Friday, September 20, 2019

 

25th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

September 22, 2019 - 25th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Green.

Am 8: 4 – 7 / 1 Tim 2: 1 – 8 / Lk 16: 1 – 13

FROM THE 1ST READING: Am 8: 4, 5b – 7
Hear this, you who trample on the needy to do away with the weak of the land Let us lower the measure and raise the price; let us cheat and
tamper with the scales, and even sell the refuse with the whole wheat. We will buy up the poor for money and the needy for a pair of sandals..

Yahweh, the pride of Jacob, has sworn by himself, "I shall never forget their deeds."

From the 2nd Reading: 1 Tim 2: 1 – 4
First of all I urge that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for rulers of states and all in authority, that we may enjoy a quiet and peaceful life in godliness and respect. This is good and pleases God. For he wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Lk 16: 1 – 10, 13
At another time Jesus told his disciples, "There was a rich man whose steward was reported to him for fraudulent service. He summoned the steward and asked him: 'What is this I hear about you? I want you to render an account of your service for it is about to be terminated..'

The steward thought to himself: 'What am I to do now? My master will surely dismiss me. I am not strong enough to do hard work, and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do: I must make sure that when I am dismissed, there will be some people to welcome me into their house.'

"So he called his master's debtors one by one. He asked the first who came: 'How much do you owe my master?' The reply was: 'A  hundred jars  of oil.' The steward said: 'Here is your bill. Sit down quickly and write there fifty.' To the second he put the same question: 'How much do you owe?' The answer was: 'A thousand bushels of wheat." Then he said: 'Take your bill and write eight hundred.'

"The master commended the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the people of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the people of light. And so I tell you: use filthy money to make friends
for yourselves, so that when it fails, these men 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.
. .
"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 both to God and to Money."

REFLECTION
In the first reading we hear about Yahweh's punishment for those who cheat the poor. In the second reading Paul urges us to pray for everyone.

The Gospel reading today can teach us three key lessons about life.
.
First, "the master commended the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the people of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the people of light." The dishonest steward prepared for his future security, knowing he would be fired by the master for his dishonesty. He made friends with debtors of his master whose debts he greatly reduced so that they "owed" him and he could later call on them for help and support,    as may be needed.

Secondly, "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." This is the lesson of the parables of the talents (Mt 25: 14 – 30; Lk 19: 12 -27; Mk 4: 25). We must use our gifts well and be truly productive.

Thirdly, "no servant can serve two masters. . .You cannot give yourself both to God and Money." The service of God demands our all: "If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments."  (Mt 19: 17b)

FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.


Have a good day!

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

 

TUESDAY, 24TH Week in Ordinary Time

September 17, 2019 – TUESDAY, 24TH Week in Ordinary Time
St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Memorial. White.

1 Tm 3: 1 – 13 / Lk 7: 11 – 17

Italian St. Robert Bellarmine (1542 – 1621), a Jesuit cardinal, was a great scholar and theologian.

FROM THE 1ST READING: 1 Tm 3: 1 – 2, 8
If someone aspires to the overseer's ministry, he is without doubt looking for a noble task. It is necessary that the overseer (or bishop) be beyond reproach, the husband of one wife, responsible, judicious, of good manners, hospitable and skillful in teaching. . . Deacons, likewise, must be serious and sincere and moderate in drinking wine, not greedy for money.

GOSPEL READING: Lk 7: 11 – 17
A little later Jesus went to a town called Naim and many of his disciples went with him – a great number of people. As he reached the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother and she was a widow; there followed a large crowd of townspeople,

On seeing her, the Lord had pity on her and said, "Don't cry." Then he came up and touched the stretcher and the men who carried it stopped. Jesus then said, "Young man, awake, I tell you." And the dead man got up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

A holy fear came over them all and they praised God, saying, "A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people." This news spread out in the Jewish country and the surrounding places.

REFLECTION
In the first reading Paul writes of the necessity that overseers (bishops) and deacons have required qualifications to be effective ministers in the Church. Elsewhere Paul also tells us that there are many different ministries and works in the Church and the different tasks would require qualifications proper to those tasks.

In the Gospel reading the Lord "had pity" on the mother, a widow, of a young man being carried out to be buried and restored him to life and his mother. Jewish law had special concern for widows and orphans: the man was the bread-winner; when he died, his widow and family lost their support and source of livelihood. In the Acts of the Apostles, we are told that among the reasons for the appointment of deacons was "because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution."

