Saturday, 30 November 2019

First Sunday of Advent: Year- A
First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5: The Lord gathers all nations together into the eternal peace of God’s kingdom.
Second Reading: Romans 13:11-14: Our salvation is near.
The Gospel: Matthew 24:37-44: Stay awake so that you will be ready.
We are starting today a New Year of Worship. We shall go again through the various times of the Year of the Church:
Ordinary time of the Year.
We do not notice the growth of our children, plants, flowers, trees etc every day. Yet there is a growth and development each moment of our lives.
The church wants us to grow, day after day, year after year and through the various times in the Year of Worship.
We don’t grow by just remembering in the Year of the Church, we can grow spiritually:
·       By re-living them within us year after year
·       By really getting ready for the coming of Christ at Advent time
·       By really having Christ born in our souls at Christmas
·       By really suffering and dying to sin with Christ during Lent time
·       By really rising to a new life with the Risen Jesus at Easter
·       By really receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
·       By actively and joyfully waiting for the final coming of Christ during the ordinary time of the year.
In a way, Christians ought to live these various times of the year of Worship at one and the same time throughout their life.
We should always be ready to welcome Christ since Christ keeps on coming to us in various ways day after day.
So we must live with Christ, walk with Christ, suffer with Christ, die with Christ and rise with Christ on the last day and every day of our life.
1.    The time of Advent:
There are two types of time in Greek: 1. Chronos (calendar time) 2.kairos (the fullness or grace filled time).
The word “Advent” means “coming” –who is coming? Not the historical Jesus as physical body, but the transformed Christ at the last day for judgement.
2.    There is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ:
We can see God and reach God through Jesus Christ the mediator between God and the people. Jesus saved us by his just living life, dying to sin, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.
At the beginning of this season of Advent, we should make ours the prayer which the Prophet puts in the lips of the people of Israel in today’s first reading:
a.    We must acknowledge our own sinfulness
b.    We must get convinced that sin is at the root of all our miseries
c.     There is nothing in us to make us deserve salvation
d.    The sad state to which our sins have reduced us came about because we neglected prayer
e.     Fallen as we find ourselves, we are tempted, like the Jews to complain to God
We are wrong. It is not God who abandoned us but we who abandoned God. His invitation to repent during this time of Advent is a fresh proof of his concern for us.
3.    Having acknowledged our sins, we should take a second step: confidently ask our redeemer to come to our rescue:
There is no way for a person to go back to God by himself or herself. So we must implore him to come and save us.  Isaiah expresses this beautifully when speaking to God on behalf of his people.
Is. 64, 8- “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hands.”
Is. 63, 16- “You, O Lord, our Father; our Redeemer is your ancient name.”
Is. 63, 17- “Return for the sake of your servant, the tribes of your inheritance.”
Is. 64, 1- “Oh that you would tear the heavens open and come down.”
4.    While waiting for Jesus’ coming, we must praise him for all that he has already done to save us:
5.    We must never grow discouraged in our waiting for Christ’s coming:
Paul gives us the reason why: Because God will never fail us. (1 Cor. 1, 8).
6.    In our waiting for Christ, we must keep both: Watchful and Active:
This is the message of Luke in the passage of the Gospel we have read. In carrying out our task, Jesus warns us to be watchful, since the devil is at all times trying to convince us that there is yet ample time left in life to prepare for Jesus’ coming. eg. The parable of the ten virgins: The five wise virgins were watchful and the other five were foolish without watchfulness and preparation.
Thought: Advent means “coming”: We await the first coming of Jesus for which is continuously His saving deeds or works carried out till the end and the second coming of Christ at the end of our lives (death) for the salvation of our souls.
The presence of Jesus Christ will be found in three ways: When we are gathered as a community to pray with due preparation and repentance, to listen to the Word of God and act accordingly and doing the will of God and to take  part in the Eucharist.                                       

