Monday, June 29, 2020

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles Mass during the Day

Reading 1 Acts 12:1-11

In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them.
He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword,
and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews
he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
–It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–
He had him taken into custody and put in prison
under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each.
He intended to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial,
Peter, secured by double chains,
was sleeping between two soldiers,
while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him
and a light shone in the cell.
He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying,
“Get up quickly.”
The chains fell from his wrists.
The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.”
He did so.
Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”
So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real;
he thought he was seeing a vision.
They passed the first guard, then the second,
and came to the iron gate leading out to the city,
which opened for them by itself.
They emerged and made their way down an alley,
and suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter recovered his senses and said,
“Now I know for certain
that the Lord sent his angel
and rescued me from the hand of Herod
and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”

Responsorial Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R.    (5) The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R.    The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R.    The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R.    The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R.    The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Reading 2 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Alleluia Mt 16:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi Year A, June 14, 2020-“The Eucharist. A Body broken for a broken People”

From A Catholic Moment;

In an ever changing world, the Eucharist is a constant reminder of the great reality of God’s unchanging love (Mother Teresa).
The mystery of the Eucharist is the mystery of the God who journeys with his people in their wilderness experience in order to lead them into the promised land. The Eucharist which is the last gift Christ gave to his followers is an imprint of his perpetual presence among them. Thus the Eucharist became, not just a meal to be shared but a pledge of his constant presence among his people and a seal of an eternal covenant.
The solemnity of Corpus Christi is an invitation to all to renew our love for Christ present in the Eucharist and to perpetuate his presence in the world by becoming what we receive.

FIRST READING: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a
The liberation of the Israelites from the Egypt of slavery did not carry with it a direct visa into the promised land. Knowing how stubborn the people are, God chose to subject them to a long period of suffering intended not as an arbitrary punishment but as a means to purify them and prepare them to be worthy of the promised land.
Wandering in the desert for forty years was such a horrible experience for the people to the point that they even desired to go back to Egypt. It was a hard time filled with murmuring and rebellion against God and Moses. But above all, it was a moment that they experienced the extraordinary love of God in all its indices and varieties.
The book of Deuteronomy which is the fifth and the last book of the Torah contains series of instructions from Moses preparing them on how they should behave even as they drew closer to the promised land.
The passage today is meant to take them back to the memory lane so as to keep track of all the Lord has done for them for the past forty years:
“Remember how the Lord has guided you for forty years in the desert…”
‘Remember though He afflicted you but He provided manna for you, a food neither you nor your fathers knew about’
‘Remember and do not forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and out of slavery’
‘Remember how He saved you from the terrible desert with seraph serpents and scorpions’
‘Remember in the parched and waterless ground, He brought water for you from the flint of rock’
‘Just remember, and never you forget’
This litany of reminder may appear as an exaggerated emphasis, but in fact it expresses the type of audience that Moses was addressing to.
In reference to today’s feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, the call to “Remember,” and “Do not forget,” refers to the gift of the manna which is a prototype of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is all about the memorial of Jesus’ self-gift at the Last Supper and on the Cross; a memorial that is reenacted and relived every moment it is celebrated.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 
The Jewish passover is dotted with the blessing of four cups which are presented as acts of blessing and thanksgiving for God’s promise of (Ex. 6:6-8) and the deliverance of his people from Egypt (Ex. 12-14). The blessing range from the first cup of sanctification (kaddush) to the last cup of praise and thanksgiving (hallel). In the passover meal, all who are present share in the bread and the cup. Thus Paul speaks of the One and true Bread as the Body of Christ. Though the body of Christ here refers to both the Eucharist bread and extensively as the mystical body of the Christ, the Church. Thus, the Eucharistic bread is the model of the Church’s unity.
Paul’s emphasis on the Eucharist in reference to the community of faith was spurred by the ill-mannered and rude attitudes of some members of the community of Corinth with regards to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. So, Paul was trying to make them behave in the manner and likeness of Christ whom they share: “the cup of blessing is a sharing in the Blood of Christ, and the bread we break is a sharing in the Body of Christ.” There is no better language for Paul to express the true meaning of the Eucharist order than its reference to the unity of the Church: “Because there is one Bread, we who are many are one Body because we all partake of the one Bread” (1 Cor 10: -17). Thus, the Eucharist is a sacrament of unity.

