Tuesday, May 31, 2016

9th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 01-06-16

2 Tim 1:1-3, 6-12 / Mark 12:18-27

The great pyramids of Egypt is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and in fact the only existing one left.

Standing magnificently and silently in the desert sand for four thousands years, those pyramids housed the tombs of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

The shape of the pyramids was thought to symbolize a stairway to the sun, so that the pharaohs could climb to heaven.

The great pyramids were built from about two million blocks of stone, each weighing about twenty tons.

So it can be said that the Egyptian belief in the after-life was rock solid.

So did the Jews in the time of Jesus. Yet, there was a hitch in the Egyptian and Jewish understanding of the after-life.

The pharaoh was buried with his treasures and possessions, his servants and his wives, so that he could bring them along with him to the after-life.

In the gospel, we heard that the Sadducees thought of the after-life relationships as a mere continuation of the present life relationships.

We too can become confused and skeptical when we try to understand the after-life in terms of the present life.

All we know for now is that we will see God "face-to-face" and receive the fullness of life and joy.

It is with faith in God and in the eternal life with Him that we will stop building pyramids on earth and strive to live the life of above.

The God that we believe in is God, not of the dead, but of the living.

Those who believe in Him will have life and life to the full.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Visitation of the BVM, Tuesday, 31-05-16

Zephaniah 3:14-18 / Luke 1:39-56

We would always like to be prepared for a visit by someone. In other words, we would like to be notified beforehand of the visit.

Part of the reason is that we want to tidy up the house so that it can be presentable and the visitor will complement us.

Another reason is that we want to know the purpose of the visit so that we can prepare ourselves for an appropriate response to the visitor.

Mary's visit to Elizabeth was a surprise and certainly unannounced, obviously due to the means of communication at that time.

Although it was unannounced and a surprise, yet it was a joyful and blessed moment for Mary and Elizabeth.

When the baby leapt in Elizabeth's womb it also confirmed for Mary what the angel Gabriel had told her at the Annunciation.

Today as we begin the triduum in preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, it may be of no coincidence that we also celebrated the feast of the Visitation.

Mary comes to visit us and as we gather in prayer, may she also pray for us that our hearts will also leap with joy that the promises made to us by Jesus will be fulfilled.

Let us put our anxieties and worries into the hands of the Lord, and let us rejoice and exalt with all our heart.

As the 1st reading puts it: The Lord your God is in your midst; a victorious warrior. He will exalt with joy over you, He will renew you with His love; He will dance with shouts of you for you, as on a day of festival.

Indeed, we must rejoice and exalt with Mary, and may our hearts leap for joy.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

9th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 30-05-16

2 Peter 1:2-7 / Mark 12:1-12

At this very moment, if we were asked what we need most now, what would be our reply?

Certainly, what we need most now would be what is urgent and important.

It could be anything from getting a presentation up in an hour's time, or getting someone to fetch the kids from school because we are held up, or getting a domestic helper.

Whatever it may be, it is about a present and pressing need. But whatever the need may be, it will come and go and pass along. And then there will be another need, and the whole cycle starts again.

The 1st reading has this to tell us: By God's divine power, He has given us all the things we need for life and for true devotion, bringing us to know God Himself,

And it goes on to say that God has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come. And then we will be able to share the divine nature and to escape corruption in a world that is sunk in vice.

And the corruption of the world that is sunk in vice has this power to make us lose focus on what we really need to what we desire and end up straying away from God.

The gospel parable pointed out that even the tenants began to think that they are the owners of the vineyard, and they ended up losing everything.

We have needs, some may be urgent, others may be pressing. But let us realize that what we need most at any point in time is to know God and to know that He loves us.

When we realize that, then the other needs, urgent or otherwise, will be resolved.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Corpus Christi, Year C, 28.05.2016

Genesis 14:18-20 / 1 Cor 11:23-26 / Luke 9:11-17

The word “eat” is a popular word and for us it is a favourite word.

Because it forms our favourite question: “Where to eat?”. And it also forms our next favourite question: “What to eat?” Not that there is nothing to eat. Rather there is too much to choose from; we are really spoilt for choice.

And there are also many phrases that use the word “eat”: eat-and-run; dog-eat-dog; eat your own words; eat humble pie; eat like there’s no tomorrow; you can’t have your cake and eat it.

And then there’s this one that is rather amusing – eat your heart out.

The meaning is that if you say "eat your heart out” followed by the name of a famous person, you are jokingly saying that you are even better than that person. 

The origin of that phrase means to suffer in silence from anguish or grief, or more graphically, to have the heart eaten out with desire, bitterness, or pain.

But on the funny side, when this is referred to the eating capabilities of teenagers, we can say that they can eat their hearts out without affecting their appetites.

So when there is an abundance of food, we can think of humourous sayings and even make philosophical reflections.

In the gospel, food was also the talking point.

But there wasn’t anything to laugh about, nor was it an occasion to make profound reflections about eating.

Simply because there wasn’t anything to eat. Or to put it more correctly, there were five thousand men and only five loaves and two fish.

The disciples proposed the most convenient solution – send the people away and let them solve the problem themselves.

Jesus counter proposed: Give them something to eat yourselves.

As the disciples stared at the five loaves and two fish and wondered how to solve the overwhelming problem, Jesus proceeded with the underlying solution.

He took the five loaves and two fish, raised His eyes to heaven, said the blessing over them, broke it and distributed it.

And a miracle happened. They all ate as much as they wanted and when the scraps remaining were collected, they filled twelve baskets.

Yes, a miracle happened, and as we look at Jesus blessing the food, breaking it and distributing it, it all pointed to one thing – He gave them something to eat, He gave His heart out.

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Corpus Christi, which means the Body of Christ.

Jesus feeds us with His Body, and it also means He gives His Heart out to us.

