Saturday, November 17, 2018

 

33rd SUNDAY in Ordinary Time

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November 18, 2018 – 33rd SUNDAY in Ordinary Time

Cycle B. Green.

 

Dn 12: 1 - 3 / Heb 10: 11-14, 18 / Mk 13: 24 – 32

 

1ST READING: Dn 12: 1 - 3

At that time, Michael will rise, the Great Commander who defends the sons of your people. It shall be a time of anguish as never before since the nations first existed until this very day.

 

Then all those whose names are written in the Book will be saved. Many of those who sleep in the Region of the Dust will awake, some to everlasting life but others to eternal horror and shame. Those who acquired knowledge will shine like the brilliance of the firmament; those who taught people to be just will shine like the stars for all eternity.

 

GOSPEL READING:           Mk 13: 24- 32

Jesus said, "Later on, in those days after that disastrous time, the sun will grow dark, and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall out of the sky and the whole universe will be shaken. Then people will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And he will send the angels to gather his chosen people from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the sky.

 

"Learn a lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its branches become tender and it begins to sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the time is near, even at the door. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all this has happened. Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.

 

"But, regarding that Day and that Hour, no one knows when it will come, not even the angels, not even the Son of Man, but only the Father."

 

REFLECTION

When natural calamities happen like super typhoons and destructive earthquakes, people tend to panic and may even think that the end of the world is near. Many recent movies, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens; The Fifth Wave; Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice; Independence Day: Resurgence; Warcraft; Gods of Egypt; X-Men: Apocalypse" all have apocalyptic themes. They speak of future devastation and the unavoidable and near end of the world we know. These themes resurface in times of turmoil or social stress.

 

The word "apocalypse" comes from the Greek word which means "unveiling" or revelation.

 

Through the ages people have been concerned about the end of the world. As seen in the Gospel for today, even Jesus spoke about the end of the world. His listeners questioned him about the end of the world. In the early Church, the Book of Revelation adopted the usual form and language of apocalyptic writings. The Book of Revelation shows Christ as the center of history where Christians are called to give witness with courage in the world struggle between good and evil.

 

Dante's writings such as The Inferno and great art works of the Last Judgment as Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" at the Vatican Sistine Chapel were works along apocalyptic lines and concerns.

 

Today's readings from the Book of Daniel and the Gospel reading gave apocalyptic themes. The reading from Daniel speaks of the triumph of the good and the destruction and punishment of evil.

 

In the Gospel reading Jesus is not prophesying about the end of the world. Rather he is telling us that a new world will come though his passion, death and resurrection. There will be an "unveiling" or revelation brought about by his life and coming. Through the Paschal mystery the old way of living ends and a new way of living begins.

 

Jesus unveiled a new way of loving God with all our heart, mind and strength by loving our neighbor like ourselves, a kind of loving which desires only the good of the other and is willing to give and even suffer for the other. This is Jesus' great Commandment: this is his apocalypse, his unveiling, his revelation.

 


 

 

Have a good day!

 

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

 

THURSDAY, 32ND Week in Ordinary Time

November 15, 2018 – THURSDAY, 32ND Week in Ordinary Time

St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Memorial. White.

Phlm 7- 20 / Lk 17: 20- 25

 

A German Dominican, St. Albert the Great (1206 - 1280) taught St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 -1274) in Paris and was Bishop of Regensburg for a few years. He was a prolific writer on Sacred Scriptures, theology, philosophy and the natural sciences. He wrote more than anyone else in his day on the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

FROM THE 1ST READING:             Phlm 7- 10

I had great satisfaction and comfort on hearing of your charity, because the hearts of the saints have been cheered by you, brother.

 

Because of this, although in Christ I have the freedom to command what you should do, yet I prefer to request you in love. The one talking is Paul, the old man, now a prisoner for Christ. And my request is on behalf of Onesimus, whose father I have become while I was in prison..

 

GOSPEL READING:           Lk 17: 20- 25

The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was to come. He answered, "The kingdom of God is not like something you can observe and say of it: 'Look, here it is!' See, the kingdom of God is among you."

 

And Jesus said to his disciples, "The time is at hand when you will long to see one of the glorious days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Then people will tell you: 'Look there! Look here!' Do not go, do not follow them. As lightning flashes from one end of the sky to the other, so will it be with the Son of Man. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this people."

