Sunday, 17 June 2018

Friday of Week 17 Year 2

It is not easy for us to stand alone when it comes to upholding truth, righteousness and good principles. We may find ourselves isolated, shunned or even despised by those around us, since we have chosen to do what is right, instead of what is popular or agreeable to others. But if we look at our lives and purpose as Christians, are we called to be accepted and popular, and in doing so commit sin? Or are we willing to stick to following God's ways, even if it means being treated as an outcast, persecuted, or even face the possibility of being put to death?

In today's reading and Gospel, we see two examples of what it takes to stand alone for what one believes in and what is right. In the reading, the prophet Jeremiah was not accepted because he only had "bad" news for the people. Even though the priests and prophets in the Temple of the Lord wanted the prophet Jeremiah dead for what he said, the prophet Jeremiah refused to budge from saying what is right. The "bad" news the prophet Jeremiah told the people was for their own good, with hope that they would change their ways and return to the ways of God. In the Gospel, Jesus highlighted that a prophet is not accepted among his own people. He too had to stand alone in the face of rejection and even opposition.

But when we stand alone for what is just and right, we are actually not alone, since God is with us. May we remain steadfast in doing what is just and right, even if it means being alone in such a task, since what we do is not for our own gratification, but for the glory of God.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Monday of Week 17 Year 2

We all know that personal hygiene is important to ensure that we live healthy lives. One aspect of personal hygiene that we pay attention to is clothing, more so when it comes to undergarments. We would ensure that we wear fresh and clean undergarments, and ensure that those that have been worn or soiled are washed and dried. Wearing used or soiled undergarments would not only cause unpleasant smells to be released, certain diseases as a result of using such used or soiled undergarments may even occur. Moreover, when we do not wash such used or soiled undergarments, such undergarments may eventually end up useless or unusable, since the dirt or soiled parts may eventually become too entrenched in the fabric to be removed. The only thing that one could do when this happens is to throw away such undergarments, since such undergarments have become spoilt, good for nothing.

In today's reading, the Lord ordered Jeremiah to get a loincloth, wear it and without washing it, hide it among some rocks and then after a time take it out. By doing so, such loincloth had obviously not only become soiled, but also unusable, spoilt, good for nothing. The reading tells us that God chose His people to be His own and He bound Himself close to them, just like a loincloth is bound close to a person. Yet they did not listen to Him and followed the dictates of their own hearts and in doing so, became corrupted like the loincloth, spoilt, good for nothing.

What about us? Are we slowly becoming like that loincloth, eventually becoming soiled, unusable, spoilt, good for nothing? May we make every effort to change our ways and grow closer to God, instead of following the dictates of our own hearts, and risk jeopardising our eternal future.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Friday of Week 16 Year 2

How loyal are we in our lives, when it comes to our family, our spouse, our workplace, in society, and even in a country? Do we seek only benefits, perks and advantages when it befits us, and when things are not to our liking or not going our way, we run away or look for alternatives? For example, if our spouse is stricken with a serious disease, would we remain loyal to him or her, or would we start looking elsewhere for gratification? When the company is facing difficult times, do we care only about ourselves and leave, looking for better prospects, or are we willing to stay and weather out the storm? When our country is going through turmoil and corruption, do we stay to do what is right and help rebuild the country, or do we run away and look for greener pastures?

It is easy for some of us to become disloyal, especially when we are more concerned only about ourselves, and perhaps our loved ones. But how many of us are willing to set aside our ego, our pride, our need for personal gratification, and remain loyal, come what may? Even when it comes to our faith, do we remain loyal when certain teachings or practices are not to our liking? Or do we run away and look for some other faith which benefits us?

In today's reading, we are reminded: "Come back, disloyal children – it is the Lord who speaks – for I alone am your Master." Ultimately, we need to choose where our loyalties lie. If we choose to remain loyal to God, then we need to come back to Him and walk in His ways. May we choose wisely and not end up following the dictates of our hearts, and in doing so, risk our eternal future.

Saturday of Week 19 Year 2

Some cultures and persons seem to think that sins committed by their parents and ancestors would cause them to be punished or greatly affected, as if such sins would be passed down throughout generations. Such cultures or persons begin to think that there is nothing they can do about it, and that the sin is beyond their control; and some begin to blame others for the situation they are in, instead of taking responsibility for themselves and striving towards change and conversion.