Monday, 18 November 2019

Gospel: Luke 23:35-43: The good thief recognises Jesus as the king of the Jews and is promised a place with him in paradise. Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom.
I Reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-3: All the tribes of Israel choose David and anointed him as their king/king of Israel.
II Reading: Colossians 1:12-20: He has created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves.
Today we celebrate Christ the universal king. He did not claim to be only the king of the Jews. His kingdom was not to be an exclusive one. He is the king of all who are on the side of truth and listen to his voice.
Christ, our king, belongs to our human family: King David, a symbol of Christ the king.The prophet Daniel tells us that “he saw one like a son of man coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Dan 7:13)
Christ is king of the universe: St Paul writes to the Christians of Colossae:
a) Christ is king of the universe, “in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, everything visible and everything invisible” (Col 1:16). Through him all things were made; not one thing had its being but from him (Col 1:3). Christ holds all things in unity (Col 1:17).
b) Christ is our king because he redeemed us: “God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.” (Jn 3:17; Col 1:13-14, 20)
The kind of king that Jesus is: Luke shows Jesus on the cross surrounded by various people; by the Jewish leaders, soldiers, two thieves and Jesus’ mother, disciple and friends.
a) On the cross, Jesus shows himself as a king who distributes his gifts most generously (Lk 23:34, 43; Jn 19:26).
b) On the cross, Jesus shows himself as a king who saves.
We must accept the gifts of pardon and salvation which Jesus, our king, so generously offers: Jesus wants to reign through love, not by force. (Lk 23:41-43; 19:14).
Christ is a powerful king; his power will last forever: In the book of Revelation, Jesus is given the titles, and (Ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5), “King of the kings and Lord of Lords.” (Rev 19:16).
Jesus told the apostles: “All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth” (Mt 28:18). It will never end is the quality of Jesus’ power. The angel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the redeemer, he said her Son to be: “His kingdom will have no end” (Lk 1:33). The angel confirmed the prophecy of Daniel which was to be fulfilled in Jesus: “His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed” (Dan 7:14).
The Book of Revelation says the same thing and puts on Jesus’ lips the following words: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is, who was and who is to come” (Rev 1:8). “Everything starts from me and ends up in me, I was before anything existed and I will continue to be after everything ends.”
Christ our king loves us: he died for us and shares with us whatever he possesses: on the night of his passion, Jesus said to his apostles: “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). The Book of Revelation reminds us “Christ loved us and has washed away our sins with his blood” (Rev 1:5).
No king was ever as generous as Jesus:
a. He shares his life with us.
b. He shares his own body and blood in the Eucharist.
c. He shares his own priesthood. The Book of Revelation tells: Jesus made us priests to serve his God and Father (Rev 1:6). Since we are priests, our whole life can and should be “a holy sacrifice truly pleasing to God (Rom 12:1)
d. Jesus shares his own joy: “My own peace I give you” (Jn 14:27). “I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me” (Jn 17:24).
Hence Jesus is our true king and the king of the universe.

Jesus’ kingdom is described as:
·       A kingdom of truth and of life,
·       A kingdom of holiness and grace,
·       A kingdom of justice, of love and of peace.
Jesus was right when he told Pilate that his was not like the kingdoms of this world:
·       Where falsehood reigns and lives are destroyed,
·       Where sin abounds,
·       Where injustice and hatred bring in wars without number.
We must praise our king, Jesus and be grateful to him:
·       For having brought us into his kingdom and made us members of his own royal family,
·       For having loved us through his own suffering and sacrifice of life for our salvation,
·       For having given us his love, peace, joy on earth and glory in heaven.
We have good reasons to rejoice on this feast of Christ the king of the universe and we shall rejoice in heaven at seeing him as he is, so great, so powerful and so loving.
Thought: Christ’s loving rule leads to true freedom. No earthly king was ever so magnanimous as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Baptism introduced us into Christ’s kingdom; living with Christ, suffering with Christ, dying with Christ and rising with Christ.

Friday, 15 November 2019


I Reading: Malachi 3:19-20: For you the sun of righteousness will shine out.
II Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12: Do not let anyone have food if he refuses to work.
Gospel: Luke 21:5-11: Not a single stone will be left on another.

