Wednesday, November 30, 2016

1st Week of Advent, Thursday, 01-12-16

Isaiah 26:1-6 / Matthew 7:21, 24-27

When we think about life, there are many lessons that we can learn from it.

For example, difficult roads always lead to beautiful destinations, as when we are climbing up a mountain and when we get to the summit we are rewarded with a beautiful vision and a sense of achievement.

One of the truths of life is that hard work will have its rewards.

Building something on rock is certainly not easy at all. Piling the foundations into the rock is going to be very hard work. But the reward is that the building will be stable and will stand firm.

Building something on sand can be easy but it will be risky. That is what Jesus is telling us in today's gospel.

But the example of building something on rock and on sand is to bring in the point about how we listen to the Word of God and act on them.

Following the teachings of Jesus and doing God's will is certainly difficult and entails a lot of hard work of denying ourselves.

But the reward will be what we heard in the 1st reading: That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city.

Facing the difficulties and challenges of our faith require a lot of hard work on our part but the reward will be that the foundations of our faith will be firm.

And God will guard us along the way as He sets wall and rampart about us. When we build our lives on God our Rock and stand firm with Him, He will stand firm with us. And Jesus promises us that we will not fall. Let us trust in Him and continue to build on the Lord our Rock.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

St. Andrew, Apostle, Wednesday, 30-11-16

Romans 10:9-18 / Matthew 4:18-22

We would like to be known and identified as who we are, and for who we are.

We may not like it that much when we are known and identified in relation and in connection with someone else.

For example, how would we feel if we are known as someone else's brother or sister, or someone else's nephew or niece, and at times our name is not even mentioned.

We may feel that we are not that important to be remembered by name or that we have to latch on to someone else's identity in order to be identified.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Andrew. He is often overshadowed by his brother St. Peter. Even when we have to talk about St. Andrew, we will mention that he is the brother of St. Peter. Otherwise some might wonder who are we talking about about.

But it must be remembered that it was St. Andrew who introduced St. Peter to Jesus. It was St. Andrew who pointed out the boy with the five loaves and two fish. It was St. Andrew who brought the Gentiles to see Jesus.

And it was St. Andrew who responded the invitation of Jesus to "Come and see" and he spent the whole day with Jesus.

So St. Andrew may not be that prominent as an apostle and not as famous as his brother. But he is remembered for those few moments in the ministry of Jesus.

We may not be prominent or famous people. But as Christians, Jesus has called us to be His presence in this world. May all that we do bring about the presence of Jesus to others

Monday, November 28, 2016

1st Week of Advent, Tuesday, 29-11-16

Isaiah 11:1-10 / Luke 10:21-24

Fairy tales make us smile, fairy tales like Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

They make us smile because the ending is so rosy, so dreamy, so happily ever after, and we feel nice about it.

But the real world is not a fairy tale and we don't usually end up smiling or happy ever after. In fact ,it can be like happy never after.

What we heard from the prophet Isaiah seemed to be like a fairy tale.

The wolf lives with the lamb, the lion eats straw like the ox, infant plays over the cobra's hole.

A picture of serenity, a picture of peace and harmony.

But can it be true, can it ever be true? Or is it  just  a dream and a fairy tale?

We might say that it is not possible, and that it because we, too often, have experienced the hard knocks of the real world.

In this hard and real world, there are no dreams or fairy tales.

The story of Vincent van Gogh, the great Dutch painter, is one such case.

He actually produced 1,700 paintings and drawings before he died in 1890. However in his lifetime, van Gogh sold only one painting, and that for only a miserable sum.

So in the hard real world, dreams and fairy tales just fizzle out and vanish. Or is it so?

It is into this hard real world and that Jesus came to help us dream again, and to give us hope and to help us believe that the Kingdom stories are not just airy fairy tales.

So as we begin our Advent preparation, let us also become like little children of the Kingdom, children who want to dream, children who dare to believe that stories can come true, children who dare to hope against hope.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

1st Week of Advent (Year A), Monday, 28-11-16

Isaiah 4:2-6 / Matthew 8:5-11

An average dictionary would have something like over 50,000 entries and with over 70,000 definitions.

That is quite a number of words with quite a number of definitions.

But despite their abundance, words still have a powerful effect on our lives and in our thinking.

A carefully chosen word or phrase can save a situation, whereas a careless choice of words can ruin everything.

So if the pen is mightier than the sword, then the spoken word can be as powerful as the action.

In the gospel, the centurion recognized the authority of Jesus and the power of His Word, the centurion being a man of authority himself.

He believed that what Jesus says is as good as being done already.

As the Church begins the season of Advent, we are called to reflect on what Jesus said and to prepare for how it will be fulfilled.

Jesus came 2000 years ago to bring about healing and forgiveness. He will come again to bring about restoration and salvation.

May we hold on to our faith in His Word as we continue to wait for the fulfillment of His promises.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

1st Sunday of Advent, Year A, 27.11.2016

Isaiah 2:1-5 / Romans 13:11-14 / Matthew 24:37-44

If we have to make a choice between health and wealth, what would we be more likely to choose?

Surely, we would be more likely to choose health, because as the saying goes, health is wealth, but not necessarily the other way round.

But as much as we desire health, it is also the one thing that we often take for granted and often neglect. Until when we lose it.

One obvious sign of how healthy we are is how we feel when we wake up in the morning. No doubt we may not be that aware or alert to take note of how we feel. 

But that already in itself is a sign. If we need a couple of alarm clocks to wake us up, then obviously we are not having enough of rest, among other things. More critical would be when we sleep through a couple of alarm clocks and not even hear them at all. Then that is certainly a sign to tell us that we better go for a medical checkup.

Of course we can put it off, but ignoring the signs is a sure way of ending up in the wrong destination.