GOSPEL: John 6:51-58
This passage is the most detailed teaching on the Eucharistic in the whole of the New Testament. John who though did not record the Eucharistic meal of the last supper like the synoptic evangelists, offers the most detailed and comprehensive teaching about the Eucharist: “the living Bread that came down from Heaven”. In this verse, John links Jesus with the manna in the wilderness as mentioned in the First Reading.Thus Eucharistic like the manna presents the image of a God who feeds his people. The Israelites were fed with manna (a corruptible food) to sustain them on their journey into the promised land. The ‘new Israelites’, the people of the new and everlasting are fed with Christ present in body, soul and divinity in order to sustain them on their pilgrimage to heaven. The manna sustained the people during their wandering in the desert but eventually, they died.  But Jesus the true manna from Heaven gives everlasting Life: “One who eats this Bread will live forever” (John 6:58). Hence, the participation of the believers in the body and blood of Christ seals their relationship with Christ and with one another.
John who presents this page of the gospel affirms that the Eucharist is an indispensable sacrament of unity with Christ. It not only makes Christ present in the heart of the one who receives Him, but it is equally a pledge for eternal life: “I will raise him up on the last day” (v.54); and he will live forever” (v.58).

One of the most important rituals at the table of the Eucharist is the fraction of the bread. For communion to take place, the bread must be broken. Thus the Eucharist is the mystery of Christ who comes to us broken in order to heal our broken lives so that we too can become broken to heal the brokenness of others.
Therefore the mystery we celebrate today does not call for high standard theological discourse. It is self-explanatory. It is simply a mystery of love made visible in the total self-giving of Christ to his people. He gave and gave and gave until there was nothing left to give again.
In the Eucharist, his body is broken and his blood dripped and given to us so that we may live. In other words his body and blood nourish and sustain us.
One of the emotional moments I experience during mass is whenever I have to break the bread. I always feel like shading tears. There I feel so great a mystery of God’s love; the mystery of total self-giving. And knowing how unworthy I am, I wonder why God has to allow himself to be broken by mere mortal like me. He says, ‘take and eat’, and I smash him and swallow. What more do I want from him? The thought of this mystery spurs me to always renew my love for him, and I ask; who else will take my time? Whom will I give my attention? Who is worthy of my life except him? How can I stop loving him? If I don’t make him my friend, of what use then is my life? What else will I gain in this life if I don’t give my life to him who first gave his life for me?
Let us not seek to understand the mystery of the body and blood of Christ aside the notion that it is the mystery of total self-giving born out of love.
We do not deserve to eat him and yet he says, ‘take and eat.’
We do not merit to drink him and still he says, ‘take and drink’ for a covenant with you and for the remission of your sins.
Certainly it is not for nothing that he gives us himself broken. We are called to relive the Eucharistic moment by offering ourselves as bread for others. He offered himself to us totally and unreservedly so that we may eat and be satisfied and have life in us. Therefore our Eucharistic communion in him and with him cannot be complete if we don’t offer ourselves as bread to our brothers and sisters. The same way we smash him in our mouth and savour the sweetness of his presence is the same way we must be smashed and savoured by our brothers and sisters especially those who are less privileged and the abandoned. Our bodies must be broken and be shared in the service of our brethren. When we truly receive Christ in us, we must be propelled into action of self giving to others too.
We need to become Christ bearers: If we are communicants, we must also become Christ-bearers. By receiving him, we become a living tabernacle of his perpetual presence in the world, and like Mary, we must harbour him in the ‘womb of our souls’ with the duty of conveying him to others starting from our homes, then to our workplaces, in the Church and the society at large by living a life of love, mercy, forgiveness and sacrificial services.
We need to be signs of communion too: We cannot commune with Christ while remaining agents of discord. Our bond with Christ should strengthen our bond with others. In communion we are attached to a chain of contact with Christ which must be extended to the other.
So can we be courageous enough today to tell someone: ‘take, this is my body given for you. This is my blood shed for you.’ This is how we become what we receive. This is how the brokenness of Christ become our brokenness.



