Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Saturday of Week 28 Year 2

Some of us can become quite animated and agitated when we discuss about a hot present issue such as what is happening in politics and the situation we are facing in the economy. We can spend lots of time trying to prove our point, or to comment with gusto on such matters which affect us. But when it comes to Jesus, do we have the same enthusiasm and zeal to share about Jesus and the Gospel to others, more so especially since Jesus is our saviour, our Lord and God? Do we acknowledge with pride and conviction Jesus' presence in our lives before others? Do we acknowledge the difference that our Lord Jesus has made in our lives? Or have we become shy or fearful to mention about Jesus, even though He is not shy or fearful towards us?

In today's Gospel, Jesus reminds us: "I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of men, the Son of Man will declare himself for him in the presence of the angels. But the man who disowns me in the presence of men will be disowned in the presence of God’s angels." Are we enthusiastic and joyful in declaring Jesus in the presence of men? May we not falter in sharing the Good News, and while doing so, give God the glory.

St. John Vianney - Memorial 聖若翰維雅納節日

我們常常希望我們的事情完成盡快。然而,作為基督的證人不能這麼快做到。如果我們想成為耶穌有效的證人,我們需要有3個重要的特徵:熱情,耐心和毅力。

今天,我們慶祝聖若翰維雅納的節日。聖若翰維雅納是本堂神父的主保。他用熱情,耐心和毅力關心天主的子民,讓亞爾斯村莊所有的人轉換從惡習到美德。所以,他是一個例子我們應該模仿。

各位教友,我們應該為我們的神父們祈禱,以便他們更熱中他們的聖職,讓他們更熱情履行他們的使命。我們也應該為自己祈禱,我們會更加努力見證基督的福音跟其他的人。願耶穌的聖心激勵我們效法他的榜樣。

We often want things to be done quickly. However, when it comes to being witnesses of Christ, it is often not possible to rush things. If we want to be an effective witness of Jesus, we need to have three important characteristics: passion, patience and perseverance.

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. John Vianney. St. John Vianney is the patron of parish priests. With passion, patience and perseverance, he showed great care and concern for God’s people, especially in the village of Ars, gradually converting the entire village from vices to virtue. Therefore, he is a good example for all of us to follow and imitate.

Let us pray for our priests, that they will continue to be faithful to their vocation, and enthusiastic in carrying out their mission. We also pray for ourselves, that we will make even more effort to be witnesses of Christ’s Good News to others. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus inspire us to imitate His example.

Friday, 31 July 2020

Saturday of Week 27 Year 2

One reality in modern society is that, no matter where we go, we would encounter laws and regulations. Such laws need to be observed, for the good of all, otherwise there would be chaos. Such laws are supposed to protect those who follow what is stipulated and also to deter wrong-doing. Thus, the law is like our guardian and it is expressed in the form of law-enforcement officers, and in some cases, the courts may come into the picture.

In today's reading, St. Paul said that the Law was the guardian of the people until Jesus Christ came along and then they could be justified by faith. The Law was there for the people to keep to it and follow it. Yet the problem here is that, by just keeping to the precepts of the Law, people could be doing so without any faith and only out of fear, instead of out of love and out of a desire to grow closer to God. With Jesus, we are justified by faith and are no longer under the law as our guardian, but we become sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

The question is: are we still keeping the law out of fear and just to get ourselves out of trouble; or have we grown in faith in Jesus, and keep the law out of love? Are we keeping the law only for the sake of keeping it to protect ourselves from punishment, or have we learnt to let Jesus be our guiding "law," so that we would become more and more like Him? May we learn to follow the law of love, letting Jesus be our help an guide.

Saturday of Week 26 Year 2

How many of us still have a sense of politeness, courtesy and especially humility? Humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of one's importance, but how many of us are able to maintain such humility, especially when it seems as if more and more people are forgetting their humble beginnings, as they become more affluent, or are supposingly having higher education, or they think they have better standing in society?