Let us take for example the warning signs before a stroke. It is put in an acronym F.A.S.T., and this what it means.

“F” stands for face drooping, as in one side of the face starts drooping. “A” stands for arm weakness – one arm will just drift downwards.

“S” stands for speech difficulty – the speech is slurred. And “T” stand for time – time to call the ambulance. 

Since stroke can be the cause of death or disability, when the signs are there, then every second counts, so act FAST!!!

The 1st Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new Church year. It marks the beginning of a “new time” so to speak.

In the gospel, Jesus talks about a time gone by and also about a time to come.

He talked about the time in Noah’s day, the time before the Flood when people were eating and drinking, right up to the day when Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing, until it rained and rained for 40 days and 40 nights.

The people saw the sign of Noah building the ark. If words are to the ears what signs are to the eyes, then the people just ignored the sign until it was too late.

That was a sign of a time gone by. But Jesus also talked about a time to come.

He said that if a householder had known at what time the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house.

And the 2nd reading has this to say: You know “the time” has come; you must wake up now; our salvation is even nearer than it was before.

Yes, the time has come, the signs are there, the first candle of the Advent wreath is lit, the colour of the vestments has changed, Christmas decorations are coming up or have already gone up in the shopping centers.

We can ask for more signs and God will give us all the signs we want, but ultimately, we will see what we need to see when we are ready to see it.

The signs from God as signs of His blessings so that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths.

The signs of God blessings are expressed in the teaching of Jesus in the Beatitudes when He said things like blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the peacemakers, etc. 

On the other hand, the devil will also have his set of blemishes and these are the signs that we need to look out for so as not to fall into his trap. So let us take a look at the devil’s blemishes as opposed to the Beatitudes of Jesus.

If the devil were to write his Blemishes, they would probably go something like this:

Blemished are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians in Church — they are my best workers.

Blemished are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked — I can use them.

Blemished are the touchy, with a bit of luck they may stop going to church — they are my missionaries.

Blemished are those who are very religious but get on everyone’s nerves — they are mine forever.

Blemished are the troublemakers — they shall be called my children.

Blemished are those who have no time to pray — they are easy prey for me.

Blemished are the gossipers, for they are my secret agents.

Blemished are those critical of church leadership — for they shall inherit a place with me, in my fate.

Blemished are the complainers — I’m all ears for them.

Blemished are you when you hear this and think it is about other people and not yourself — I’ve got you!

So we see the signs of blessings from God and we also see the signs of blemish that the devil wants to corrupt us.

The time has come for us to heed those signs and to decide what to do. Let us act FAST and act NOW, so that there will be No Opportunity Wasted.

Friday, November 25, 2016

34th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 26-11-16

Apocalypse 22:1-7 / Luke 221:34-36

During the celebration of the Mass, we are often reminded of the presence of God, with this phrase: The Lord be with you

Maybe some of us may ask: why not say - the Lord is with you. After all the Lord is here, isn't it?

True, the Lord is here, yet so often, even as we are greeted with the presence of the Lord, our hearts may not be that aware that the Lord is indeed truly here.

Maybe that is why it is necessary to reflect on just that simple greeting: The Lord be with you.

Because that phrase call us to pay attention to the Lord, to pay attention to the Lord who is here and with us now.

In the gospel, Jesus says: Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened and hardened.

If we are not aware of God's presence in the Mass, how would we be aware of His presence during the course of the day?

Being with the Lord moment by moment, will help us to be ready to be with Him in eternity.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

34th Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 25-11-16

Apocalypse 20:1-4, 11 - 21:2 / Luke 20:29-33

Promises are not that easy to keep, even when the conditions are stable and under control.

Promises are also not that easy to keep especially when there is turmoil and chaos.

More so in a situation of war and devastation and nothing is predictable.

Jesus also left us a promise when He said in today's gospel: Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.

But when we are faced with the painful realities of life, the promise of Jesus may seem to lose its impact and significance.

However, the challenge to believe in His promise remains as we keep fighting the good fight and running the race even when we cannot see the finish line.

The 1st reading also reminds us: God's sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will His empire be destroyed.

So let us remember that it is God who is making a promise to us His people. What God has promised He will fulfill.

For our part, we just have to keep on believing and trusting in God always.

Let us remember that though we may falter, God is always faithful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

34th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 24-11-16

Apocalypse 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9 / Luke 21:20-26

The book, A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution.

It was about two cities separated by the English Channel and with differing fortunes. One city was tranquil while the other was in turmoil.

We would often use the phrase "a tale of two cities" to mean similar entities but with differing fortunes.

The two readings of today mention about two cities - Babylon and Jerusalem. But Babylon was a symbolic name for the capital of the Roman empire which was persecuting Christians at that time.

Babylon was a great city, wealthy, prosperous and powerful and yet also a capital of sin and evil. As we heard in the 1st reading, it was to be destroyed.

The gospel mentioned about Jerusalem and the fate was awaiting her. The similarities about these two cities were that they were enjoying a good time and with that they had regressed into moral deterioration and decay. There was no respect for God and they had even defied God.

But the time of reckoning will come and evil will be punished and the just will be vindicated..

The tale of two cities can be said to be the story of our lives. We have sinned but the time for repentance will come and we must recognize it. When that time comes, we must stand erect and hold our heads high, because our liberation is at hand. It will be a time of healing and forgiveness.

Meanwhile, we will have which city we want to be in - the city of sin or the city of God. Let us stand erect and hold our heads high and head towards that city that will give us lasting joy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

34th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 23-11-16

Apocalypse 15:1-4 / Luke 21:12-19

When we read about the sufferings of Jesus in the gospels, we can see that he underwent three types of tortures.

The first was the scourging and that was to whip the accused 39 times (which was seldom needed) with leather straps that had lead ball-bearings at ends.

