The key theme that runs through today's readings is one of love. It is the new commandment that Christ left behind at the last supper, inviting his disciples to love one another just as he loved them. In the first reading David shows how a Christian should respond to the challenge God has given him by not killing the enemy. In the second reading we hear Paul telling the Corinthian community Christ the new Adam is different from the old Adam. He invites his community to grow into the image of the heavenly Father by continuously transforming themselves. Through his committed love he brought new life to people. In the gospel Jesus speaks about loving their enemies and sincerely praying for their persecutors which shows that only a religious motivation could be a root of such a notable behavior. He tells them that the reason for this is the Father in heaven who is caring, loving and merciful. He is kind to those ungrateful and wicked.READ MORE
Today's gospel contains what we call the Eight Beatitudes, or the core Attitudes of a Christian. It contains a recipe for living, and for happiness. It outlines a series of choices, and it gives us a programme for living. Today, and for the next two weeks, our Gospel reading is that teaching of Jesus which, in St. Matthew's Gospel, we know as the Sermon on the Mount. The two evangelists present essentially the same material, but there are some minor differences. Most notable, perhaps, is the setting for the sermon. While St. Matthew tells us that Jesus went up the mountain to teach, St. Luke depicts Jesus descending the mountain after prayer to teach on the level ground. For this reason St. Luke's version of Jesus' teaching is often called the Sermon on the Plain.READ MORE
Today's readings tell us of the experience of divine presence and the human response of the individual. We have here three important persons mentioned in the Bible: Isaiah, Paul and Peter. All the three persons were most grateful to God for having chosen them and they did make a great effort to answer the calling to the best of their capabilities. This is not to say that they were all perfect persons. Prophet Isaiah wished at times that God would have chosen someone else because the people would not listen to him. He viewed himself as a great sinner among sinners, not worthy of being in the presence of Yahweh. St. Paul started on the wrong track by persecuting the Christians.READ MORE
I have been witnessing some very interesting postures and reception of the Holy Eucharist at Communion time and it is quite disturbing.
The Roman Missal is very clear on how we the faithful are to receive our Lord at Holy Communion. The Communion Procession is a profoundly religious action and it tells us something about the way in which we should participate in this procession. "We are the Body of Christ, moving forward to receive the Christ who makes us one with himself and with one another. Our procession should move with dignity; our bearing should be that of those who know they have been redeemed by Christ and are coming to receive their God!" In the United States, the body of Bishops determined that Communion should be received standing, and that a bow is the act of reverence made by those receiving.READ MORE
In today's Gospel prologue, St. Luke mentions many members of the early Church. But he only mentions one by name: Theophilus, for whom St. Luke compiled his Gospel account. So who are the others, and why does he mention them? He mentions them in order to put his account of the Gospel within the context of the Church.
Sometimes you'll hear of Christians calling Christianity a "religion of the book", the "book" in question being the Bible. However, while the Bible lies at the heart of our Christian Faith, Christianity does have a more primary foundation, and that is the Church. Christianity is more truly a "religion of the Church" than "of the Book". To be clear: it's not the Bible, but the Church that is at the heart of the Faith. Jesus founded the Church, but He did not write the New Testament: He left that job to the apostles. The writing of the New Testament was part of the mission that began on the day of Pentecost.READ MORE
Brandon Vogt, a top selling Catholic Author, has come out with a new video series and I believe our young people and you will find it interesting and quite intriguing. For the past five months, Brandon has been secretly working on a brand new, 5-part video series.
The series is titled: "Why it's Time for a Catholic Dumbledore's Army (and Why You Need to Join)"
Brandon informs us that He "sadly, came to realize most Catholics are in the same situation as Harry Potter and friends in the bestselling books:"READ MORE
On the last Sunday of the year, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. This feast celebrates the family unit and the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. On this day we offer our own families and all the members of our community on the altar for God's blessing from the Holy Family.
The feast of the Holy Family reminds us that as the basic unit of the universal Church, each family is called to holiness. The Holy Family tells us about the Divine Son of God Jesus, his mother Mary, and his foster father Joseph. We know very little about the life of the Holy Family through the Scriptures. They speak of the early years of the Holy Family, including the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, the finding of Jesus in the temple and their life at Nazareth.READ MORE
Today's Gospel tells us the touching story of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth and the recognition of the baby Mary was carrying in her womb as the long awaited savior. This visitation serves to bring together the two annunciation strands of Luke's infancy narrative. Here the two pregnant women of faith meet, even though Elizabeth is clearly subordinate to Mary. Both children in the womb will be great, but Mary's child will be the son of the Most High. With the greeting of Elizabeth, the child in her womb John leaps for joy. Elizabeth takes this opportunity to call Mary as the blessed one. What does it mean to be blessed in the context of Mary is the question we would always ask.READ MORE
On this third Sunday of Advent the church invites us to rejoice and prepare ourselves for the coming of the Savior. The first word of the Antiphon is Gaudete, meaning rejoice and the entire texts of the Mass are filled with the expressions of joy and jubilation. Even the vestment color is changed from the original purple to rose or pink. The entrance antiphon starts with the word: "Rejoice in the Lord always." The First Reading from the prophet Zephaniah tells the faithful to shout for joy, and to rejoice and exult with all their hearts. The Lord will renew them with his love and will be present among them. The responsorial psalm tell us to sing and shout for joy for the Holy One of Israel is in their midst. In the Second Reading, St Paul invites the Christians of Philippi to be happy in the Lord and to remain always in that happiness. The reason for this is that the Lord id near in their proximity. The Gospel brings the people to the awareness of the expectancy of the coming of the Savior and the need for the immediate preparation for the coming of the King who will remain among us. Here we have John the Baptist surrounded by anxious and waiting group of people. They are worried and are unsure about the future. John is there to guide them, to advise them of practical ways and baptize them. Soon Jesus will come to change everything and fill them with Joy. That is what we celebrate today.READ MORE
This season of Advent heralds the coming of Emmanuel, "God with us". It is the time we realize when our God comes to earth to take on human form and live on earth just as we live. He does it as he shares his life and love with us. When God shares his love with us he invites us to share our love with Him and with others. Advent is the time of waiting as we prepare ourselves to welcome the God who became man and who by example showed us how we too should be able to live like him for others. Advent means waiting. We wait for someone we love and we long to meet that person.READ MORE
Today we begin the season of Advent and with this we begin the new liturgical year. On this day the church invites us to be ready and prepared to receive the Lord. Advent means waiting and we wait eagerly for someone we love, we care and we are ready to invest our time on him. In the liturgical calendar, the season of Advent means a joyful waiting, a waiting for someone with love. Here we wait for Jesus and there is the eagerness within us to receive him as we look forward to this great event of God becoming man. During this season we anticipate and await the coming of our Jesus.READ MORE