THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
"Attitude is everything. Your attitude reflects in your actions, choices and decisions.
In our modern-day global village our attitudes have influenced our values, identity and perceptions in our society. This speaks voluminously about our background, experiences, beliefs and worldview. It has become ever easier for people to tell who you are per your attitudes. Indeed, attitudes tell your qualities and what you stand for. It can also expose your associations and relationships. It defines your character. Therefore, attitude is everything. Your attitude reflects in your actions, choices and decisions. As a Christian, your attitude must be Christ-like. Grow the right attitude!
In our first reading, the woman from Shunem had the right attitude of hospitality towards the prophet of God, Elisha. She was generous and charitable to him by offering support to aid his work. This attitude reflected in her decision. This shows that she was a God-fearing woman who had reverential regard for Elisha and his ministry, though a stranger to her. Little did she know that God was going to reward her with what she had been dreaming of. God is touched when we have good attitudes in our faith. How do you respond to strangers and those who are in need? Be hospitable and charitable; it could bring miracles in your life.
The Apostle Paul in the second reading teaches that the fruits of our sacramental baptism include newness of life, engendering the hope of resurrection and eternal life. Dying with Christ and rising with Him gives us the supernatural grace to overcome our weakness of inclination to sin. You must live your life for God through Christ Jesus. Hence, the waters of Baptism should transform our wrong attitudes to good ones. As a baptized Christain, there should a difference in your attitude. Yours must be Christ-like. One that reflects the Christ in you to the world.
Finally, in our gospel reading Jesus Christ admonished His disciples to make the right commitment in life. They should avoid misplaced priorities in their vocation. He was not by any means trivializing the significance of family bond and relationships. Rather, He was encouraging them to place their love of God and commitment to Him far and above every other thing. The premium must be placed on their discipleship and mission.
Therefore, developing the right attitude in their ministry was a recipe for successes and progress. And anyone who has the appropriate attitude towards the work of God will be rewarded. This attitude includes surrendering personal interests, attachments, and everything for the sake of Christ. It goes with making sacrifices. It's your choice but depends on your attitude in your faith. Jesus invites all of us to take up our cross and follow Him. May God be with you.
Stay Healthy... PRAY... Keep the Faith... Let's meet in Church....
Let the right attitude lead...
TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Father's Day)
"Fear not because God is with you."
The surprises and the uncertainties of life sometimes leave fear and anxieties in our hearts. Many times fear grips us when we are confronted with the realities of sickness, old age, when kids are grown up and have to leave home, when loved ones have to part ways, when plans shatter, when death takes away a dear one, when one looses a carrier or a job, when there is a betrayal, marital issues, financial issues, loneliness, stress in life, natural disasters and a novel pandemic like COVID-19.
In situations like these not only our faith and trust in God is adversely affected, but also our confidence in life is ruined. Like the Psalmist you may ask, ”...from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord: who made Heaven and Earth...” (Psalm 121).
It is against this background that our first reading presents the sad story of the prophet Jeremiah (C650-580BC). As the viceroy (messenger) of God, he tried to keep his people and the Kings faithful to God in a world of political intrigue. He faced hostility. His enemies/opponents were none other than his own friends, who perceived his truthful words and deeds as a thorn in their flesh so they had to denigrate and intimidate him. Even though he was afraid, he was confident that God would not allow them to prevail over him. His trust and faith in God made him successful in the ministry regardless of the dangers and challenges surrounding him.
As Christians, sometimes you may face situations like Jeremiah because of your faith, identity and living your life as a committed Christian. People may offer resistance and attacks. Do not allow fear to discourage you. Your resilient reliance and trust in God can change the story. God is bigger than fear. Fear is transient, but God is eternal. Nothing is impossible with God.
Hence, the Apostle Paul motivates us that as apostles and followers of Christ we should not be afraid of opposition in our lives, because there is a reward for us when we share in the death and resurrection of our Master. He is the New Adam who brought grace and new life to humanity. Those who oppose Christ will be dishonored. Those who remain faithful will be redeemed/blessed with eternal life. Oppositions are indispensable. We need focus and courage (not fear) to be apostles and examples in our families and societies.
In conclusion, Jesus Christ, in the gospel, inspires us to totally depend on God in times of unpleasant circumstances. He insists that the antidote to fear is reliance and trust in God. This is because no opposition to our faith can prevent us from succeeding in our mission; God will eventually expose any evil plans/deeds. God’s compassionate love and care will always exonerate us. Any cause of fear is limited, but God is eternal. Fear destroys, but trust and reliance in God save. You may have a reason to be afraid, but is it worth it when compared to the eternal bliss your trust and reliance on God can give you?
Don't make fear your ”god”; there is only one God! He is bigger than your fear.
Happy Fathers Day to all our fathers in our Tri-Parish family. We love you. You are awesome!
Stay Healthy...PRAY...Keep the Faith... Let's meet at Holy Mass...
Let Trust in God lead...
THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST (CORPUS CHRISTI)
"Receive Communion often, very often...there you have the sole remedy if you want to be cured. Jesus has not put this attraction in your heart for nothing."
Today is a day where being Catholic is just awesome! A day where we publicly affirm the fundamental teaching of the ”True Presence” of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist as we celebrate the Corpus Christi. A doctrinal feast. We commemorate this profound mystery of our Lord in His precious Body and Blood. The Holy Communion: a food for our souls (Via Te Cum).