*But the weakening of faith in the Real Presence of the Risen Christ in the Eucharist is one of the most significant aspects of the current spiritual crisis. Jesus wants to strengthen our faith in His Eucharistic presence. That is why from time to time in the history of the Catholic Church He gives us signs - Eucharistic miracles that clearly point to the fact that He, the Risen Lord Himself in the mystery of His Divinity and glorified humanity, is truly present in the Eucharist. 

The most recent Eucharistic miracle recognized by the Church authorities occurred in 1996 in the capital of Argentina–Buenos Aires.

In the evening on August 18, 1996, Fr. Alejandro Pezet was saying Holy Mass at a Catholic church in the commercial center of Buenos Aires. As he was finishing distributing Holy Communion, a woman came up to tell him that she had found a discarded host at the back of the church. Fr. Alejandro went and saw the defiled Host. Since he was unable to consume it, he placed it in a container of water and put it away in the tabernacle of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

On Monday, August 26, upon opening the tabernacle, he saw to his amazement that the Host had turned into a bloody substance. He informed Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (who is now Pope Francis) who gave instructions that the Host be professionally photographed. The photos were taken on September 6. They clearly show that the Host, which had become a fragment of bloodied flesh, had grown significantly in size. For several years the Host remained in the tabernacle, the whole affair being kept a strict secret. Since the Host suffered no visible decomposition, Cardinal Bergoglio decided to have it scientifically analyzed.

In 1999, in the presence of the Cardinal’s representatives, Dr. Castanon took a sample of the bloody fragment and sent it to New York for analysis. Since he did not wish to prejudice the study, he purposely did not inform the team of scientists of its provenance. 

One of these scientists was Dr. Frederic Zugiba, the well-known cardiologist and forensic pathologist. He determined that the analyzed substance was real flesh and blood containing human DNA. Dr. Zugiba testified that, “the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart, and it pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of white blood cells. 

This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken. It is my contention that the heart was alive, since white blood cells die outside a living organism. They require a living organism to sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. 

What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.”

When Dr. Zugiba was asked how long the white blood cells would have remained alive if they had come from a piece of human tissue, which had been kept in water, he replied that they would have ceased to exist in a matter of minutes. Then he was told that the source of the sample had first been kept in ordinary water for a month and then for another three years in a container of distilled water; only then had the sample been taken for analysis. Dr. Zugiba was at a loss to account for this fact. 

There was no way of explaining it scientifically, he stated. Only then was he told that the analyzed sample came from a consecrated Host (white, unleavened bread) that had mysteriously turned into bloody human flesh. 

Amazed by this information, Dr. Zugiba replied, “How and why a consecrated Host would change its character and become living human flesh and blood will remain an inexplicable mystery to science, a mystery totally beyond her competence.” * (Eucharistic Miracle in Buenos Aires, by Fr. Mieczysław Piotrowski S.Chr.)
So for those who have faith and believe, no explanation is necessary; but for those who do not believe no explanation is possible.

We who have faith must also ask the Lord Jesus to increase our faith and to always believe that in giving us His Body, Jesus also gave His Heart out to us.

As we receive the Body of Christ in Holy Communion, Jesus wants to heal us from eating our hearts out in anguish or grief, or in bitterness or pain.

Jesus gives His Heart out to us. May we in turn give our hearts out to others. 

That is what the Body of Christ is about. And that is what being the Body of Christ is about.

Friday, May 27, 2016

8th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 28-05-16

Jude 17, 20-25 / Mark 11:27-33

Faith is essential in the Christian life. Because faith is the foundation that we build our lives on.

Faith leads us to pray and to keep ourselves within the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to give us eternal life.

But faith must also be expressed in good works. Or to put it simply, what is inside must also be seen outside.

Faith without any form of good works is dead. Hence, the 1st reading urges us to reassure those who have doubts, and when there are some to be saved from the fire, to pull them out.

But the 1st reading also tells us this - there are others to whom you must be kind with great caution, keeping your distance even from outside clothing which is contaminated by vice.

So faith tells us to be kind but also to be cautious with those who will lure and lead us into sin.

Such was how Jesus responded to the chief priests and scribes and elders when they questioned His authority.

Jesus did not enter into an argument with them but rather gave them something to think about. He was cautious about falling into their trap.

So faith must be expressed in forms of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, compassion, etc.

But with faith we also must pray for wisdom, knowledge and understand so that we won't fall into temptation and be led into sin.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

8th Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 27-05-16

1 Peter 4:7-13 / Mark 11:11-26

Today's gospel portrayal of Jesus is not one that we would like to see.

In fact, cursing fig trees and being physically violent won't draw any admiration from others.

But the beginning of Chapter 11 of the gospel of Mark stated that Jesus just entered Jerusalem and soon He will face His Passion.

So the Jesus in today's gospel is anxious because the urgency of His message about the Kingdom of God has not sunk into the minds and hearts of the people.

So His actions in today's gospel are like alarm bells in the morning and they are sharp warnings to those who are aware of His message but do not do anything about it.

And even for us, the areas of conversion in our lives must begin, and must begin now.

We can't be indifferent or wait for tomorrow; there might be no tomorrow.

And if the Lord asks us now to show an account of our lives, will we have any good fruits to show?

So let us start straightening up our lives, we who are the Temples of the Holy Spirit, let us bear fruits for the Kingdom of God, fruits of love and peace, fruits of joy and forgiveness.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

8th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 26-05-16

1 Peter 2:2-5, 9-12 / Mark 10:46-52

From what we have gone through in life, we would have learnt that certain things cannot be forced.

No one can be forced to change their habits, or their behaviour or their principles. Because essentially change comes from within, not from without; it cannot be forced.

Similarly, faith and love cannot be forced on a person. God loves us and He wants us to have faith in His love for us.

But He will not force us to love Him or believe in Him. God only invites us to respond to His love.

In today's gospel, we hear about the response of a blind man called Bartimaeus.

Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus passing by. He may have have already heard many things about Jesus. The time had come for him to make a response to Jesus. And for his response, he got healed and he followed Jesus.