The purpose was to whip the person to within an inch of his death and then stop so that other forms of torture can continue.

The third torture was the crucifixion - put the cross on Jesus, march Him up to Calvary and then execute Him slowly.

Those where the soldiers' orders and they carried it out meticulously and mercilessly.

What was difficult to understand was the in-between torture.

The soldiers wanted to make fun of a half-dead Jesus.

The soldiers took off His clothes and put a robe on Him, put a crown of thorns on His head, put a stick on His hand and hailed Him "King of the Jews"

And then, they spat on Him. Spittle was not intended to hurt the body. It can't.

Spitting at a person is meant to degrade him and to insult his dignity. We can say it's a psychological torture.

By doing so the soldiers felt big by making Jesus look small.

Well, as Christians, we may be spared of physical torture, but we can be assured that we will have our share of the spittle.

It comes in form of gossips, back-biting, slandering, lying, accusations.

Oh yes, we have had our share and we have also retaliated with drop for drop.

But let us stop this vicious cycle of spitting at each other by heeding what Jesus told us in the gospel: Your endurance will win you your lives.

Others may spit at us, but we don't have to spit back.

Jesus didn't. In fact, He endured the spittle all the way to the cross, and there He won life for us.

Monday, November 21, 2016

34th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 22-11-16

Apocalypse 14:14-19 / Luke 21:5-11

If we had paid some attention during our history class in school, we might have some recollection about the 7 Wonders of the ancient world.

But if we can't remember much of them, then it is quite alright because none of them have survived till now, except the great pyramids of Egypt.

But even that is danger of a slow deterioration coupled with the effects of pollution and other detrimental factors.

But what has appeared in their place are other wonders of the modern world.

So this tells us that everything is subject to the wear and tear of time, and nothing will last forever.

But the deeper reality is that the old gives way to the new. There is this constant progression of replacement.

A deeper reflection of what Jesus said in the gospel would lead us to see more than just a doomsday prediction or an end of the world prophecy.

Rather we will see that it is not the old world dying but a new world coming to birth.

God is constantly re-creating the world until His kingdom is established in the world.

But it must begin with the Church and with each individual who is called a Christian.

Sinfulness must eventually give way to holiness just as the old gives way to the new.

The greatest wonder of the world is the holiness of the Church and its members.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Presentation of the B. V. Mary, Monday, 21-11-16

Zechariah 2:14-17 / Matthew 12:46-50

It is not unusual that devout Catholic parents consecrate their new-born baby to the Lord.

That is especially so when they have prayed for a child and the baby was like an answer to their prayers.

But of course more than just consecrating their child to God, they will also baptize the baby in Church.

The feast of the presentation of Mary in the Temple is not found in the New Testament but from sources outside of the Bible.

According to those sources, Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne had been childless and eventually having Mary was a heavenly gift from God.

In thanksgiving, they brought the child Mary to the Temple to consecrate her to God and she remained in the Temple till puberty.

The spiritual significance of this feast is that God chose Mary to be the Mother of His Son and He had prepared her since the Immaculate Conception to be ready for this mission.

Hence the feast of the Presentation of Mary is part of fulfillment of the her mission as the Mother of God.

The celebration of this feast also reminds us of our own baptism, in that we are not just consecrated to God in baptism but we have become God's chosen children.

As His children, we are to carry out and carry on the saving mission of Jesus our Saviour. May Mary our Mother pray for us and help us to fulfill this mission.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Christ the King, Year C, 20-11-2016

2 Sam 5:1-3 /  Colossians 1:11-20 / Luke 23:35-43

There is one particular sin that we always somehow succumb to, and that is lying.
Almost every day, or practically every day, we will tell a lie. It seems that we are pretty good when it comes to being practicing liars but not so good when it comes to being practicing Catholics.

Some people have asked if telling a white lie is sin. Well, the short and straight answer to that is that a lie is a lie; the colour doesn’t matter.

That being said, we have been taught from our earliest days to be honest and to tell the truth always.
But we also know how difficult that can be, because to be honest and to tell the truth can be costly and we wonder if the price is worth it.

There is this rather funny account of telling the truth: 
The teacher asked what my favourite animal was, and I said, “Fried chicken.”
She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everyone else laughed. My parents told me to always tell the truth and so I did. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of SPCA. He said that they love animals very much. I do too, especially chicken, pork and beef. Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal’s office. I told him what happened and he laughed too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class, my teacher asked me what my favourite live animal was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, so I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal’s office. He laughed too, and told me not to do it again.

I don’t understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am. Today, my teacher asked me to tell her what famous person I admired most.
I told her, “Colonel Sanders.” Guess where I am now …

Yes, there are times when we get fried for telling the truth, and we chicken out and rather tell a lie.
But we have to realize that honesty is a very expensive gift and we can’t expect it from cheap people.
Today’s gospel brings us back to that moment when Jesus was nailed to the cross. For all the truth that He taught and stood for, that was where He ended up.

And there as He nailed and dying on the cross, the people watched Him, the leaders jeered at Him, the soldiers mocked Him, and even one of the condemned criminals abused Him.

For all the truth and the love that He stood for, it seemed like a sorry and sad end for Jesus. 
It seemed that truth and love have failed; it seemed that Jesus had failed; and it seemed that lies and that the devil, the “father of lies”, had triumphed.

But in the midst of all that noise of jeering and mocking, there was a silent witness.
As the gospel described it, above Jesus there was an inscription: “This is the King of the Jews”.

Nailed together with Jesus on the cross, it was what we have come to know as “INRI” which are the initials for the Latin inscription: “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum”

That notice was nailed above Jesus by Pontius Pilate probably to state the crime for which Jesus was condemned, and also to ridicule Him.