Prayers for Today

I devoutly adore You, O hidden Deity, truly hidden beneath these appearances.  My whole heart submits to You, and in contemplating You, it surrenders itself completely.  Sight, touch, taste are all deceived in their judgment of You, but hearing suffices firmly to believe.  Jesus, I trust in You.

"Lord Jesus, our Savior, let us now come to you: Our hearts are cold; Lord, warm them with your selfless love. Our hearts are sinful; cleanse them with your precious blood. Our hearts are weak; strengthen them with your joyous Spirit. Our hearts are empty; fill them with your divine presence. Lord Jesus, our hearts are yours; possess them always and only for yourself. (Prayer of Augustine, 354-430)"

Lord Jesus, today I renew my faith in your true presence in the Eucharist. I believe you come down from heaven to be present in the host at every Mass and remain with me in the Tabernacle. You are the source of my hope. I long to be more united to you through this gift of yourself.

My Lord and my Sole Commander, I trust You with my life.  I entrust to You my whole being, especially all things that tempt me to fear.  Give me confidence in Your Divine Mercy and help me to rely upon You in all things without reserve.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

Reading 1 Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a

Moses said to the people:
"Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God,
has directed all your journeying in the desert,
so as to test you by affliction
and find out whether or not it was your intention
to keep his commandments.
He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger,
and then fed you with manna,
a food unknown to you and your fathers,
in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.

"Do not forget the LORD, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
that place of slavery;
who guided you through the vast and terrible desert
with its saraph serpents and scorpions,
its parched and waterless ground;
who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock
and fed you in the desert with manna,
a food unknown to your fathers."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R.  (12) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R.  Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R.  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R.  Alleluia.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R.  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R.  Alleluia.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R.  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R.  Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 Cor 10:16-17

Brothers and sisters:
The cup of blessing that we bless,
is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?
The bread that we break,
is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
Because the loaf of bread is one,
we, though many, are one body,
for we all partake of the one loaf.


Lauda Sion

Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
Christ, your king and shepherd true:

Bring him all the praise you know,
He is more than you bestow.
Never can you reach his due.

Special theme for glad thanksgiving
Is the quick’ning and the living
Bread today before you set:

From his hands of old partaken,
As we know, by faith unshaken,
Where the Twelve at supper met.

Full and clear ring out your chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
From your heart let praises burst:

For today the feast is holden,
When the institution olden
Of that supper was rehearsed.

Here the new law’s new oblation,
By the new king’s revelation,
Ends the form of ancient rite:

Now the new the old effaces,
Truth away the shadow chases,
Light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
His memorial ne’er to cease:

And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.

This the truth each Christian learns,
Bread into his flesh he turns,
To his precious blood the wine:

Sight has fail’d, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
Resting on a pow’r divine.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things are all we see:

Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
Christ entire we know to be.

Whoso of this food partakes,
Does not rend the Lord nor breaks;
Christ is whole to all that taste:

Thousands are, as one, receivers,
One, as thousands of believers,
Eats of him who cannot waste.

Bad and good the feast are sharing,
Of what divers dooms preparing,
Endless death, or endless life.

Life to these, to those damnation,
See how like participation
Is with unlike issues rife.

When the sacrament is broken,
Doubt not, but believe ‘tis spoken,
That each sever’d outward token
doth the very whole contain.

Nought the precious gift divides,
Breaking but the sign betides
Jesus still the same abides,
still unbroken does remain.

The shorter form of the sequence begins here.

Lo! the angel’s food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
see the children’s bread from heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.

Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing,
Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
manna to the fathers sent.

Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.

You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heav’nly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 6:51

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:51-58

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Some Prayers

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, help me to know You and to love You.  Help me to discover the love You share within Your own divine life.  In that discovery, help me to also love others with Your heart.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I trust in You.

Lord Jesus, I believe in you. I believe you have called me to the faith and to share that faith. I trust that you will fill me with your spirit of courage and truth so that I might faithfully assimilate and transmit the faith. I love you. I want to love you more with my prayer and with my life, and so grow in the unity of the love you share with your Father and the Holy Spirit.

