Monday, February 28, 2011

8th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 01-03-11

Ecclesiasticus 35:1-12 / Mark 10:28-31

To make sacrifices and to give up what we are entitled to or what is rightfully ours are not words we would like to hear.

Because the human tendency is to be possessive and to hoard more than we need.

And our being rebels at the idea of giving up what is ours and to even make sacrifices for the sake of others.

So in the gospel, we heard Peter asking Jesus: What about us? We have left everything and followed you.

So what was Peter and the rest of the disciples going to get for all they have given up?

Maybe we should ask ourselves: for all that we gave up and sacrificed for the Lord, what did we get? How were we rewarded? (If ever we were rewarded!)

The 1st reading exhorts us to make our sacrifices cheerfully, because just as the Lord God has given us, so we too must be able to give up what is even rightfully ours.

It continues by saying that a virtuous man's sacrifice is acceptable, and its memorial will not be forgotten.

But what we should not forget is that it is God who first made the sacrifice.

He sacrificed His only Son to save us. All our sacrifices amount to nothing compared with that.

We can only offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and be generous to others just as the Lord is generous to us.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

8th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 28-02-11

Ecclesiasticus 17:24-29 / Mark 10:17-27

It would be interesting to ask people what they want in life.

Interesting because of the answers that they might give.

The probable answers are: I want health; I want success; I want freedom; I want independence; I want to be rich, etc.

How many would say this: I want to find meaning in life.

Or, I want to be the person that I am created to be.

That can be the question for our reflection. What kind of person do I want to be?

Do I want to be a deceitful person, a greedy person, a nasty person, a selfish person, a wicked person?

Or do I want to be a loving person, a generous person, a compassionate and caring person,  a trustworthy and honest person?

Such a question is essentially a question of identity.

Because in answering the question, we begin to ask about who we really are, why we are created, and what is the meaning of our existence.

All those questions point to a turning back to God, which is in essence, a repentance.

As the 1st reading puts it, to those who repent, God permits return, and He even encourages those who are losing hope.

In other words, when we are losing meaning and hope in life, God comes to us with open arms and gives us meaning in life.

As it is, if wealth is lost, nothing is really lost.

If health is lost, then something is lost.

But if meaning in life is lost, then everything is lost.

Friday, February 25, 2011

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 26-02-11

Ecclesiasticus 17:1-15 / Mark 10:13-16

From what science is telling us, we know how vast the universe is and how much mystery there is in it.

There are things like black holes and many other galaxies.

In our galaxy alone, there are billions of starts, each separated by millions of light years.

In the face of such vastness and coupled with so much mystery, we may feel that we on earth are quite insignificant.

Because there is so much more around us.

But is this "more" just measured by size and vastness?

The 1st reading brings us back to the reflection of how much "more" we are.

This "more" is much more significant than that of the whole universe.

Because God our creator clothed us with strength like His and made us in His image.

He filled us with understanding and knowledge.

He put His own light into our hearts to show us the magnificence of His works.

Hence we may already be exploring outer space, yet we need to reflect and understand and appreciate our inner space.

And it is only with the heart and the simplicity of a child that we can praise and glorify God, our Father and Creator.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 25-02-11

Ecclesiasticus 6:5-17 / Mark 10:1-12

All of us have friends; we have good friends and even best friends.

But do we have true friends? That phrase "true friends" might sound rather strange because we seldom use it.

Yet the question remains. Do we have true friends? And what is a true friend?

The 1st reading gives us a description of what a true friend is. It says :

A faithful friend is a sure shelter, whoever finds one has found a rare treasure.

A faithful friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth.

So do we have a true and faithful friend? For those of us who are married, is our spouse our true and faithful friend?

Married couples are not only true and faithful friends with each other, they are no longer two, but they are one body - one in mind and heart.

That is what Jesus said in the gospel and that is what married couples must strive for.

Let us reflect again on the 1st reading and see what God is telling us about true friendships and how is it is helpful for married couples in their understanding of their own marriage.

A faithful friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one.

Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for as a man is, so is his friend.

Let us be true and faithful to the Lord, and we will have true and faithful friends.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 24-02-11

Ecclesiasticus 5:1-8 / Mark 9:41-50

Time is what we want most. Yet time is also what we waste most.

