Sunday, September 30, 2012

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Patroness of the Missions, 01-10-12

Isaiah 66:10-14 / Matthew 18:1-5   (2019)

St. Therese of the Child Jesus was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus".

She lived during the second half the 19th century (1873-1897), a rather short life of only 24 years.

Yet the shortness of years is certainly complemented by the great impact her life had on the spirituality of the Church and also in the life of holiness.

Her spiritual orientation of a hidden life coupled with simplicity and humility endeared her to many who desired to live a life of faith that wants to do small things with great love.

For St. Therese, every little act of love is like a little flower that is offered to Jesus, hence she is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus".

Her childlike attitude is also an inspiration for many, especially in the area of prayer.

In "The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux", she said there were so many lovely prayers and that she could not possibly say them all and did not know which to choose, so she would behave like children who cannot read.

"I tell God very simply what I want and He always understands". "I say an Our Father or a Hail Mary when I feel so spiritually barren that I cannot summon up a single worthwhile thought. These two prayers fill me with rapture and feed and satisfy my soul."

Such is the childlike simplicity of the Patroness of the Missions as she prays for missionaries even though she had never set foot on a foreign land.

From St. Therese we learn that simple prayers are indeed powerful prayers. Yet simple prayers should also form us to have a childlike simplicity and humility.

And like St. Therese, we should be like arrows that remain hidden in the quiver of God. And just as He used St. Therese to fulfill His plan, let us also be ready always to fulfill God's will for us.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

St. Teresa of Lisieux (Parish Feast Day) 30.09.2012

Isaiah 66:10-14/ Matthew 18:1-5

Generally speaking, our hand has five fingers. And we can assume that each finger has a significant purpose.

First of all, there is the thumb. It is often used to give the “thumbs-up” to mean that things are good and alright.

It is also important for the thumb-print for some legal documents.

The index finger is generally used to point in the general direction of things. 

To index means to point out or to show something, so that is why the second finger is called the index finger.

The third finger, or middle finger, which is the longest of the fingers, is used to help delicate functions like writing and typing. 

Then there is the fourth finger which is also called the ring finger.

And the last, which is also the smallest of all the fingers, is called the little finger, or also called the pinkie.

That little finger has this unique name because it originated from the Dutch language where the word “pinkie” is used to describe something tiny or small.

Hence the word “pinkie” would best describe the little finger.

So those are the names of the five fingers of the hand – the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger, the ring finger and the pinkie.

Of course, all the five fingers have a purpose. But which finger would we assume that has the least important function?

Without thinking too much, we might assume that it is the last finger, the little finger, the pinkie.

After all, in the Japanese organized crime, or the Yakuza, there is the Yubitsume ritual, or the cutting of one’s finger, as a form of penance or apology.

The transgressor must cut off the tip of his little finger, and give the severed portion to his boss.

But why the little finger, or the pinkie, and not the other fingers? Is it because the pinkie is the least important, and hence not much of a use?

Actually, on the contrary, the pinkie is the strongest finger of the hand.

In the traditional way of holding the Japanese sword, the last three fingers of each hand are used to grip the sword handle tightly, with the thumb and index fingers holding it loosely.

The little fingers of the two hands must grip the handle of the sword tightly. Because, surprisingly, the little finger is the strongest finger of the hand, in terms of gripping.

So by cutting off part of the little finger, the hand loses the proper grip of the sword.

And that would also symbolize a form of penance and apology and also submission to the boss.

But even in practical terms, just try to hold a hammer without the little finger gripping the handle. It won’t be that easy to hit a nail into the wall.

So it is surprising how much strength and power the little finger has, isn’t it?

It may be the smallest of all the fingers, it may be the last finger in the hand, it’s just a little finger, but it certainly has considerable strength.

In fact, losing the little finger can be very inconvenient. It may mean losing the grip of things, practically as well as symbolically.

So with this, we may be able to understand what Jesus meant when He said in the gospel: The one who makes himself as little as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

It may not seem logical as to how the little ones are the greatest.

But that is the way of God. God’s ways are above man’s ways, His thoughts are above our thoughts.

In fact, God will cast away the proud and mighty, and He will raise up the little and the lowly.

Today we celebrate the feast-day of the patron saint of our parish, St. Teresa of Lisieux.

Her religious name is St. Teresa of the Child Jesus. And her way to holiness and eventually to sainthood is known as the “Little Way”.

She believed that God shows love by mercy and forgiveness. The way to approach God is to be like how a little child approaches its parent – with open arms and complete trust.

In fact, St. Teresa wrote that she could not understand how anyone could be afraid of a God who became a child in order to live among us.

St. Teresa showed how she lived out that “Little Way” by taking on all the lowly and humble tasks in her convent.

She worked as a sacristan taking care of the altar and chapel. She served in the refectory and in the laundry room. She took care of the old and sick sisters.

Her life was just so routine, mundane and ordinary. But she did small things with great love.

She even had another name – The Little Flower. Because in all she did, she offered it as a little flower to Jesus.

She was just so child-like in her faith, but within 28 years of her death, she was canonized and is now a great saint.

St. Teresa was like that last finger of the hand – small and little, yet strong and powerful.

St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower, has taught us and shown us that in the small, little and lowly, God’s mighty love and power is shown.

That will also remind us that in Psalm 8:2, there is this verse that says : From the lips of children and infants, you Lord, have built a fortress against your enemies and to silence the foe.

Hence it is of great importance to teach our children to pray and to help them pray in a simple and little way.

Yet it is in the simple and humble prayers of children and even of infants that will turn on God’s mighty love and power.

It is in their simple and humble prayers that we will find the solution to our problems and difficulties.

It is in their simple and humble prayers that we will realize that power is found not in the thumb but in the last little finger.

And that should make us want to be like little children because God favours the lowly, the little and the humble.

So all the more we should want to pray with our children because their prayer is mighty and powerful.

Jesus said that anyone who welcomes a little child in His name welcomes Him.

St. Teresa took that little way and she found Jesus.