Faith is believing that God loves us and our response is to love God. When faith brings these two loves together, then we will know what journeying from darkness into light is all about.

Then we will experience what Bartimaeus experienced.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

8th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 25-05-16

1 Peter 1:18-25 / Mark 10:32-45

There is a famous painting which was originally called "Hands". But we would know it more popularly as "Praying Hands".

At the bottom left corner of this painting are the initials A.D., which are the initials of the artist Albrecht Durer.

The hands that modeled for his painting were the hands of his brother Albert.

He drew the hands of his brother as a tribute to him.

The story is that Albert worked in the coal-mines to sponsor Albrecht to go the the Art Academy.

Albert also desired to be an artist but his work in the coal-mines left him with broken fingers and arthritis.

The drawing of Albert's hands only goes to show that love is a sacrifice and service with love is also a sacrifice.

Jesus served us by sacrificing Himself, and it is a sacrifice that freed us and saved us.

So whenever we join our hands to pray, let us remember that other things will come and go, the grass will wither and the flower will fade.

But the sacrifice we make in the form of a loving service to others, that sacrifice will remain and will be remembered.

8th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 24-05-16

1 Peter 1:10-16 / Mark 10:28-31

In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI wrote a Letter to Chinese Catholics, in which he asked that May 24 each year be dedicated to a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China.

He chose May 24 because it is the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, who is venerated at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai.

In honour of the first celebration of the World Day of Prayer for China, in 2008, Pope Benedict composed a prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan and asked that Christians throughout the world recite it on May 24.

Indeed, it is an occasion in which the whole Church would “demonstrate their fraternal solidarity and solicitude” (care and concern) for the persecuted Church in China by acts of prayer and penance.

So it is a call for action on the spiritual dimension, something that we the Church can do, and yet we seem to have neglected it.

There seem to be this disturbing "spiritual divorce" within the Church in that we have not heeded the call for unity and solidarity and solicitude for our Catholic brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.

Let us be united with the Lord and with each other in prayer. And let us offer the love of this prayer to our brothers and sisters in the Church in China by offering the prayer below for them, especially on this day that is dedicated for prayer for them.

May the Lord guard and protect the Church in China, and may He give them strength and courage in the trials and difficulties that they face.

Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan (A Prayer for the Church in China by Pope Benedict XVI)

Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother,
venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title "Help of Christians," the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection.
We come before you today to implore your protection.
Look upon the People of God and, with a mother's care, guide them
along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be
a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.

When you obediently said "yes" in the house of Nazareth,
you allowed God's eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb
and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption.
You willingly and generously co-operated in that work,
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary,
standing beside your Son, Who died that we might live.

From that moment, you became, in a new way,
the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith
and choose to follow in His footsteps by taking up His Cross.
Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed
with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter.
Grant that your children may discern at all times,
even those that are darkest, the signs of God's loving presence.

Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China,
who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love.
May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world,
and of the world to Jesus.
In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high,
offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love.
Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love,
ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.
Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

8th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 23-05-16

1 Peter 1:3-9 / Mark 10:17-27

Qin Shi Huangdi (秦始皇) (259 BC – 210 BC), was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC during the Warring States Period. He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC. He ruled until his death in 210 BC at the age of 50.

After his death, he was buried in an underground tomb, along with his treasures and also his servants (buried alive) as was the practice in those times

There was even a "Terracotta Army" to guard the tomb of the emperor.

When his tomb was discovered, his remains and the remains of those who were buried with him were taken aside for further analysis.

One of the archaeologists was examining the remains and he seemed to be looking for something.

When he was asked what he was looking for, he replied: I am looking to see if there is any difference between the bones of Qin Shi Huangdi and that of his slaves. I don't see any.

We may think it is an obvious comment, but yet it is a chilling fact that whatever we have now, will ultimately remain here on earth.

And when we come before God, we are no different from the person next to us, whether be it in terms of merit or credit.

We can't even earn heaven or eternal life. But it is given freely to us.

The 1st reading would even say that God promised us an eternal inheritance that is being kept for us in the heavens.

But while we are here on earth, we must treasure this eternal gift and inheritance.

Because where our treasure is, there our heart will be.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Trinity Sunday, Year C, 22.05.2016

Proverbs 8:22-31 / Romans 5:1-5 / John 16:12-15

It is said that knowledge is power. Learning new things every day help us grow in many ways. But whatever we have learnt or are learning, there is still a massive amount of knowledge out there that remains to be learnt.

Some facts can be just trivia, which can be interesting, or amusing, or just simply amazing.

Did we know that the sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English alphabet? That’s why that sentence is used for typing lessons for beginners.

Did we know the the average person falls asleep in 7 minutes? That’s why the recommended time for the length of a homily is 7 minutes.

Did we know that apples are more effective at waking you up in the morning than coffee? 

Did we know that money is the number one thing that people argue about?

Did we know that the most common mental illnesses are anxiety and depression?

And talking about anxiety and depression, it can stem from what we know, as well as what we do not know.

So knowledge of our present situation may lead us to depression, yet we are also anxious to know about our future.

A story goes that a young man was rather depressed about his current situation, and so he decided to go to a fortune-teller to see what his future is like.

So the fortune-teller studied his palm and then he told the young man, “You will be poor, unhappy and unmarried until you are 40.” 
And so the young man anxiously asked, “After that? After that?” And the fortune-teller replied, “After that you will get used to it!”

Maybe the truth here is that life is difficult and even depressing at times, and we have to get used to that. Or at least we have to be prepared for that.

In the gospel, Jesus said to His disciples, “I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now.”

He could be referring to what was going to happen soon, i.e. He will be betrayed into the hands of His enemies, His disciples will desert Him, He will suffer and die on the cross.

But that would be too much for His disciples to handle for the moment. It would be too depressing for them.

Yet, Jesus also added this – But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth.

