Saturday, 30 May 2015

I Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34.39-40: The mighty work of God for the good of His people. The uniqueness of Israel’s God is the Lord is God indeed…there is no other.” Moses challenges God’s people to reflect on the great mystery of all.
II Reading: Romans 8:14-17: The doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the passage is to discover how the Spirit  bonds us to God in a relationship so close that we are in fact God’s children. As children of God, St Paul teaches, we are people intimately involved in the life of the Trinity.
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Jesus made known to us his Father’s love who is the creator of the universe and the Holy Spirit, the sanctifier and the Son, the redeemer who revealed himself fully by his saving acts or deeds, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.
What is really the Holy Trinity?
What the Holy Trinity has done to save humankind and continues to do to save each one of us.
It was Jesus who made the Three Divine Persons known to human.
          a) Jesus made the Father known to us.
          b) Jesus made himself and his love known to all people.
          c) Jesus made the Holy Spirit known to us.
Our response to the love of the Three Divine Persons for us.
Moses invites the people of Israel faithfulness to Yahweh.
The Messiah’s Final Commission to His Disciples, Mt 28:16-20
Matthew began his gospel by proclaiming that the baby Jesus was the Son of David, the promised King of Israel (Mt 1:1-2). He now closes his gospel by proclaiming that the Lord Jesus possesses all power and authority in heaven and earth. The Lord Jesus had risen from the dead, and in the power of His resurrection His followers are to go forth proclaiming His glorious Kingdom.
In this great message, Matthew covers the great commission of the resurrected Lord, the King to whom all power and authority belong.
1. The disciples met Jesus in Galilee (v.16-17)
          a. They met on a pre-appointed mountain
          b. They worshipped Him
          c. Some doubted
2. He assured His followers of His power (v.18)
          a. Is a given power
          b. Is in heaven and earth
3. He commissioned His followers (v.19-20)
          a. To make disciples of all nations
          b. To baptize
          c. To teach all that He had commanded
4. He promised to be with His followers (v.20)
Thought: Society deteriorates and crumbles when it neglects the teaching and commandments of Jesus Christ.
Thought: The Lord ascended to the right hand of God, that is, to the position of sovereignty and power (Mk 16:19; Lk 22:69; Acts 1:9-11;2:36;5:31;Eph 1:20; Ph 2:9-11;Rev 5:12). The ascension assures (proves, confirms) that seven things are absolutely certain.
1. The ascension assures that God is, that He is alive and does exist. The fact that Christ was raised up from the dead and taken up into heaven proves that God is. Only God could do such things.
2. The ascension assures that Christ is God’s Son.
3. The ascension assures that heaven is real (Ph 3:20-31).
4. The ascension assures that the gospel is true.
5. The ascension assures that the Great commission is the call and mission of believers.
6. The ascension assures that power is available to carry out the Great Commission (Mt 28:18; Mk 16:20).
7. The ascension assures that we have a very special Helper in heaven, One who really loves and cares for us.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Saturday:8th Week of the year-B-Cycle I

I Reading: Ecclesiasticus 51:12-20: Glory be to him who has given me wisdom.
Gospel: Mark 11: 27-33: What authority have you for acting like this?
The Authority of Jesus Questioned: Two Choices Concerning Jesus,
Mk 11:27-33
This is an important event. Both religionists and civil leaders confronted Jesus head-on, doing all they could to trap and discredit Jesus before the people so they could arrest him and have him killed. Jesus was very forceful in attacking self-righteousness and unbelief. Jesus said, a person even a religionist, who continued in self-righteousness was unworthy of God’s kingdom. Obstinate unbelief would doom any person.
1. Jesus was in the temple (v.27)
a. He was walking
b. The religionists approached and questioned him
2. The question of Jesus’ authority (v.28)
a. Authority of works
b. Authority of person
3. The Choices for man: Illustrated by John the Baptist (v.29-32)
a. Choice one: He was from God
b. Choice two: He was a mere man
4. The tragic answer: No decision (v.33)
Thought: Indecision and agnosticism are always tragic. They just would not convinced of the truth even if Jesus Christ openly revealed the truth to them, they would reject.