 

REFLECTION

In the first reading from Paul's Letter to Philemon, we see Paul's care and concern for his companions in the ministry.

 

In the Gospel reading Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of God. We all look forward to the perfect fulfillment of the Kingdom of God at the end of time.

 

In the Gospel reading, Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God is already "among us." It is in every person who believes in the Lord, in his Church and its sacraments and in the world. The Kingdom is where God and his values are. The Kingdom of God is in all the good people in the world.

 

To bring about the Kingdom of God the Son of God came into the world as man, suffered and died for all. Through God's call and grace, his followers are tasked to continue his mission of bringing God's love and mercy to the world.

 

At the same time we all await the coming and fulfillment of the Kingdom of the world when the Our Lord appears at his second coming at the end of time.

 

Let us seek the Kingdom of God, making it grow within us and throughout the world until its final realization at the end of time.

 


 

Have a good day!

 

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

 

WEDNESDAY, 32ND Week in Ordinary Time

November 14, 2018 – WEDNESDAY, 32ND Week in Ordinary Time

St. Joseph Pignatelli, Priest

Memorial. White.

 

Ti 3: 1 - 7 / Lk 17: 11 - 19

 

Born in Saragossa, Spain, St. Joseph Pignatelli (1737- 1811) worked tirelessly for the restoration of the Society of Jesus which had been suppressed by Pope Clement XIV in 1773 (Dominus ac Redemptor). He was Provincial of Italy from 1803 until his death. The Society of Jesus was restored world-wide in 1814.

 

FROM THE 1ST READING:             Ti 3: 3- Sa

We ourselves were once foolish, disobedient and misled. We were slaves of our desires, seeking pleasures of every kind. We lived in malice and envy, hateful and hating each other.

 

But God our Savior revealed his eminent goodness and love for humankind and saved us, not because of good deeds we may have done but for the sake of his own mercy.

 

GOSPEL READING:           Lk 17: 11 - 19

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus was passing along the border between Samaria and Galilee, and as he entered a village ten lepers came to meet him. Keeping their distance, they called on him, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" Then Jesus said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." Now, as they went their way, they found they were cured.

 

One of them, as soon as he saw he was cleansed, turned back praising God in a loud voice, and throwing himself on his face before Jesus, he gave him thanks. This man was a Samaritan.

 

Then Jesus said, "Were not all ten healed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God but this alien?" And Jesus said to him, "Stand up and go your way; your faith has saved you."

 

REFLECTION

In the first reading Paul summarizes how God has saved us "not because of good deeds we may have done but for the sake of his own mercy.."

 

In the Gospel reading the Lord cures ten lepers. Only one returns to thank and praise God and this one was a Samaritan, "Were not all ten healed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God but this alien?"

 

Only one of the ten cured of their leprosy came back to thank Jesus. His was the complete healing because of his deep faith and gratitude. This one was a Samaritan, an outcast not only because of his leprosy but also because of his different background. Luke wished to point out the ingratitude of Jesus' own people in contrast with that of the Samaritan, "Was no one found to return and give praise to God but this alien?"

 

What makes us remiss in expressing gratitude and praise to God for all the good gifts he has given us? Are we just too busy? Do we not appreciate the goodness of his gifts, that our life and all else are his free loving gifts to us? Or do we feel at times that these talents and achievements are really ours, and ours alone?

 

FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST. 

 

BIRTHDAY 

     Spiro Lu Clemente

     Vice! Tomas

 

IN MEMORIAM (+) 

     Chan Ha & Lo Ching Kin

     Maria See Co (23 Mar 1916 - 14 Nov 2007)

     Chao Thian Siu (21 Jan 1913 - 14 Nov 1983)

 

Have a good day!

 

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Friday, November 09, 2018

 

SATURDAY, 31ST Week in Ordinary Time

November 10, 2018 – SATURDAY, 31ST Week in Ordinary Time

St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

Memorial. White.

 

Phil 4: 10- 19 / Lk 16: 9 – 15

 

The Council of Chalcedon (451) which defined Jesus Christ as one divine Person with two natures was held during the pontificate of Pope St. Leo the Great (d. 461). St. Leo also fought against the Manicheans, the Nestorians, the Priscillianists and the Arians.

 

FROM THE 1ST READING;             Phil 4: 10, 17, 19

I rejoice in the Lord because of your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me before, but you had no opportunity to show it. ...