But that notice was the profound silent witness to the truth of Jesus – that He is indeed the King, not just of the Jews, but the King of the universe.

And that is what we celebrate this Sunday – Jesus Christ, the King of the universe, as we come to the end of the Church year. 

We worship and honour Jesus as the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, the Beginning and the End, the Truth and Love. 

And like the other condemned criminal, aka “the good thief”, we also want to admit that we are sinners and liars and we can only ask Jesus to remember us and save us.

On the cross, all the lies and sins were nailed and overcome by the truth. On the cross, all the wrongs were made right by the sacrifice of love. On the cross truth and love prevailed.

There is a story of a maths teacher who set the following question for her Primary One class in a test. 
“If there are 5 people in your family and 10 apples to be shared, how many apples does each member of your family get?”

This was a straight forward question and the pupils should be able to get it correct. However, after the test, to the teacher’s horror, there was a typo error, instead of ‘10’, she had typed ‘1’. So the question read:
“If there are 5 people in your family and 1 apples to be shared, how many apples does each member of your family get?”

Even though there was a typo error, many pupils still attempted the question and gave different answers. Among all the answers, there was one by a little girl that stood out. She gave an answer and provided explanations.
She wrote:
Each member of my family will get 1 apple. If grandpa had bought an apple, he wouldn’t keep it for himself. He would give it to my grandma who is sick. Grandpa would want grandma to have the apple so that she can eat the apple and get better. Grandma wouldn’t keep the apple for herself too; she would give it to her favourite grandchild, which is me. But I wouldn’t eat the apple too. I would give it to mummy, who stands at the street corner every day to sell newspapers. She must be very thirsty after standing under the sun the entire day. The apple will quench her thirst. But mummy wouldn’t keep the apple for herself too. She would give it to daddy who travels to the city to work at the construction site every day. Daddy cannot afford to buy apples, mummy would want daddy to have it. So, everyone in the family will have an apple.
The teacher awarded this girl full marks for this question.

Jesus is the King of Truth and Love. He will make all things right as He did on the cross. 

The inscription that was meant to be a condemnation became a confirmation of who He really is. 
As for the lies and other sins that we have committed, the 2nd reading has this to tell us: You will have in you the strength, based on His own glorious power, never to give in, but to bear anything joyfully, thanking the Father who has made it possible for you to join the saints and with them to inherit eternal light.

As we repent of our sins and acknowledge Jesus to be our King and Saviour, may we also hear Him say to us: Indeed I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.

Friday, November 18, 2016

33rd Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 19-11-16

Apocalypse 11:4-12 / Luke 20:27-40

If you let a person talk long enough, you’ll hear their true intentions. Indeed, our words reveal what is in our hearts, for from what fills our hearts, our mouths will speak.

In the gospel, the Sadducees put a question to Jesus about the resurrection, and they put up a story about seven brothers marrying the same woman.

Although it was just a story, the question about whose wife will she be in the other world may throw us off and we may end up giving answers that will only generate more questions.

But the fact was that the Sadducees don't believe in the resurrection and hence they posed a rather difficult question about the relationships of the other world.

Jesus gave an astounding spiritual answer about life in the other world and He even quoted from scripture about Moses and the burning bush.

Finally Jesus made this conclusion - God is not God of the dead but God of the living.

The difference between the question of the Sadducees and the answer of Jesus is that the Sadducees talk about death as the end of all. Since there is nothing after death, then it is ridiculous to talk about anything after death. So they ridiculed anything beyond death. That was their intention.

For Jesus, God gives life, and God continues to give life even after death, for God is the living God and God of the living. What Jesus said indicated that He is the Resurrection and the life.

May what we say also show to others that we believe in the living God and that we also believe in life after death. May what we say also be living words that will give life to others

Thursday, November 17, 2016

33rd Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 18-11-16

Apocalypse 10:8-11 / Luke 19:45-48

Whatever we may think of our own space, it is our own space and we would configure it according to our own liking.

We would not be that receptive if someone comes along with some negative comments about our office, or work-station, or our home, or our room.

We may think that it is none of their business and they shouldn't go around making uninvited comments on other people's places and spaces.

So we imagine how the chief priests felt when Jesus came to the Temple and began driving out all those who were selling.

And He also said, "According to scripture, my house will be a house a prayer. But you have turned it into a robbers' den."

They may have thought that Jesus was intruding into their private space. After all they were in charge of the Temple and they will run it in their own way.

Yes, they may be in charge of the Temple, but it must be remembered that the Temple is the House of God. The Temple belongs to God and it is to be house of prayer.

And the chief priests had allowed business to be conducted in the Temple, and it was a business where there was injustice being committed with an inflated price, leaving the worshippers who came to the Temple with no choice.

What belongs to God has to be done in accordance with the laws and stipulations from God. To do otherwise would only lead to corruption and spiritual decay.

Our hearts belong to God. It is to be a place of prayer where there should be peace and love. Jesus is humble and gentle of heart. May we make our hearts like His.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

33rd Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 17-11-16

Apocalypse 5:1-10 / Luke 19:41-44

The gospels mentioned of two occasions that Jesus shed tears.

One was when His good friend Lazarus died. The other was what we just heard in the gospel.

Indeed, Jesus had every reason to shed tears over Jerusalem.

In the year 70AD, the city was destroyed and the Temple was razed to the ground when the revolting Jews were crushed by the Roman army.

All because the message of Jesus, the message of peace did not sink into their hearts.

They did not heed the signs that God gave them.

As for us, we too can avoid impending danger and even tragedy if we look clearly at the signs in our lives.

If we do not heed the signs that God is giving us to enter into a deeper relationship with Him in prayer and to live a life of love and peace, then we are making ourselves prone to the danger and the tragedy of sin.