Blessed Mother, please pray for me now and at the hour of my death.  Dear Jesus, I desire that my heart be always prepared for the moment when You call me to Yourself.  May all I do in this life become a preparation for that moment of passing, and may I receive in this hour an abundance of Your Mercy. Lord, please also give me the grace to help prepare others for this sacred hour and to pray for them fervently when that time comes.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Reflection for Today

Reflection is taken from A Catholic Moment;

“A God that can be explained is not a God that you should worship.” This was told as the response of an Indian guru to a young man who once pestered on him to explain the existence of God.
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity as a mystery full of meaning is a nourishment for those who are concerned with living the life of the Holy Trinity. But it is also a source of confusion and loss for those who wish to have a logical conclusion of 1+1+1=1. The revelation of God is his self communication to his creatures; the communication of his love. This revelation is made evident in the three identical moments of creation, redemption and sanctification of creation.These moments perfectly reveal the concrete expression the Triune God. But the identity of this God is not meant to be a mathematical conundrum, nor a philosophical deductive and inductive analysis. It is a mystery of a perfect God, a perfect unity, a perfect love and perfect communion of undivided three Persons in one God.
The liturgy today calls us to contemplate this unfathomable richness of God and to live it as an enriching experience of faith translated in our daily contact with others.

FIRST READING: 34:4.6.8-9
The hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH is a name of God held in the Jewish orthodoxy as too sacred to be pronounced by mortals. Such attitude was developed as a result of the unimaginable works wrought by God that generated an esteem awe as well as an exaltation of his holiness and omnipotence against the gods of other pegan nations.Thus, the people preferred the use of Adonai (my Lord) which translates in the septuagint as ‘Kyrios’ when addressing Him in prayers.
But today, the author of the Book of Exodus narrates the revelation of God not in the purported image of a transcendental non relational and ‘a not worthy to be called YHWH’, but a God who revealed Himself to Moses as a personal God in relationship with his people. This is why the author underlines the fundamental elements align his relationship with his people (merciful, gracious, and loving) as the intrinsic character of this God. It is the image God revealed of Himself to Moses as he (Moses) climbed Sinai to meet Him again with two tables of stone meant to replace the first one. We recall that Moses had shattered the first tables of stone given by God when he came down from Sinai and found Aaron and the people dancing around a golden calf as their God (Ex. 32:19). This second tables of stone is meant to reaffirm the commandments already given by God in Exodus 20 and to serve as a symbol of God’s renewed covenant with his people.
The rewriting of the commandments on a new stone describes how eternally merciful God is towards his people. He never stops forgiving and loving them. In fact addressing Himself as Adonai (the only name the people are comfortable to use) in the text shows how God desired to be closer to his people.

Our God is never tired of us. We can’t just imagine how often He desires to be closer to us and longs that we come back to Him. Today, He asked Moses to bring a new stone. Yes His wish is to rewrite his love, his grace and his forgiveness on a new stone which is our heart. We just need to allow the old stone to shatter in order to obtain the new stone. He does not expect us to love Him the same way He loves us, but He just want us to love Him not for His sake but for our sake.

SECOND READING: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

St. Paul has this strong passion for a community life as an indispensable dimension of the faith and an engine force for the spreading of the gospel. That is why he is always concerned when individual weaknesses begin to crop up in the community which he sees as a threat to the strength of the community life.
Today he presents the Trinity to the community of Corinth as a model to look up to in building their bond of communion through accepting one another and living in peace.
And by using the trinitarian formula of blessing: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” , the Apostle did not only remind the Corinthians of their duty to emulate the Holy Trinity, he equally reminded them that their faith and identity as Christians is build on the foundation of the Trinity. Notice that Paul attached a ‘qualifying identity’ to each of the three persons of the Holy Trinity:

1. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…” The greek ‘charis’ for grace refers to a patron but also as one possessing the virtue of generosity. Jesus is ‘Patron’ of the Christian community, the head of the body the Church whose salvific mission can only be described as an act of generosity.

2. Paul used the greek ‘agape’ in reference to the “love of God the Father.” It affirms the unselfish love which the Father lavished on the world by offering his only begotten Son.

3. “And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Paul employs the Greek ‘koinonia’ (followship or communion) with reference to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity; the bond of communion of the Father and the Son, and as a uniting force of the christian community.

