(Numbers 11: 25-29 James 5: 1-6 Mark 9: 38-43, 45-48)
All that we are and have comes from God, whether we believe it or not since our beliefs and doubts do not change the veracity of the fact. The beauty of creation is a pedestal for us to give the ultimate praise and glory in a spirit of thanksgiving to God, as we share with others who lack what we are and have so that justice and peace may reign in our lives. For the reason of justice and peace, brewed from exercising our stewardships with due diligence, we ought to respect each person’s worth without any judgment based on a criterion that is set to measure out and satisfy our selfish gains; rather, we must respect everybody’s worth as a necessary ingredient to building up the body of Christ to its full stature.
Selfishness prevents us from seeing beyond the boundaries of our perceived myopic ideologies; but, in reality, no one person has it all. So, why do we entertain that ill-fated perception in the first place? To get rid of this, the Lord has given us his precepts which must be accepted with open and clear consciences so that we may be able to stay focused without deviating from what the Lord has charged us to do. Otherwise, we shall trespass and transgress from the Lord causing scandals to the innocent ones among us who look up to us for answers to the many questions this life poses. Our rich experiences in life’s expectations should be prudently dispensed at the proper time and place to help many come to understand the need to lead holy lives, as they also begin to share whatever they are and have with others as their stewardships to God’s created beauty in a spirit of praise, honor, and thanksgiving to God.
(Wisdom 2: 12, 17-20 James 3: 16—4: 3 Mark 9: 30-37)
Our vocations to the Lord’s vineyard, and to a life of holiness worthy of emulation, is by nature ministerial, and not magisterial. We ought to consider ourselves as servants of the Lord striving to do his biddings. Anything short of this puts us at a level of a Master which, by all standards, creates arrogance on our parts because we shall be following a quite different work ethics other than that of the one who has called and sent us as Servants.
Considering ourselves as servants and not masters is the key to a life of prayer since we shall allow the will of the Master be done, as we use the graces of the Master to perfect ourselves through a life of obedience and humility. Prayer is an act of imploring and sacrificing to the highest Authority who is the True Shining Light we invoke to our aid. In fact, that is why we call the Supreme Being as God. The word God, as we have it now in English, is from the Gothic and Indo-Iranian Languages which implies “the Supreme Being to whom we owe our obedience and worship” through supplications and sacrifices. In short, a life of prayer is to rely on God always. The question “Michael?” in Hebrew, or “Who is like God?” in English, should be our constant reminder to have a spirit of Total Abandonment to the will of God, if we want to succeed in life by conquering all temptations and difficulties we face in our lives. If we ignore this simple reminder and try to be our own masters without God, then we shall have ourselves to blame for the obvious failures we shall endure. By common sense, we need to rely on God, and cooperate with his graces, by an obedient humble life of prayer
(Isaiah 50: 5-9 James 2: 14-18 Mark 8:27-35)
Every day, our pursuit and desire to walk in the footsteps of Christ get more confusing because of our human weaknesses. But after some serious consideration, we conclude that it is worthwhile to stay on the path to which we have been called for the sake of our personal salvation and the salvation of others. There is no need for us to chicken out from the race to grasp the hand of our Savior on an account of weaknesses; rather, our weaknesses should give us the impetus to strive to cling on to the feet of Jesus, for in him is all the graces sufficient for us to overcome our weaknesses.
Overcoming and dealing with the many physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual struggles and difficulties we go through in our lives will make us tangible eloquent means of giving testimony to the love of Christ shown in his greatest agony to save us. As St Paul would allude to it, we bear and fill up in our bodies the sufferings that are lacking in the sufferings of Christ. If we keep on chickening out of the race to eternal life because of the sufferings we go through, then how can we speak and teach about the enormous and ineffable love of Jesus seen in his passion? We are the Church, the Body of Christ, here and now; we have a mandate to teach through our endurance of all the hardships we go through that if we place all our trust in God and cooperate with his graces, we shall have a happy life, a life which the world does not understand since the world sees pleasure as happiness. But pleasure ceases, and it is transient and elusive; happiness endures forever, for with happiness one can sleep in peace.
(Isaiah 35: 4-7 James 2: 1-5 Mark 7: 31-37)
The Church, that is those called to be in Christ and chosen to let the glory of God shine through them in the darkness of the world, has a dutiful mandate to bring out all those who live in darkness to the Light of Christ. It is through our words and deeds that those we consider sinners, or those who in fact live in sinfulness, will ever move from their dark sinful state to a more glorious light in Christ. Our condemnations and alienations of such people will never make any positive change in their lives. Those already in the Light of Christ cannot be Magistrates to judge others; they must be Ministers to bring the True, not any “Personalized and Idealized”, Christ to others.
There is the need first to have a systematic and progressive process of Evangelization which is designed to lead people to understand the “who”, “what”, and “why” about Jesus, before any attempt is made with an imposition of Catechetical Dogmas, of which most people do not even have any clue as to what they mean. How can one teach with so much passion about Jesus yet the results do not lift the heart of a soul? The answer lies with the fact that the content of such a teaching has nothing to do with the opening of the ears meant to hear the Good News through Evangelization. It is when people have actually been exposed to the true meaning of the purpose of Christ based on how the Church treats the “Others”, that the “Others” will draw closer to the Light of Christ. The “Ephphatha” during the Rite of Baptism clearly demonstrates that for one to proclaim and give praise to the glory of God with the lips, the ears ought to be opened first to hear the Word of God. As ambassadors of Christ, we must first open many ears to hear the true Good News of Jesus before we try to humanly change the lives of others. Making both the Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy a part of our lives will surely be a tool in our hands to effectively and concretely evangelize many a soul, for through such acts of mercy, people will know, love, and worship God with sincere hearts meant to create a true Metanoia or Thoughtful Conversion.
Each Weekend, we throng to all the places of worship to celebrate Christ’s healing salvific mysteries through the hearing of the Word and experiencing the sweetness of the Sacraments. This is to help us live in the midst of many who still live in darkness so that by our testimony to the Life and Light of Christ they too may come and see the Light to savor the sweetness of Life of the Lord. Going to worship every Weekend and praying every day for their own sakes without causing any change to the lives of many is comparable to a compensatory scrupulosity; we must actually walk and put into action what we celebrate through our worship and prayer in a process of a Mystagogia to get us to the bottom of the full implication of what we celebrate.
Our vertical relationships with God, which should be foremost, must also show forth in our horizontal relationships with our neighbors; both must be nourished concurrently, otherwise, hypocrisy is practiced to delude ourselves and deceive others. Like St Frances of Rome, we must pray to the Lord to help us do his will as we give up all our talent, time, treasure and trust to serve the need of others in order for us to know and serve the Lord better in those in need than to just go to church and pray for their own sakes without translating them into meaningful actions that will awaken in many a soul the sense of holding on to, and coming to believe in Jesus as the Savior of the world.
Tuesday Mass & Adoration 4-6pm
Wednesday - Friday 7:45am
(Sunday, 29 November 2015)
Advent (second Sunday)
(Sunday, 06 December 2015)
Advent (third Sunday)
(Sunday, 13 December 2015)
Advent (fourth Sunday)
(Sunday, 20 December 2015)
(Friday, 25 December 2015)
Christmas (second day)
(Saturday, 26 December 2015)