Let us ask God to enlighten us so as to heed the signs from God that we see around us.

When we understand the message of love and peace, then there will be no more tears.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

33rd Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 16-1-16

Apocalypse 4:1-11 / Luke 19:11-28

Any shrewd person who listens to today's gospel parable will certainly have some questions to ask.

Questions like: Why must that servant be punished for not making more money out of that one pound? Anyhow, the master should be happy enough to get his money back, isn't it?

Well, from the logical point of view, yes.

But if we apply this premise to our lives and to our dealings with others, then this world would be a very selfish place.

Because we will become very calculative and ask questions like: why must I waste my time for the benefit of others, or why must I be generous to others...

But let us remember that what we have, be it our time, our resources, our money, all that we have, is a gift from God.

And if gifts are not shared, then this world would indeed be a very poor and sad place.

And if gifts are not shared and used, then those gifts will also deteriorate and be wasted.

So in whatever we have been called to do, let us do it joyfully, because God always blesses a joyful and self-giving servant.

Monday, November 14, 2016

33rd Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 15-11-16

Apocalypse 3:1-6, 14-22 / Luke 19:1-10

One of the famous religious paintings is by William Holman Hunt. It is called the "The Light of the World".

It was an allegorical painting that represented Jesus carrying a lantern and knocking on a long unopened door that had  overgrown weeds.

It represented what the Lord was saying in the 1st reading: Look, I am standing at the door and knocking; if one of you hears me calling, and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him.

The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside, and the night scene represented the need for light.

Yet Jesus is carrying the lantern and persists in knocking on the door.

He knows that the door of the human heart will eventually open to him.

The tax-collector Zacchaeus in the gospel was one example of the door of the heart opening to the light of Christ.

Let us also persist in praying for ourselves and for those in need of conversion and salvation.

The persistent knocking of Jesus and the light of His love, coupled with our fervent prayers will open the hardest of hearts.

The reason why Jesus came is to knock on our hearts and to seek out and save what was lost.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

33rd Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 14-11-16

Apocalypse 1:1-4; 2:1-5 / Luke 18:35-43

There is a phrase which we use to express a sincere empathy and compassion for a person.

We would say: you have got to be in his shoes to know what he is going through.

To be really in someone's shoes is to feel how he feels, to see how he sees things as well as to understand his thoughts.

For the blind man in today's gospel, he saw nothing other than to bring his needs before Jesus.

He just needed Jesus to listen to him and understand how he felt about life and he longed for sight.

Jesus asked the blind man this question: What do you want me to do for you?

If Jesus were to ask us that same question, what would our immediate response be?

If we have to think for a while for an answer, or have to make a choice of several options, then we may not be desperately needing Jesus as the blind man needed him.

So if Jesus were to ask us that question, let our response be that we want to love Him more and more.

In the 1st reading, the Lord had a complaint against the church of Ephesus. He said that they have less love than they used to.

May our only prayer to Jesus be that we will love Him more and more everyday.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

33rd Ordinary Sunday, Year C, 13.11.2016

Malachi 3:19-20 / 2 Thess 3:7-12 / Luke 21:5-19

Whatever we may remember of our history lessons in school, we may remember this one fascinating topic. 

It is about the 7 wonders of the ancient world. It may not be that fascinating to us in the modern world, but it was surely fascinating enough to the people in the ancient world.

We may remember vaguely what were the 7 wonders of the ancient world. The classic seven wonders were: the Great Pyramid of Giza; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; the Statue of Zeus at Olympia; the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus; the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus; Colossus of Rhodes; Lighthouse of Alexandria.

The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World is the first known list of the most remarkable creations of classical antiquity; it was based on guidebooks popular among the ancient sightseers and only includes works located around the Mediterranean rim. The number seven was chosen because the Greeks believed it represented perfection and plenty, and because it was the number of the five planets known anciently, plus the sun and moon.

But time and tide had taken their toll on those ancient seven wonders and they have succumbed under the ravages of earthquakes, fire and the elements of nature, such that all have perished, leaving behind some ruins and records of their former existence.

But there is one that is still standing to this day. The only ancient world wonder that still exists is the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.

Built around 2560 BC as a tomb for the pharaoh, it is a remarkable engineering feat, and it remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years.

One structure that could have made it to the list of the 7 wonders of the ancient world was the Temple that king Solomon built in 850 BC. That Temple was impressive because of the amount of gold that was used to decorate it and it was often called the 8th wonder of the ancient world.

That Temple was destroyed in 586 BC but another Temple was later built on the same site. That Temple was the one that the gospel was referring to. It was a remarkable Temple with fine stonework.

And yet Jesus had this to say about it: All these things that you are staring at now – the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed.

And indeed, that Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and the only thing that remained was the retaining wall which is now called the Western Wall, aka the Wailing Wall. 

Certainly, when something that we are proud of and precious to us is destroyed or broken, we will be really sad and will even wail about it.

And Jesus does not seem to very consoling as He hammers in the hard and stark truth that all things will pass with time. Still, we grapple and struggle to understand that truth.

There is this story about a monastery in the outskirts of a village.
News came that invading troops were plundering the other nearby villages.

The abbot and his monks urged the villagers to flee to the mountains to save their lives.

But the villagers wanted to stay and fight the enemy.

The abbot and the monks had no choice but to leave and take refuge in the safety of the nearby mountains.

From there, they watched the enemy troops coming and plundering the village.

As they watched the carnage that was happening, the abbot said:  I wish I were God.

His monks asked:  So that you can stop that tragedy?
The abbot replied: No, so that I know why that is happening.  So that I can understand why that is happening.

Yes, we wish we can understand as we wonder about what is happening around us as we see the death and sickness, poverty and hunger, plagues and famine, wars and natural disasters.

