of a different quality. It is true that it is the fulfillment of all man's longings on earth, yet it is infinitely more, on a different level. Interpreting Jesus' answer to the Sadducees, in an erroneous way, some have claimed that marriage has no follow-up in heaven. He does not deny that they might rediscover in God the bond that united them on earth. If God united them on earth, how could he divide them in heaven? According to this vision, matrimony does not entirely end with death but is transfigured, renewed and made holy -- it loses those limits that mark life on earth -- in the same way that the bonds between parents and children or between friends will not be forgotten. In the preface of the Mass for the dead, the liturgy says that with death "life is changed, not taken away"; the same must be said of marriage, which is an integral part of life. Let us look forward to a glorious life in heaven. 

 

November 3 – Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time : Zacchaeus’Transformation

November 2nd, 2019

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First Reading Wisdom 11:22—12:2
God is merciful because all things were created by God.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 145:1-2,8-9,10-11,13,14
Sing praise to God, who is faithful.

 

Second Reading 2 Thessalonians 1:11—2:2
Paul tells the Thessalonians to remain faithful to Christ until Christ comes again.

 

Gospel Reading
Luke 19:1-10

 

In the figure of Zacchaeus in today’s Gospel, we have a portrait of a lost soul. He is a chief tax collector, a rich man who has apparently gained his living by fraud by profession and so a“sinner” excluded from Israel’s religious life. But Zacchaeus’ faith & humility bring salvation to his house. He expresses his faith in his fervent desire to “see” Jesus, even humbling himself to climb a tree just to watch Him pass by. While those of loftier religious stature react to Jesus with grumbling, Zacchaeus receives Him with joy. Beneath the loving gaze of Christ, the heart of Zacchaeus warms to love of neighbour. From a feeling of isolation, which had led him to enrich himself without caring about what others had to suffer, he moves to an attitude of sharing. In another passage of the Gospel Jesus states that it is very difficult for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Matthew 19:23). In the case of Zacchaeus we see that precisely what seems impossible actually happens: "He," St. Jerome comments, "gave away his wealth and immediately replaced it with the wealth of the Kingdom of Heaven" (Homily on Psalm 83:3). And Maximus of Turin adds: "Riches, for the foolish, feed dishonesty, but for the wise they are a help to virtue; for the latter they offer a chance of salvation, for the former they procure a stumbling block and perdition" (Sermon 95). And it is only at this point that the love of God achieves its purpose, and salvation is accomplished: 'Today salvation has come to this house' (v 9)."

 

 

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