As for us, it’s either the little way, or no other way.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sts. Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Archangels, 29-09-12

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or Apocalypse 12:7-12a / John 1:47-51

In the Bible, angels appear often. Angels  are messengers from God and they even act to carry out God's will, be it protecting people, announcing to them a message or working out a miracle.

As much as angels appear often in the Bible, only three are named - Michael, Gabriel and Raphael -  and they are given the title "archangels".

Michael in the Hebrew language means "Who is like unto God?" or "Who is equal to God?" St. Michael has been depicted from earliest Christian times as a commander, who holds in his right hand a spear with which he attacks Satan, and in his left hand a green palm branch to signify God's victory over evil. The Archangel Michael is especially considered to be the Guardian of the Orthodox Faith and a fighter against heresies.

Gabriel means "Man of God" or "Might of God." He is the herald of the mysteries of God, especially the Incarnation of God and all other mysteries related to it. He is depicted as holding a lantern in one hand and in the other hand, a mirror of green jasper. The mirror signifies the wisdom of God as a hidden mystery.

Raphael means "God's healing" or "God the Healer" (Tobit 3:17, 12:15). Raphael is depicted leading Tobit with his right hand, and holding a physician's alabaster jar in his left hand.

Each of these archangels performs a different mission in Scripture: Michael protects; Gabriel announces; Raphael guides and heals.

Through these archangels and also through the ministry of angels in general, God continues to be present to us to protect us, to guide us and heal us and to communicate with us.

We thank God for sending His love through these angels and archangels and may we continue to be pray to the archangels Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael to help and guide us through the journey of life.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

25th Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 28-09-12

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 / Luke 9:18-22

Generally speaking, for something to work out, there must be the combination of the right place, the right persons and the right time.

These three factors can be said to be the legs of a three-legged stool, which can stand steady even in a uneven surface.

So when the combination of the right place, the right persons and right time come together, that is what we call the "appointed time", and we also know that it's not through human effort but rather it's the work of the divine.

The 1st reading talks about time and seasons for apparently cyclic human activities which at the same time are also apparently opposite in nature.

Yet as much as man may be able to comprehend what is happening at a particular time or season, yet he cannot comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.

And even in the gospel, when Peter said that Jesus is the Christ of God, he may not know the full impact of what he was saying nor for that matter of fact, all its consequences.

But in time to come, Peter and the rest of the disciples will come to know what the Christ of God came to do and how He would go about accomplishing it.

So let us also be aware that what we do now is a preparation for the future and has a consequence for the future.

Hence if what we do now is done in God, then we are preparing for the God's "appointed time". But if not, then we are only creating obstacles in the fulfillment of God's plan.

Let us remember that all time belongs to God, hence let us do what God wants of us ... all the time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

25th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 27-09-12

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 / Luke 9:7-9

In its own unique way, nature has a way of expressing the truths of life.

From the rising of the sun to its setting, from the way the winds blow, the way the waters flow, all these  have something to say about life and what it means.

Yet, way too often, we pass them by and we don't think too much about it.

Yet the 1st reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) brings us back to the ways of nature and the lessons that we can learn from them.

But the important lesson that the author wants us to learn from the ways of nature is that life is like a circle, it goes round and round.

And we too can end up going round and round and toil and toil and yet gain nothing if we don't learn anything.

Yes, no one can say that their eyes have not had enough of seeing, and their ears have not had enough of hearing.

Indeed we see a lot and we hear a lot, but how much do we comprehend and how much do we understand?

In the gospel, Herod also wanted to see Jesus but when he eventually got to see Jesus, he did not comprehend anything nor understood anything more.

Yes, we see and hear a lot and we have many encounters and experiences.

Yet, it is only when we bring these to prayer that we can comprehend and understand what God is telling us. Otherwise it is all just vanity of vanities.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

25th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 26-09-12

Proverbs 30:5-9 / Luke 9:1-6

The most basic of human needs are the physiological needs. They are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body simply cannot continue to function.

Hence the most obvious need is food, followed by other necessities for survival.

The 1st reading may not be talking about the hierarchy of needs but the writer certainly knows what he wants especially when he comes to the end of his days.

He said, "Two things I beg of you, do not grudge me them before I die : keep falsehood and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of bread to eat ..."

In other words all he wanted is that he will have peace of heart by always living in the truth and that he will have sufficient food to keep him alive for the day.

And as we think deeper about it, isn't that what is really necessary at the most essential level? Because the rest are just accessories and we can actually go on without them.

In the gospel Jesus is even more ascetic as He sends out His disciples just as they were. Can we really believe this?

Or do we think that it's really not practical and that could not have happened in reality. Maybe the gospel is embellishing things quite a bit.

But if we truly believe that God will provide, then we will believe the gospel passage literally as it is.

And if we truly believe that God will provide, then we will also live our lives truthfully and then come to realize that we can actually do away with the many "accessories" of life and live life simply and freely.

Monday, September 24, 2012

25th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 25-09-12

Proverbs 21:1-6. 10-13 / Luke 8:19-21

The Old Testament is divided into a few sections. There is the Pentateuch or the Torah which is the first five books of the Bible.

Then there are the historical books, the prophetic writings and the wisdom books or wisdom literature.

The wisdom books consists of the Book of Wisdom, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), and Sirach.

The 1st reading is taken from the book of Proverbs and we may consider it rather easy reading because of its practicality and easy comprehension.

As we can see from the 1st reading, the truths of life are clearly and simply spelt out - act virtuously and with justice, be hardworking, be compassionate and charitable.

Yet, what is clear and simple may not necessarily be easy to carry out, as we are often fooled into thinking that what is simple is easy.

In the gospel, Jesus said that those who hear the Word of God and put it into practice are the ones who are closest to Him.

Yes, reading and hearing about the wisdom of life is one thing. Putting it into practice is another thing.

Certainly we want to live a meaningful and a God-centered life with the wisdom that is already found in the Bible.

May we become what we read, and in doing so may we become more and more Christ-like to others.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

25th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 24-09-12

Proverbs 3:27-34 / Luke 8:16-18

In any experiment, the surrounding environment is usually controlled, i.e., the constants and the variables are closely monitored.