So as much as the reality of life is that it is difficult and even depressing at times, there is an even greater truth that is promised by God in the scriptures.

Because in the book of the prophet Jeremiah, God has this to say to His people. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

It is by trusting in the Lord’s promise of the future for us that we dare to look towards the future with hope and not with despair.

Some of us may remember Arthur Ashe. Arthur Ashe became the first, and is still the only, Afro-American male player to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. He is also the first Afro-American to be ranked No. 1 in the world. Always an activist, when Ashe learned that he had contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion, he turned his efforts to raising awareness of the disease, before finally succumbing to it on February 6, 1993.

When he was suffering from the disease, he received letters from his fans the world over, one of which conveyed: "Why does God have to select you for such a bad disease?"

To this Arthur Ashe replied with this one paragraph, and it is often quoted as the paragraph that explains life: "All over the world 50 million children start playing tennis, 5 million learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the Grand Slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to the semi-finals, 2 to the finals, and when I was holding the cup I never asked God “Why me?”. And today in pain I should not be asking God “Why me?”

For us, as the mystery of life unfolds before us, and especially when distress and turmoil swirl around us, we will be inclined to ask God “Why me?” But at the same time, another mystery is also unfolding before us, and it is the mystery of God who is Trinity.

Yes, we know who God is from the Bible and from what the Church taught us. We know that God is the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God the Father sent His Son to be like us in all things so as to teach us how to live life, and in turn Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our Helper and Guide and to lead us the truth of life and even to the complete truth.

The truth of life is essentially the truth of God the Trinity. The truth of God is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in love with one another.

And the truth of life is that we are to live our lives in love for God and for one another so that we can look to the future with hope and love.

Over the past couple of weeks, many of us have offered our time and love to fold these Jesus Invites for others so that they will come for the parish Triduum and Feastday and to experience for themselves the love of God for them.

Over the past week, many of us have prayed for Fr. Paul Tong’s recovery and offered our services to care for him after his discharge.

These are the facts of love that we need to know, and we can see God’s love being revealed in these acts of love. When we understand these facts and acts of love, then we will be ready to understand the love of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we understand, then we will also want to love others as God has loved us.

Friday, May 20, 2016

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 21-05-16

James 5:13-20 / Mark 10:13-16

Prayer is the essence of every Christian. To pray is not an option for the Christian but it is like a commandment.

Because prayer is not just to be in communication with God but to be in communion with God. Another way of putting it is that prayer is a relationship with God.

As the 1st reading puts it - If any one of you is in trouble, he should pray; if anyone is feeling happy, he should sing a psalm. If anyone is ill, he must be prayed over.

Certainly the heartfelt prayer of a good man works very powerfully, just like when the prophet Elijah prayed hard and no rain fell for three-and-a -half years, and then he prayed again and the sky gave rain.

But it is not just the prayers of adults who will be heard. The prayers of children will be heard too although we may wonder how much do children understand what they are saying.

Yet in Psalm 8 it says this: How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth! Your majesty is praised above the heavens; on the lips of children and of babes you have found praise to foil your enemy, to silence the foe and the rebel.

That is how powerful the prayer of children can be. But they won't know how to pray if there is no one to teach them. They won't know how to pray if they have never heard of prayer before.

So let us teach the young ones how to pray. That would be the best thing we can ever do for the next generation.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 20-05-16

James 5:9-12 / Mark 10:1-12

A complaint is a verbal or a written statement that something is unsatisfactory or unacceptable.

Whether the complaint is valid or not, the fact is that one party is not happy with another party about an issue or some matter.

A complaint can range from anything between unpleasant to disparaging, and it can be factual or questionable.

The 1st reading highlights this problem of complaints among the members of the Christian community.

It warns against judging others, and it also gave the example of the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord with patience and endurance.

But if there are complaints, it may indicate a lack of compassion and also forgiveness. It may also indicate a lack of love because where there is love, there will be forgiveness and compassion.

In the gospel, the Pharisees brought up the issue of divorce. Divorce happens when a marriage breaks down with no possibility of reconciliation.

But instead of arguing about the validity of divorce, Jesus brought the discussion to God's plan and purpose for mankind and more so for marriage.

God wants His people to be united in love and to forgive when there are failings and shortcomings.

When we endure with patience the failures and shortcomings of others, then we will understand the Lord's purpose and come to experience His kindness and compassion. Then we will overcome the urge to complain.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 19-05-16

James 5:1-6 / Mark 9:41-50

Much has been said about ill-gotten gains and its consequences. There is a retribution and punishment awaiting for those who choose to have gains that way.

It will also remind us of what Jesus taught us - What does a man gain if he wins the whole world but loses his soul?

The 1st reading is certainly avoided by those who made ill-gotten gains. It gives a disturbing message for those who still hold on to their ill-gotten gains and do not repent.

And if they think that God does not see, does not hear, does not know, then the 1st reading points out that the cries of the oppressed "have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts".

But those who need to hear this message may not want to hear it or that they may not be interested at all to hear it.

The message for those who are oppressed and hearing it will understand that eventually God will vindicate them because they only had God for their help and there is nothing else and no one else to have recourse to.

It also reminds them not to turn from being the oppressed to become the oppressor, if ever there is a change of fortunes.

As Jesus said in the gospel: But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck.

Let us realize that any sin, whether be it ill-gotten gains or oppression or being an obstacle to someone's faith will have its consequences.

Let us cut off from ourselves all that is against God so that we may live a life that is pleasing to God.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday,18-05-16

James 4:13-17 / Mark 9:38-40

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." (St. Augustine of Hippo)

Similarly, we may think that our country's food is the best, until we go abroad and had a taste of another country's cuisine.

The main difference between being narrow-minded and broad-minded lies in the attitude and in the way we look at things and people.

The two readings of today gives us concrete examples of the difference between narrow-minded and broad-minded.