The irony is that the more time we have, the more time we will waste.

By and large, we think that we have a long future ahead of us.

We think that there will always be a tomorrow. Yet that is not a certainty.

That is why the 1st reading urges us not to delay our return to the Lord and not to put it off day after day.

The last line of today's gospel passage gives us an aspect of our lives to think about.

Jesus said: Be at peace with one another.

More than just the need for reconciliation with those whom we have crossed swords with, the more urgent need is to stop hurting others and being a pain to others, whether it is with our words or actions.

Jesus tells us to cut off our hurtful and sinful words and actions because in the end we will have to pay the debt of our sins.

Let us ask the Lord to cleanse our hearts for from the bounty of the heart, the mouth speaks and the hands act.

Let us also ask the Lord to grant us His peace so that we will live in peace with the Lord and with one another.

Let us not delay. Let us do it now. In a way, it is now or never.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 23-02-11

Ecclesiasticus 4:11-19 / Mark 9:38-40

Compared with the world of yesteryear, the world of today is really fast and even instant.

We have fast cars, fast trains, fast planes and of course instant coffee and instant hot water.

And there are so many means to get fast and quick information.

But the 1st reading tells us that wisdom is not instantaneously transferred from the book or from the computer screen into our minds and hearts.

In fact, the 1st reading tells us that growth in wisdom often goes through winding ways and we will doubt and question and even be in distress.

That was the experience of John the disciple in the gospel passage.

He thought that Jesus would affirm him for what he said but instead he got chided.

Indeed, before we can attain a wise discernment and wise judgment, we may have to learn from our mistakes and blunders.

Yes, it is in those mistakes and blunders that we must listen to the voice of the Lord as He teaches us the wisdom of life.

Because the first step in attaining wisdom is to have an attentive and listening ear.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, 22-02-11, Tuesday

1 Peter 5:1-4 / Matthew 16:13-19

One of the prominent features of the Catholic Church is its unity.

This unity is seen in worship, in teachings and generally in practices.

This unity is also symbolized in the figure of the Pope, who is the head of the Catholic Church.

The feast of the Chair of St. Peter is an affirmation of the authority given to St. Peter by Jesus to lead the Church on earth.

Jesus said: You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.

The Church in its 2000 years of history has seen glorious times, challenging times, turbulent times and dark moments.

But the very fact that the Church has survived those turbulent and dark moments only goes to show that the Pope draws his authority from Christ, and that the Spirit is guiding the Church.

Nonetheless, the authority and leadership of the Pope is always being challenged.

In the area of morality, issues like abortion, the sanctity of life, same-sex marriage have often been brought up to ridicule and criticize the Church and inevitably the Pope.

In the area of faith, heresies and schisms have undermined the authority of the Pope.

From within as well as from without, the Pope and the Church had suffered potshots from numerous quarters.

Yet in the midst of these criticisms and confusion, let us keep faith with the Church and in obedience to the Pope.

Let us remember what Jesus promised the Church: The gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.

Let us also remember to pray for the Pope and the leaders of the Church.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 21-02-11

Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10 / Mark 9:14-29

A good place to spend a quiet and reflective moment is probably in a bookshop, a good and spacious bookshop.

Somehow, in a bookshop, people naturally make themselves comfortable and begin browsing through books that would interest them and maybe buy what attracts them.

One category of books that will probably attract us is in the section called "Self-help".

What attracts us is all this material on how to improve ourselves, to make ourselves more capable, more skilled, more talented. In a word it is to become better.

But even if we do become better, in the general sense of the word, we still need the wisdom to use our knowledge and skills and talents.

The one book that we ought to read is the book of Ecclesiasticus. That's the book from which the 1st reading is taken.

The first line from that book proclaims that all wisdom is from the Lord, and it is His own forever.

Hence if we truly desire to be wise, it is necessary that we come before the Lord in humility and in reverence.

We must come in humble prayer before the Lord of all wisdom.

And that was what Jesus told His disciples in today's gospel passage.

Before they embark on any task, they must come before the Lord in humble prayer.

It is necessary to read to broaden our knowledge. But reading all the books in the world will not necessarily grant us wisdom.

It is the Lord of all wisdom who will bless us with wisdom and give success to the work of our hands.