The Beatitudes bless those who mourn, "Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall be comforted." (Mt 5: 4)

We pray that the Church may always have suitable and responsible leaders and members, with special care and concern for the poor and the needy.

FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.


Have a good day!

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MONDAY, 24TH Week in Ordinary Time

September 16, 2019 – MONDAY, 24TH Week in Ordinary Time
Sts. Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
Memorial. Red.

1 Tm 2: 1 – 8 / Lk 7: 1 – 10

Sts. Cornelius, Pope (d. 253) and Cyprian, Bishop (190 – 258), were both martyred for their faith. St. Cornelius defended the faith against the Novatian heretics and died in exile. St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, a staunch defender of the faith and ecclesiastical discipline, was martyred during the persecution of Emperor Valerian.

FROM THE 1ST READING: 1 Tm 2: 5 – 6a, 7b – 8
As there is one God, there is one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave his life for the redemption of all. .
. He made me teacher of the nations regarding faith and truth. I want the men in every place to lift pure hands in prayer to heaven without anger and dissension.

GOSPEL READING: Lk 7: 2 – 10
There was a captain whose servant was very sick and near death, a man very dear to him. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent some elders of the Jews to persuade him to come and save his servant's life. The elders came to Jesus and begged him earnestly, saying, "He deserves this of you, for he loves our people and even built a synagogue for us."

Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the captain sent friends to give him this message, "Sir, do not trouble yourself for I am not worthy to welcome you under my roof. You see I didn't approach you myself. Just give the order and my servant will be healed. For I myself, a junior officer, give orders to my soldiers and I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

On hearing these words, Jesus was filled with admiration. He turned and said to the people with him, "I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.." The people sent by the captain went back to his house; there they found that the servant was well.

REFLECTION
In the first reading Paul reminds all of the key Gospel message of Christ giving his life for the redemption of all. He enjoins all to pray to God for all their needs.

In the Gospel reading Jesus marvels at the great faith of the Roman officer and cures his servant: "Sir, do not trouble yourself for I am not worthy to welcome you under my roof." "I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith."

The Church acknowledges the presence of God not only in the Catholic Church but in all religions and cultures, among men and women of good   will. Vatican II's Apostolic Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, speaks of God among all peoples, cultures and religions in the world. God is God and Father of all.

We recall the Roman officer's faith at every Mass before we receive Holy Communion, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

We pray, "Lord, strengthen my faith."

FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most..


Have a good day!

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

 

24th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

SEPTEMBER 15, 2019 - 24th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Green.

Ex 32: 7 – 11, 13 – 14 / 1 Tm 1: 12 – 17 / Lk 15: 1 – 32

[Bicolandia: Ina, Our Lady of Peñafrancia]

FROM THE 1ST READING: Ex 32: 7, 9 – 11, 14
Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.." . . .

And Yahweh said to Moses, "I see that these people are a stiff-necked people. Now just leave me that my anger may blaze against them. I will destroy them, but of you I will make a great nation."

But Moses calmed the anger of Yahweh, his God, and said, "Why, O Yahweh, should your anger burst against your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with a mighty hand.". . .

Yahweh then changed his mind and would not harm his people.

FROM THE 2ND READING: 1 Tm 1: 15 – 16
This saying is true and worthy of belief: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. Because of that I was forgiven; Christ Jesus wanted to display his greatness in me so that I might be an example for all who are to believe and obtain eternal life.

FROM THE 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 coins 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 for I 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."

[In Lk 15: 11 – 32 Jesus tells the Parable of the Prodigal Son.]

REFLECTION
The readings at Mass today remind us of God's mercy and enduring desire to seek and save the abandoned and the lost.

In the first reading God has lost his patience and is angry at the Israelites for abandoning their covenant with him and for adoring and serving false gods. God is so angry he threatens to destroy them.

Moses appeals to him and sort of calms God down. Yahweh then changed his mind and would not harm his people. God remains so patient and forgiving with Israel.

In the second reading Paul writes how the merciful God transformed Paul the great tormentor of the Christians into the Apostle to the Gentiles.

In the Gospel reading Jesus acts just like the merciful Father and eats and speaks with sinners.. His parables stress how God in his endless mercy seeks to find and save the lost, like the shepherd seeking the lost sheep or the woman the lost coin: "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." (Lk 15: 7)

The Parable of the Prodigal Son highlights God's unending mercy for all.