GOSPEL: John 3:16-18
This passage of the Gospel of John is one of the most famous, most cherished and most memorized and quoted passages of the bible. It identifies love as an intrinsic character of God and as the purpose of Jesus’s mission.
John reiterates the message of Exodus of a God who counted more on his love than on the fidelity of his people towards him. He forgave and renewed his covenant with them mediated by the tablets of the Law. John affirms that the revelation of this God attained its ‘summum punctum’ (apex) in the person of his Son who by mediating between the Father and his people replaced the tablets of the Law. He became a pledge of God’s love and forgiveness who chose not to condemn but to save. John further underlined that this salvation is a free choice. Anyone who believes in the One sent by God is saved; and anyone who rejects the One sent by God simply rejects the love lavished by God. And to reject love is to reject God who is love and the consequence of rejecting God is self condemnation.

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity should not be approached just with the aim of enlightenment but rather should be a lived experience of all about a God who wished to reveal Himself to His people out of love. This revelation of God to His people has only one purpose, and that is, the salvation of His people. Thus the doctrine of Trinity teaches that this salvation cannot be attained if man does not live the life of the “Holy Trinity”. By this we mean that the Holy Trinity is indispensably the only model of the people of God.
The modern society has been so influential with its ‘I-and-I’ principle of unbridled individualism; an ‘i-sm’ ideology that puts the individual in opposition to the community, and the world constructed around and from the stand-point of the ‘I’. Yet the proponents of such ideology tend to forget that the ‘I-and-I’ principle reduces the human person. On the contrary, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity challenges us to adopt the ‘I-and-God-and-Neighbor’ principle. I am a complete human person insofar as I live in a relationship of love with God and with others.
The other here must not have identity. It is not ‘selectional’. It is not racial, neither is it tribal. It is only the other.
Meanwhile, as Christians we are called today not just to celebrate the Holy Trinity but to live the Holy Trinity. It is useless to give a deep seated explanation of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity if we are not disposed to allow the life of the Holy Trinity to permeate us and influence our way of living. We must admit that we are divided. Humanity has been torn apart. There is immeasurable hatred, man’s inhumanity against the other, the claim of superiority and superimposition over others. Today we cannot lay claim of perfect union. Relationships are tearing apart. Divorce is the order of the day. Family crises keep flaming. Communities are in apathy. Nations are against nations. Kingdoms are falling apart. Religions are hostile to each other. Even in Christendom, there is a heinous division. The secular world is constantly increasing its wave of war and terrorism. Is that the life of the Holy Trinity? Certainly not! We must acknowledge that each one of us is not living right. We must accept our limitedness. We must begin to move away from the world of ‘the self’ towards the world of ‘with others’. We must break the walls of the ‘I’ in order to see the beauty of life. We must look at the Holy Trinity today as the only model which will open us to accept one another as children of the same Father having one common ‘eternal origin’ and not this temporal geographical origin that is just accidental. We need to begin to appreciate the life of communion and love. In doing so, we can then hit our chest and say that we are living in conformity with the Holy Trinity, and our life, our communities and our world will take a different dimension. It is not easy to love and to live in unity but is not impossible. It is only achievable if we are godly. We must break away from and renounce the worldly principles and turn to the divine principles. It is our vocation.

We pray with saint Catherine of Siena saying: “You, O eternal Trinity, are a deep Sea, into which the deeper I enter the more I find, and the more I find the more I seek; the soul cannot be satiated in Your abyss, for she continually hungers after You, the eternal Trinity… Clothe me, clothe me with You, O! Eternal Truth!”


Sunday 7 June 2020 The Most Holy Trinity

First reading
Exodus 34:4-6,8-9 ©

'Lord, Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion'

With the two tablets of stone in his hands, Moses went up the mountain of Sinai in the early morning as the Lord had commanded him. And the Lord descended in the form of a cloud, and Moses stood with him there.
  He called on the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness.’ And Moses bowed down to the ground at once and worshipped. ‘If I have indeed won your favour, Lord,’ he said ‘let my Lord come with us, I beg. True, they are a headstrong people, but forgive us our faults and our sins, and adopt us as your heritage.’