The 1st reading quotes some people who talk about making plans for the future and what they are going to do and with hopes of making some money too.

But it is like a tunnel-vision of life and God does not seem to be included in their plans, It is all about themselves and nothing about God or anyone else.

If the problem with the people of the 1st reading is the exclusion of others in their life and in their plans, then the problem that we see in the gospel is that of non-acceptance.

John saw a man doing the same ministry as them and because he was not one of them, they tried to stop him. They couldn't accept that man and what he did.

And Jesus gave His disciples a very broad principle: Anyone who is not against us is for us.

The broad-minded see the truth; the narrow-minded see only the difference. Let us pray that we will be able to see God in little things and give Him glory for everything.

Monday, May 16, 2016

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 17-06-16

James 4:1-10 / Mark 9:30-37

To "nip it in the bud" means to put a stop to something while it is still in its early development.

This phrase derives from the de-budding of plants. But more commonly it means to suppress or destroy something at an early stage.

Especially when that something is not a good thing, and when left to develop it will become a big problem later.

The 1st reading began by talking about wars and battles that spring from selfish desires.

But when we look deeper at it, those selfish desires develop from pride which is the cause of almost every sin, and maybe even the cause of the first sin in the creation account.

Similarly in the gospel, the argument among the disciples of who is the greatest is an argument that sprang of pride. Pride had led the disciples to want to be the greatest and then to argument.

Jesus immediately nipped it in the bud by teaching them that if anyone wants to be the first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.

Pride is dangerous as there is an evil power behind it and when not nipped in the bud, then it consumes us and others as well.

God opposes the proud but He gives generously to the humble. Let us nip pride in the bud and let us humble ourselves before the Lord.

Let us draw closer to God and He will draw even closer to us and grant us peace in our hearts.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

7th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 16-05-16

James 3:13-18 / Mark 9:14-29

If a book is not judged by its cover, then the corresponding axiom is that a tree is judged by its fruit.

As Jesus had taught us, a bad tree cannot bear good fruit, nor a good tree bear bad fruit.

Similarly when it comes to people, we will know what kind of persons they are by their words and actions. In other words, we just have to look at the fruits of their lives.

The 1st reading tells us what wise and learned men are like - they lead good lives with humility and they are wise in their actions.

It also tells us what the opposite is like - they will make claims for themselves and cover up the truth with lies, they have the bitterness of jealousy.

And this is what it says of these kind of people -  they are earthly, animal and even devilish.

So by the fruit, we will know what kind of tree it is.

In the gospel, we heard of a case of a man bringing his possessed son to the disciples but they were unable to cast out the evil spirit.

But when Jesus came into the scene, He cast out the evil spirit from the boy at the request of the father.

The disciples' question, which may also be our question is this: Why were we unable to cast it out?

Jesus pointed out two factors - faith and prayer. It means that if we have faith we would also turn to God in prayer and everything would be possible.

When we have faith and when it is reinforced with prayer, we will bear the fruits that God wants us to bear.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Pentecost Sunday, Year C, 15.05.2016

Acts 2:1-11 / 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13 / John 20:19-23

In today’s feast of Pentecost, the focus is none other than on the Holy Spirit.

As we heard in the 1st reading, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles like a powerful wind from heaven and in tongues of fire.

That day was a great happening for the Church and they began to speak in foreign languages as the Holy Spirit gave them the gift of speech. It was a dramatic day.

Another occasion that we hear about the Holy Spirit is during the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation for the teenagers. 

The bishop will be there, relatives and friends will be there, the teenagers are all dressed up, many photographs will be taken.

But after that, something strange happens. The teenagers seem to go into secret service or they go undercover. Because they don’t seem to be seen around anymore.

It’s like the story about the two Christian pastors and a Catholic priest having a discussion about the problem of birds in their churches.

The first pastor said that he covered up all the holes in the roof of the church but the birds still managed to come in. The second pastor said that he called the pest control company but the problem persisted.

Then they asked the Catholic priest how he handled the problem, and he said, “Oh I just confirm them, and they never come back.”
So, the Sacrament of Confirmation seemed to have a strange effect on Catholic teenagers; they seem to have “gone off” after that.

Maybe the name of the Sacrament can be changed to something like “Sacrament of Confirmation and Last Rites”. 

But what Jesus said in the gospel will make us think again about this feast of Pentecost, about the Sacrament of Confirmation, and maybe even about “Last Rites” (which is also called “Extreme Unction” or “Anointing of the sick”.

Before He breathed on His disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit, He said to them: As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.

And in the 1st reading, we hear what they were sent to do – they went out of that room and they began to proclaim the marvels of God, and those who heard them were amazed and astonished.

That’s the power of the Spirit working in the disciples. And if we were there witnessing it, we would say it in our own language – That’s the Spirit!

But that was then. What about now? Do we still see the Spirit working marvels in our day and age, and will we say: That’s the Spirit!

There is one prominent member of our community who would really want to be with us in this celebration of Pentecost, but he can’t.

I am talking about Fr. Paul Tong who is in hospital and recovering from an open surgery to remove his gall bladder.

Last Sunday evening, I went to the hospital to give him the “Anointing of the sick” to prepare him for the surgery the next day. It was a rather urgent surgery.

After the anointing, he said, “I’ll be ok, I’ll be ok”. At 9pm he waved his hand to tell us to go back, and when we still hung around he waved his hand again to tell us to go home, and he said this, “I want to sleep.” I was amazed by his calmness, and a few moments after that he snuggled himself to sleep. He was such a peaceful sight. Amazing.

The operation was successful but at 89 years-old Fr. Tong was worn down by it, and he slept through Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday I managed to catch him on one of his lucid moments and he asked me what day it was. When I told him it was Wednesday, he raised his hand and counted, “Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Can, can, I can come back on Sunday to do Mass!”

And before I could say anything, he dozed off. I was amazed by his spirit. Even though he was lying flat on the hospital bed, with tubes running here and there, he was already thinking of coming back to serve the community. What a spirit! But, that’s the Spirit.

