Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Solemnity of the Celebration of the Holy Family.

"Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly." (Colossians 3: 15, 16).

Sunday 27th December 2020, Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Brothers and sisters, why does Holy Mother Church set the last Sunday of the year to celebrate the great feast of the Most Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph? A few reasons come to mind.

#1. Jesus did not drop from Heaven to earth. He was born into a human family.
#2. The home of Nazareth is the school to learn and understand the life of Jesus.
#3. Our teacher is Mary, the Matriarch of the Holy Family. Mary teaches us three lessons about family life: Silence, Prayer and Work.
#4. The family may be your pathway to holiness: its joys and sorrows are all providentially ordained. Dare not to reject any of it.

In our key Scripture for today from the Gospel Acclamation, I share with you a Rhema word received on Holy Family Sunday over 20 years ago and remembered every Holy Family Feast:
"Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly." (Colossians 3: 15, 16).

Receive this word as a special gift today as you make your way through the last moments of 2020. If the peace of Christ is in your heart and controls your health, job, money, family, food and if the word of Christ dwells in you richly, you will always have a great day, week, month and a grand 2021.
Go for Shalom brothers and sisters:
Peace and Word of God to you always!

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Friday, December 25, 2020

Day After Christmas, Feast of the First Martyr, St Stephen.

"Now Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen...... came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke." (Acts 6: 8 - 10).

Saturday 26th December 2020, Solemnity of the Octave of Christmas, the Feast of St Stephen, the first Martyr.

How soon after His Ascension was Christ's prediction vindicated when He said in the course of instructing His disciples:  "But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.  When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say." (Matthew 10: 17 - 19).

We observe the power and faithfulness of Jesus in the trial and death of Stephen. What Jesus did for Stephen during his trial and execution, He has done for every single one of His martyrs. He has stood by their sides and sustained them to the last.
Do not be afraid. Jesus will do the same for us should the occasion arise.

"As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." (Acts 7: 58).

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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Today is Christmas! The Solemnity of the Nativity of our Savior Jesus the Christ.

"For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2: 11 - 12).

Our key Scripture for this Christmas Day proclaims how God's terrible and mysterious works comes to us. They come through SIGNS. God is a spirit and invisible. We humans are flesh and blood and material. This is why the Word of God became flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary. So that we can see Him and touch Him.

What sign did God choose to give the simple shepherds by which to recognize the new born King of the Universe? An embarrassingly simple sign. Not a baby in shiny Women's Hospital in Jerusalem. Not a baby on the Queen's bed in the royal palace. But a child "in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

This sign you may say is true to the character of God as we discover  in Holy Scriptures. Take for example, the signs that Jesus left the Church. The Church calls these signs Sacrament (sacramentum), meaning mysteries. A few examples:

#1 "Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.”  And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you." (Luke 22: 19 - 20).

#2 Baptism is another Sacrament, a Sign, a Mysterium.

#3 The union of man and woman in holy matrimony is another Sign or Mysterium.

So has God in His mysterious will decided to communicate with human beings.
We welcome Jesus this Christmas in His utter simplicity and humanity.

The best joys of Christmas are the simple joys of the shepherds of Bethlehem. Enjoy the truth that we can touch God.
Merry Christmas 🎄🎂.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas Eve 2020. A Wonderful and Merry Christmas!

"Behold, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son into the world." (Cf Galatians 4: 4 Entrance Antiphon).

Thursday 24th December 2020, 4th Week of Advent. Christmas Eve!

Here is the promise God made to David 100s of years before the birth of Christ the Lord. Our key Scripture proclaims that Jesus is the answer to the promise to David. But the promise was fulfilled in the fullness of time after several hundred years. This confirms the Scripture that no promise or plan of God is fulfilled until the fullness of time. (Cf Ecclesiastes 3: 1). But when that fullness of time comes, God makes everything beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3: 11). And God acts with speed.