 

It is not your gift that I value but rather the interest increasing in your account. . . . God himself will provide you with everything you need, according to his riches, and show you his generosity in Christ Jesus.

 

GOSPEL READING:           Lk 16: 9- 15

Jesus said to his disciples, "And so I tell you, use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes.

 

"Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling filthy money, who could entrust you with true wealth? And if you have not been trustworthy with things which are not really yours, who will give you the wealth which is your own?

 

"No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself to God and to Money."

 

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all of this and sneered at Jesus. He said to them, "You do your best to be considered righteous by people. But God knows the heart, and what rises high among humans is loathed by God."

 

REFLECTION

In the first reading PauI thanks the Christian community at Philippi for their concern and support for him. Paul's letters tell us of the love and support for each other of the early Christians.

 

In the Gospel reading Jesus tells us to use money or material wealth wisely. He reminds us to beware of greed and needless search, even worship of money.

 

People who love money love to have many possessions, much more than they need. They enjoy luxurious living, fancy possessions and showing their wealth. Though money and wealth are not in themselves sinful, they can easily make slaves of people in their endless quest for money and for more. Being slaves of money, we ourselves become corrupted. And money itself becomes our idol.

 

Every human being has the right to a decent livelihood and life. We need money or its equivalent for a decent human life. God invites us to use money wisely.

 

Let us be masters of our money and not its slaves.

 


 

Have a good day!

 

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Thursday, November 08, 2018

 

DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA IN ROME

November 9, 2018 – FRIDAY, 31ST Week in Ordinary Time

DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA IN ROME

Feast. White.

 

Ez 47:1-2, 8-9,12 / 1 Cor 3:9c-11,16-17 / Jn 2:13- 22

 

Built during the reign of Emperor Constantine and consecrated by Pope St. Sylvester I in 324, the Lateran Basilica is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the "mother and head of all churches of Rome and of the world" and the venue of five general councils. It is dedicated to Christ the Savior and also to Sts. John the Baptist and John, Apostle and Evangelist.

 

GOSPEL READING:           Jn 2: 13- 22

As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple court he found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money­ changers at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove them out of the Temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering their coins, and ordered the people selling doves, "Take all this away and stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace!"

 

His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: Zeal for your house devours me as a fire.

 

The Jews questioned Jesus, "Where are the miraculous which give you a right to do this?" And Jesus said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.." The Jews then replied, "The building of this Temple has already taken forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?"

 

Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.

 

REFLECTION

In the leansing and purification of the Temple, Jesus drew attention to himself as the new Temple. The presence of God was no longer signified in a man-made Temple but now realized in his Person. Then the Father's goodness, righteousness and justice would be most visible, like in the magnificent Temple of Jerusalem.

 

The lesson we draw from the Gospel reading is how we too are called to purification and perfection, starting from our individual selves to our collective selves as a people. We begin our cleansing with the symbols that shape our individual identities: the personal values we hold, the truth we profess, our personal views of the world. We ask ourselves whether our living out of these symbols and values reflects the laws of God, expresses righteousness, radiates goodness and renders truth and justice. We also ask ourselves if we are able to make the necessary sacrifices of humility by allowing ourselves to be corrected to give way to what is right and good and to bring our personal interests in harmony with the greater common good.

 

On the societal level we ask ourselves if we are actively vigilant in protecting our collective symbols and values as a people from being perverted by selfish and ill-willed individuals or groups in our society. We make a collective examination of conscience if we have not instead contributed to the decay and fading away of the symbols of our collective identity by allowing ourselves to be used because we stand to benefit from the lies, deceptions and manipulations of many. What are these collective symbols we should protect and preserve as a people? These are the laws of our country, our social and political structures, our culture and common ethics, our social and religious celebrations.

 

Why this purification and cleansing? Because we are temples of the Holy Spirit in the world. We are in the presence of God in the world. We are indeed God's presence in the world. In us God carries out his continuing mission of liberating and saving the world.

 

Our task is to live out this dignity and uphold this honor given to us and our fellow humans. We therefore strive to embrace values and virtues that define us as sons and daughters of God. We are called to be just and to follow God's laws. We are called to be loving and generous. We are called to mirror the face of God in our world.

 


 

Have a good day!

 

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

 

THURSDAY, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

November 8, 2018 – THURSDAY, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

Green.