We see bad things happening to good people, evil being returned for good, and we wonder if God sees, if God knows what is happening.

But God may also be asking us if we can really see and really understand what is happening around us.

A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World." Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes: Egypt's Great Pyramids; the Taj Mahal; the Grand Canyon; the Panama Canal; the Empire State Building; St. Peter's Basilica and China's Great Wall.

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. 

The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." 

The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help." 

The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the 'Seven Wonders of the World' are: 1. to see; 2. to hear; 3. to touch; 4. to taste; 5. to feel; 6. to laugh; 7. and to love."

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous!

So even as Jesus reminds us that all things will pass, He also reminds us that our faith will help us endure and eventually win us our lives.

The 7 wonders of the ancient world have passed and only one is still remaining. The wonders of our present world will also pass along with time, and with that we too will pass.

But the most precious and wonderful things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man. 

To see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to laugh and to love are indeed wonderful. Let us wonder at these and we will realise how wonderful God is and how wonderful He wants our lives to be.

Friday, November 11, 2016

32nd Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 12-11-16

3 John 5-8 / Luke 18:1-8

There are many things that we don't seem to get tired of doing.

For example, we don't get tired of watching TV, eating good food, surfing the internet, shopping, travelling, etc.

However, when it comes to praying and the things of the spiritual life, we somehow tire out easily.

The disciples of Jesus might have felt the same way. They didn't get tired of watching Jesus work miracles day after day, e.g. curing the sick, expelling demons, making the blind see and the lame walk, etc.

These were spectacular and extraordinary events and they were exciting to watch.

But Jesus called His disciples not just to watch how He worked miracles but to follow Him.

He called them to personal conversion and to a deeper faith in God.

Jesus knew that He Himself could not work miracles without prayer and a deep intimate love for His Father.

It is because of this that He told the gospel parable in order to teach them the importance of prayer.

Essentially, He told them to pray always without becoming weary.

Because prayer is not about getting immediate results ; rather it is about patience and perseverance.

Many people become great saints not because of their sudden experience and vision of God.

Rather, it was because of their prayerful lives that kept them close to God and close to others.

May we also have the patience to persevere in prayer and keep the faith.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

32nd Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 11-11-16

2 John 4-9 / Luke 17:26-37

The "stand-by" state in electrical and electronic equipment like tv sets and dvd players and computers is interesting.

In that state, when the equipment is activated, it immediately jumps to its full operational capabilities without having to go through the start up process and other delays.

But it is also a state in which it uses a considerable amount of energy as compared when it is totally shut down.

For most of us, life is generally busy, but it is usually busy with monotony.

In other words, we are usually busy with the same stuff - work, chores, assignments, appointments.

After a while, we might just enter a shut-down state as in that we might just exist for function but may not have motivation.

Like Jesus said in the gospel, we just slide into the monotony of eating and drinking, buying and selling, and we shut down to life and meaning.

Yet the 1st reading reminds us to watch ourselves because there are many deceivers in the world.

Hence, we must stand firm in faith and stand-by with truth in our hearts, and prepare to witness to the truth. All the time!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

32nd Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 09-11-16

Philemon 7-20 / Luke 17:21-25

Human beings have this tendency to want to have a hold on the future in order to have a sense of security.

That is why fortune-telling and horoscopes etc. is such an attractive and thriving business.

Yet we may get so engrossed about wanting to know the future that we lose hold of the present.

We forget to live in the here and now.

That is what Jesus meant when He said that "the kingdom of God is among you".

In other words, the kingdom of God is in the present and in the now!

God wants to be present in the NOW of our lives and it is in the here and now that He reveals Himself to us.

Our present may not look that nice and rosy.

We may be struggling in our difficulties and worries and anxieties.

Just like in the 1st reading, the slave Onesimus was worried about his future because St. Paul was sending him back to his former master Philemon.

Yet it is in those difficulties and struggles that God reveals to us how much He loves us.

He even let His only Son Jesus suffer grievously and die for us.

In Jesus we are assured that God will always be with us. As it was, as it is  and as it always will be.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Wednesday, 09-11-16

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12 / 1 Cor 3:9-11, 16-17 / John 2:13-22

Today, the Universal Church celebrates the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome because it is the head and mother church of all churches in the world.

The fact is that the Basilica of St. John Lateran is the Pope’s cathedral because St. John Lateran's Basilica is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope.

The first basilica on the site was built in the 4th century when the Roman emperor Constantine donated land that he had received from the wealthy Lateran family.

That structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake and the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the Church where popes were consecrated until the popes returned from Avignon in the 14th century, after which they resided in St. Peter's.

The dedication of this Church is a feast for all Roman Catholics because St. John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics since it is the pope's cathedral.

This church is the spiritual home of the people who belong to the Roman Catholic Church.

In celebrating the dedication of the Pope’s cathedral, we show our unity with the Pope and our love and respect for him, as well as our obedience and faithfulness to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

It also shows that we are united with each other in the  Universal Church. St. Paul described this unity in the Church in the 2nd reading as God's Temple with the Spirit of God living in us and uniting us.

Henceforth, it is our duty and mission to keep ourselves free of sin and defilement so as not to turn God's house into a market or, worse still, into a thieves' den.

More importantly, we must be united in heart and mind, and worship in Spirit and truth, so that the Church would be like what is described as the Temple in the 1st reading - with living waters flowing out to bring about healing and reconciliation, and bearing fruits of life and love.

Monday, November 7, 2016

32nd Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 08-11-16

Titus 2:1-8, 11-14 / Luke 17:7-10

The difference between conservative and traditional is that conservative is tending to resist change while traditional is of or pertaining to tradition.

As much as the meaning of conservative may seem obvious enough, the meaning of traditional may seem quite broad.