God continues to love us despite our wounds and sinfulness. He never gives up on us. Like the forgiving father of the prodigal son, his arms are always open to welcome us back. As Pope Francis reminds us, "God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy."

May our loving and merciful God grant us the grace to humbly seek his mercy and the courage to also forgive and embrace those who have wronged us.

FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.


Have a good day!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

 

THURSDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

September 12, 2019 – THURSDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
Holy Name of Mary
Green.

Col 3: 12 – 17 / Lk 6: 27 – 38

The celebration of the Holy Name of Mary began in Spain in 1513. It was extended to the entire Church by Pope Innocent XI. It is a counterpart of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus celebrated in early January.

FROM THE 1ST READING: Col 3: 12 – 13
Clothe yourselves, then, as is fitting for God's chosen people, holy and beloved of him. Put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience to bear with one another and forgive whenever there is any occasion to do so. As the Lord has forgiven you, forgive one another.

FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Lk 6: 27 – 30, 35 – 36
Jesus said, "But I say to you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who treat you badly. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, turn the other cheek; from the one who takes your coat, do not keep back your shirt. Give to the one who asks and if anyone has taken something from you, do not demand it back. . . .

"But love your enemies and do good to them, and lend when there is nothing to expect in return. Then will your reward be great and you will be sons and daughters of the Most High. For he is kind towards the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

REFLECTION
One of the greatest challenges we face is to forgive our enemies, those who have harmed us. It goes against our instincts which tell us to protect and defend ourselves.

In the first reading Paul teaches the necessity of forgiving others: "As the Lord has forgiven you, forgive one another."

Jesus' work and mission on earth was essentially to make amends for our sinfulness. At his cross he prayed, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do." (Lk 23: 34)

His seeming defeat at the hands of his enemies was the key to his ultimate victory. His resurrection and new life have transformed the history of mankind and given new spirit and life to his apostles, all of whom save John had abandoned him at his passion and death. His example has laid the foundation for our Church today.

Do we have enemies? Are there people we cannot accept because they have harmed us? With our strength alone, it is difficult, even impossible to forgive our enemies. But with the Spirit and God's grace we can live what Christianity teaches, what Christ lived.

We should never forget what we pray at the Lord's prayer, "Father, forgive us our debts just as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us." (Mt 6: 12}

FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.


Have a good day!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

 

WEDNESDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

September 11, 2019 – WEDNESDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
Green.

Col 3: 1 – 11 / Lk 6: 20 – 26

FROM THE 1ST READING: Col 3: 1 – 4
So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that  are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals himself, you also will be revealed with him in Glory.

GOSPEL READING: Lk 6: 20 – 26
Then lifting up his eyes to his disciples, Jesus said, "Fortunate are you who are poor, the kingdom of God is yours. Fortunate are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Fortunate are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

"Fortunate are you when people hate you, when they reject you and insult you and number you among criminals, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice  in that day and leap for joy, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. Remember that is how the ancestors of this people treated the prophets.

"But alas for you who have wealth, for you have been comforted now. Alas for you who are full, for you will go hungry. Alas for you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.

"Alas for you when people speak well of you, for that is how the ancestors of these people treated the false prophets."

REFLECTION
In the first reading Paul reminds the early Christian communities that, following Christ's death and resurrection, we should die with regards to earthly things but live for heavenly things: "Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things.

"For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals himself, you also will be revealed with him in Glory."

In the Gospel reading, a version of the Beatitudes as given in the Gospel of Luke, we are told which attitudes are really for heavenly things: "the poor, those who hunger, those who weep, those who are persecuted." Their opposites may be happy and blessed in this world but not in the next.

Every so often life throws us a curve-ball: a lingering illness or sudden death in the family, the loss of a job or being accused of wrong-doing. Whenever we feel discouraged in life, it may be comforting to listen to the Beatitudes. It may not change our life-situation but it may ease our pain and give us hope for one more step forward.

The Lord assures us that he is always there for us, that we should hope for a better tomorrow. The Lord assures us that those who suffer and are persecuted are indeed blessed and close to his loving heart. He understands pain and suffering because he had experienced even worse. He promises to walk with us, as he did all the way to Calvary and his resurrection.

FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.


Have a good day!