Responsorial PsalmDaniel 3:52-56 ©
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest, Lord God of our fathers.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
Blest your glorious holy name.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest in the temple of your glory.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest on the throne of your kingdom.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest who gaze into the depths.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest in the firmament of heaven.
To you glory and praise for evermore.

Second reading
2 Corinthians 13:11-13 ©

The grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Brothers, we wish you happiness; try to grow perfect; help one another. Be united; live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
  Greet one another with the holy kiss. All the saints send you greetings.
  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Gospel Acclamationcf.Rv1:8
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
the God who is, who was, and who is to come.

GospelJohn 3:16-18 ©

God sent his Son so that through him the world might be saved

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.’

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Prayers for Today

Lord, send forth Your Spirit in my life and set me on fire with the Gifts of Your Spirit.  Holy Spirit, I invite You to take possession of my soul.  Come Holy Spirit, come and transform my life.  Holy Spirit, I trust in You.

Today, Lord, we celebrate the gift of your Holy Spirit to the Church, which you won for us through your patient suffering on the cross. I believe and trust in his power to make me a better apostle of your Kingdom, to bring fervor where I have grown tepid, to instill detachment where I have become too indulgent, and to perfect the innocence of my baptism, which leaves my soul more pure and worthy to serve and honor you each day.

Lord, help me to entrust to You all suffering.  Help me to have hope in You and to fix my gaze upon Your Cross during the most troubled times of life.  Use me Lord, and use my suffering as a source of my holiness and for the upbuilding of Your Church in holiness.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Reflection for Today

The term ‘Pentecost’ is derivative of the Greek terminology Πεντηκοστή (Pentecoste) which simply means ‘fiftieth’. In its religious usage, it is originally the Jewish festival of Shavuot; seven weeks after the Passover celebration of which the name ‘festival of the weeks’ come from: “You shall count seven weeks…and you will celebrate the feast of the weeks (Deuteronomy 16: 9-10). It is an agricultural festival, the festival of the ‘first fruits’ and the offering of the first bunch of wheat. It however reminds us of the historical event of the gift of the law at Mount Sinai. Thus Shavuot is the conclusion, the end of the Passover festivities. It is in fact to give Israel the ‘Law’ that God made him come out of Egypt since a true law must be lived in freedom and true freedom consist in accepting to follow the Law of God (Fr. A. Kadavil).
Pentecost for Christians is the completion of the Easter season after fifty days of contemplation of the mystery of the resurrection. But it equally reveals the face of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity (the Holy Spirit) and manifests his operative power as He initiates the third moment of the tripartite moments of the revelation of God.
It indeed happened as a strange event. It is the event of wind and fire. The sound of the wind stirred up the whole of Jerusalem and set its inhabitants in confusion and in uproar. Those who felt they were strangers to God eventually discovered they were no more strangers because the Spirit spoke their languages. They felt the heat as the fire of the Spirit was burning in the Apostles. That is Pentecost, and that is what we celebrate today.The Apostles who were in quarantine of fear have been set free. The Spirit blows again today. The situation of our world gripped by fear and living in the hiding will surely return normalcy. The Psalmist sings it as a praise. God sends his Spirit to renew the face of the earth.

