Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

"Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore,  and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28: 18 - 20).

Sunday 30th May is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Godhead, the adorable Blessed Trinity, One God, three co-equal Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a revelation of the Son, Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. This truth did not come to us from a philosophical deduction.

It is interesting that the mystery of the Holy Trinity was revealed at the end of Christ's earthly ministry. This mystery was revealed in the context of Baptism and Mission of the Church. What could this mean? Jesus Christ became Man so that man can know God, love Him and serve Him and live with God in eternity.

The Trinity is a great mystery beyond the intellect of man. We make the sign of the Cross in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Creed teaches us all we need to know about the Holy Trinity, the One Undivided Unity.

"We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of all that is, seen and unseen.

"We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father.

"We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified."

This is the Faith of our Fathers. The Faith revealed by Jesus Christ.
We believe!

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Friday, May 28, 2021

The Feast of Pope St Paul VI.

"The chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached Jesus and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” (Mark 11: 27 - 28).

Saturday 29th May 2021, 8th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the gentle Pope St Paul VI, (1897 - 1978), Pontiff. Paul's papacy spanned the period of Vatican Council II which was followed by a period of change and ferment in the Church and society.

Our key Scripture for today mirrors the experience of Pope St Paul VI, whose feast we celebrate today. When the Roman Pontiff issued the watershed and prophetic HUMANAE Vitae on 1st July 1968, high churchmen and theologians especially in North America asked mockingly: “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?”

The Encyclical warned bluntly what would follow if the world go the way of contraception and abortion.
His prophecy has been vindicated to the letter. Think about this: There is a drastic reduction in birth rate in the First World today. People here today must choose between : Contraception and Abortion or beautiful and sweet baby boy or girl. You cannot have the two.

The authority of Jesus Christ is not of human origin. The authority of Pope St Paul VI is not of human origin. "Thou at Peter. Upon this rock, I will build My Church. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The battle with the powers of Hell continues. So far, the Church of Jesus Christ is holding steadfast to the Boat.

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Our heroes of Faith and Prayer in the Bible.

"Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God.  Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." (Mark 11: 22 - 24).

Friday 28th May 2021, in the 8th Week in Ordinary Time.

I like our key Scripture for today very much because Jesus teaches with clarity on the subject of Prayer. I consider myself a beggar and in the course of the day, I am constantly asking God for many favors: heal my nerve pain in my left foot, show me the way to get to that location quickly, how do I do this, Lord and so forth and so on.

Jesus has taught throughout His public ministry that prayer works. Not just the petty prayers like the ones I make frequently. But also big ticket items: life and death issues, vocations and jobs, marriage and divorce, elections and the economy. Everything comes under God's powerful and merciful Divine Providence. This is true.  Jesus teaches that not even a single hair will fall from our head without our Father in Heaven knowing about it and permitting it.

Who are my heroes of faith and prayer in the Bible?
Bartimaeus, Cornelius, the Syrophoenician woman and Jairus. Jesus praised the faith of these people and their prayers were answered according to their faith.

Therefore pray with faith.
Pray with persistence.
Pray for God's will and purpose in your life.
Pray for grace to forgive all your enemies.
Pray always. Pray for everything. Pray everywhere.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Feast of St Augustine of Canterbury.

"As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.  On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”  And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” (Mark 10: 46 - 48).

Thursday 27th May 2021, in the 8th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Augustine of Canterbury. (+ 604). Italian monk sent by Pope St Gregory the Great to evangelize the Anglo-Saxon who conquered England and dominated the original Celtic population who embraced Christianity centuries earlier. St Augustine baptized Ethelbert, the Anglo-Saxon king and the people followed their king into the Church. St Augustine made Canterbury his Episcopal See and became the first Primate of all England.

Our key Scripture introduces us to the lovable character Bartimaeus. He teaches us that great faith is born of great need. It reminds us of the maxim: No cross, no crown. No trial, no triumph. Bartimaeus used the liability of his blindness to climb the ladder of faith to meet the Son of David who was impressed by his determination and faith and said to Bartimaeus:

“What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”  Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way." (Mark 10: 51 - 52).

What a truly beautiful story. Won't you like to have the faith and courage of Bartimaeus? Not when we shrink from the least discomfort. Our pains and trials could be the setting for the powerful and merciful Providence of God to elevate our faith and bring us the kind of healing we need.