Friday:8th Week of the year-B-Cycle I

I Reading: Ecclesiasticus 44:1.9-13: Our ancestors were generous men, and their name lives on for all generations.
Gospel: Mark 11: 11-26: My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples. Have faith in God.
The Fig Tree Cursed: A Warning Against a Fruitless Life, Mk 11:12-14
Why did Jesus destroy the fig tree? Two things always need to be remembered.
1. God is both good and severe. As Paul says, “consider therefore the kindness and the sternness of God” (Rom 11:22).
2. Jesus always acted either to teach people or to save and help people. In the destruction of the fig tree, Jesus was teaching people a much needed lesson-a lesson that shouts loudly, “Be fruitful! Guard against profession without bearing fruit.”
1. Jesus had need (v.12)
2. Jesus was potential (v.13)
3. Jesus examined the fruit (13)
4. Jesus condemned profession without fruit (faith in God) (v.14)
The Temple Cleansed: A Warning to Those Who Abuse God’s Temple,
Mk 11:15-19
The cleansing of the temple took place on Monday, the day after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He entered the temple and “looked around at everything” (v.11), observing all that was going on. He stood off to the side observing all the corruption. After some time, heartbroken and weary, he left, returning to Bethany to spend Sunday night. When he rose on Monday morning, he returned to the temple and cleansed it of those who profaned its sacredness.
Four things should be noted about the temple during this last week of our Lord’s life.
1. Jesus was ending his ministry in the temple, his Father’s house of prayer, the place where God’s presence dwells in a special way.
2. Jesus was revealing who he was by cleansing the temple.
3. In cleansing the temple, Jesus was revealing how people were to retreat and use the temple of God.
4. Jesus began and ended his ministry by cleansing the temple.
When our Lord entered Jerusalem, he did not go up to the palace of a king, nor to the courts of the rulers; but he went up to the temple, to the House of God and taught us how the temple is to be used.
1. Jesus entered the temple (v.15)
2. Jesus drove some out of the temple (v.15-17)
a. Those who commercialized or secularized religion
b. Those who desecrated God’s house
c. Those who affected the atmosphere of prayer
d. Those who shut people out
e. Those who changed the purpose of the temple
3. Jesus caused a reaction when the truth of the temple was proclaimed (v.3)
a. Some sought to persecute him
b. Some were amazed
4. Jesus left when the truth was rejected (v.19)
The Conditions of Prayer, Mk 11:20-26
Prayer has its conditions. Jesus used the fig tree to teach what the conditions of prayer are.
1. The fig tree was noticed, cp. V.12-14 (v.20-21)
a. The tree had been cursed by Jesus
b. Peter was surprised at the answer to Jesus’ prayer
2. Condition 1: Faith in God (v.22-23)
a. The object of faith: God
b. The purpose of faith: To remove mountains
c. The way to possess faith: Prayer
          1) Not doubting- in your heart
          2) Believing-in God’s authority
d. The results of faith
3. Condition 2: Expectancy (v.24)
a. Emotions: Desire
b. Will: Ask
c. Spirit: Believe
4. Condition 3: Forgiveness: While praying, forgive (v.25)
Thought: How many today would be gotten rid of if they really sought to cleanse the church of the abusers and secular activities often allowed and promoted within its walls? (1Tim 6:10; James 5:3; Prov 16:8; Jer 17:11)