Friday, February 18, 2011

6th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 19-02-11

Hebrews 11:1-7 / Mark 9:2-13

Love is a many-splendored thing, as the title of a song goes.

Well, if love is a many-splendored thing, then faith is an awesome thing.

To believe in something that is beyond logic or rational proof is really something awesome.

The 1st reading gave us examples of just a few biblical figures who walked by faith - people like Able, Enoch and Noah. Of course there are many more others.

It goes to show that only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of realities that at present remain unseen.

In the gospel, the disciples had just witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus.

For that moment, they experienced something beyond logical or rational proof.

Yet that experience didn't really helped them to understand what Jesus said by "rising from the dead".

But we know what "rising from the dead" means. And we also have glimpses of what rising from the dead means.

When we rise from selfishness, we grow in selflessness. When we rise from vulgarity, we grow in purity. When we rise from sinfulness, we grow in holiness.

We can only rise when we believe that God loves us with an unconditional and everlasting love.

Faith is an awesome thing. But faith in love is a awesome and a many-splendored thing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

6th Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 18-02-11

Genesis 11:1-9 / Mark 8:34 - 9:2

On of the traits of human beings is that we are goal-oriented and achievement-centered.

We spend quite a bit of our energy and time in pushing and pulling in order to reach somewhere in life.

It may be our career, our wealth, our status, our knowledge or whatever we deem is our priority or has importance.

But if we take a quiet moment for reflection and introspection, there will come a point in time when we ask ourselves some fundamental questions about our life.

Questions like : Where am I going to? or What is the meaning of my life?

In the 1st reading, we hear about a people who had only one purpose in mind, and that is to build a town with a tower with a top reaching heaven.

They do all this just to make a name for themselves.

In other words, they want to be remembered for what they achieved on this earth. For them that was going to be their pride and joy.

But in the gospel, Jesus tells us to look beyond this world to the eternal.

Our journey on this earth has a destination.

And that destination is heaven; it is towards God that we are going back to.

Jesus came to show us the way to our destiny; He is giving us a vision of heaven.

We can't build our way to heaven. Only Jesus can do it for us.

We only need to carry our cross and follow Him. The way to heaven is the way of the cross.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

6th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday,17-02-11

Genesis 9:1-13 / Mark 8:27-33

The Church has issued several documents to emphasize its teaching on human life.

Documents like Humane Vitae and Evangelium Vitae talk about the dignity and sacredness of human life.

As a matter of fact, these teachings flow from the Scriptures.

In the 1st reading from Genesis, we hear this dignity and sacredness of human life emphasized once again.

God will demand an account of every man's life from his fellow-man.

And he who shed man's blood, shall have his blood shed by man, for in the image of God, man was made.

Those are powerful and authoritative words which do not need further elaboration.

But on the other hand, what happens when man sheds God's blood?

What happens when man puts God to death?

Jesus prophesied that He will be put to death by man.

If God used the same command that He gave to man, then we will be doomed to the deepest and darkest depths.

Because by our sins, we shed God's blood and we put Him to death.

Yet strangely enough, it was by the shedding of the blood of Jesus that we are saved.

Indeed, how strange God's love is for man.

The gospel of the dignity of life and the sacredness of life are one and the same gospel.

Yet the gospel of God's unconditional and sacrificial love for man, even to the point of shedding His blood and dying for man, is the good news of our salvation.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

6th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 16-02-11

Genesis 8:6-13, 20-22 / Mark 8:22-26

One of the things that we don't really like to do is to wait.

Whether be it waiting for the bus, or the train, or the taxi or waiting for someone.

More so, waiting can be quite torturous when we are in a situation of frustration or in distress.

Or like being in the ark with Noah and the animals.

Certainly it was not a star-cruise or a luxury-liner.

But Noah had to wait : 40 days of rain, another 7 days for the water to subside, and then another 7 days for the surface of the earth to dry up.

The lesson is this - everything happens in God's time. We have to trust in God and wait.

Even for the blind man in today's gospel passage, he too had to wait before his sight was fully restored.

It is only natural to ask God to save us when we are in some kind of trouble or distress.

And after we had said our prayers, let us adopt this biblical spirituality of waiting; waiting in God's time and keeping faith in Him.

Like the psalms often repeats : I put my hope in the Lord, I shall wait for Him (Ps 130:5)

Monday, February 14, 2011

6th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 15-02-11

Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10 / Mark 8:14-21

When  the phone rings, we can do two things.