The subsequent result, though may be useful for data and scientific collation, may not necessarily reflect the real-life situation and circumstances.

Because when the elements in the environment are left to fluctuate and vary, the end result would certainly end up different or even in opposition.

The 1st reading which is from the book of Proverbs tells us of sensible and charitable precepts of life which we think is common sense and we may think that it goes without saying.

Yet we must remember that we are hearing/reading it under controlled circumstances - we are comfortable and at ease and there is nothing that is disturbing us or irritating us or agitating us.

As much as it may seem obvious to us to do the good and right thing, yet in life we so often fail simply because we are affected by the environment around us, with its adverse situations and circumstances.

So in the end, we don't do what we know we should, and we end up doing what we should not.

Similarly, in the gospel, Jesus said that no one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or put it under a bed. We might think that it goes without saying and common sense would tell us that it is a silly thing to do.

But we must remember that we live in a world of changing circumstances and situations, and we react contrary to the obvious and contrary to common sense.

Hence we must stand by God, who is unchanging, if we want to do the good and the right thing.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

25th Ordinary Sunday, Year B, 23.09.2012

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20/ James 3:16-4:3/ Mark 9: 30-37

There is a peculiar phenomenon that is happening in the entertainment scene.

We see it in TV serials, in live concerts, in movies – it’s like an invasion on the entertainment scene.

I would just want to generally term this as the “K-pop”.

Well, it all began with Canto-pop in the 70s, followed by Mando-pop and then J-pop (Japan) and now K-pop from Korea is riding the waves.

In the similar styles of the “pop” tradition, K-pop usually features boy-bands and girl-bands, whose members are young and good-looking and with very slick dance moves.

What is amazing is that we may not even know they are saying or singing. Of course I presume that we do not know the Korean language.

Take for example the song “Gangnam Style”. I really don’t know what the singer is singing or rapping away with.

Yet, it is the hottest video on Youtube with more than 225 million hits.

But if the rise of the K-pop in phenomenal, then there is something else from the land of South Korea that is is also phenomenal, but it not on the entertainment scene.

The rise of Christianity in S. Korea has indeed been astonishing as well as amazing.

But that does not mean that it has been easy for Christianity to take root in that land, or that Korea has always been favorable to Christianity.

Because ever since missionaries entered Korea in the 17th century, there had been fierce persecutions against Christianity especially during the 19th century.

In 1984, Pope John Paul II canonized 103 martyrs of Korea, but it was estimated that there were more than 8000 who were killed for their faith.

In fact the relics of one of the martyrs St. Laurent Imbert, who was a French missionary, is entombed in our Cathedral of the God Shepherd.

Yet it must be remembered that the fierce persecutions were not because the Christians were causing social unrest or creating political trouble.

The Christians were just ordinary men and women who were fervently living out their faith.

But because their faith shaped their lives and actions and practices, they were viewed by their fellow countrymen as detractors of the national culture and even as insurgents.

The 1st reading gives the reason for this attitude towards Christians – The godless say to themselves, “Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life. Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his and put his endurance to the test.”
“Let us condemn him to a shameful death since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.”

It is very amazing how the 1st reading managed to read into the minds of evil people and express their evil intentions.

Yet it is also quite disgusting to know that such are the thoughts and the deeds of evil people towards good and virtuous people.

It is simply illogical, irrational and absurd. Yet it has happened in the past, and it is still happening and it will continue to happen.

In other words, evil does not need a reason to make the good suffer. 

Evil is just out to exterminate the good.

We often say that Jesus died to save us from our sins.

Yet it must also be said that it was evil which nailed Jesus to the cross and killed Him.

Jesus knew what evil could do to Him, and that was why He said in the gospel: The Son of God will be delivered into the hands of evil men. They will put Him to death but three days after He has been put to death, He will rise again. 

So Jesus knew that evil was out to get Him. In spite of all the good He does, He will be persecuted and persecuted unto death.

He came to save us but who will save Him? We may not like to hear this, but God did not save Jesus from death on the cross!

But that is not the end of it. Because Hebrews 5:7 says this -  During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty,
aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard.

Yes, God did not save Jesus from a horrible death on the cross. But God saved Jesus out of death. Jesus rose from the dead. That was God’s promise to Jesus.

So in the face of evil, or in the midst of tragedy, God will promise to save us, just as He promised to save Jesus.

In 1989 an earthquake measuring 8.2 almost flattened Armenia, killing over 30,000 people in less than four minutes.

In the midst of utter devastation and chaos, a father left his wife securely at home and rushed to the school where his son was supposed to be, only to discover that the building was as flat as a pancake.

After the traumatic initial shock, he remembered the promise he had made to his son: "No matter what, I'll always be there for you!"  And tears began to fill his eyes.  As he looked at the pile of debris that once was the school, it looked hopeless, but he kept remembering his commitment to his son.

He began to concentrate on where he walked his son to class at school each morning.   Remembering his son's classroom would be in the back right corner of the building, he rushed there and started digging through the rubble.

As he was digging, other forlorn parents arrived, clutching their hearts, saying: "My son!"  "My daughter!"  Other well-meaning parents tried to pull him off from what was left of the school saying: "It's too late!", "They're dead!", "You can't help!", "Go home!", "Come on, face reality, there's nothing you can do!"
"You're just going to make things worse!"

To each parent he responded with one line: "Are you going to help me now?"   

And then he proceeded to dig for his son, stone by stone.

The fire chief showed up and tried to pull him off of the school's debris, saying, "Fires are breaking out, explosions are happening everywhere.  You're in danger.   We'll take care of it.  Go home." 

To which this loving, caring Armenian father asked, "Are you going to help me now?" 

But no one helped.
Courageously he proceeded alone because he needed to know for himself: "Is my boy alive or is he dead?"

He dug for eight hours . . . 12 hours . . . 24 hours ... 36 hours . . . then, in the 38th hour, he pulled back a boulder and heard his son's voice.  