Thursday:8th Week of the year-B-Cycle I

I Reading: Ecclesiasticus 42:15-25: The work of the Lord is full of his glory.
Gospel: Mark 10:46-52: Master, let me see again.
The Steps for Getting Help: Blind Bartimaeus, Mk 10:46-52
This is the picture of a man’s needing help and needing it desperately. As we read the story, there is no question but that the man’s blindness is  a picture of the blindness, darkness and needs of a world that reels in desperation for help. They need may be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Whatever it is, this passage spells out the  steps for getting help.
1. Jesus in Jericho (v.46)
a. The disciples and the crowd
b. A blind man sat beginning
2. Step 1: Believing the reports about Jesus
3. Step 2: Acknowledging personal need
4. Step 3: Persisting, persevering after Jesus
5. Step 4: Eagerly expecting to receive Jesus’ help (v.49-50)
a. Jesus stopped and called to the man
b. The man threw aside the impeding cloak
6. Step 5: Requesting precisely what is needed (v.51-52)
7. Step 6: Following Jesus (v.52)
Thought: A person must go where he/she knows Jesus is, where Jesus “passes by.”  A person must go where he/she  hear Jesus, or he/she may miss the chance of eternal life.

Wednesday:8th Week of the year-B-Cycle I

I Reading: Ecclesiasticus 36:1.4-5.10-17: Let the nations know that there is no God but you, Lord.
Gospel: Mark 10:32-45: Now we are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man is about to be handed over.
The Third Prediction of Death: The Problem of Christ’s Death,
Mk 10:32-45
This is the third time that Mark stresses the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This passage gives a striking portrait of Jesus and deals very straightforwardly with the problem of His death.
1. Jesus’ iron determination (v.32)
2. Jesus’ amazing drawing power (v.32)
3. Jesus’ thoughtful consideration (v.32)
4. Jesus’ magnificent love and courage (v.33)
a. He will be betrayed to the Jews and condemned
b. He shall be handed down to the Gentiles and tortured and killed
5. Jesus’ great purpose (v.34)
The Problem of Ambition, Mk 10:35-45
Jesus teaches his disciple James and John about their positions in Jesus’ government. His government was not based on worldly power or position or authority but by His death and resurrection with humility.
1. The deceitfulness of wrong ambition (v.35)
a. A secret approach v.41
b. An unlimited request
2. The possible motives for ambition (v.36-37)
a. Favoritism and wealth
b. Power and social status
c. Love, faith and loyalty
3. The great price of ambition (v.38-38)
a. The cup: sacrifice and suffering
b. The baptism: immersed and submerged
c. The prophecy: the certainty of paying the price
4. The exclusive right of God regarding ambition (v.40)
5. The potential conflict among people with ambition (v.41)
6. The greatness of good ambition (v.42-44)
a. Not to rule, not to exercise authority
b. To be servant
c. To be a slave, a bond slave
7. The supreme example of ambition (v.45)
a. Supreme humiliation
b. Supreme mission
c. Supreme price
Thought: Wrong or evil ambition is always deceitful and sneaky. A good ambition is needed always and we can encourage people to build up the kingdom  or reign of God in our lives, homes, societies and in the world.

Tuesday:8th Week of the year-B-Cycle I

I Reading: Ecclesiasticus 35:1-12: A man offers communion sacrifices by following the commandments.
Gospel: Mark 10:28-31: You will be repaid a hundred times over, not without persecutions, now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.
The Problem of Rewards: What One Receives for Following Christ,
Mk 10:28-31
The idea of rewards in heaven is foreign to many. It is rejected by others, feeling the idea of God’s rewarding people is mercenary. Scripture abounds with the teaching of rewards “in the age to come” (v.30).
Reward is the point of this passage. Jesus deals with the problem of rewards, of just what a true disciple shall receive both in this world and in the world to come (Lk 16:10-12; Jn 4:36-38).
1. Peter asked about reward (v.28)
2. He receives a hundred times what he gives up (v.29-30)
a. Whether housing or family
b. Whether property or wealth
3. He receives persecution (v.30)
4. He receives eternal life (v.30)
5. He receives an immediate assurance and warning (v.31)
Thought: Leaving everything and following Jesus Christ are the two bases for reward. A true disciple of Jesus will live for Christ and for the Gospel.

