Tuesday 30 September 2014

Housekeeping - Week 32 Year 2

For your easy reference, the following is a list of weeks and years with their corresponding date:

9 Nov 2014 - Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
10 Nov 2014 - Monday of Week 32 Year 2
11 Nov 2014 - Tuesday of Week 32 Year 2
12 Nov 2014 - Wednesday of Week 32 Year 2
13 Nov 2014 - Thurssday of Week 32 Year 2
14 Nov 2014 - Friday of Week 32 Year 2

Friday of Week 32 Year 2

When we believe in the Good News and became Christians, we are expected to keep the commandments, and the greatest commandment is to love. This means that we cannot pick and choose what suits or benefits us, but we need to be genuine in love for God and neighbour. John in today's reading reminds us: "To love is to live according to his commandments: this is the commandment which you have heard since the beginning, to live a life of love." Of course, it is not easy to live a life of love, since it may seem easier to love God than to love others, but this is what we are required to do, no ifs, buts or exceptions.

In an effort to live according to his commandments, we should also be cautious about various so-called teachings we hear from others, especially from the social media or the internet. John warns us: "There are many deceivers about in the world, refusing to admit that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. They are the Deceiver; they are the Antichrist. Watch yourselves, or all our work will be lost and not get the reward it deserves. If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him: only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them." Some people utter teachings which seem contrary or somewhat different to what Jesus taught, especially because they have picked and chosen what they want or like to hear or what suits them, and refused to admit the truth. When we are faced with such a situation, we should not blindly agree to what they have said, even though they may be so called persons of authority or importance. This is where our faith needs to have reason; and we should make every effort to understand our faith better through the various courses available to us, so that we would not be so easily duped by certain others.

We are asked to love, just as God loved us, but our love should be in accordance to God's commandments, not according to the teachings of some folks who try to distort the truth for their own purposes. This is where we need to discern what we have heard, and verify its authenticacy. Our love should be genuine, and let the love of God rule our minds, hearts and actions.

Saturday 27 September 2014

Thursday of Week 32 Year 2

Some people are worried about their eternal future. They wonder whether they have been good enough, prayerful enough, holy enough or faithful enough to be with God. Some people worry about when the world would end, and this even causes some to begin storing up supplies and other necessities, including weapons and defensive items, thinking that these things would be able to keep them going, should the world or civilisation as they know it disintegrate. What about us? Are we increasingly becoming paranoid or worried about what is going to happen to us? Have some of us become obsessed in trying to preserve our lives? What is our worry, if any?

Today's Gospel reminds us that "The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation... They will say to you, “Look there!” or, “Look here!” Make no move; do not set off in pursuit..." If we have been faithful to our duty as Christians, then there is no reason to fear. We know that God will guide and care for us no matter what happens. Let us not become worrywarts or fret about such things, but instead focus in building our relationship with God and also with others, so that together we would dwell in His presence.

Wednesday of Week 32 Year 2

Do we have gratitude and thanksgiving for the many things God has done for us? When we are facing good times, some of us may begin to think that it is through our own efforts that we are where we are. When we are facing bad times, some of us may begin to question others, or even question God, demanding to know why calamnity or problems have come our way. But how many of us are grateful and thankful to God for the many events and situations good and bad, which we have faced? It seems easy to be grateful and thankful when times are good, but are we also able to be grateful and thankful when times are bad?

In today's Gospel, ten lepers were cured by Jesus. However, only "one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him." The Gospel also tells us that "this made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’" While the ten lepers were obliged to follow the law by going to show themselves to the priests to prove that they had been healed, only one was grateful and thankful to Jesus for curing Him. In their anxiousness to show themselves to the priests and to be reintegrated to society (lepers in those days were considered unclean and were obstracised from society), the other lepers may have forgotten or overlooked the One who cured them in the first place.

What about us? Have we become more and more like the other nine lepers, cured but lacking gratefulness and thanksgiving to the Healer? Or have we learnt to become more like that one leper, who humbly and joyfully turned back to give thanks to the Healer? Have we become more and more self-centered, thinking and expecting things to be done for us? Or have we learnt to become more dependent on God's providence?