FIRST READING: Acts 2:1-11

The use of natural elements such as water, fire, air and earth was very common in the cosmogony (the origin of things) of the ancient world and the conclusions were often mythological. For example, most of the Persian, Babylonian, Greek and Asian thoughts conceived those natural elements as deities or the manifestation of the deities. Meanwhile, the interaction of these cultures and philosophies with the ancient Hebrews left a traceable mark in the biblical tradition. Many passages of the Old Testament describe the revelation of God as being accompanied by fire, cloud and even breeze (Ex. 3:2-3; 13: 21; 14:24; 19:18; 40:38; Nb. 9:15-16; 14:14; Dt. 1:33; 4:12.15.30; 5:4.22; 9:10; 10:4; Neh. 9:9.22; 1 Kgs. 19:12; Ps. 10:39; 76:14; Is. 4:5). The New Testament recorded few pages of such revelation; the transfiguration of Christ at Mount Tabor (Mt.17:1-13) and in the Apocalypse of St. John (Rev.1:4-8; 10:1 etc).
Luke describes the coming of the Spirit as that of a rush of a mighty wind. What is so extraordinary about the wind since people in that environment were used to the rushing wind? It was the of the Spirit sending message to every corner of Jerusalem and to the people of the world in their own languages, summoning them to the great event of the manifestation of the Spirit in the upper room.
The people responded to the invitation. And Luke counted the number of the invitees as coming from sixteen different geographical regions representing the people on the face of the earth. The wave of the Spirit invited them to witness the miracle of tongues that set the people free from the old age confusion of tongues caused by the same God at the event of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11). Those who were once scattered in Babel now gathered in Jerusalem. The Babel of division came to meet the Pentecost of unity whereby they no longer admire their tower of pride but instead the wonders of God. The old man of Babel, the man of pride is now intoxicated by the Spirit of God.
This outpouring of the Holy Spirit became a creation of a new world, the perfect completion of God’s creative, redemptive and sanctifying work. The Spirit hovered over the disciples whose faith at this point was still ‘shapeless’ like the shapeless world of Genesis 1:2. Yes, they received a new life in the Spirit, just like the first moment when God breathed life in man (Gen. 2:7), and their ‘bones’ which were dead in fear was fleshed up by the Spirit as in the days of Ezekiel (37:9-10).
The wine of the Pentecost made the disciples to be dazed in the Spirit. It was a new wine pressed from the ‘True Vine’ who is Christ (Jn 15:5).Those who did not taste it felt it was an alcohol. St. Cyril of Jerusalem puts it beautifully that those who thought that the Apostles were drunk at Pentecost (Acts 2:13) were correct in their observation, but they mistook their drunkenness as coming from alcoholic. This wine of the Spirit was so strong that they were uncontrollably intoxicated. It was a sober intoxication that destroyed sin and brought about new life in the Spirit. It loosened them from memory loss and made them recall all that the Lord taught them. The tongues of fire loosened their tongues of speech. The heat of the fire boiled their heart to an unimaginable degree of courage. The door that locked them away for fear of those who killed their master became an access door leading them to the people. The Spirit concluded their period of retreat and empowered them for mission. They came out well recharged. And instead of speaking incoherently in fear, they rather spoke in languages that people from every part of the world were able to understand, the language of love and faith in God made manifest in the person of Christ.

SECOND READING: I Cor 12:3-7, 12-13
The second reading is the message of Paul to the Christians of Corinth reminding them that faith in Christ is made possible through the power of the the Holy Spirit Who enriches the Church with varieties of gifts.These gifts are activated in every believer by the same Spirit uniquely for the service of the community and not for the glorification of the individuals.
Secondly, Paul insists that these gifts of the Spirit, ‘Charisma’ are equal and serve the same purpose which is the edification of the Church.
Evidently, this letter is meant to criticize the pride of action going on in the community of Corinth. The existing tendency was such that claims one gift as superior to the other. Those who had the gift of prophesy or gift of healing felt themselves more relevant in the community than those who probably had the gift of teaching. And using the analogy of the body, the Apostle underlines that every gift is indispensable (the body will certainly lose its complete nature if it is deprived of the hand, and the leg can never be called hand nor replace it).
Finally, St. Paul clarifies that the Spirit is never partial in the dispensation of his gifts. He blows wherever He wants and to whoever He wants. Thus, whether Jew or Gentile, they all drink from the same fountain of the Spirit.

GOSPEL: John 20:19-23

The Gospel gives us an account of what the French people call an “avant-goût”. It is a foretaste of the great event of Pentecost. The risen Lord anticipated the coming of the Holy Spirit, the completion of the three great moments of divine revelation. Standing before his Apostles who were gradually shrinking away in fear, He breathed upon them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This was meant to sustain them to see the day of Pentecost, and to remind them that the Holy Spirit that will eventually come will be the gift of the Father to them and in his name. John conjugates the power of the Spirit as indispensably linked to the mission of the disciples when he says:“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 
It suggests that the sacramental confession is a search for the Holy Spirit, because sin has the power to put the soul to death and it is only the breath of the Spirit that can restore this life through reconciliation with God. It is equally a reminder to the Apostles that though the redemptive work has been completed on the wood of the cross which was meant to cancel the gap between man and God, but then individual weaknesses will always crucify people on the wood of sin. However, the coming of the Holy Spirit is to keep sanctifying creation already redeemed.


