As we reach the end of the liturgical year (next week will be the last Sunday in the liturgical calendar when we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, and the following Sunday will be the First Sunday in Advent) and as we conclude the Lukan account of the public ministry of Jesus, the Word of God today speaks to us about "the end". On this second last Sunday of the Church's liturgical year, we are called upon to reflect on the Day of Judgment and the end times and the importance of the endurance.READ MORE
The liturgy of the word on this Sunday, even as we near the end of the liturgical year, invites us to contemplate on the mystery of God in relation to human death and life! Jesus assures us that there is life after death because our God is the God of life.
My reflection will have two major parts. In the first part I would like to situate the gospel text of today (Lk 20:27-38) within the larger context of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. Then I would like to explore the idea of our God being the God of life. And this will take us to the question of "So what?" – reflecting on the implication of this belief for our lives today. I see our belief in the resurrection providing a foundation to the purpose even of this life.READ MORE
Why did Zacchaeus want to see Jesus? It was perhaps a mere curiosity. But could this eagerness be an indication of something deeper – a thirst, a desire? And where does that desire come from? I think the source of that thirst is God Himself. The thirst arises from the truth that we are created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Since we all bear the image of God – being in the nature of God – we want to reach our origin. As every river on the face of the earth, small and large, strives towards the great ocean, we all strive towards God. He is the alpha and the omega. St Augustine encapsulated this in his powerful statement: "Thou hast prompted man, that he should delight to praise thee, for thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee" (Confessions, 1,1; trans. Outler).READ MORE
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
May the Lord give you peace.
This year, Oct. 20th marks a very special World Mission Sunday: our annual, worldwide, Eucharistic celebration of our shared call to mission. It takes place during an Extraordinary Missionary Month, called for by Pope Francis in honor of the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's apostolic letter Maximum Illud, which emphasizes our missionary call to proclaim the Gospel.
During October, Pope Francis invites us – all baptized Christians – to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ through prayer, meditation on the word of God and pilgrimage. Pope Francis reminds us that we are each "Baptized and Sent"; "Church of Christ on Mission in the World."READ MORE
During the Ordinary Time of the year, for Sunday liturgy we normally listen to a particular Gospel. This year we are listening to the Gospel of Luke. The first reading is selected from the Old Testament in such a way as to correspond to the gospel text, while the 2nd reading from the Epistles follows its own sequence. Today, the first reading and the gospel text have extraordinary similarities. Both are stories about lepers being healed; in both stories there are expressions of gratitude; and both are about outsiders!
Let us begin by looking at some of the interesting details in the gospel text of today so as to appreciate the context of the story, and then we can reflect a little deeper on the theme of gratitude.READ MORE
The Liturgy of the Word on this 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time invites us to reflect on the sacredness ofour daily lives. It calls us to find God in our faithfulness to daily duties. The readings invite us to live by faith.
The first reading is from Prophet Habakkuk (1:2-3; 2:2-4). This book was written during a very difficulttime in the history of Israel(7th Cent BC), just before the Babylonian Exile (598 BC). One of the central themesin this book of Habakkuk can be summarized in the lines that we heard read in the first reading of today: “Theupright man (the just) will live by his faithfulness” (Hab 2:4). And in the gospel today, Jesus suggests that wecan merit the Kingdom of God by the fulfillment of our ordinary, daily duties done with a little faith, even if thatfaith is only as big as a mustard seed. It is faith that converts ordinary things of daily life into extraordinarysigns of the Kingdom of God. Jesus says, “When you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We aremerely servants: we have done no more than our duty” (Lk 17:10).READ MORE
The gospel text of today invites us once again to reflect on the meaning of love and kindness. There is the unnamed rich man who has a poor neighbour named Lazarus. 'Lazarus' literally means, 'God helps'. The poor man is very visible because he lies at the gate of the rich man. Lazarus yearns for the love of his neighbour, which he does not receive. He relies solely on the love of God. The parable should not be taken to justify laziness or to discourage hard work. There is no reference to both in the text. There is no glorification of material poverty either. The text is about our attitude to God, and our attitude towards our neighbour. So, does the gospel answer our initial question: Why love? I think, the gospel text of today teaches us that love and kindness are important for our lasting well-being and true happiness. Three things seem to emerge from the text:READ MORE
In our gospel, we may be left a bit confused. It sounds as if our Lord is speaking in a somewhat approving way of the dishonest steward. The steward may have squandered his master's property, enriched himself at this master's expense, or he may simply have been incompetent. Our Lord doesn't' give us the details as to why he lost his job. Even if he was incompetent, he was bright enough to provide for his future.
Before he left his position, he called in all the people who owed his master money and reduced the size of their debt. Then they would be indebted to him. Commentators suggest perhaps he was eliminating any commission that would have been due to him. Whatever was behind all of this, his dishonesty was not grand larceny or he would have been worried about jail rather than being worried about digging or begging.
In this Gospel passage of today Luke has put together three parables all stressing the dynamic of lost and found. The point the evangelist is making in each case is the generous willingness God demonstrates in accepting back the repentant sinner. In the first parable the repentant sinner is symbolized in the lost sheep. The second parable focuses on the lost coin. The third parable presents a younger son and an elder son both of whom are lost. Luke makes it clear in each case, whether the man or the woman or the father, who assertively go after what is lost until found.READ MORE
The liturgical tradition of the Church places a lot of importance on dedication of churches. For instance, when it is the anniversary of the dedication of a Cathedral church (the principal church of the diocese which has the chair of the Bishop), it can be celebrated as a solemnity on a Sunday. The Basilica of St John Lateran is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome – the mother of all churches. Why do we celebrate the dedication of a church? In the Catholic tradition, the church building is not just a hall for fellowship. It is a sacred space. It is the abode of God, where the presence of God is made very tangible by the presence of the Eucharist. The church is the focus point of the believing community – the Body of Christ. Symbolically the church itself is the body of Christ. This weekend we have our Immaculate Conception church altar is rededicated and fall festival is celebrated, thanks to all your generous contribution towards this event. I am glad it's happening on a special day September 8, the Nativity of Blessed Mother Mary.READ MORE