Jesus, I trust in Your merciful love. I remain steadfast in Your love. I cling tightly to Your love come what may. I believe firmly in Your loving and powerful Providence. I do not depend on my filthy works. I surrender myself completely to You. Take care of everything Your way according to Your Plan for my life. Amen.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Feast of St Philip Neri, Super Priest.

"They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus
.... Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him.  “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." (Mark 10: 32 - 33).

Wednesday 26th May 2021, in the 8th Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Philip Neri.  (1515 - 1595), Italian Priest.

St Philip Neri was an extraordinary priest filled with the Holy Spirit and ecstatic joy. He founded the Congregation of the Oratory, the same religious community of St John Henry Newman. He converted thousands through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He was a great catechist and spiritual director. He was noted for his joyful and cheerful disposition which attracted thousands to him. One of my favorite quotes from Philip is:
"One of the very best means of obtaining humility is sincere and frequent confession."

Our key Scripture is Jesus' third prediction of His Passion. It is unthinkable that the disciples could forget such a prediction. Even His foretelling of His Resurrection was totally forgotten. We just celebrated Pentecost after 50 days of the Season of Easter. We all remember that Jesus has risen from the dead.

In what ways is the Risen Jesus available to us. He is no longer available to us in flesh and blood. He is truly present to us in the Eucharist, in the Blessed Sacrament, in His word especially when it is proclaimed in Holy Mass. He is present in us in the Sacrament of the Present Moment when we remember Him and call upon Him.

Let us never forget all these ways Jesus is truly and uniquely present to us. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to keep this truth alive in us.

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Monday, May 24, 2021

Jesus promises full provision in His service plus persecution.

"Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come." (Mark 10: 28 - 30).

Tuesday 25th May 2021, in the 8th Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of 3 great saints:

#1. St Bede the Venerable (672 - 735), English Benedictine Priest and Doctor of the Church. Bede was a theologian and is known as Father of English history.

#2. St Gregory VII, (+ 1085),Pope and Monk of Cluny. Gregory incurred the wrath of Emperor Henry IV by fighting against the evils of Lay Investiture. The Emperor exiled him to Salerno where he died.

#3. St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (1566 - 1607), Italian Carmelite from Florence. Great ascetic. Worked untiringly for the renewal of the Church.

Our key Scripture for today is a tremendous promise of our Lord Jesus Christ. This promise motivated His disciples to join the Jesus Revolution. It still motivates the young novice in 2021 and the missionary packing her bag today for a missionary field in a distant land. Jesus promises that anyone who leaves everything for His "sake and for the sake of the gospel will receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands." 

How do we know that such promise is true? Is there any proof that it has ever been fulfilled in the past? The answer is:
#1. If the promise has never been fulfilled, there will be no new missionaries or martyrs in the Church. There are new missionaries every day and people are laying down their lives for Jesus Christ every day. 
#2. Our saints of today: Magdalene de Pazzi, Pope St Gregory VII and Venerable Bede are proofs of disciples who have tested eternal life in this world and are today enjoying it in Heaven.

What is eternal life? Eternal or Abundant life is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and with His gifts and fruits. This life is compatible with the suffering that Jesus promises His disciples in our key Scripture: The great promise comes "with persecutions."
Can you take this? 

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.

"Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home." (John 19: 25 - 27).

Monday May 24th 2021, in the 1st Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. Our Blessed Mother has many titles:

Mother of Christ
Mother of the Church
MOTHER of Mercy
Mother of divine grace
MOTHER of Hope
Mother most pure
Mother most chaste
Mother inviolate
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good Counsel
Mother of our Creator
Mother of our Savior.

The feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church was promulgated by Pope Francis in 2018 to be celebrated all over the world on the Monday after the Solemnity of the Pentecost.

At the Annunciation, the young Mary accepted to be the Mother of the Savior: "Be it done to me according to Your word."  At the foot of the Cross of Jesus, Mary nodded silently when Jesus said: "Woman, behold your son." John the Apostle represents the Church. And Mary becomes the Mother of the Church.

The Church prays in her Collect of today's feast:
"O God, Father of mercies,
whose Only Begotten Son, as he hung upon the Cross, chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother,
to be our Mother also, grant, we pray, that with her loving help your Church may be more fruitful day by day and, exulting in the holiness of her children, may draw to her embrace all the families of the peoples...."

Mary Mother of the Church, pray for us.

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