The Predicted Signs of the Present Age, Lk 21:5-11
The church invites us today to get ready for the day when Christ will come on the last day to give us the eternal life. We need to prepare for our individual death as well as for the second coming of Christ at the end of the world. All three readings of today speak about Christ’s second coming which applies to our individual death.
The prophet Malachi announces the “Day of Yahweh.” Jesus also announced “The Day of Yahweh” in today’s Gospel. Malachi means “my messenger” which deserves to “Jesus Christ.” Prophet Malachi referred to the day when the Messiah would come into the world. Jesus would destroy sin through his death on the cross and he would save the humankind from sin and death those who come to believe in him. The purpose of Jesus’ announcement was not to proclaim destruction as salvation or to frighten people but to encourage his followers and to save the believers.
How to wait for the coming of Christ? We must wait for Jesus’ coming “never getting tired of doing what is right” (2 Thess 3:13), ready to accept persecution for his sake (Lk 21:19), continued prayer with courage and hope in the Lord (Lk 21:36) and finally with complete trust in him at all time (Lk 21:18).
This chapter is known as the Olivet Discourse. It deals with three great subjects that lay out in the future when they were predicted by Jesus.
1. The destruction of Jerusalem Temple: The disciples admired  the temple’s beauty (v.6-7; cp. Mt 25:2-3)
a. Jesus predicted the temple’s utter destruction
b. The disciples asked two questions
  1) when was it to be destroyed: Jesus did not answer this question
  2) what were signs
Sign 1: False christs
Sign 2: Conflict of nations
Sign 3: Natural disasters
c. The warning: be not deceived
2. The Lord’s return (v.7; cp. Mt 24:3):
3. The end of the world (v.7; cp. Mt 24: 3).
Matthew and Mark’s account of what happens in this passage should be read along with Luke for a clearer understanding.
Thought: Jesus said, “The end will not come right away,” not yet. “Watch out that you are not deceived.” (2Chr 15:6-7; Jer 51:45-46; Lk 21:34; Phil 4:6; 1Pet 5:7).
God never lost control of the world; he started destroying evil the very moment that sin brought it about. Jesus obtained a total and definite victory over the sin and death in his own person. Today he gives us the eternal life or salvation to complete his triumph over evil in our own person as we die as the believers in the world.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading 2 Maccabees 7:1-2.9-14: The king of the world will raise up to live again for ever.
II Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5: May the Lord strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.
Gospel: Luke 20:27-38: He is God, not of the dead, of the living.
The Question of the Resurrection:
The Two Worlds (Earth & Heaven) Differ, Lk 20:27-38
Our physical death is not the end of life. Jesus Christ brought to you the eternal life after his resurrection from the dead and communicated to us the Life in the Spirit, a sharing in God’s very life, when we received Baptism. Those who die in Christ, death is followed by a glorious resurrection in body and in spirit and the new beginning of sharing in God’s life and joy in heaven. Paul urges us to get ready for eternal life by humbly asking Christ to help us to be faithful to him until death.
The church invites us to reflect on the meaning of the basic hope in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. The Spirit of God is always at work within us; our task is to believe in the power of Jesus that only he can give us the eternal life or salvation.
Jesus distinguished between this world (earth) and the other world (heaven) and they differ drastically. Jesus used the attack of the Sadducees to discuss the differences.
1. The Sadducees, the liberal minded, tried to discredit Jesus (v.27-33)
a. They referred to Levite marriage
b. They referred a logical situation
c. They asked an egotistical and blind question
2. Marriage is different (v.34-35)
a. This world: there is marriage
b. Next world: there is no marriage
3. Entrance is different: must be countered worthy (v.35)
4. Death is different: no longer can die (v.36)
5. Personal being (nature) is different (v.36)
a. Are like angels
b. Are children of God
6. Life is different: it is a resurrected life (v.37-38)
a. It is life after death
b. Illustrated by Moses
c. Purpose: To live for God
Thought: God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Rom 14:7-9; Acts 26:8; 24:15). Moses’ God is not only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but our own God as well. We shall be His people and He will be our God in life and after death that will never end.