Traditional may mean that something is derived from tradition, or that a person is observant of tradition, or that a person is attached to old customs, or that a person is old-fashioned.

What we heard in the 1st reading is certainly traditional ways of how people should behave. At the same time it may also sound like some kind of old customs that is also old-fashioned.

However traditional or old the customs may seem to be, the principle of living out the Christian life is to conform our behaviour to go with healthy and good doctrine.

What St. Paul said in summary in the 1st reading is noteworthy: God's grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions. We must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world.

The Word of God and the teachings that flow from it is active and alive, as it was in the past, as it is now, and as it will always be.

When we conform our lives to the Word of God, we are not being traditional or even conservative.

We are merely being servants, and we have done no more than our duty to obey our Master and Lord.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

32nd Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 07-11-16

Titus 1:1-9 / Luke 17:1-6

Every occupation has its set of requirements and expectations. We can also call that a job description.

The more demanding a job is, the higher are the requirements and expectations, as well as the greater the responsibilities.

That can be seen in professions like doctors, teachers, police officers and those in leadership positions that are influential and exercise authority.

In the 1st reading, when St. Paul told Titus to appoint leaders in every town, he stated what was required: irreproachable character, not arrogant or hot-tempered, not a drunkard or violent, not out to make money, etc.

We may wonder how successful Titus was in being able to find such leaders with those kind of qualities.

But in the gospel, Jesus summed it all up like this: he should not be an obstacle to others or lead others astray. It was simple but it was enough.

We may not be chosen to be in leadership positions or that we are not highly influential or have much authority to exercise,

Nonetheless, the qualities that St. Paul spoke about in the 1st reading and what Jesus said about being an obstacle and leading others astray are certainly something for us to think about.

Being a Christian means that we are answering to a higher calling in life, and it is the call to holiness.

Like the apostles in the gospel, we can only ask Jesus to increase our faith to live out the life of holiness.

We already have the faith. We only need to increase and strengthen that faith by living a just and virtuous life that is pleasing to God.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

32nd Ordinary Sunday, Year C, 06.11.16

2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14 / 2 Thess 2:16 – 3:5 / Luke 20:27-38

If we are to around the front entrance of the church and if we bother to look up, we will see something odd, something that shouldn’t be there.

Everything that needs to be there is there, but in that beautiful and majestic façade, there is something that disturbs the view.

Because up there on the roof, we see something growing. Call it weeds, call it wild plants, or whatever they are called, those wild plants present two difficult questions.

Just how did they grow up there? No one planted them there; they just grew from “don’t-know-what”.

And just how did they keep growing? Up there is just concrete. There is no soil. So where did those wild plants get the stuff to keep growing?

And someone can tell me that she thought we put some plants up there to decorate the roof! 

But something needs to be done and something is going to be done about those plants up there. We cannot let those plants keep growing into bushes.

Talking about bushes, the gospel mentioned something about a bush and it is connected with Moses. We will remember that episode in the Book of Exodus about Moses and the burning bush.
For Moses, that encounter with the burning bush was just the beginning of a very dramatic mission of leading God’s people out of slavery from Egypt. 

One of the highlights of that mission was the parting of the Red Sea, where the Israelites crossed dry-footed but the Egyptian army perished when the waters closed in on them.

That scene is retold in art and in movies but of course there are people who are skeptical about it.

A boy was reading the Bible and his uncle came along and asked what was so interesting in there. "Hey uncle," said the boy in return with a bright laugh, "Don't you have any idea what God is able to do? I just read that God opened up the waves of the Red Sea and led the whole nation of Israel right through the middle." 

The enlightened man laughed lightly, sat down next to the boy and began to try to open his eyes to the "realities" of the miracles of the Bible. "That can all be very easily explained. Modern scholarship has shown that the Red Sea in that area was only 10-inches deep at that time. It was no problem for the Israelites to wade across." 

The boy was stumped. His eyes wandered from the man back to the Bible that was lying open in his lap. The man, content that he had enlightened a poor, naive young boy to the finer points of scientific insight, turned to go. Scarcely had he taken two steps when the boy began to praise God loudly. 

The man turned to ask the reason for this unexpected reaction from the boy. "Wow!" Exclaimed the boy happily, "God is greater than I thought! Not only did He lead the whole nation of Israel through the Red Sea, He topped it off by drowning the whole Egyptian army in just 10 inches of water. Wow!”

So for those who believe, no explanation is necessary. But for those who don’t believe, no explanation is possible.

And for us who believe in the resurrection, Jesus has this to tell us – God is God, not of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all men are in fact alive.

And for us who believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, St. Paul has this to tell us in the 2nd reading: May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us His love and, through His grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do and say.

The God that we believe in, is a living God and the God of the living, and in God we find comfort and hope for our lives. The Lord is faithful and He will give us strength and guard us from the evil one.

During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific Island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades. 

Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed. 

As he waited, he prayed, "Lord, if it be Your will, please protect me. Whatever Your will though, I love You and trust You. Amen." 

After praying, he lay quietly listening as the enemy began to draw close. He thought, "Well, I guess the Lord isn't going to help me out of this one." Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave. 

As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave. 

"Ha!” he thought. "What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humour." 

As the enemy drew closer, he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on. Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while. "Lord, forgive me," prayed the young man. "I had forgotten that in You a spider's web is stronger than a brick wall." 

We all face times of great trouble. When we do, it is so easy to forget the victories that God would work in our lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways.

But that’s when we encounter the living God, just as Moses encountered the living God in the burning bush and in the parting of the Red Sea.

So when there are burning issues in our lives, whether it is wild plants growing on the roof, or the question about the mystery of the afterlife, let us listen to the voice of the living God.

It is in listening to the voice of the living God that we will come alive and live our lives in the ways of the Lord.