He screamed his son's name, "ARMAND!"  He heard back, "Pa!?!  It's me, Pa!  I told the other kids not to worry.  I told them that if you were alive, you'd save me and when you saved me, they'd be saved.  You promised me, 'No matter what, I'll always be there for you!' 

"What's going on in there?  How is it?" the father asked.

“There are 14 of us left, Pa.  We're scared, hungry, thirsty."

"Come on out, boy!". "No, Pa!  Let the other kids out first, because I know you'll get me!  No matter what, I know you'll be there for me!"

So it was a happy ending for that father and son. It was also a happy ending for Jesus and His Father. 

His Father saved Him out of death. His Father did not give up on Him or left Him for dead.

Neither did God the Father leave the martyrs for dead. Because they are now with God in glory.

As for us, the reality is that evil will make us suffer. But we don’t have to return evil for evil.

But like Jesus, let us return evil for good. And for the good that we do, God our Father will save us out of death and from every evil.

Friday, September 21, 2012

24th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 22-09-12

1 Cor 15:33-37, 42-49 / Luke 8:4-15

The imagery of a seed being sown in the ground and then germinating into a plant is really amazing and astounding.

And to realize that the plant bears almost no resemblance to the seed that it came from is also very intriguing. Maybe perhaps the only visible connection is in the seeds that it bears.

Hence we can say that nature bears an indication to the mystery of life, here as well as hereafter.

And that was why in the 1st reading, St. Paul used that imagery of the seed and what it will grow into as a means of explaining the mystery of the afterlife and the resurrection.

In the gospel, Jesus also used the imagery of seeds, with the sower sowing seeds in various types of soil.

Yet Jesus also said: Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!

What we hear at Mass, i.e. the prayers, the homily, the hymns, all these are like seeds of the mystery of God that are sown into our hearts.

Whatever the state of our hearts may be, the seeds will remain there and will not go back to God without achieving what they were sent to do.

Yet let us also do what is necessary for the seeds to bear fruit. Just like the seed must die in order to bear a harvest, we too must die to ourselves in order for the Word of God to become alive in us.

But we must first listen to the Word of God, and then our hearts will begin to bear fruit that will last.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

St. Matthew, Apostle, Friday, 21-09-12

Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13 / Matthew 9:9-13

If we were asked in a Bible trivia, which of the apostles was a tax-collector, we would almost unanimously say it was St. Matthew.

And today's gospel passage recorded the occasion when Jesus called Matthew who was sitting by the customs house to follow him.

Yet we might want to take a moment to think about why Jesus called a person who was a tax-collector and why Matthew responded to the call.

Going by sound reasoning and public-relations, Jesus shouldn't have called a tax-collector who was considered a outcast at least, and a traitor at worst.

Calling a tax-collector would only erode His credibility and tarnish his public image.

On the other hand, for Matthew to have responded to the call would indicate that there had already been a yearning for a meaningful life and to walk the straight path of truth and justice and mercy.

The call-story of St. Matthew reiterates the fact that no one is unworthy or too sinful to be rejected by God. Everyone is called by God for a special and unique purpose and mission.

Yes Jesus came not to call the virtuous but sinners. And the call is first and foremost a call to repentance and conversion.

In St. Matthew's gospel, that is also the message. Jesus is the promised Messiah that has come to save us.

May we open our hearts to the call of conversion and repentance so that God's plan of salvation can be fulfilled in us.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

24th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 20-09-12

1 Cor 15:1-11 / Luke 7:36-50

The hearing faculty is indeed a very important aspect in life and more so in the area of learning.

It can be said that sounds and speech are our first encounters with the world around us, and we assimilate what we hear around us and we learn from it.

As much as the visual can tell a thousand words, yet the audio will give a deeper meaning as well as define those words.

In the 1st reading, St. Paul emphasized the importance of the spoken word of the Good News that he had preached to the Corinthians.

He reminded them to believe in exactly what he had preached to them, which was the same message as what the other apostles had preached.

To listen to something else and even believing in it will certainly lead to trouble and confusion.

Even in the gospel, Simon the Pharisee had a corrupted understand of sinners and the truth about forgiveness.

And from the parable that Jesus told, Simon the Pharisee had to admit that forgiveness was much wider than he thought.

May we listen attentively and reflect deeply on the words of forgiveness of Jesus.

May we learn from it, experience it in prayer and practice it in our lives.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

24th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 19-09-12

1 Cor 12:31 - 13:13 / Luke 7:31-35

We know how easy it is to chop off a branch from a tree with a sharp axe, yet we also know it is impossible to re-attach the branch back to the tree.

When power and might are abused and misused, then the consequences are offensive and destructive.

Hence we know that it is easier to break than to repair; it is easier to hurt than to heal; it is easier to hate than to love.

Yes, it is easier to divide and destroy than to unite and reconcile, and with physical power and military might, division and destruction is made very much easier.

Yet the real power and might lies in love and in its work of uniting and reconciling and healing.

In the 1st reading, St. Paul expressed the power of love in humble and simple and quiet ways like patience and kindness, truthfulness and endurance, trusting and hoping, and also not being jealous or boastful or conceited or rude or selfish.

Yes it is with love that we are also able to recognize loving people who speak and live by truth, even though the world might ridicule them or push them aside.

As Jesus said in the gospel, the world is "like children shouting to one another while they sit in the market place" and scorns the simplicity and the humility of love.

Yet just as Wisdom is proved right by all her children, so the power of love to heal and reconcile will prove to be mightier than the sword that just cuts and destroys.

May we always choose the way of love and trust and hope in Jesus, our Lord of love.

Monday, September 17, 2012

24th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 18-09-12

1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31 / Luke 7:11-17

Human beings are indeed an interesting and amazing species. They are the only species on earth to have intellect and will.

Humans are also the only species known to build fires and cook their food, as well as the only known species to clothe themselves and create and use numerous other technologies and arts.

Yet at its most fundamental, the human being is body and soul. Neither takes precedence in importance and neither is also inferior to the other.

