In the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah God says, “Can a mother forget her infant, be withouttenderness for the child of her womb? But even if she forgets I will not forget you.” This is God’s assurance to his people. He promises never to forget, us his people, at any time. In times of trial,the people of Israel often felt God had abandoned them. Nothing could be further from the truthsince, as Isaiah stated, the Lord’s love for his people is greater than that, a nursing or expectantmother has for her child. At times we face similar situations or difficulties in our lives when we feelGod has abandoned us but in today’s first reading from prophet Isaiah, God assures us that Hecannot forget us because his love for us endures forever. God is so compassionate and caringthat he cannot abandon us at any time.READ MORE
In our first reading the Lord said to Moses to tell the people, "Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy." In our second reading St. Paul writing to the Corinthians says, "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy." At the end of the gospel reading Jesus tells us, "So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." From these verses we hear that we are called to be holy, that we are temples of God, which are holy, and we are called to be perfect like God the Father. Perfect in this passage means love. We are called to love like God. That's a tall order? How do we live a holy and perfect life in today's society?READ MORE
In the first reading from the book of Sirach, Ben Sirach tells us to choose between life and death.He goes on to tell us that it is within us to choose between life and death. He says, “If you trust inGod, you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forthyour hand. Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be givenhim.” What it means is that it is in the capacity of human beings to choose what he wants in life.God does not interfere with our human freedom. He has given us the will and intellect to choosehow we wish to live our life. If we choose life, the road is there for us, if on the other side wechoose death the door is equally open. However, the question is what the writer means by “life”.What does it mean to choose life? Is it just from conception till our last breath? And does deathmean when we give up the ghost.READ MORE
In the ancient period and time of Jesus, salt was of a great value. It serves multiple purposes. It wasused to purify things. When things like fruits and vegetable are sensed to be contaminated, salt wasused to wash it and purify it. Because of its whiteness it is connected with purity. The Romans saidthat salt was the purest of all things because it came from the purest of things; the sun and the sea.It was used for preservatives, thus to keep meat from decaying salt was used to keep it fresh. However the greatest and most obvious quality of salt is that salt lends flavor to things. We allknow how insipid a food without salt tastes. Thus, Jesus, very much aware of the great value of saltin his time uses it to point to his followers what they are expected to be.READ MORE
The Sermon of the Mount is Good News. Jesus looked at the people with compassion, loved them and gave them Good News for their lives.
He saw people who were desperate, needing to beg God for the strength to carry on, for the strength to draw another breath. He saw people who were not independent and confident of their self-sufficiency and he said to them "I tell you that you are blessed. You are happy. You are the fortunate ones. For the kingdom of God is not conquered by those who are strong but given to those who know they are needy. Blessed are you the poor in spirit, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.READ MORE
Jesus started his public ministry in Galilee, considered a land of pagans, a people held in contemptby the Jews (1Macc.5:15). The light that shone out from Galilee is destined to illumine people allover the world. The land which, in the time of Isaiah, was ravaged by invaders and planted by sizeable numbers of foreigners is now the first to receive the light of salvation and to hear the Messiah’s preaching (Is.8:23-9:1).READ MORE
How does the word "obedience" make you feel? Does it sound like a bad thing? After all, we all like to be able to make our own choices. Does obedience to someone make you feel inferior as a person? I have found that most people, in general, don't like the word, "obedience", myself included. We fear it will take away our freedom. It's hard to trust someone enough to give them control in our lives. But most of all, are we afraid to trust God enough to give Him the "obedience" He deserves. What if He asks us to do something that is very hard? What if God wants us to give up things that are important to us? Or maybe obedience reveals a level of pride in us that we are avoiding. Pride is the most deadly of the seven deadly sins and obedience is a great destroyer of pride. It is very difficult to be full of pride while being obedient to God at the same time.READ MORE
Today, being the feast of Epiphany we celebrate Jesus the incarnate word being revealed to all the nations of the world. The Church calls it, the feast of appearance or manifestation of the Lord. Epiphany comes from the Greek word and means "Manifestation". The Church celebrates the light of God's revelation of his Son as human in Jesus Christ. The story of the magi is the story of the ways in which God reveals Himself to us and even more about the different responses and reactions this revelation receives. The Lord of the universe who reveals the star of Bethlehem to the Gentiles of the East so they could come and worship Jesus, the Prince of Peace and Kings of Kings gives each one of us the same light of revelation to recognize and accept Jesus as Our Lord and Savior.READ MORE
History has it that, on the first of January Christians celebrate several festive events. We celebrate, first of all, New Year's Day; then we think of the circumcision of Jesus which took place, Luke tells us, eight days after his birth (Lk.2:21); the day was later on dedicated to Mary Mother of God, and finally in 1968 Pope Paul VI chose January 1st as the "World Day of Peace". Today we celebrate the unparalleled and incomparable greatness of God that made Him to stoop so low and call one of His own creatures, Mary, to be the Mother of His Son Jesus, our Redeemer. Faith and the obedience of Mary enabled her to listen and respond to the invitation of God.READ MORE
“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” This statementfinds fulfillment in the birth of Jesus whose birth we await this season. One important fact to keep inmind is that this prophecy was made in a period of crisis in the Davidic kingdom, as enemy armiesthreatened to invade Jerusalem and remove King Ahaz from the throne. Ahaz, out of fear of the invading Syrian army, wanted to seek help from the Assyrians but Prophet Isaiah dissuades himfrom doing so, but rather encourages him to seek divine help and assistance. At last, Ahaz was victorious as prophet Isaiah had foretold and with the dynasty’s survival in question, Isaiah foretoldthat an heir would be a sign that the kingdom would not end with Ahaz but would continue underGod’s protection.READ MORE
Last week we read Matthew's account of Jesus' Baptism. Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?"
That was chapter 3 of Matthew. Today's Gospel is from chapter 11. John needs to know: "Are you the one?" Strange, isn't it? He knew him before. How can he now have doubts? What has changed is that John is now in prison! It would appear that this was not what he expected.READ MORE
The first three weeks of Advent reminds the faithful that the Lord will surely come at the end of time: it will be a triumphant event for him and his faithful followers. No one knows when this will happen: "regarding that Day and that Hour, no one knows when it will come, not even the Angels, not even the Son, but only the Father" (Mk. 13: 32). This prophecy of the coming Messiah speaks about Jesse, who was the father of David. The future Messiah would be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah mentions six of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are received in Confirmation. These gifts help the recipient to live the supernatural virtues by enlightening the mind and moving the will to walk in the way of Christ.READ MORE