Monday 22 September 2014

Tuesday of Week 32 Year 2

Age, some may say, is just a number. Then again, age also means that one has been on this earth for a certain period. As we become older, we hope that we would have become wiser and closer in relationship with God. St. Paul in today's reading reminds us: "The older men should be reserved, dignified, moderate, sound in faith and love and constancy. Similarly, the older women should behave as though they were religious, with no scandal-mongering and no habitual wine-drinking." When we reach a certain age, we ought to be good examples and role models, especially to the younger ones. St. Paul tells us to "be an example to them in your sincerity and earnestness and in keeping all that you say so wholesome that nobody can make objections to it; and then any opponent will be at a loss, with no accusation to make against us." Would we want to be looked upon as grumpy or gossipy types, or are we making effort to grow closer to God, while encouraging others to do the same?

St. Paul reminds us of our purpose and primary focus in this world, "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, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus." While we need to do our best to survive and prosper in this world, let us not lose sight of our eternal future. We are pilgrims here on earth, and let us be good examples to others, especially the younger ones, so that together, we may some day be with our loving God.

Monday of Week 32 Year 2

What sort of leaders do we look for? Some of us may look for people who know how to talk well; in other words, they have the "gift of the gab." Some may look for people who are popular or knowledgeable. Some may look for people who have the charisma and talent to attract and hold a crowd. But what sort of leaders should we be looking for?

St. Paul in today's reading tells us that the leader: "as president, he will be God’s representative, he must be irreproachable: never an arrogant or hot-tempered man, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor out to make money; but a man who is hospitable and a friend of all that is good; sensible, moral, devout and self-controlled; and he must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on for both expounding the sound doctrine and refuting those who argue against it."

Finding such leaders as what St Paul describes to us is certainly not easy. This is why we need to constantly pray and discern carefully. Sometimes God will prompt us to choose a particular leader, if we are observant, patient and humble enough to let Him guide us. Let us not rush into choosing our leaders at church, especially since there is always the temptation to get it done and over with. Sometimes we need to wait, and just as God pointed out David to Samuel, He too would point out a suitable leader to us, a leader who meets His requirements and designs: "for the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (1 Sam 16:7)"

Saturday 13 September 2014

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

Why do we celebrate the Feast of The Basilica of St. John Lateran? In the first reading, the prophet Ezekiel in a vision sees waters flowing out of the temple. He sees how this water makes the “salt waters” fresh and how it brings food and life. Ezekiel describes the temple as life-giving. In the second reading, St. Paul describes the Church as “God’s building”. He describes the community as “the temple of God”, and “holy.” Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus refers His body as a temple when He says, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews thought He was talking about the Temple in Jerusalem; the Apostles only understood this after the Resurrection. So today’s readings tell us that the temple of God gives forth life-giving water. They tell us that we, the Church, are the Temple of God as a community, the Body of Christ.

We worship in buildings; St. John Lateran ranks first among those buildings, as it is the Cathedral of the Pope. St. Paul tells us that we are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God lives in us. So, if we are the Temple of God, then life-giving waters ought to flow from us. If we are the Body of Christ, then people ought to see in us the hands and feet of Christ at work. Whatever issues we may face, at the end of the day, Christ calls us to be His presence in the world.

Thus the Feast of St. John Lateran is not just about a building. This feast day is about the Church, our Church, the Body of Christ. The building is special because of what flows from it: the Body of Christ, sent into the world to be Christ’s life-giving presence. Christ calls and sends us to be the waters flowing from His temple, bringing life, and bearing fruit in the world. He assures us that, no matter what happens, this Body of Christ, this Temple of the Holy Spirit, God’s Church, cannot be destroyed. So our mission is to flow, like the waters Ezekiel saw in his vision, to bring life. We are the Church, the Body of Christ, and we do our part to bring life to the world.

Monday 1 September 2014


有时候我们会听到这句话”事实是残酷的”。当我们遇到一些困难或不如意的事情,心里总是难以接受。同样的, 我们的亲戚朋友都会伤心当他们遇到不如意之事。当我们知道他们遭受不幸时,我们也会感到伤心。事实上,当对方的特别机密被揭穿时,很多再好的感情都会破裂。因此,我们自己或是其他人的见解,观点,和计划都会做出很大的改变,当他们知道真相时。