Then on Thursday evening, the Archbishop informed me that he was coming to see Fr. Tong at 8.45pm. As the time was approaching, I could see that Fr. Tong was sound asleep and I just couldn’t bring myself to wake him up.

So I said a short prayer and then whispered into his ear that the Archbishop was coming to see him. But he was in deep sleep, and so I went down to meet the Archbishop.
Archbishop William Goh praying over Fr Paul Tong

When I met him, I tried to explain that Fr. Tong was resting, he was tired, he may not be awake to acknowledge the Archbishop and I hoped that the Archbishop won’t be disappointed that he couldn’t talk to him.

But when we went into the room, there was Fr. Tong, sitting up and wide awake and having his cup of Milo and biscuits. The Archbishop glanced at me and he probably wondered what I was talking about earlier. I could only say that the Spirit woke him up to meet the Archbishop.

We may think that Fr. Tong’s hospitalization and surgery was unfortunate, but God turned suffering into blessing and the Holy Spirit showed the mighty power of healing.

On Friday, after lying in bed for five days, Fr. Tong got up from bed and walked under the guidance of two physiotherapists. He did very well and won the praise of the physiotherapists.

The doctor said that Fr. Tong’s recovery was remarkable and he could be back in the parish by Monday. Certainly, it was the Holy Spirit gathering up our prayers for Fr. Tong that such a marvelous recovery and healing had happened.

The Holy Spirit was like a mighty wind moving our hearts to pray for Fr. Tong and moving the hearts of many members of our parish community to roster themselves to keep 24-hour vigil over Fr. Tong, so that someone will be around as and when he needed assistance.

So even though Fr. Tong could not be with us in this celebration of Pentecost, yet in his hospital bed, he already bore witness to the power and presence of the Holy Spirit working marvelously in his healing and recovery.

And it is also a testimony of how the Holy Spirit moved people to pray and to offer their service to those in need.

What the Holy Spirit did for Fr. Tong and through Fr. Tong, the Holy Spirit will also do for us and work marvels through us.

We only need to heed what the letter to the Galatians tells us (Gal 5:16, 22, 25): Learn to live and move in the Spirit. Then there is no danger of your giving way to the impulses of corrupt nature. The Spirit yields a harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, forbearance, gentleness, faith, courtesy, temperateness and purity. Since we live by the Spirit, let the Spirit be our rule of life.

Friday, May 13, 2016

St. Matthias, Apostle, 14-05-16

Acts 1:15-17, 20-26 / John 15:9-17

Drawing lots to get someone to do a job can be seen as a simple and convenient and also a fair way to make a choice.

But to draw lots in order to select someone to ascend to an important position may seem rather primitive and undiscerning method by modern standards.

But yet that was how the Pope is elected - by the drawing of lots by the college of cardinals.

That was also how Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as one of the apostles.

However, in using such a method of selection, it only shows that the apostles left the choice to God.

They have done their part by proposing the candidates and commending them to the Lord in prayer.

They then let the Lord guide them in making the choice by the drawing of lots.

Jesus said in the gospel that it is not we who chose Him.
Rather it is He who chose us, and He commissions us to go forth and bear lasting fruit.

Hence, it is not so much our suitability for the task at hand but rather our availability for God.

Our availability is our response to God, just as St. Matthias made his availability his response to God.

To be available for God and to do His will is not a matter of drawing lots within ourselves, or tossing a coin to decide whether we will be available for God or not.

To be available for God is a personal decision; we have to decide.

May our decision be always for God and to do His will in our lives.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

7th Week of Easter, Friday, 13-05-16

Acts 25:13-21 / John 21:15-19

At the entrance of the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Queen Street (Singapore), there are two statues on each side.

One is that of St. Peter and he is seated on a chair and holding two big keys on one hand.

Those keys symbolize what Jesus said to Peter about giving him the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 16:19)

The other statue is that of St. Paul and he is holding a sword and a closed book.

The book represents the epistles that he wrote for the early Christian communities and the sword represents the instrument of his martyrdom.

Sts. Peter and Paul are undoubtedly the two great saints of the Church.

Yet we would also know that they were also the two great failures of the Church; great enough to be called epic failures.

St. Peter denied Christ in His darkest hour, and three times at that; St. Paul, when he was still Saul, persecuted Christ in the Christians, and his infamous moment was when he witnessed the martyrdom of St. Stephen and he totally approved of it.

Yet, in today's readings, we heard how they turned around with the grace of God and bore witness to Christ.

God's grace was all that was needed to turn them around. God's grace is also all that we would ever need to turn our lives back to God.

Let us pray fervently for this grace as we  prepare for the feast of Pentecost.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

7th Week of Easter, Thursday, 12-05-16

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11 / John 17:20-26

It is ironic but there is a tendency to be complacent after a victory.

Maybe because when one is the victor and have defeated the opponents, there are no more battles to fight and no threat to be on guard against.

It had happened to nations that were victorious in wars; it had happened to sports personalities who have won the ultimate trophy and gold medal; it had happened to people who had overcome the odds.

In the 1st reading, we heard how Paul had to defend himself in the tribune against the chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin.

Paul cleverly thought of a way to confuse his opponents which led them to fight among themselves and in doing so he managed to squeeze himself out of a dangerous situation.

We would think that after such a close shave, Paul will be given a reprieve and left in peace for a time.

Yes, Paul overcame the odds to escape from his enemies but before he can get too smug about it, the Lord appeared to him and said: Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome.

If we were Paul, we might have sighed and groaned and asked the Lord to give us a break and let us have some peace and quiet for a while.

But we need to remember that an experience of grace prepares us for the next challenge of faith.

Yet, in the challenges ahead, let us remember that Jesus is with us to face the challenge. He will give us the courage to face what lies ahead.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

7th Week of Easter, Wednesday, 11-05-16

Acts 21:28-38 / John 17:11-19

It is said that a homily or a sermon is better seen than just heard.