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Monday, September 09, 2019

 

TUESDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

September 10, 2019 - TUESDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
Green.

Col 2: 6 – 15 / Lk 6: 12 – 19

FROM THE 1ST READING: Col 2: 6 – 10
If you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, let him be your doctrine. Be rooted and built up in him; let faith be your principle, as you were taught, and your thanksgiving overflowing.

See that no one deceives you with philosophy or any hallow discourse; these are merely human doctrines not inspired by Christ but by the wisdom of this world. For in him dwells the fullness of God in bodily form. He is the head of all cosmic power and authority, and in him you have everything.

GOSPEL READING: Lk 6: 12 – 19
At this time Jesus went out into the hills to pray, spending the whole night in prayer with God. When day came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them whom he called apostles: Simon whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James son of Alpheus and Simon called the Zealot; Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who would be the traitor.

Coming down the hill with them, Jesus stood on a level place. Many of his disciples were there and a large crowd of people who came from all parts of Judea and Jerusalem and from the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon. They gathered to hear him and be healed of their diseases; likewise people troubled by evil spirits were healed. All the crowd tried to touch him because of the power which went out from him and healed all of them.

REFLECTION

In the first reading Paul reminds us to remain faithful to the Gospel message, to the teachings of Jesus which Paul and the apostles preached to the world.

In the Gospel reading, after a night of prayer, Jesus names the twelve apostles, ordinary men he has called and chosen to be his close companions and co-workers and who would, after his life on earth, lead his Church. They were ordinary people: a few fishermen and their friends, a tax collector, devout Israelites. Two would betray him, one before simple maid-servants, the other would betray him to his death before Jewish religious leaders for thirty pieces of silver. Except for one, all would abandon him at his trial and death.

Yet somehow they remained his faithful followers. And with the power of the Holy Spirit set the world on fire. All, except for one, died martyr's deaths in witness to their love for Christ.

May we be faithful and loving followers of Christ. May the Church always have faithful and trustworthy successors of the Apostles as leaders of the Church.

FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.


Have a good day!

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Sunday, September 08, 2019

 

MONDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

September 9, 2019 – MONDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
St. Peter Claver, Priest and Missionary
Memorial. White.

Col 1: 24 – 2: 3 / Lk 6: 6 – 11

Born near Barcelona, St. Peter Claver (1560  –  1654)  was  a  Jesuit missionary priest who spent life in service to African slaves in Cartagena.   He was encouraged to go to the foreign missions by Jesuit lay brother St. Alphonsus Rodriguez (1533 – 1617)

FROM THE 1ST READING: Col 1: 24 – 25, 28 – 29
I rejoice when I suffer for you; I complete in my own flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, which is the Church. For I am serving the Church since God entrusted to me the ministry of bringing into effect his design for you. . . .

This Christ we preach. We warn and teach everyone true wisdom, aiming to make everyone perfect in Christ. For this cause I labor and struggle with the energy of Christ working powerfully in me.

GOSPEL READING: Lk 6: 6 – 11
On another Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and began teaching. There was a man with a paralyzed right hand and the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees watched him: Would Jesus heal the man on the Sabbath? If he did, they could accuse him.

But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to the man, "Get up and stand in the middle." Then he spoke to them, "I want to ask you: what is allowed by the Law on the Sabbath, to do good or to harm, to save life or destroy it?" And Jesus looked around at them all.

Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored, becoming as whole as the other. But they were furious and began to discuss with one another how they could deal with Jesus.

REFLECTION
In the first reading St. Paul explains his task and mission to preach Christ and his Good News. He also explains how he shares in Christ's suffering for the sake of the Church: "I rejoice when I suffer for you; I complete in my own flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, which is the Church."

In the Gospel reading we see Christ heal a man with a paralyzed right arm on the Sabbath to the indignation of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. Jesus enrages them more when he exposes their hypocrisy, "I want to ask you: what is allowed by the Law on the Sabbath, to do good or to harm, to save life or destroy it?"

Jesus' healing of the man with a paralyzed right arm and the lesson he impresses among the Pharisees on the Sabbath are in fulfillment of his mission as given by the Prophet Isaiah, "to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind, to free the oppressed and announce the Lord's year of mercy.." (Lk 4: 18 -19)

All of us are called to this same task: are we willing and ready, like St. Paul to do our share? To live our lives according to the Good News is possible only with God's grace.

FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.


Have a good day!

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