We can either take the call, or we can just ignore the call.

But one thing for sure, and that is, we know that there was a call.

The call to repentance and conversion is constantly given by God.

He calls out to us to turn away from our sinfulness and to come back to Him.

The 1st reading might have sounded harsh and may have given us the impression of a vengeful and punishing God.

But when we read the whole story of Noah and the flood, we will see that God had issued call after call, warning after warning, to His people.

If punishment comes, it was not because God was vengeful and wanted to wipe out His creation.

It was because His creatures did not remember Him. They forgot who was Creator and who was creature.

They did not heed His call and it was their own sins that punished them.

Hence the important factor for repentance and conversion is always this remembering.

Remembering that God is our Creator and provider.

Remembering that God is merciful and compassionate and forgiving.

Remembering that He fed the thousands when they were hungry.

Remembering that it is only when we hunger and thirst for Him alone, then He will fill us with His saving love.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

6th Week, Ordinary Time. Monday, 14-02-11

Genesis 4:1-15, 25 / Mark 8:11-13

The sin of jealousy is often given the imagery of a green-eyed monster.

Whether it is green-eyed or not, yet a monster it surely is.

Because it makes demands, and it demands utter destruction.

It can be someone's project, possessions, reputation or even life, the ultimate goal is destruction.

Yet the destruction or humiliation of the other person does not benefit us in any way whatsoever.

Yet, we fail to see it - all we see is green; all that we become is a monster.

In the 1st reading Cain failed to see it although God warned him that his jealousy was like a crouching beast hungering to devour him.

In the gospel, the Pharisees also failed to see their jealousy of Jesus.

Their demand for signs was in itself a sign of their jealousy.

So it is necessary to check our thoughts, our words and our actions.

They are signs to us of what is happening in us.

We need to heed these signs, reflect upon them in our prayer, and with God's grace, we will master the devouring beast and the green-eyed monster within us.

Friday, February 11, 2011

5th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 12-02-11

Genesis 3:9-24 / Mark 8:1-10

Many questions have been asked about sin and suffering.

Questions like is there a connection between sin and innocent suffering.

So, as much as the reality of sin is not denied, yet the aspect of suffering as a consequence of sin is not readily accepted.

Especially innocent suffering, or as a consequence of other people's sin.

Some may even question the inheritance of Original Sin, since it was the sin of Adam and Eve, and it should have nothing to do with them.

Well, we will always have our questions about sin and suffering.

But let us listen to what questions God is asking us.

In the 1st reading, we heard God asking the question - Where are you?

So even though Adam and Even had sinned, God did not abandon them but searches for them.

In the gospel, we hear Jesus asking another question - How many loaves have you?

Jesus was not looking at the limitations; He was more interested in possibilities.

God is reaching out to us with His questions so that we may look again at our questions about life, about sin and about suffering.

And Jesus is asking us to put the loaves of our lives with its questions into His hands.

From His hands we will receive the Bread of Life that will give us faith and hope to walk on in love, despite and in spite of our questions.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

5th Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 11-02-11

Genesis 3:1-8 / Mark 7:31-37

The darkest periods of the history of the world, or for that matter of fact, the darkest periods of the history of the Church was when human beings did not involve God in their affairs.

In World War I and World War II, where was God in human affairs?

In the period before the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, where was God in the Church affairs?

In the 1st reading, where was God in the darkest moment of the devil's temptation?

Surely God was around, but He was neither consulted nor was He asked to be involved in the conversation between the serpent and the woman.

In the darkness of the moment, Adam and Eve fell into sin, and that made them hide from God.

Sin opened their eyes, only to make them run and hide.

Whereas Jesus opened the ears and loosened the tongue of the man, as well as the eyes of the people to see that God has come to restore the goodness of His creation.

In fact, that was what God wanted to do for Adam and Eve when He walked in the garden in the cool of the day - He came as a friend; He came with love and forgiveness.

God will always walk with us in the moments of our temptations, and He wants to save us in the darkness of our sin.


We must pray for the sick because in the darkness of their illness, their faith in God will also begin to waver and crumble.