In other words, people would want to see what is preached being put into action than just mere talk.

But if people were to listen to a homily or sermon, then it is because the person speaking is already putting it into action in his own life, and he speaks with a conviction.

In the 1st reading, what stirred the emotions of those who were listening to St. Paul was his conviction and his commitment to Jesus.

St. Paul drew his conviction and commitment from Jesus.

What Jesus prayed about in the gospel and what St. Paul spoke about are essentially what the church community should do and should be aware of when they are not with them anymore.

But what is important to note is that every member of the church is a living homily and sermon.

How we live our lives as Christians is how we preach about our faith.

In other words, it is about how we witness to Jesus.

May our faith be seen in our lives so that others may want to hear more about our faith.

Monday, May 9, 2016

7th Week of Easter, Tuesday, 10-05-16

Acts 20:17-27 / John 17:1-11

If we were to look up the definition of what life is all about, it may be said that life is the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

That is a scientific definition and it does not tell us more about the dynamics and the meaning of life.

That will be more personal and subjective as each of us will have our own personal view of life and what we think of it.

For St. Paul, this is his view of life as he puts it in the 1st reading: Life to me is not a thing to waste words on, provided that when I finish my race, I have carried out the mission the Lord Jesus gave me - and that was to bear witness to the Good News of God's grace.

St. Paul may be saying that life is not to be spent talking about the unnecessary thing or having too many unnecessary reflections.

To him, life is like a race, the time is short, and the urgency is to bear witness to the Good News of God's grace.

In the gospel, we hear Jesus saying a long prayer to the Father and many words were used.

But the words of Jesus are not personal musings or abstract reflections. The words of Jesus are not words about life but words of life and words that give life.

His words lead us to eternal life because He is the Word of God.

May our words also bear witness to the Good News of God's grace and may our words also lead others to Jesus, the Word of God.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

7th Week of Easter, Monday, 09-05-16

Acts 19:1-8 / John 16:29-33

Fear is usually seen as a negative force which diminishes the human ability.

Fear has a sort of paralyzing effect on people.

Yet, the positive aspect of fear is that we also experience an increase in the flow of adrenalin, a sort of "rush" so to speak.

That enables us to face the fear and do things that we are not usually capable of.

Maybe that was what the disciples in the 1st reading experienced.

They experienced the "rush" of the Spirit when St. Paul laid hands on them after they were baptized.

The experience of the Spirit made them the pioneers in the church in Ephesus.

It will be an experience they will have to fall back on as they meet with difficulties and trouble.

In gospel, Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble.

It seems to come as a package deal in being a Christian.

Coming along with trouble is also fear.

Yet, Jesus sends us the Spirit to help us overcome any trouble that we will face so that there will be peace in our hearts.

Let us prepare ourselves with prayer to receive the Holy Spirit who gives us peace and courage to overcome the fear and the troubles of life.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

7th Sunday of Easter, Year C, 08.05.2016

Acts 7:55-60 / Apocalypse 22:12-14, 16-17, 20 / John 17:20-26

For whatever reason, the date Friday the 13th is being termed as unlucky in the mild sense and eerie in the extreme sense.

We may recall a horror movie series that has the title “Friday the 13th” that has plenty of blood and gore in it.

Although it may be seen as just some kind of superstition, some people are not taking any chances about it.

No one would consider getting married on a Friday the 13th.  It is estimated that businesses, especially airlines suffer from severe losses on Friday the 13th.

And even if the Friday is taken out of the term, the number 13 does not go well with people and places.

There is this fear of the number 13, so much so that many high-rise buildings, hotels and hospitals skip the 13th floor and many airports do not have gates numbered 13. And having 13 people at the dinner table is considered bad luck.

The day Friday and the number 13 may be deemed as superstition and it has several origins. And surprisingly one of the origins is linked with Christianity.

The speculation was that Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th one to be seated at the Last Supper, and Jesus was killed on a Friday due to Judas and his evil doings.

Whatever we may think of Friday the 13th, it is impossible for a whole year to pass without a single Friday the 13th.

And for this year, Friday the 13th happens to fall in this month, the month of May.

Whatever the world may think or say about it, and whatever we may think or say about it, we need to remember what happened on May the 13th in the year 1917.

On that day in 1917, something astonishing happened in an obscure village in Portugal called Fatima.

There, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared for the first time to 3 shepherd children; Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, and she continued to make her appearances to them on the 13th of each month, with her last appearance on October the 13th.

Appearing to the children, the Blessed Virgin told them that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in that time. 

Coming at a time when civilization was torn by WW I and bloody violence, Mary promised that Heaven would grant peace to the world if Her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed.

Our Lady of Fatima, as she is called, explained to the children that war is a punishment for sin and warned that God would further punish the world for its disobedience to His Will by means of war, hunger and the persecution of the Church, the Holy Father and the Catholic faithful.

Mary also prophesied that Russia would be God's chosen "instrument of chastisement," spreading the "errors" of atheism and materialism across the earth, starting wars, annihilating nations and persecuting the faithful everywhere.

Certainly it was a terrifying fire-and-brimstone kind of message. In a way, it forced the Church and the world to look up to heaven for the answer to the turmoil and distress the world was facing.

Today’s gospel opened with this line: Jesus raised His eyes to heaven and He said a long prayer to His Father.

He too was in turmoil and distress as suffering, pain and death was waiting for Him.

But even in His turmoil and distress, Jesus raised His eyes to heaven and prayed for His disciples that they will be united as one so that the world will may believe that God sent Jesus to pour out His love on the world.

Yes, Jesus prayed for His disciples that they will be united as one in their own turmoil and distress so that they can show the world how much God loves the world.

To raise up the eyes to heaven in the midst of turmoil and distress is to be have faith in God and to keep on loving so that the world can be saved.

