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
This Sunday begins the Advent season of preparation. This is the beginning of the Year of our Lord 2017. This year we will be following Jesus primarily in the Gospel of Matthew. Today, Jesus warns of the coming destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. An event which happened in 70AD. An event that shook the Jewish people to their foundation.READ MORE
I love to read about King David. Maybe it's because I grew up on a farm and could relate to David as a shepherd. I did chores daily, taking care of feeding chickens and pigs and calves. David, as a young shepherd, was anointed by the prophet Samuel. Through David's youth and early life he became a great warrior and was faithful to King Saul even though Saul became jealous and tried to kill David. David continued to be a great warrior king. In the end he was asked to be the king of both the northern and southern tribes of Israel. He accepted the responsibility of being king of Israel. David was a warrior king, successful in battle and leading the tribes of Israel. Unfortunately, like us, David had clay feet. He used his powerful roles to commit adultery with Bathsheba and ultimately murdered her husband Uriah. He needed to repent of his wickedness and did, calling on the mercy of God, which is perhaps reflected in Psalm 51.READ MORE
St. Paul teaches us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19). He also teaches that all of us together are the temple of the Holy Spirit (3:16-17). So, each of our bodies is a place set apart for the continuous praise and worship of God, and yet we are not temples in isolation from one another because we are all together being built into the One Temple of the Holy Spirit (1st Peter 2:5).READ MORE
Our First Reading of today is taken from the second book of the Maccabees and it is good to notethat one of the best known passages of the books of the Maccabees is the account of the martyrdom of a mother and her seven sons. The willingness to sacrifice one’s life rather than transgress the law and commandment of God. Despite the torture the entire family remained faithful and offered the supreme sacrifice of their love and fidelity. Their courage came from the confidence they have in God who they know is trustworthy and has promised eternal life to thosewho abide in him. Their courage to withstand such torture came from the hope they have in the resurrection. The first lesson we get from this, is that no matter how cruel the world is, no matterhow cruel the world treats us, no matter what we suffer for bearing the name of Christ and for ourfaith, we should always look to the future with hope and glory in the promise that lay ahead whichChrist has promised to all who remained steadfast till the end. As St Paul would say, “What no eyehas seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who lovehim.” (1 Cor 2:9)READ MORE