Today's reading tells us of Job's humility. The reading tells us: "This was the answer Job gave to the Lord: I know that you are all-powerful what you conceive, you can perform. I am the man who obscured your designs with my empty-headed words. I have been holding forth on matters I cannot understand, on marvels beyond me and my knowledge. I knew you then only by hearsay; but now, having seen you with my own eyes, I retract all I have said, and in dust and ashes I repent." Job was willing to remain humble and seek forgiveness from God, instead of sticking to his pride and ego. As a result, the reading tells us that God blessed Job with wealth, property, offspring and other things, much more than Job could ever imagine.

What about us? Are we able to remain humble even though the world is tempting us to become proud, egoistic, and have a sense of entitlement? Have we learnt to become more like Job, willing to humble ourselves and let God be our help and guide? May we be make effort and be willing to walk humbly in God's ways, and glorify God in all we say and do.

Friday, 17 July 2020

Saturday of Week 25 Year 2

I sometimes wonder and ponder whether some of us are aware of the direction we are taking in our lives. We seem to be so busy with earthly pursuits, and we take great effort in making a name for ourselves; or enriching ourselves, thinking that we are doing so for our future happiness and security, and for the happiness and security of our loved ones. But the reality is: at the end of the day, do all these efforts really matter? Will our efforts be long lasting?

In today's reading, we are cautioned that all our earthly pursuits would be scrutinised: "But this you must know: for all these things God will bring you to judgement." Not only that, the reading reminds us: "while man goes to his everlasting home. And the mourners are already walking to and fro in the street; before the silver cord has snapped, or the golden lamp been broken, or the pitcher shattered at the spring, or the pulley cracked at the well, or before the dust returns to the earth as it once came from it, and the breath to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says. All is vanity."

If we look at what the reading tells us, all our earthly pursuits may eventually be insignificant when we return to the Lord. It does not mean that we should totally disregard our livelihood here on earth, but what the reading is reminding us is to set our priorities right. Are we focusing so much on temporary things here on earth, that we end up neglecting our relationship with God? Let us take caution and not end up regretting later, since all that we have here on earth is impermanent, and our eternal future is at stake.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Saturday of Week 24 Year 2

I sometimes come across people asking me what we would look like or be like after we die. Some begin to wonder whether a loved one would look or be the same. Some are even afraid to know what a loved one would look like or be like, especially when the loved one had gone through much suffering due to disease when the loved one was alive. But the reality is that our appearance would not be the same as when we were alive, since our bodies are perishable.

In today's reading, we are reminded: "Someone may ask, ‘How are dead people raised, and what sort of body do they have when they come back?’ They are stupid questions. Whatever you sow in the ground has to die before it is given new life and the thing that you sow is not what is going to come; you sow a bare grain, say of wheat or something like that, It is the same with the resurrection of the dead: the thing that is sown is perishable but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; the thing that is sown is weak but what is raised is powerful; when it is sown it embodies the soul, when it is raised it embodies the spirit."

The reading reminds us that our bodies will die, decay and eventually turn to dust, but our souls will become better and glorious, especially if we have been maintaining a good relationship with God. This is why we should not be too concerned about how we would look like or be like after we die. We should also not be too concerned about earthly things, since such things are impermanent. Instead, we should make more effort in growing in relationship with God. Are we putting our priorities right, and letting God be our guide and happiness?

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Saturday of Week 23 Year 2

Why do some people choose to do evil? It seems strange that some people would do so, but each and every one of us are free to choose. In life, we make many choices, some good, some not so good. But the reality is that we take responsibility for our choices, and face the consequences should such choices turn out to be not so good. Even in our spiritual life, we can choose to grow closer to God, or we could choose to drift away from Him. Eventually, we need to make an ultimate choice, to do good, or to do evil. We call such an ultimate choice a "fundamental option" where we make a choice for keeps, as there is no middle ground.

In today's reading, St. Paul cautions us: "My dear brothers, you must keep clear of idolatry... I have no desire to see you in communion with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot take your share at the table of the Lord and at the table of demons. Do we want to make the Lord angry; are we stronger than he is?"

St Paul is cautioning us to keep clear of idolatry, since once we walk down that path, there is no turning back and such a choice would lead to our ruin. St. Paul is also cautioning us that, at the end of the day, we cannot share at the table of the Lord and at the table of demons, since we can only make one choice. May we choose wisely, since such a choice is for keeps and our eternal future is at stake.