Look Brothers and sisters, this is Christmas Eve! God is faithful to all His promises. No matter how long it takes, God will fulfill everyone of His promises. The oak tree needs deeper roots than the sunflower.

"Morning star, radiance of eternal light, sun of justice, come and enlighten those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death." (Gospel Acclamation). 

A Wonderful and Merry Christmas to you all!   

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Feast of St John Kanty.

“No. He will be called John.”. ....“John is his name,” (Luke 1: 60, 63).

Wednesday 23rd December 2020, 4th Week of Advent is the feast of St John Kanty. (1390 - 1473). Polish. Kanty is priest, professor, philosopher, physicist and theologian. What is striking about the life of St John Kanty is that this brilliant and highly educated man spent his entire priestly vocation in the ivory tower. Yet, he had the heart of a pastor of flocks. He seized every opportunity to help his needy students and the poor he encounters.

Our key Scripture for today are the words of the parents of John the Baptist affirming almost with vehemence that the name of their son is John and not something else. So be it! But what is in a name?

In ancient Hebrew theology, a name denotes and contains a person, a presence and a power.
No one assigns names to offsprings lightly. The name John means God is gracious. In this child, God promises to be gracious to the world through the birth of a holy Prophet who would herald the birth of His Son Jesus.

As we near the Solemnity of Christmas, we thank God for the life and work of St John the Baptist. We remember too St John Kanty our saint of the day who continue to inspire us by his teaching and exemplary life.

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Monday, December 21, 2020

I dedicate this boy to serve You my God.

"Then Hannah spoke up: “Excuse me, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here near you, praying to the Lord.  I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.  Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.” Then they worshiped there before the Lord." (1 Samuel 1:  26 - 28).

Tuesday 22nd December 2020, 4th Week of Advent.

How do I choose the key Scripture for our meditation? I read the passage for a number of times. I settle on the passage that contains a promise I desire or an action that I want to emulate. Or an event that is close to my experience. God uses the passage to nourish my faith.

This Tuesday, our key Scripture is the extraordinary generosity of Hannah, the mother of the Prophet Samuel. We know the story. Hannah was barren. She pleaded with God for a son. At last, the Lord heard Hannah and granted her little Samuel. When Samuel was 3 years old, Hannah brought Samuel to the Temple of the Lord and dedicated him to the Lord. She went home empty handed.

Where have we noticed such extravagant generosity to God?
#1 The Widow's Mite. (Mark 12:41–44, Luke 21:1–4).
#2 The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:25–35).

What are the lessons for us from Hannah's gesture to God?

#1 You can never out do God in generosity.
#2 Do not be afraid to dedicate all your time, talent and treasure to God.

God raises the needy from the dust;
from the dung heap He lifts up the poor, to seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage. (Cf 1 Samuel 2: 8).

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Feast of St Peter Canisius of the Society of Jesus.

"Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1: 45).

Monday 21st December 2020, 4th Week of Advent is the feast of St Peter Canisius of the Society of Jesus (1521 - 1597). Dutch. Priest and Doctor of the Church. Peter Canisius appeared in the European scene at a time when the 1550 year old Catholic Faith was battered from the outside by the so called Protestant Reformation and from inside the Church by teachers who watered down the doctrine of the Church in order to accommodate the world and protestants. Also from inside the Church were clergy who took vows of chastity but refused to live them.

Peter Canisius, a keen student of the Holy Bible took the word of God seriously. If Mary is blessed by believing God's promises to her, why not Peter Canisius?
"Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Peter Canisius worked patiently as an author, preacher, catechist, teacher and succeeded in strengthening the Catholic faith in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and parts of Central Europe.

Never compromise the pure and authentic doctrine of the Church with the diluted renditions we find in the marketplace of religion today.

Persevere to the end. The Lord is coming soon.
"The Lord and Ruler will be coming soon, and his name will be called Emmanuel, because he will be called God-with-us." (Cf Isaiah 7: 14; 8: 10).

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