In the 1st reading, Stephen raised his eyes to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus at God’s right hand, even though he was facing mortal danger.

Yes, we are called to raise our eyes to heaven in the midst of the turmoil and distress of our lives and the turmoil and distress of the world.

The message of Our Lady of Fatima tells us to do that through prayer and penance. 

It has been almost a hundred years since Mary had appeared at Fatima. And how have we heeded her message and her call to prayer and penance?

In the turmoil and distress of our lives and as we see the world in turmoil and distress, will we raise our eyes to heaven in prayer and to pray as one?

This coming Friday, the 13th of May, is the 99th anniversary of the first appearance of Mary at Fatima. Her message then is still relevant now and maybe even more relevant for our time.

On that day, Friday the 13th, we will gather at Mary’s shrine and raise our eyes to heaven and pray the Rosary for peace in the world. It was at Fatima that Mary urged to children to pray the Rosary for peace in the world.

So we will gather to pray the Rosary for peace in the world, for peace and unity in the Church, and for peace and unity in our families.

For some, the combination of Friday and the number 13 may seem to be unlucky and fearful. But with Mary, we will raise our eyes to heaven and turn it into a day of joy and blessings.

Friday, May 6, 2016

6th Week of Easter, Saturday, 07-05-16

Acts 18:23-28 / John 16:23-28

Mention the word "hospital" and immediately some thoughts come to mind.

Thoughts like illness, pain, loneliness, suffering and even death. The mood is certainly depressive.

But like what Jesus said, He came not for the healthy but for the sick, and to call not the virtuous but sinners.

So in a sense, the hospitals are places of grace, and places where prayers are often answered.

Hence, hospital ministry and pastoral care for the sick is one of the top pastoral priorities of the Church.

In their pain, the sick turn to Jesus and those in the hospital ministry and pastoral care for the sick are the answer to their prayers as they bring them comfort, company and communion.

And that's what Jesus said in the gospel - Ask and you will receive, and so your joy will be complete.

Jesus may have ascended to the Father but He is still with us till the end of time.

His presence will be felt in the way our prayers are answered.

So no matter how depressive or  desperate or despondent the situation may be, prayer is the answer.

Life is fragile, but it can be handled with prayer.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

6th Week of Easter, Friday, 06-05-16

Acts 18:9-18 / John 16:20-23

We may want to think about that last sentence of the gospel passage that we have just heard when Jesus said: When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions.

Yes, we will always have our questions about life, about our faith, about God and about eternity.

And of course we want answers. Yet we only want the answers we want to hear.

For example, when we are having it difficult or when we are suffering, we only want others to sympathize with us and to hear our complains as we wallow in self-pity.

We feel that everybody is against us and everything is so bleak, and hence the only thing we want to hear is that everybody is wrong and that we are right.

Yes, that is the answer we want to hear when we are having it rough.

But as we heard in the 1st reading, St. Paul had it rough and tough.

He could have just called it quits and not even bothered to listen to the Lord.

But he listened to the Lord and had faith in the Lord and believed that the Lord was with him.

Indeed the Lord was with him and protected him from harm.

The Lord will also protect us from harm and we will even be able to rise from our troubles and difficulties and find joy in life.

When we listen to the Lord's answer, then indeed we will have no more questions.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ascension, Year C, 05.05.2016

Acts 1:1-11 / Ephesians 1:17-23 / Luke 24:46-53

In this feast of the Ascension, it is understandable if we were to visualize or imagine Jesus ascending and going back to heaven.

We are even more inclined to think that Jesus is up there now, waiting for us to join Him eventually.

As the disciples watched Jesus ascending into heaven, the last they saw of Him were probably the soles of His feet.

And as He disappeared from their sight, it was back to life and back to reality, with their own feet on the ground.

But it is no more the same ground that they used to tread on. 

Because where once Jesus walked with them, now He is no more with them.

And we share that same feeling with the disciples. Since Jesus had already ascended into heaven, we may also think that He is absent from us.

And after a while, we may get used to this absence, and we may forget that there is something more important in this life.

We forget that while we are living in the temporary, we are also heading towards eternity.

Yes, we may get so absorbed in the things of earth, that we forget all about the things above.

But all these are just consequences of thinking or feeling that Jesus is absent from us.

But this feast of the Ascension prepares us for a deeper presence of Jesus, a presence brought about by the Holy Spirit.

Today is the beginning of the Church’s Novena – 9 days of intense prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

In these days of prayer, we reflect about the temporary and about eternity.

We reflect about the things of earth and about the things above.

More importantly, we prepare our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the power from on high that Jesus promised to send to the disciples and to us.

Our prayer for the next 9 days can be just these three simple words: Come, Holy Spirit.

With the power of the Holy Spirit, we will feel Jesus being present with us and walking with us.

And indeed, the ground that we are standing on will not be same again. Because it will be our mission ground as we go forth to be witnesses of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 

So let us rejoice and pray and wait to be clothed with power from on high.           

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

6th Week of Easter, Wednesday, 04-05-16

Acts 17:15, 22 - 18:1 / John 16:12-15

Every school or institution of higher learning has a library and that is an important resource center.

Even though there is the Internet with search engines to get a multitude of information, the library is still a necessity.

We may not be able to remember all the information there is, but there is the world of books in the library that we can delve in.

The knowledge contained in there is almost inexhaustible.

But if knowledge is inexhaustible, then truth is inextinguishable.

By inextinguishable, it means to say that the truth is already planted in our hearts and we only need to let the light of truth keep shining for us.

Hence, any enlightenment, and realization, any insight, is simply the seeds of truth in our hearts that are bearing fruit.

And that is certainly the work of the Holy Spirit.

That is also what Jesus meant when He said that the Holy Spirit will lead us to the complete truth.

So for the questions in life and about life that we do not understand and do not have the answers for, let us pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and to journey on in faith.

One day we will know, one day we will understand, when we let the Spirit guide us.