As we recall the institution of the Holy Eucharist, it portrays the Church’s official act of homage and gratitude to Christ. The greatest treasure that accentuates the joyous part of the Holy Thursday. Corpus Christi manifests the abiding presence of God as Emmanuel - God With Us (an appreciation of the ”Real Presence” of God in our families, lives, faith communities and societies.)
Historically, Pope Urban IV instituted the solemnity of Corpus Christi in 1264, hence making it a universal feast in the Latin Church. The Council of Trent (1545-1563) succinctly said, ”The Catholic Church teaches that in the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of God-man are really, truly, substantially and abidingly present together with His Soul and Divinity by reason of Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. This takes place in an unbloody sacrifice of the Mass.”
Our first reading, about Moses and the Israelites, gives the setting near the end of the Exodus from Egypt when they were at last about to enter their long-promised new homeland. So Moses had a foresight that the comfort/security in Canaan may dull them and soon they may forget the Lord on whom they depended. Hence, his call ”not to forget” and ”to remember” about the indispensable role the Lord had played in their historical journey.
We are also enjoined not to forget and to remember (especially in this COVID-19 pandemic) what the Lord has done in our individual lives, families, faith communities, societies, whenever we receive the Holy Eucharist (to which Manna pointed). An expression of Thanksgiving and honor to Him.
The Apostle Paul, in our second reading, tried to help the Corinthian Christians to accord the Holy Eucharist the appropriate reverence as he distinguished it from their usual pagan ritual meals.
He further teaches about the two-division of the Body of Christ: 1. People who have a common share in the Holy Eucharist, and 2. People who come together as a community of believers, united with the risen Christ. It therefore expresses the union of all believers with Jesus Christ and with one another. In fact, this is the essence of the Body and Blood of Christ; transcending all barriers and divisions in human condition. Making us one people of the same Body of Christ.
Finally, the gospel presents Jesus’ Eucharistic discourses in the Johannine ”Bread of Life Discourse”(John 6:22-58). The reference to the Manna in the desert alludes to the divine care for the Israelites during the years of their desert wandering. All those who receive the Holy Communion, this particularly concretizes/energizes our relationship with Christ and one another. Therefore, it becomes not only an obligation, but also an imperative for every baptized Catholic to receive the Eucharist, such a precious gift to humanity.
For, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1324, the Holy Eucharist is the "source and summit" of our Christian life. St. Pope John Paul adds that it is the center of our Catholic spirituality. Indeed, it is the mystery of faith, the mystery of love, and the mystery of hope in our journey to the ”promised land” (eternal home - Heaven). Treasure the precious Body and Blood of Christ and your life will never be the same!
Stay Healthy... PRAY... Keep the Faith... Enjoy the Sun!
Let the Body and Blood of Christ lead...
SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
"Three Persons who are one God because the Father is love, the Son is love, the Spirit is love. God is wholly and only love, the purest, infinite and eternal love.”
Today, we celebrate one of the most profound mysteries in our Christian faith: The Most Holy Trinity. The Truine relationship amongst the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit expresses the unifying love amongst them. Human intelligence hardly fathoms the truth of three Persons in one God (surely, God is far beyond the grasp of our intellect). Indeed, the inner relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is such that each of them is fully God, yet these Divine Persons are not three Gods but one. (CCC#234, #253-256)
In fact, in the story of salvation the Father is the Creator, the Son is the Redeemer and the Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier. Though distinct as persons, neither the Father nor the Son nor the Holy Spirit ever existed in separation or acted in isolation from the other two Persons of the Godhead. They share the same Divine Nature, Co-equal and Co-eternal - a doctrine postulated and promulgated at the Council of Nicaea AD 325.
The first reading describes the encounter between God and Moses on Mount Sinai; how the former revealed His Name to the latter (YAHWEH - meaning ”I AM WHO I AM” - which the Jews hardly used out of reverence, but instead used ADONAI, meaning LORD). He also manifested His attributes as merciful, loving, slow to anger and full of kindness and graciousness. Moses accorded the due reverence to God.
As Christians, we ought to learn from God the Father to replicate the aforementioned values/qualities, because many lookup to us. We are encouraged to accord the appropriate attitudes and conduct whenever we come in the presence of the LORD. Like Moses, let's invite Him to assist us in every situation we find our selves.
In our second reading, the Apostle Paul motivates us to live the Trinitarian unity of co-existence amongst ourselves. So he admonishes us to agree with one other, live in peace, to encourage one another. He finally uses the apostolic blessing in the name of the Holy Trinity to remind us about the Father’s love, the grace (the divine favor) that comes through Jesus Christ, the Son, and the unifying power (fellowship) of the Holy Spirit. These are the indispensable and needful elements in our faith community and in our individual families (societies).
John the Evangelist in our gospel reading clearly portrays the intent of God the Father in sending His Son, Jesus Christ here to earth. Surely, eternal life (the hope of every Christian) comes through faith and belief in Him, a condition for salvation.
This implies that the love of God the Father for us is expressed through His Divine plan and care to save humankind from our sins. The love of the Son is expressed through the execution of this divine plan by sacrificing His life to die on the cross to redeem us. Finally, the love of the Holy Spirit is expressed as He guides, empowers and teaches us in Christ’s place and brings us together in faith, love and hope. He shapes/animates the life of the individual and the Christian community.
Know, therefore, that you are never alone in the challenges of life, but you have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with you. Live your life in the Holy Trinity and let the Holy Trinity have an indwelling with you.
May you be blessed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit! Amen.
Stay Healthy..... PRAY... Keep the Faith... Enjoy the Sunshine... Soon we will meet for public Holy Masses!
Let the Holy Trinity lead...
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.