May our prayer keep them united with God and the Church and may we remember to reach out to the sick with love and care.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

5th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 10-02-11

Genesis 2:18-25 / Mark 7:24-30

Whenever we talk about salvation, there are many aspects to consider.

What do we need to be saved from?
- Saved from the punishment due to our sins?
- Saved from a meaningless life so as to become fully alive?
- Saved from an imminent danger or threat?

Yet the fundamental meaning of salvation in the Bible is the restoration of relationship between God and man.

The relationship was broken when man turned away from God and sinned.

The consequence of which is that man turned against himself, against each other and even against nature.

Jesus the Saviour restores the relationship between God and man, man and his fellow-man, and man with nature.

Jesus came to restore the relationship that we heard about in the 1st reading.

He came to save and heal as we heard in the gospel.

If there is anything that we need from God, it is the need to be saved and healed so that we can turn back to God and also be in union with each other and with nature.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

5th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 09-02-11

Genesis 2:4-9, 15-17 / Mark 7:14-23

In the Bible, the verb "to eat" has a deeper meaning than just consuming food.

To eat can mean to be in communion with another person or persons, or to be in an intimate relationship with someone.

So for the Jews, who they eat with is significant and important.

Another meaning of the verb "to eat" can also mean to know, or to have knowledge of something or someone.

For the Jews, they had a long standing tradition of what is ritually clean and unclean foods.

So when Jesus said that nothing goes into a  man from outside can make him unclean, he actually knocked away one of the pillars of their cultural and religious tradition.

On the other hand, Jesus connected the act of eating with the knowledge of what is sin.

Similarly in the 1st reading, God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

When we sin, we eat of the fruit of evil and our hearts become filled with evil, and death and destruction happens from within.

In the Eucharist, we gather to partake of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life so as to be in communion with Him.

May we be filled with the life of the Spirit so that we will speak words of love that will give life to others.

Monday, February 7, 2011

5th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 08-02-11

Genesis 1:20 - 2:4 / Mark 7:1-13

Children are always thrilled with balloons.

More so if the balloons are filled with helium because they rise and you have to keep it attached to a string if you don't want to lose the helium balloons.

It might sound like a silly question if i were to ask this question : Which helium balloon will rise faster - the red, the green, the blue or the yellow coloured one?

Of course we will say that it is not the colour that mattered but what is inside the balloon.

That may be obvious to us, but in other matters, things may become blurred.

The gospel cites one instance of the emphasis on washing of hands but neglecting the purity of heart.

As Jesus puts it so profoundly - You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.

Yet the basis of the teachings of Jesus and His ministry is stated in the 1st reading.

We are all created in the image and likeness of God and it is this image and likeness that Jesus came to save and restore.

External appearances are necessary but they can never replace the internal essence of what we are made of and who made us.

May our words and actions flow from the essence of the image and likeness of God within us.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

5th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 07-02-11

Genesis 1:1-19 / Mark 6:53-56

There is this saying : Don't judge a book by it cover.

In other words, just as we can't say what are the contents in the book just by looking at its cover, neither can we say what a person is really like just by his looks.

Nonetheless, we can't deny that looks do reveal.

Looks do reveal something about the feelings of the person and something about his heart.

For example, the angry look, the hurt look, the loving look, the tender look, etc.

In the gospel, we heard that the people recognized Jesus.

The recognition is more than just the physical features. They saw deeper than just the physical dimension.

They saw in Him, the look of mercy and unconditional love.

They saw in Him, the face of love, the face of God.

In the Eucharist, Jesus shows us the face of His love.

He gives to us who His is and what He is.

When we partake of the Eucharist, we change just as bread and wine is changed.

We too take on the look of love ; we take on the face of love.

May others recognize that look and see that face in us.

Friday, February 4, 2011

4th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 05-02-11

Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21 / Mark 6:30-34

The need for rest and recreation seemed to be like a missing element in our lives.

In our fast paced society, we can even feel guilty about having some rest and recreation when everyone seems so busy.

We may have become so used to busyness and hurried lives that we forget about the necessity of rest and recreation.

But rest and recreation is about doing nothing and sleeping our time away.

It is about a quiet time for prayer and to refocus our hearts on God.

In the gospel when the disciples came back from their mission and reported what they had done, the response of Jesus was for them to go to a lonely place and rest.

Because the temptation to do more and more especially with success after success can make people lose focus and perspective.