Hence when St. Paul used the analogy of the human body to described the Church, he was wise to mention that in the one Spirit we were all baptised and the one Spirit was given to us all.

Yet at the finality of death, when the soul leaves the body, the body becomes a lifeless thing and over time it will also decompose and disintegrate.

Nonetheless we believe in the resurrection on the Last Day and we have to leave it to the mysterious power of God to gather up our remains for the resurrection (unless we are still alive by then).

When Jesus brought the young man back to life in the gospel, He showed not only compassion.

Jesus showed that He is the Lord of life and that He has power over death.

We may be alive but we can just choose to be mediocre and just exist on earth, or we can choose to be loving and life-giving.

When we choose the latter, then we are truly offering our bodies as a living and loving sacrifice to God.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

24th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 17-09-12

1 Cor 11:17-26, 33 / Luke 7:1-10

The gift of faith is indeed a wonderful thing. And when this gift of faith is shown by unexpected people or persons, then it is really a wonderful and amazing thing.

Such was the case with the centurion in today's gospel. Being a soldier and a pagan, he was not likely to be a prominent figure in religious circles.

But when he showed his faith in Jesus, even Jesus Himself was amazed - He was "astonished".

But there was something else about the centurion besides his gift of faith - he took Jesus seriously; he didn't take Him for granted; he believed in Jesus.

If a pagan can have such an attitude towards Jesus, then what about us Christians who are disciples of Jesus?

That was the question St. Paul asked the Corinthians regarding their attitudes during the celebration of the Lord's Supper.

They were taking the Lord's Supper for granted and hence profaning the Eucharist.

We too could end up taking the Eucharist for granted when what we do at Mass is not shown in our daily lives.

If the centurion's faith was amazing and astonishing, then we too need to wonder about what we mean when we say this: Lord, I am not worthy to have you under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

24th Ordinary Sunday, Year B, 16.09.2012

Isaiah 50:5-9a/ James 2:14-18/ Mark 8:27-35

I am going to mention a few names and you tell me what their job-title is.

The names are Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, the Fantastic Four.

So what is their job-title? Answer – Superheroes!

And these Superheroes have been making a comeback on the movie scene, the latest was Batman with “The Dark Knight Rises”.

And a few months ago there was also a movie about Superheroes called “The Avengers” and it featured Superheroes like Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and Thor.

Yes, those are the Superheroes, and they usually wear colourful tight suits over muscular contoured bodies.

So their job-title is Superheroes. And what about their job-description?

It is to fight against the bad guys and to save the world from some kind of devastating danger, and also to stop the bad guys from taking over the world.

Watching the Superheroes movies gives us a good feeling because it is always a happy ending.

Oh yes, the bad guys will seem to win a bit at the beginning and even give the Superheroes a tough time and cause some damage.

But in the end, the good guys will win and the bad guys get a trashing, and the Superheroes will continue to protect the world.

And that’s the way we like it. We feel good about it. Whether we admit it or not, we like the Superheroes.

That might be because we are looking for a real hero.

We want someone to fight our battles for us whenever we get bullied, we want someone to protect us whenever we are threatened, we want someone to save us whenever we are in danger.

And the need becomes more intense especially when the bad guys seem to be over-running and over-powering the good guys.

Such was the case during the time of Jesus. The people were waiting and yearning for the coming of the Messiah.

The belief was that this Messiah would free the people from the oppression of their enemies, which at that time was the powerful Roman army.

The Messiah would be a mighty and invincible warrior and he would trash the enemies and crush them thoroughly.

And this Messiah would bring the people to a glorious independence and live in peace and freedom.

Such were the thoughts of Peter when he proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, which is another title for the Messiah.

Not only Peter had these ideas. The rest of the disciples, and the people too had similar ideas.

When people are desperate for a Saviour, they wouldn’t want anything less than a Superhero.

So we can imagine their reaction when Jesus began to teach them that the Christ was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and to be put to death. And after three days to rise again.

For the Christ, the Saviour, the “Superhero” to suffer and even to die was totally unacceptable to them.

So Peter began to remonstrate with Jesus. To remonstrate means to make a forceful protest and to object violently.

Because this cannot happen to the Christ! It should not happen. It goes beyond all logic and expectation.

Because if the Saviour were to suffer and die, then they would be finished. There will be no more hope.

That would not be a good ending, and that would not give a good feeling. Never mind about that “after three days will rise again”.

What the people, and also what we want to see, is that the bad guys get trashed and our enemies get hell for doing all that evil.

And better still, we stand victorious over the bad guys, and have them beg for mercy.

But if we really want to understand Jesus and about carrying the cross and following Him, then we have to let go of this illusion of victory.

The true victory does not belong to the make-believe Superheroes or to the mighty and powerful bad guys.

The true victory belongs to the humble and the lowly and also to the unlikely.

Well, recently, the arrival of two giant pandas brought about some kind of “panda-monium” in Singapore.

For me it made me recall an animated movie called “Kung Fu Panda”.

Somehow the title already tells us that it’s a joke because kung fu and pandas don’t go together, for obvious reasons.

The movie is about an obese, clumsy and bouncy giant panda who finds himself designated as the prophesied Dragon Warrior, much to his own disbelief and also the disbelief of the other highly trained martial arts exponents.

His master was tasked to prepare him to stop an evil powerful snow leopard from destroying the inhabitants.

The master thought that it was a hopeless and futile task but nonetheless there was this Dragon Scroll which was said to teach limitless power, and the evil snow leopard was out to get it too.

Well the master and the big fat panda managed to get to the Scroll first, but they were utterly disappointed because there was nothing but a blank reflective surface on the scroll.

With all hope lost, the master sent panda and the rest home, and the panda blamed himself for being a useless nothing.

When panda reached home, his adopted father, who is a goose and runs a noodle shop, consoled him and revealed that the secret ingredient to his famous noodle soup is actually “nothing”!

He explained that things become special only when people believe in them.

Then panda realized that this “nothing” is precisely the secret of the Dragon Scroll. (As for rest of the movie, please watch it :-P)

And that is also the secret of the cross – to be nothing.