Friday, November 4, 2016

31st Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 05-11-16

Philippians 4:10-19 / Luke 16:9-15

It is often said that "Money is the root of all evil". A more accurate expression may be: "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.

When it comes to the topic of money, there are no shortage of quotes, but endless worries over its shortage.

Interestingly enough, today's readings also talk about money.

St. Paul talked about money, not about its shortage but rather about how he managed.

So whether in poverty or in plenty, full or empty stomach, there was nothing he could not master with the help of the One who gave him strength.

Jesus also warned us in today's gospel that if we cannot be trusted with money, then who will trust us with genuine riches.

But the lure of money is just one in the array of temptations and pitfalls that people have fallen into.

At the core in the discussion of money and its use and abuse is the virtue of honesty and integrity.

At the core of the teaching of Jesus in today's gospel is the question of who and what is our master.

That question will be answered when we show that we can be trusted in small things.

31st Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 04-11-16

Philippians 3:17 - 4:1 / Luke 16:1-8

Many a times, some of our best ideas come about out of a desperate situation.

It takes some urgency or emergency to get us to try out ideas and options that we would not have considered before.

Such was the case with the dishonest steward in today's gospel.

This parable can be difficult to interpret and understand if we don't understand the point that Jesus was making.

Jesus was pointing out to the urgency and energy with which a worldly man secures his future when it is in jeopardy.

Jesus is even urging us, the children of light, to have an urgency when it comes to our eternal future.

Otherwise, as the 1st reading puts it, we might end up making food into our god and can even be proud of something that we ought to be shameful and worldly things are the only important things to us.

St. Paul urged his people not to give way but to remain faithful to the Lord.

Hence the urgency is not to get into a flurry of activity to prepare for our eternal destiny.

Rather the urgency is in the ordinary and the monotony of life.

When we can be faithful to the Lord in the small ordinary things and remain focused on the Lord despite the monotony of life, then we are prepared for eternal life.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

31st Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 03-11-16

Philippians 3:3-8 / Luke 15:1-10

Whenever we are at a supermarket or a shopping centre, we may come across this message over the public announcement system - that a child was found wondering and the parents are to come and claim back their child.

Usually it happens when the child is found wondering around and brought to public attention that the parents then realize that their child was missing.

In the gospel, we hear of a different kind of announcement.

It is an announcement of a search. It is a search for an object or a thing that may seem quite unimportant or of little value, and that it can even be written off.

But it is a different kind of search. It is God who is doing the searching and He is searching for those who have lost their way in life.

They are lost and yet they are considered as unimportant and of little value and can even be written off.

To think that God is frantically searching for such persons is indeed very mind-boggling, because we usually wouldn't be bothered about such persons.

We can even say that God is desperately searching for the lost.

Yet that is the God that we believe in because it is revealed to us that God loves us with an everlasting love and He wants us to be in the joy of His love.

To put it simply, God cares about each one of us and loves us dearly and He wants us to remain with Him always.

Just as we search desperately and frantically when we lose our wallets and hand-phones, God searches for us when we go astray and got lost in the way of life.

No one is unimportant or of no value to God. Because each person is created unique and is special in the eyes of God. We too must look at people in the same way that God looks at them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

All Souls, 02.11.2016

Isaiah 25:6-9 / Romans 5:5-11 / John 6:37-40

In our modern world, the advancement of technology is supposed to make our lives easier and more convenient.

But it seems that technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. (Aldous Huxley)
It is said that men have become the tools of their tools. (Henry David Thoreau). In other words, instead of making use of technology, it is becoming the other way round – technology is making use of us.

The expression of this is in the two phrases we use almost every day: “I am busy” and “I have no time”.

In a way, we envy those who have passed on, especially when we pray for them in these words: Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

So we pray that the departed will rest in peace. We hope that they will rest in peace. 

But are they really resting in peace? And that is the question that we are to think about as we join the Church to commemorate the faithful departed on this day.

This commemoration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to sin and from attachment to mortal sins.

They cannot immediately attain the joys of heaven, and they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass. In other words, when they died, they had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven. This sanctification is carried out in Purgatory.

There is the practice that the entire month of November became associated with prayer for the departed; lists of names of those to be remembered were being placed in the proximity of the altar on which the sacrifice of the Mass is offered.

A legend is given by Peter Damiani in his “Life of St. Odilo”: a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land was cast by a storm on a desolate island. A hermit living there told him that amid the rocks was a cleft that was “communicating” with purgatory, from which perpetually rose the groans of tortured souls. The hermit also claimed he had heard the demons complaining of the efficacy of the prayers of the faithful, in rescuing their victims. 

It may be just a legend, but the truth of it is that our prayers for the faithful departed has its efficacy in helping them to purify themselves for heaven.

Yes, souls in Purgatory need our prayers otherwise today will just be a day we remember our departed loved ones and nothing else.

On All Souls Dy, we not only remember the departed, but we apply our efforts, through prayer, almsgiving, and the Mass, to their release from Purgatory. 

We do this by coming to church for Mass and by visiting cemetery or columbarium and offering a prayer for the souls in Purgatory.

For the parish, we will go over later to our parish columbarium to bless the niches of the departed as an expression of asking for God’s blessings on them so that they will be purified and gain entry into heaven.

Praying for the departed is a Christian obligation. In the modern world, when many have come to doubt the Church's teaching on Purgatory, the need for such prayers must increase and has increased, as can be seen by the high numbers of Mass offerings for the faithful departed and the attendance at Mass today.

In our modern world, with all the technology, we are still busy and have no time.

But today we have taken time to remember and pray for the faithful departed and our departed loved ones.

All the technology can’t help them. Only we can help them with our prayers so that they can truly rest in peace.

And the time will come when we will need the prayers of the living to help us attain eternal rest.