But the reality is this. today's reading makes it clear that God holds each individual responsible for his or her own sin. The reading tells us: "Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: “The fathers have eaten unripe grapes; and the children’s teeth are set on edge” 'As I live – it is the Lord who speaks – there will no longer be any reason to repeat this proverb in Israel. See now: all life belongs to me; the father’s life and the son’s life, both alike belong to me. The man who has sinned, he is the one who shall die.'" The reading also adds: "House of Israel, in future I mean to judge each of you by what he does – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!"

So what does this mean for us? It means that we cannot find a scapegoat or put the blame on others for sins committed. We are responsible for our spiritual growth and well-being and we can choose to avoid all occasions of sin, with God's grace and help. May we make every effort to break the vicious cycle of blaming, and instead take responsibility for our words and deeds, and glorify God in all we say and do.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Saturday of Week 18 Year 2

How much faith and patience do we have in letting God's will be done? When our prayers are not answered; when things do not go our way; when evil seems to be happening around us and it seems as if it is hopeless to resist; when we face much ridicule and persecution; do we have faith and patience, knowing that God will take care of things? Or have we given up on God and tried to do things our way?

In today's reading, Habakkuk could not understand why Judah was punished by her enemies who were more wicked and sinful than her. He complained that God seemed silent and did nothing while wicked men swallowed up His people. But God was not indifferent or silent, Instead, God responded: "if it comes slowly, wait, for come it will, without fail. ‘See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights, but the upright man will live by his faithfulness.’" Habakkuk was reminded that God's will would be done, not according to his terms, but according to God's terms, and all that was needed was patience and trust.

What about us? Are we able to be patient and trust that God would make a way, even though it may take some time? May we not be so easily disheartened or give up or even despair. Instead, may we remain faithful in God's love and care, knowing and trusting that in the end, good will triumph, and His will would be done.

耶稣圣心庆典 - 3

爱是否可以肉眼见到?当然不可以。因此我们用一个“心”的标记来代表爱。一个无私而又关心别人者,我们形容他是个有爱心的人。我们会将心比心地去问候和关心所爱的人。有时候会听到被人说:你很有心。那是说你非常关心且善待他人。

人类的心可以表达各种不同的意念。在科学与医学方面来说,一旦人类的心停止跳动,那就是死亡。从心理学角度来看,心是情绪和感觉的源头。在道德方面来说,心反映出好坏的分别,因为我们的言语和行动都源自这颗心。

今天,我们欢庆耶稣圣心瞻礼。耶稣圣心这张圣像,显示给我们天主无比且神圣之爱。请注意耶稣圣心正燃着爱之火 ,发出爱之光与热,也因救赎我们罪人而受伤累累。耶稣圣心的肖像也明确地告诉我们牺牲小我而完成大我的精神。就是这个圣象提醒我们耶稣是我们的牧者,不停地召唤我们悔改而跟随祂。

今天的福音告诉我们罪人悔改而跟随耶稣时,“天上也要为他们一同欢乐,比为九十九个无须悔改的义人更大”。耶稣圣心不停地邀请我们寻回一颗回归正途的心而追随祂生活。让我们虚心地追随耶稣圣心,也让祂的圣心来治愈和改变我们的一切,使我们更接近祂,为光荣天主努力。

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Saturday of Week 17 Year 2

I believe most people prefer to hear good news. Sometimes in our pursuit of hearing or receiving good news, we may shut out or avoid news which may be uncomfortable to hear or even shut out or avoid bad news altogether. But the reality of life is that, there will always be ups and downs. We can never experience only ups, since there are times we would need to face the downs also. For example, our heartbeat shows a signal of up and down when it is being monitored. If our heartbeat were to remain level, without any ups and downs, we would be dead.

In today's reading, the priests and prophets wanted to get rid of the prophet Jeremiah, as he had prophesied against the city. But Jeremiah was prophesying bad news not for the fun of it, but to warn the people of the consequences of not amending their actions and listening to God's voice. The priests and prophets were not willing to listen to bad news from Jeremiah, but the city officials and the people chose to do so, since they were convinced that such bad news was necessary and a wake up call for all to buck up and change their ways. Because of this, the city officials and the people refused to get rid of Jeremiah.

What about us? How would we treat bad news? Sometimes the bad news we receive is good and necessary for us to change and become better persons. Sometimes bad news could actually save us from mortal danger, or even spiritual danger. May we learn to accept news, both good and bad, and continue to depend on God's love and mercy, and walk in His ways.