Monday:8th Week of the year-B-Cycle I

I Reading: Ecclesiasticus 17:24-29: Return to the Lord and leave sin behind.
Gospel: Mark 10:17-27: Sell everything you own and follow me.
The Rich Young Ruler: The Problem of Eternal Life, Mk 10:17-22
This man is known as “the rich young ruler.” He is called because of the combined picture gleaned from all three gospels.
·        He was rich (Mt 19:22; Mk 10:22; Lk 18:23).
·        He was young (Mt 19:20).
·        He was a ruler (Lk 18:18).
He was a rare young man among the people of this day. This is seen in two facts.
1. He was conscious, responsible, dependable-position of leadership.
2. He was eagerly seeking eternal life-a spiritual matter often shunned by young people.
Man/woman has a problem in seeking eternal life.
1. A rich young man sought Jesus (v.17)
a. Eagerness: Ran
b. Humility: Fell on knees
c. Respect: Good Teacher
d. Concern: Eternity
2. Fact 1: To praise Christ is not enough to receive eternal life (v.18)
3. Fact 2: To be respectable is not enough to receive eternal life (v. 19-20)
a. Laws of respectability
b. His respectable character
4. Fact 3: To be loved by Jesus is not enough to receive eternal life (v.21)
5. Fact 4: To give everything is required  to receive eternal life (v.21-22)
a. The meaning: Total and sacrificial giving; the abandonment of all
b. The result: The result: the requirement is sad new-he goes away
The Problem of Wealth and Its Dangers, Mk 10:23-27
Jesus took the rich young ruler’s rejection of heaven and warned all people about the problem and dangers of wealth. It is extremely difficult for a rich man to enter heaven. It is a real and truthful warning to all of us.
1. The rich young ruler (v.23)
a. The earth-shaking statement
b. Peril of wealth: Bars from God’s kingdom
2. Rich men face great difficulty-spiritually (v.25)
3. Rich men are set on a pedestal by the world (v.26)
4. Rich men have only one hope-God alone (v.27)
a. God alone can save
b. God alone judges
Thought: Money and possessions can facilitate our lives and cannot save us but God alone.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

I Reading: Acts 2:1-11: They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak.
II Reading: Romans 8:8-17: Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God.
Gospel: John 14:15-16.23-26: The Holy Spirit will teach you everything.
We celebrate today the birth-day of the Church which the second most solemn day in the year of worship the feast of Pentecost. Easter and Pentecost are the two oldest feasts celebrated in the church. Let us examine the meaning of today’s feast the word “Pentecost” is a Greek word which means “the 50th”, in our case, “the 50th day”:
For the Jews it meant the 50th day after the feast of the Passover.
For the Christians, it means the feast that comes on the 50th day after Easter.
So, this was originally a Jewish feast one of the three main festivals wich the Jews celebrated under instruction from God himself (Ex.23:14-17).
i. The feast of the Passover which occurred in March-April.
ii. The feast of Pentecost, sometime in May-June.
iii. The feast the Tents, which they kept in September-October.
These three were called “pilgrim-festivals”, because adult males living within a reasonable distance from Jerusalem, were bound to attend the worship in the Temple during those days. Out of these three, the Pentecost attracted a large number of pilgrims, as it becomes clear from today’s first reading.
1. God’s wisdom is saving man is made clear from the way he linked his saving deeds to the various festivals he himself had established in the Old Testament.
2. The meaning of a wonder worked by God on Pentecost day.
3. The work of the Holy Spirit in the Church: The birthday of the church.
          a) The Holy spirit gives life to the church.
          b) The Holy Spirit gives the church true wisdom.
          c) The Holy Spirit gives courage to the church.
          d) The Holy spirit gives the church joy.
          e) The Holy Spirit keeps the church united.
4.The Holy Spirit works within each local Christian community:
a) The Holy Spirit brought each one of us, individually, to faith in Christ.
b) The Holy Spirit moves us to pray.
c) The Holy Spirit helps us to understand God’s Word.
d) The Holy Spirit is particularly at work at the celebration of the Eucharist.
e) The Holy Spirit unites us Christians into a single body.

