Wednesday, February 28, 2018

"We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead."

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”― Rabindranath Tagore: (1861 – 1941: was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.)

Gospel Text: (MT 20:17-28)
As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Jesus also teaches us about the true meaning of service. The mother of James and John had asked Jesus for places of honor for her sons in heaven. He teaches them about true Christian leadership and service: "If you want to be first, make yourself the servant of all. Be like the Son of Man who has come, not to be served but to serve and to give his life to redeem many."

Do we accept these teachings on Christian leadership and service? Do we endeavor to live this in our parish and our Christian community?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

“Be more concerned about your life's impact on the lives of others than your image.”

“Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.”  - St. Charles Borromeo: 1538 – 1584: was Roman Catholic archbishop of Milan from 1564 to 1584 and a cardinal

Gospel Text: (MT 23:1-12)
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
"The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people's shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called 'Master';
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

The Gospel reading tells us to avoid hypocrisy, not to believe in one thing and act in a different way, not to pretend to be what one is not.

Let us reflect on our actions: do we act according to the truth and to what we believe? Are we also hypocrites?

Monday, February 26, 2018

“Apart from the mercy of God, there is no other source of hope for mankind.”

Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God, My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee. - William Shakespeare: (Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God, My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee. - William Shakespeare: (1564 (baptised) – was an English poet, playwright and actor)

Gospel Text: (LK 6:36-38)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

"Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you."

Lent is a time to place ourselves before Jesus on the cross and review our lives, our personal histories of grace and sin, who or what we love, how sensitive we have been to God's grace and urgings.

We are not to compare ourselves to others but with Jesus, who taught us how to live before and for God. We are called to be imitators of Christ. We are called to put on the mind and heart of Christ.

As we become more mindful of God's grace in our lives, let us pray to grow in compassion and love for others, with a readiness to forgive others.

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

Sunday, February 25, 2018

“You tell them - you tell them there's a cost.....Every decision we make in life, there's always a cost.”

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” ― Henry David ThoreauWalden

Scripture Text: (ROM 8:31B-34)
Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?

Who will bring a charge against God's chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us, who will condemn?
Christ Jesus it is who died—or, rather, was raised—
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.

Christ became human to free us from our sins, not from our humanity. Underneath the stains and tarnish of the life of each of us, there lies the beauty of a human person—body and soul—created in the Image and likeness of God.

God has deemed your person—your self—worth saving from sin, and Christ was willing to purchase your self at the price of His own life: at the price of His Body and Blood, soul and divinity.

So………Make your life count for something bigger than just yourself!