In the words of Jesus it is to renounce oneself and take up the cross and follow Jesus. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it and anyone who loses his life for Jesus and for the sake of the gospel will save it.

No Super-hero can save us; after all they are just make-believe.

Yet salvation and victory comes in the most unlikely and unexpected form of the cross on which Jesus is crucified.

The cross is about emptiness and nothingness, and yet in that movie, the big fat panda discovered that nothingness is indeed the secret to the limitless power and victory.

But the secret to the limitless power of the cross and its victory over evil, demands that we empty ourselves of false hopes and expectations. 

It’s in being nothing that we will receive everything. Because power and victory will be given to those who have nothing. 
Let’s believe it because that is what Jesus and the cross is all about.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Lady of Sorrows, Saturday, 15-09-12

Hebrews 5:7-9 / John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35

Our Lady of Sorrows is one of the more prominent titles of our Lady. The other associated titles are Sorrowful Mother or Mother of Sorrows, and Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows.

All these titles obviously refer to the profound moments of sorrow and grief in the life of Mary.

Among the devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows is the meditation and reflection of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

The following are the Seven Sorrows of Mary:
1.  The Prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34-35)
2.  The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13)
3.  The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:43-45)
4.  Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary (Stations of the Cross)
5.  Jesus Dies on the Cross. (John 19:25)
6.  Mary Receives the Body of Jesus in her Arms. (Matthew 27:57-59)
7.  The Body of Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb. (John 19:40-42)

It goes without saying that even the Mother of Jesus was not spared of any suffering and sorrows. Yet Mary's sufferings and sorrows are intimately united with with the sufferings and sorrows of Jesus as we can see the the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

Mary's sufferings and sorrows also made her united with us in our own sufferings and sorrows in life. At least we can imagine how she felt when people say her: Oh, so you are the the mother of that Jesus!

God did not save Mary from sorrow and suffering, just as He did not save Jesus from death. 

But as we heard in the 1st reading, Jesus submitted humbly to God who saved Him out of death, likewise Mary also submitted humbly to God even though the sword of sorrow pierced her heart.

Mary believed that God will save her out of her sorrow and suffering. May we united ourselves with Mary and believe likewise.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Friday, 14-09-12

Numbers 21:4-9 / Philippians 2:6-11 / John 3:13-17

This feast is called in Greek Ὕψωσις τοῦ Τιμίου Σταυροῦ (literally, "Raising Aloft of the Precious Cross"). In Latin it is called Exaltatio Sanctae Crucis (literally, "Raising Aloft of the Holy Cross").

Red vestments are worn for this feast, the same colour that is worn on Good Friday.

Good Friday commemorates the Passion of Christ and His death on the cross. Christ was nailed to the cross and flaunted before the face of God.

If it had all ended there, then evil would have triumphed because God did nothing to save His Son from evil.

Yes, God did not save Jesus from death, but God saved Jesus out of death (Hebrews 5:7).

And through the Resurrection, the cross of death has now become the cross of triumph over sin and death.

Yes, the holy and precious Cross is now raised aloft for the Church and for all the world to see.

For in the Cross is life and love, forgiveness and healing, redemption and salvation.

We must kneel before the Holy Cross and venerate it for it protects us and the powers of evil and darkness cower and flee before it.

Let us also pray with the Cross so that we will faithfully and courageously follow Jesus in His way of the Cross and finally we glory with Him in the Cross.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

23rd Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 13-09-12

1 Cor 8:1-7, 11-13 / Luke 6:27-38

When we make a deeper reflection of what we are doing when we receive Holy Communion, it is really awesome.

We believe that we are receiving the Body of Christ. We believe that Christ is the Risen Lord and God.

When we consume the sacred host which is the Body of Christ, we open our hearts to Christ to take possession of our whole being and to make His home in us.

All this profound mystery is expressed in the simple act of eating. In other words the simple act of "eating" the sacred host expresses the awesome reality of humanity coming into communion with divinity.

Yet it also a known fact that other religions, and even cults, use the act of eating to express a communion with the deity or idol or whatever that is worshipped.

For that same reason, St. Paul said in the 1st reading that he rather not eat meat which was offered to idol, not because he believed in the reality of idols, but rather to avoid causing a scandal.

At the same time, he was also emphasizing on his knowledge of what he was coming into communion with in the Eucharist.

He was coming into communion with the one true God, the Father from whom all things come and for whom we exist; and with Jesus Christ through whom all things come and through whom we exist.

When we truly know and understand what we are doing at Holy Communion and whom we are receiving into our hearts, then we will surely be able to accept what Jesus is teaching us in the gospel.

Yes, we would love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, pray for those who treat us badly.

And we will say with a deep conviction: It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

23rd Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 12-09-12

1 Cor 7:25-31 / Luke 6:20-26

The word "happy" has as its root word "hap" which is defined as turning out well or favoured by fortune.

So it means that when thing turn out well or when one is favoured by fortune, then one is happy. But if it is otherwise then one will be unhappy.

So it seems that happiness is very much subjected to what happens around us. And what happens around us will determine whether we are happy or not.

Maybe that might be reason why people search in vain for happiness, since it seems to be so subjective and relative.

The 1st reading may sound rather stoic, or at least it seems to tell us to try to be indifferent and to be unaffected by whatever that is happening around us.

Yet the heart of the matter is that St. Paul was telling the Corinthians not to look for lasting happiness in this passing world. Yes, this world as we know is passing away.

There is an eternal "happiness" that will not be subjected by the rise or fall of fortunes or whether things turn out well or not.

Hence the word "happy" in the gospel passage has to be understood as "blessing" and it is a blessing which comes from God.

God's blessing does not depend on His mood or how He feels about us. God will always bless us because He loves us.

Yes, God loves us with an everlasting love and our eternal "happiness" is already assured if we keep on faithfully loving God and others. Any other means of achieving happiness is not going to last.

Monday, September 10, 2012

23rd Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 11-09-12

1 Cor 6:1-11 / Luke 6:12-19

Any institution, whether secular or religious, has a set of foundational principles upon which it builds its purpose and vision.