The Holy Spirit: Who He is, 14:15-26
There are three great Scriptures that deal with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit at length.
1. The Identity of the Holy Spirit or who He is (Jn 14:15-26)
2. The work of the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:7-15)
3. The Power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:1-17)
The greatest help the believers are to receive is the very presence of God Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. It is this that Jesus now reveals. He reveals the Holy Spirit, His identity, who He is (Jn 16:7-15 where Jesus reveals the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit in Rom 8:1-17).
1. Fact: If a person loves Jesus, he will keep His commandments (v.15)
2. He is the Counselor, the Comforter, the other Helper (v.16)
3. He is the Spirit of truth (v.17)
a. The world cannot accept Him
b. The believer does receive Him and know Him
4. He is the personal presence of Christ (v.18-20)
a. A spiritual presence not a physical one
b. A living and eternal presence
c. A living union between God, Christ and the believer
5. He is the very special manifestation of Christ within the believer (v.21-22)
a. The special presence is conditional: Must obey and love Christ
b. The special presence is questioned
6. He is the abiding presence of the Trinity (v.23-24)
a. Is conditional: Must love and obey Jesus
b. Is the love and presence of God and Christ
c. Is not given to those who do not love and obey Christ
d. Is assured by God Himself
7. He is the Holy Spirit, the Teacher (v.25-26)
a. The facts
          1) He is promised
          2) He is given by the Father in the name of Jesus
b. His purpose
          1) To teach the believer all things: both the words and life of Christ, both the truth and the life, both the  Word and how to live the Word, both the theory and practice, both the principles and conduct, both the morality and behaviour.
          2) To help the believer to remember all that has been taught in the Word of God, to help especially in the moments of trail when the truth is needed (1Cor 10:13, 2:13; Lk 12:12; Jn 14:26, 16:13; 1Jn 2:27).
Thought: In the Credo of the Eucharist we say: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord the giver of life.” The Holy Spirit is truly our life, Christ’s most precious gift to us. The Sprit carries out His work silently and lovingly preparing us for eternal life.
Let us be grateful to the Father and to Jesus for the gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination. Let us be grateful the Spirit for His work within us and throughout our life. Let us be careful not to lose Him through serious sin.
It is the Spirit that holds us and unites us together with the seven gifts of Spirit: Isaiah 11:2-3: (Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord)
and the fruits of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.….)

Sunday, 17 May 2015

I Reading: Acts 28:16-20.30-31: Paul stayed in Rome, proclaiming the kingdom of God.
Gospel: John 21:20-25: This disciple is the one who has written these things down, and we know that his testimony is true.
The Great Call to Total Commitment, Jn 21:18-25
This is the final passage of John’s gospel. It is the great call to total commitment.
1. Total commitment demands following the leadership of another (the Holy Spirit) (v.18)
a. When young: Peter walked and did as he willed
b. When old: Another would carry Peter where he would not go
2. Total commitment demands the cross-death to self: “Follow me” (v.19)
3. Total commitment demands undivided attention to one’s own task (v.20-23)
a. Peter questioned John’s task
b. Jesus rebuked Peter
c. Jesus challenged and called Peter again
d. John corrected the rumour
4. Total commitment demands bearing witness to Jesus Christ (v.24-25)
Thought: The call of Christ is to total commitment, not just to commitment. Total commitment demands that we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit. We are to walk as the Holy Spirit wills (Jn 14:15-26; 16:7-15).