The Pentecost makes us to understand that the workings of the Spirit can come like the rush of a mighty wind (Acts 2:2) that immediately produced an effect on the disciples.
We have often longed for the immediacy of the action of the Spirit in our rough situations, and instead of the cool breeze of his presence, we get hot air that keeps suffocating us. We can identify the hot air when we are weighed down by sickness and old age thinking of how to survive them. It blows real hot when we lack Job opportunities and means of survival. What of shattered relationships and divided families? What of when we watch people deny us our rights and treat us as less human and kill us? Yes it’s damn hot. It is hotter when the fear of death creeps in. The message of Pentecost is a message of hope. The Apostles were not breathing a good air. They were suffocating in fear. They faced dangers and threats, but they were hopeful. They kept the faith and their constancy in prayer activated the power from above that released the rush of a mighty wind. Let us not lose hope when it blows hot because heaven has a reservoir of refreshing wind that will restore our suffocating situation. Whichever way it has been, we can be assured that there is a life changing Spirit that blows today.

The fire of the Spirit was a new baptism received by the disciples on this day. It was a fire that purified and empowered them for the mission because they cooperated with it. We have all received the Spirit through the sacraments of baptism and its fullness in the sacrament of confirmation and it is made available to us in all the sacraments. How active is the Spirit in our lives? We must be sure of the fact that the Spirit like fire can purify and also destroy. It purifies us when we are dispose to cooperate with Him. He builts us. He empowers us and makes us ablaze with the power of God. But it becomes destructive when we abuse the grace and opportunities that God gives to us through constant submission to sin and inability to accept our faults and to change.
Let us make effort to keep the fire of the Spirit burning because that’s the only way we can be identified as the followers of Christ in the midst the world of differences. Yes people gathered because they noticed something from the disciples, they noticed miraculous tongues of fire.


Come, O Holy Spirit, come! From Your bright and blissful Home Rays of healing light impart. Come, Father of the poor, Source of gifts that will endure Light of ev’ry human heart.
You of all consolers best, Of the soul most kindly Guest, Quick’ning courage do bestow.
In hard labor You are rest, In the heat You refresh best, And solace give in our woe.
O most blessed Light divine, Let Your radiance in us shine, And our inmost being fill.
Nothing good by man is thought, Nothing right by him is wrought, When he spurns Your gracious Will.
Cleanse our souls from sinful stain, Lave our dryness with Your rain, Heal our wounds and mend our way.
Bend the stubborn heart and will, Melt the frozen, warm the chill, Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful who in You, Trust with childlike piety, Deign Your sevenfold gift to send.
Give them virtue’s rich increase, Saving grace to die in peace, Give them joys that never end. Amen. Alleluia.


Sunday, May 31 Pentecost Sunday - Solemnity

First readingActs 2:1-11 ©

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak

When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
  Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 103(104):1,24,29-31,34 ©
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord God, how great you are,
How many are your works, O Lord!
  The earth is full of your riches.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
You take back your spirit, they die,
  returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
  and you renew the face of the earth.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
  May the Lord rejoice in his works!
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
  I find my joy in the Lord.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13 ©

In the one Spirit we were all baptised

No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
  There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose.
  Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.

Veni, sancte Spiritus

Holy Spirit, Lord of Light,
From the clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.
Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure
Come, thou light of all that live!
Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow
Thou in toil art comfort sweet
Pleasant coolness in the heat
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal, light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill:
If thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay
All his good is turned to ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew
On our dryness pour thy dew
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will
Melt the frozen, warm the chill
Guide the steps that go astray.
Thou, on us who evermore
Thee confess and thee adore,
With thy sevenfold gifts descend:
Give us comfort when we die
Give us life with thee on high
Give us joys that never end.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.

GospelJohn 20:19-23 ©

As the Father sent me, so am I sending you: receive the Holy Spirit

In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’