Yet these principles at their very essence are not lofty ideologies but rather fundamental principles of life like equality, justice, respect, dignity and unity.

And these are actually very basic human values that will give the organization a human face and a human heart.

Yet we heard in the 1st reading that in the church of Corinth, there were complaints against one another within the community resulting in a court case that was presided over by unbelievers.

Besides being a shame and a humiliation in public, it was obvious that the essence of the Christian community was corroded and tattered.

St. Paul pointed it out bluntly when he said that they themselves were doing the wrong and the cheating to each other. The Christian community had become a laughing stock to unbelievers.

But just like in every chain there is a weak link and in every armour there is a chink, there will be some bad sheep in the Christian community.

Even when Jesus chose His apostles, among them was one who will become a traitor.

Hence we who are Christians need to be renewed in our spirituality and to be convicted of the essence and mission of the Church.

We must always focus on Jesus and continue His mission of preaching repentance and healing and forgiveness and deliverance.

We must pray to be delivered from the evil and sin within us, so that we can be a sign of salvation to the world.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

23rd Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 10-09-12

1 Cor 5:1-8 / Luke 6:6-11

Sexual sins and sexual immorality is certainly rampant in our society and maybe in our personal lives too.

These can encompass anything from adultery to fornication to pornography to masturbation.

Yet it must also be stated that adultery and the associated sexual sins rank as No. 7 in the 10 Commandments.

But that does not mean that sexual sins are not destructive or that they can be taken lightly.

In the 1st reading we heard of a grave sexual sin that was committed in the Christian community of Corinth - one of them was living with his father's wife, and it was public knowledge.

St. Paul even has to say that the sin was unparalleled even among the pagans! And yet the Christian community seemed to think lightly of it.

Well, as it was then, so it is now. If sexual sins are taken lightly, it may be because the Commandments of God are taken lightly. And it may be an indication that God is taken lightly too.

Where sin increases, the adherence to the precepts of the Lord decreases. And we heard in the gospel that as Jesus healed the man with the withered hand, the scribes and Pharisees were watching Him and later they even discussed the best way of dealing with Him.

And all this was happening in the synagogue, in a place of prayer. So even as they stand in the presence of God, their minds were thinking about something evil.

The 1st reading also reminded us that a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough.

A small sin that is not addressed and confessed will be enough to infect and darken the whole person.

So let us turn back to the Lord, confessing our sins, and be reconciled and healed and live our lives in sincerity and truth.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

23rd Ordinary Sunday, Year B, 09.09.2012

Isaiah 35:4-7/ James 2:1-5/ Mark 7: 31-37

The mother-tongue is understood as the language that is learnt from birth.

It is also sometimes called the native language, but still the term “mother-tongue” is more endearing.

More than just a being a language that our mothers taught us, it is the language that resonates deep within us, it is the language of the heart.

Maybe that is why there is some debate over the issue of “mother-tongue” and dialects, especially for the Chinese in Singapore.

Because Mandarin is being taught as the Chinese language in schools.

But the elders and those of the older generation often speak dialects or what is called the “mother-tongue”, and that has resulted in some communication problems between the old and young, especially in traditional families.

But that is not as serious as when it comes to the conquest of a nation by a more powerful nation.

Besides tearing down the national monuments, the conquerors would enforce their language on the conquered people.

The aim is to make the people forget their own language by suppressing their mother-tongue.

When the mother-tongue is not spoken and heard anymore, people will slowly forget their identity, their origins and their culture.

And when they are forced to speak a new language, they will inevitably adopt another identity and another culture that is alien to them.

But in order to survive, they will have to speak the language of the oppressors.

And they will also have to accept whatever the oppressor calls them, and that may mean being called inferior and being treated as outcasts.

Such has happened throughout history, and such has happened during the time of Jesus.

During the time of Jesus, the Roman army has conquered and occupied Israel and the people were speaking a mixture of Greek, Latin and Hebrew.

That was why when Jesus was crucified on the cross, the sign that was nailed to the cross was written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew.

In the face of oppression and injustice, the Jews were trying to hold on to their mother-tongue, to their identity, to their origin and to their culture.

More critically, they were trying to hold on to their faith in God as their enemies flaunt their power and might.
They were trying to find their words of faith in order to express their trust in God and their hope for deliverance.

It was very tempting and also very convenient to speak the language of their oppressors and to abandon their faith altogether.

Today’s gospel passage tells us of Jesus healing a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech.

It could be seen as just a miraculous healing story. But it is more than just a miraculous healing.

It was interesting that Jesus used the Hebrew word “Ephphatha” meaning “Be opened”.

In the act of healing, besides putting His fingers into the man’s ears and touching his tongue, Jesus used the native language of the Jewish people.

It was the language of their fore-fathers, it was the language of their faith that expressed their identity and their origins and their culture.

In using the Hebrew word “Ephphatha”, Jesus made the people recall their mother-tongue, and also how God had spoken to them in the past.

As we all know, the mother-tongue or the native language is learnt by hearing it first.

It is from hearing that we can reproduce the sounds. It is from hearing it first, that we learn the language.

Romans 10:17 puts it very profoundly when it says that faith comes from hearing the message.

Indeed when we hear the language of faith, then we are able to speak the language of faith.

Yet in this world, the language of the world is louder than the language of faith.

The language of this world is not propagated by force or oppression.

Rather the language of the world rides on pleasure and desires and false impressions and empty promises.

For example, how often do we hear about the virtues of purity and chastity?

And that is because the world makes a joke out of purity and chastity.

Just mention the word “virginity” and the world would snigger and laugh, as if it is some kind of embarrassment.

Because the world says that purity and chastity are out of fashion and even obsolete, or maybe it is just for religious freaks.

And consequently, fidelity and faithfulness to marriage are also taken lightly.

And what have we to say about that? As a people of faith, what language are we going to use?

To be silent would mean that we have succumbed to the pressures of the world and to speak their language.

To be silent would mean that we have forgotten our language of faith.