I Reading: Acts 25:13-21: A dead man called Jesus whom Paul alleged to be alive.
Gospel: John 21:15-19: Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.
The Great Question of a Disciple’s Love and Devotion, Jn 21:15-17
This is a critical passage for the church and its ministers. It has one great lesson: Love is the one basic essential for ministry. Without love, ministry counts for nothing in God’s eyes. This passage concerns three questions asked by our Lord. There are three kinds of  love according to Greek language: agape (sacrificial love), phileo (relational love) and eros (feelings or emotional love).
1. After the meal, Jesus focussed on Peter (v.15)
2. Do you love me more than these? (v.15)
a. Pointed to disciples
b. Pointed to fishing equipment
c. Feed my lambs
3. Do you love me with God’s love-love me enough to feed my people? (v.16)
a. God’s love (agape)=sacrificial love of God
b. Peter’s love (phileo)=blood relationship or relative love of Peter, (erotic love)=emotional or feelings or attractions love of people
c. Feed my sheep/tend my sheep
4. Do you love me as a royal brother-love me with agape love or phileo love? (v.17)
a. Lord’s love (agape)=sacrificial love
b. Peter’s love (phileo)=relational love
c.  Feed my sheep
thought: Agape love is a seed that can be planted in the heart only by Christ. It is a fruit of the Spirit of God. It is a great love that God holds for His Son (Jn 15:10; 17:26). Agape love was perfectly expressed when God gave up His own Son to die for humanity (2Cor 5:14;Eph 2:4;3:19;5:2).
Agape love holds believers together as Jesus held his disciples for three years. Agape love is the love believers are to have for one another (Jn 13:33-35; 1 Jn 3:17-18). Agape love is the love which believers are to have for all people (1Cor 16:14; 1Th 3:12; 2Pet 1:7). Thus agape love seeks the welfare of all, works no ill to its neighbour, seeks opportunities to do good to all especially to those of the household of faith and is proven by obedience to Christ. Doing as one wishes instead of doing as God wills shows that one does not have agape love. (Jn 14:15,21,23;15:10;1Jn 2:5;5:3; 2Jn 1:6)
Thought: The greatest of all tragedies is that some still do not accept and believe the Lord’s death and resurrection despite the irrefutable evidence.

I Reading: Acts 22:30;23:6-11: Now you must bear witness in Rome.
Gospel: John 17:20-26: May they be completely one.
Jesus Prayed for Future Believers, 17:20-26
Jesus prayed for future believers, for all those who would believe in Him from the moment to the end of the world. What he prayed is very precious to believers, but it is also an indictment against believers of every generation.
1. Jesus prayed for all future believers –for all who would believe the Word (v.20)
2. Request 1: That believers may be one (v.21-22)
a. The standard: As God and Christ are one
b. The purpose: That the world may believe
c. The source: God’s glory
3. Request 2: That the believers be perfected in unity (v.23)
a. Source: Jesus within
b. Reason: To convinced the world
          1) God sent Christ
          2) God loves believers
4. Request 3: That believers  may be with him in glory (v.24)
a. The reason: To see his glory
b. The assurance: God’s love
5. Conclusion: A testimony (v.25-26)
a. Of the world: Has not known God
b. Of Jesus: Knew God
c. Of believers: Have known that God sent Jesus
d. Jesus’ faithfulness
          1) He declared God
          2) His purpose: That people might know God’s love
Thought: A terrible tragedy! There are many voices proclaiming so many different messages, message of work, ritual and ceremony, denominationalism, rules and regulations, morality, false prophets, humanism, brotherhood, secularism etc…

I Reading: Acts 20:28-38: I commend you to God, who has power to build you up and to give you your inheritance.
Gospel: John 17:11-19: May they be one like us.
Jesus Prayed for His Disciples, Jn 17:9-19
Jesus prayed for his disciples. What he prayed was striking and full of meaning for believers of every generation.
1. Jesus prayed for his disciples (v.9-11)
a. Because they had been entrusted to him
b. Because they belonged to both Jesus and God
c. Because glory came to Jesus through them
d. Because Jesus was leaving the world
2. Request 1: That God would keep them and keep them together as one (v.11-12)
a. Because they were in the world
b. Because he had kept them and had lost one
3. Request 2: That they might have His joy in all its fullness (v.13)
4. Request 3: That God would keep them from the evil one or Satan (v.14-16)
a. Because world hated them
          1) Because of the Word
          2) Because they are not of the world
b. Because they were needed in the world
c. Because they were now of the same nature as Jesus
5. Request 4: That God would sanctify them (v.17-19)
a. Because  they were sent  into the world
b. Because sanctification is the way of salvation