Phil 3: 3- Sa / Lk 15: 1 – 10

 

FROM THE 1ST READING:             Phil 3: Sb- Sa

I was born of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin; I am a Hebrew, born of Hebrews. With regard to the Law, I am a Pharisee, and such was my zeal for the Law that I persecuted the Church. As for being righteous according to the Law, I was blameless.

 

But once I found Christ, all these things that I might have considered as profit,

I reckoned as loss. Still more, everything seems to be as nothing compared with the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord.

 

GOSPEL READING:           Lk 15: 1 - 10

Meanwhile tax collectors and sinners were seeking the company of Jesus, all of them eager to hear what he had to say. But the Pharisees and the scribes frowned at this, muttering, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So Jesus told them this parable:

 

"Who among you, having a hundred sheep, and losing one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and seek out the lost one till he finds it? And finding it, will he not joyfully carry it home on his shoulders? Then he will call his friends and neighbors together and say: 'Celebrate with me for I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you, just so, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine upright who do not need to repent.

 

"What woman, if she has ten silver pieces and loses one, will not light a lamp and sweep the house in a thorough search till she finds the lost coin? And finding it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say: 'Celebrate with me forI have found the silver coin I lost!' I tell you, in the same way there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner."

 

REFLECTION

In the first reading Paul details his personal history from a devout Jew and Pharisee to a dedicated Apostle of Christ: "Once I found Christ, all these things that I might have considered as profit, I reckoned as loss. Still more, everything seems to be as nothing compared with the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord."

 

In the Gospel reading Jesus uses two parables to show how God seeks out a sinner and rejoices at his repentance: Jesus makes use of parables of the lost sheep and of a lost silver coin.

 

If for one unfortunate reason or another, we abandon the Lord by sinning, we know that the Lord, in his infinite love and mercy, will seek us out to return to him. He untiringly and gently speaks to us, even if many times we reject him.

 

God has given us the precious Sacrament of Reconciliation where we find his mercy and forgiveness through the ministry of the Church. The forgiving Father lovingly awaits the return of his prodigal children.

 


 

Have a good day!

 

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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

 

WEDNESDAY, 31ST Week in Ordinary Time

November 7, 2018 – WEDNESDAY, 31ST Week in Ordinary Time

Green.

 

Phil 2: 12- 18 / Lk 14: 25- 33

 

FROM THE 1ST READING:             Phil 2: 12- 16

Therefore, my dearest friends, as you always obeyed me while I was with you, even more now that I am far from you, continue working out your salvation "with fear and trembling." It is God who makes you not only wish but also carry out what pleases him. Do everything without grumbling, so that without fault or blame, you will be children of God without reproach among a crooked and perverse generation. You are a light among them, like stars in the universe, holding to the Word of life. I shall feel proud of you on the day of Christ on seeing that my effort and labor have not been in vain.

 

FROM THE GOSPEL READING:     Lk 14: 25- 30

One day when large crowds were walking along with Jesus, he turned around and said to them, "If you come to me, without being ready to give up your love for your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, and indeed yourself, you cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not follow me carrying his own cross cannot be my disciple.

 

"Do you build a house without first sitting down to count the cost to see whether you have enough to complete it? Otherwise, if you have laid the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone will make fun of you: 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish."'

 

REFLECTION

In the first reading Paul assures us that, though we work out our salvation "with fear and trembling," we do so knowing that "it is God who makes us [you] not only wish but also carry out what pleases him." Discernment of spirits becomes my lifestyle, aware that I live in God's loving presence

 

In the Gospel reading Jesus tells us that the following of Christ demands that we learn to bear our own crosses as Jesus did and that we be ready to give up whatever or whoever hinders our following of Christ. The follower of Jesus should be ready even to give up family and family ties as may be required in his service and following of Jesus.

 

If I choose to follow Jesus, that choice must be expressed and lived in total commitment. Henceforth, I live as a son or daughter of God, guided by the Holy Spirit. The following of Jesus will mean different things in people's lives. As we wish for so many things, Jesus asks, "Am I not enough for you?"

 

The following of Jesus presupposes that we love him. How do I answer the Lord when he asks me, "Do you love me more than these?" (Jn 21: 15) What in my life hinders my generous following of Christ?

 


 


 

Have a good day!

 

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