In the Eucharist, we are gathered to hear the Word of God.

Our ears are opened to hear again the language of our faith.

Through the language of faith, Jesus tells us to live our lives with purity and chastity, with fidelity and faithfulness, with kindness and patience and humility.

And with faith, we open our mouths and speak about what we believe in and teach others the language of faith.

What God has opened, we must not close; what God has spoken, we must not keep silent.

Jesus has done all things well in making the deaf hear and the dumb speak. 

Let us continue to speak the language of our faith, so that we will know who we are, where we came from, and what we must do.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Nativity of the BVM, Saturday, 08-09-12

Micah 5:1-4 or Romans 8:28-30 /  Matthew 1-16, 18-23

The Church celebrates the birth (or nativity) of three persons in the liturgy: Jesus, John the Baptist and Mary.

John the Baptist pointed out Christ as the Lamb of God and prepared the way for Him.

Mary conceived Christ, the Son of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit and she brought Christ into the world in the wonderful mystery of the Incarnation (God became man).

Sources other than the Bible gave the names of Mary's parents as Joachim and Anna and the Church celebrates their memoria on the 26th July.

Also Mary's birth was termed as miraculous because her parents were childless and they prayed for a child and it was God who answered their prayers, and in a way that is more than they can expect.

Because God has a special mission for Mary in His wonderful plan of salvation. With her birth, the plan of salvation took on concrete shape towards its fulfillment.

Jesus is the Saviour, and Mary is the one who mothered the Saviour; Jesus is the fullness of the expression of God's love and in Mary, that love was made flesh.

We rejoice with Mary as the Church celebrates her birth. And yet Mary would also want us to join her to give thanks and pray for the salvation of the world.

Just as she gave birth to Jesus our Saviour, every birth of a child is God's love made flesh and the promise of salvation is renewed.

And as Mary's children, let us join her to pray for the world's conversion and salvation.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

22nd Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 07-09-12

1 Cor 4:1-5 / Luke 5:33-39

A priest has many titles that describe who he is. Among those are "Reverend Father", "shepherd", "minister" and "cleric".

One title that would aptly describe the role of a priest is "man of God". That title has its origins in the Old Testament as it was a title given to Moses (Deut 33:1), David (Neh 12:24), Elijah (1 Kings 17:18) and Elisha (2 Kings 4:7).

This title reminds the priest that he is set apart as one having a special relationship with and an origin in God. The minister is God's special representative, one whom God has personally chosen and sent.

Hence the primary role of the priest is to form his people into a "People of God". The Church is most profound in its identity when it shows itself as a "People of God".

The 1st reading puts it in another way: people must think of us as Christ's servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God.

Just as Christ came to serve, we as Christ's servants are also stewards of the mysteries of God and we serve by bringing the mystery of God's presence and His love to the world that is darkened by sin and evil.

Yet we must already be a "people of God" to each other, we must already be a "man or woman of God" to each other before we can be a "people of God" to the world.

To be a person of God means that we are filled with the Holy Spirit and we serve with love and are ready to forgive and we refrain from judging the character of others and we are at peace with others.

Hence if the priest is truly a "man of God" and the parishioners is truly a "people of God" then it will show like a new cloak and taste like new wine.

Yes, people must see us as Christ's servants, and they must also see us as a holy people of God. Let us pray that we will truly live out to our baptismal calling.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

22nd Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 06-09-12

1 Cor 3: 18-23 / Luke 5:1-11

The ways of the Lord are indeed mysterious ways. And not just mysterious, they are also very unconventional to the human mind.

He chooses the humble over the proud, the weak over the strong, the lowly over the mighty.

The 1st reading brings out yet another mysterious aspect of God, and that is He chooses the foolish over the wise.

What might sound puzzling to us is that it says "if any one of you thinks of himself as wise, in the ordinary sense of the word, then he must be a fool."

It goes on to say that it is because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. That seemed to undermine our education and intellectual formation.

Yet, when that passage is read in context, then it becomes clear that St. Paul was referring to philosophy, which means the love for knowledge and wisdom.

The warped wisdom of the world would want to encompass the wisdom of God and will try to determine how God would act according to its own understanding.

Even in the gospel passage, Peter's common sense told him that what Jesus was suggesting was rather absurd and ridiculous.

For whatever reason, he did as Jesus told him, and in going out into the deep water, he made a discovery which no worldly wisdom can explain.

So besides intellect and rationale, we must also make a leap of faith into the mysterious deep water.

And we must remember that we don't leap alone. God leaps with us so that He will lead us into the depths of His divine wisdom.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

22nd Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 05-09-12

1 Cor 3:1-9 / Luke 4:38-44

Generally we can tell the difference between cooked food and uncooked food, and the difference is usually quite obvious.

Even if it is pre-cooked and ready-to-eat type of food, we would certainly heat it up if we feel that it is better to do so.

So just by looking at and examining the food, we will know the difference. In a similar way, just by looking at and observing people we can generally tell the spiritual state of a person.

And in the 1st reading, St. Paul was rather blunt in saying what he saw and observed about the Christian community at Corinth.

He concluded that they were sensual and un-spiritual people, because it was so obvious to him that there was jealousy and wrangling and forming cliques to favour one over another.

Yet in the gospel, it was also obvious what people saw in Jesus. They brought the sick and those tormented by evil to Jesus for Him to lay His hands on them and He cured them and delivered them from evil oppression.

The people saw in Jesus a spiritual person who had the power to cure and heal and deliver people from sickness and spiritual afflictions.

Yet at the same time, the people obviously didn't see the true identity of Jesus. They went in search for Him early the next day and they wanted to prevent Him from leaving them.

Obviously they were possessive and selfish and may even had ulterior motives about Jesus.

So, regardless of whether people know we are Catholics or not, they will certainly know our spiritual state just by looking at us and observing us.

So as Catholics, do we know what we are supposed to do? Jesus knew what He was supposed to do. And from what He did, people knew what kind of person He was.

May we continue to do what Jesus came to do and be like Jesus in all we do.