We have to realize that success cannot be created by our own hands.

It is God who will give success to the work of our hands.

Only when we are rested in the hands of God in prayer will our busyness bear fruits that last.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

4th Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 04-02-11

Hebrews 13:1-8 / Mark 6:14-29

Each of us has some shadows, some dark spots lurking in our lives.

Though these belong to the past, yet they haunt our present, maybe because we have yet to come to terms with them and to be reconciled with what we did.

Hence we may limp and stagger in the present because of the shadows from the past.

In the gospel, we heard how king Herod was haunted with a shadow from the past.

It was the shadow of John the Baptist whom he executed.

Everything that happened around him had that shadow of John the Baptist.

Even when he heard of Jesus, he immediately reacted by saying that it was John the Baptist  whom he executed.

But Jesus did not come to settle scores with Herod.

Rather Jesus came to save him from the shadows of the past.

Problem was that Herod chose to live among the shadows of his past.

We may have a shadowy past,  a past that is peppered with black spots.

But Jesus comes to bring light, and that light gives life to the present and to scatter the shadows.

Jesus came to show us God's love and mercy and forgiveness, so that we may start living again and walking in the light of God's love.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lunar New Year 04-02-11

For us Chinese, the Chinese New Year is an important celebration.

We take a break from work and from everything else just to celebrate Chinese New Year.

One of the most important aspects of Chinese New Year is the Reunion Dinner which we had last evening.

The family came together and gathered at the dinner table for a meal.

It’s a special meal because it is a reunion meal.

It is a meal that expresses the unity of the family, the love, the care, the concern for each other.

Also in partaking of this meal, we express our acceptance and forgiveness of each other.

That is why the reunion dinner is so important in the Chinese New Year celebrations.

And today, we are gathered around the altar of God to be reunited with God.

We want to offer our worship, give thanks, ask for forgiveness, ask for protection, and ask for blessings.

We also want to celebrate God’s love for us and to express that love for each other as we wish each other.

That is what real blessing is about – to be reunited with God and united with each other.

The real blessing is to be united as God’s family and celebrate family love.

Where there is love, the celebration of Chinese New Year will be indeed joyful and meaningful.

So, blessed is wearing new clothes and new shoes and having a new hairdo, let us also ask God to grant us a new heart.

Let us ask God to grant us a new and clean heart as we begin a new year.

Let us also ask the Lord to pour forth His love and blessings in our new and clean heart so that we will always be united with God and with each other.

We Chinese has this saying: it is blessed to have a meal.

In this Mass, we gather for a sacred meal.

We gather at the sacrificial table, the altar of the Lord, and we eat of the body of Christ.

That is the greatest blessing that we can ever ask for.

Yet, we also continue to share this blessing whenever we share a meal with our family, relatives and friends.

As we go visiting our relatives and friends during this Chinese New Year, we will surely sit down for a meal with them.

Let every meal be an expression of love, care, concern, reunion.

Let every meal also be an expression of acceptance, understanding and forgiveness.

Let every meal be an experience of God’s blessing.

More importantly, it is at the Mass, where we partake of the sacred meal that God is pouring forth His fullest blessings.

May you have a happy and blessed Chinese New Year.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

02-2-11, Wednesday, Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3 : 1-4 / Hebrews 2 : 14-18 / Luke 2 : 22-40

A revelation of the future would always drew some kind of attention or curiosity.

If someone tells us that he knows about our future, we would certainly be interested and curious.

Yet at the same time, knowledge about our future would also cause us to be anxious and tensed.

In today's gospel passage, we hear about the revelation announced by Simeon.

For Simeon, he was a blessed man because the peace that he was longing for was now his.

But for Mary and Joseph, it may be quite the opposite, and it was beyond their understanding.

Simeon revealed Jesus as the light, not just to the Jews, but to the whole world.

And He will make and break many of His own people.

It was not comforting to know that the baby in their arms was to become a sign that is opposed by those that do not want this revelation.

The revelation of who Jesus is, is also a revelation of who we are.

We are to be the light which will enlighten others, yet we are also to be the sign that is going to be opposed by others.

We are called to shine out the light of Christ, even though the world may prefer to live in darkness.

That is what we are called to be, that is our future, and blessed are we when we continue to focus and walk in the light.