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.

Monday 28 May 2018






今天的读经提醒我们:要放松自己的思维,不要受到各种忧虑烦扰你。要控制自己,把一切烦恼交给主耶稣显现给你时的恩宠。在还没有受到真里的熏陶时,不要随心所欲,养成服从的习惯。既然那圣洁者召叫了你,那么你的行为要圣洁端庄如圣经中说,“你的行为要圣洁因为我是圣者。”假如我们相信天主,那么我们就不应该想得太多,应该把一切交给祂,而远离各种能破坏我们和天主间关系的事物。当然,我们不可放松自己,要扛起自己的责任,其他无法控制的事情就交给天主了。英文经典曲:que sera sera 是一首很有意思的名曲,大家不妨参考:世事多变化,万事难预料,未来更不是我们能看到; 要来的必定回来,让我们拭目以待吧!


在我们之中有一些教友常常被世间的事物束缚:有如生活状况,人际间的影响,各种不同的习惯 等等。我们不能释放这些事物,往往是因为我们认为它是属于我们自己的;其中最常见的是财富:钱财或是产业。一个人甚至认为与其他需要的人分享财物是不可理喻的。财物对他们来说是命根,以为只有钱财才能买到幸福和快乐。

当我们被钱财束缚时,我们就好像今天福音中所提到的富豪那样,而我们就会忘了生活中什么是最重要的。福音中也提到我们不能同时侍奉两个主人: 天主和财富。虽然福音中的富豪看来循规蹈矩,恪守十诫,但是他的心中没有主的存在,而是被钱财占有了他整个灵魂。试想想看我们本身是否遭遇同样的命运?是否好像富豪那样爱财不爱主?一旦天主召回我们的灵魂,世上的财富是否能一起带走?当然是不可能的。很可能有些人一旦醒悟时已经太晚了。所以我们要认真地想清楚来世所要的是什么:永恒的快乐或是永恒的受苦?

Sunday 27 May 2018

Saturday of Week 16 Year 2

Over the years, we have come across certain individuals who commit all sorts of evil deeds and at the same time, appear to be pious and holy. Such persons call themselves Christians and even come to church and worship, but they do not live Christian lives. Some even think that God is on their side at all times, and they think that what they say and do outside of the church would not have any consequence to their relationship with God.

But the reality is: God and sin are incompatible. We cannot expect to remain in relationship with God, if we continue to sin and commit deplorable acts. We cannot hide our words and deeds from God, as today's reading tells us: "Yet here you are, trusting in delusive words, to no purpose! Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow alien gods that you do not know? – and then come presenting yourselves in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe – safe to go on committing all these abominations! Do you take this Temple that bears my name for a robbers’ den? I, at any rate, am not blind – it is the Lord who speaks." God cannot be fooled by our deception and antics, and our coming to church does not mean we would get a free ticket or "get out of jail card" to get our sins cleared and we can continue to do as we please with impunity.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves: are we really following God's ways in our words, attitudes and conduct? Or have we been following the ways of the world, and putting on a front or a show at church. Let us be reminded that God is not blind, and if we continue our charade and masquerade, we do so only at our peril.

Friday 25 May 2018


当你表示你会做某些事情时,你是真心的吗? 有时候我们说:“是”可是潜意识里是“不”。别的时候,我们说:“是”但其实是“可能”。 我们当中有几人可以一贯性的说“是”就是代表“是”呢?

今天的读经里提醒我们:“不可指天起誓,不可指地起誓,不论什么誓都不可起;你们说话,是就说是,非就说非,免得你们招致审判。”有时候我们会面对不能履行承诺的状况,而造成自己面对尴尬的场面甚至于会造成某种问题。因此我们不可轻易发誓或立下承诺,必须严谨考虑一切后果。为何要“找碴” 或“自找麻烦”呢? 我们是否因为要取悦别人而做出承诺呢?还是我们是为了光荣天主呢?

Thursday 24 May 2018

Saturday of Week 15 Year 2

I believe most of us are doing our best to remain in good terms with God. Even though we may have fallen and sinned, we pick ourselves up and with God's grace, try to avoid sinning again. Of course, this is not easy, since the ways of the world tempt us with many kinds of wrongdoing, and we depend on God's grace and providence to turn away from sin and remain faithful to the Gospel.

However, there are times we come across people who choose to remain evil and do evil or nasty things. Such persons have no qualms about committing despicable acts, as they prefer to remain proud, egoistic and conceited. In today's reading, we see examples of such persons, who "plot evil, who lie in bed planning mischief! No sooner is it dawn than they do it – their hands have the strength for it. Seizing the fields that they covet, they take over houses as well, owner and house they confiscate together, taking both man and inheritance." Such persons don't think about God, and they don't even bother about Him. But to these evil doers, God has this to say: Woe to those who plot evil" and "your necks will not escape; nor will you be able to walk proudly."

What about us? Are some of us persisting in doing evil and committing despicable acts, even after hearing such warning from God? Ultimately, we have a choice: we can choose to stop our evil ways, or to continue doing so, and risk our eternal future.

Friday 11 May 2018

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Why do some of us blame others when something goes wrong? Some blame others because they desire to be recognised, appreciated and respected. Some do so because they want to appear good in the eyes of others. Some do so because they think that they are above mistakes, faults and sins. Some do so because they want to hide their true selves which they are afraid to reveal. In reality, when we blame others we are looking for a scapegoat whom we burden with our guilt. This is exactly what happened in the first reading where Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.

In today's Gospel, Jesus was teaching the people. He was told that His mother and relatives were looking for Him, and Jesus said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother." This tells us what discipleship is all about, namely, the hearing and doing the will of God. Some people seem to think that Jesus showed lack of respect for Mary by replying in this way. But that is farthest from the mind of Jesus. To Jesus, family ties are not what matters. Mary’s motherhood was important and necessary and therefore she was to be blest for it. But what really matters is to hear and do the will of God. Thus they are the ones who are blest.

By blessing those who hear the word of God and do it, Jesus has put an end to the vicious cycle of blaming. He has placed responsibility where it belongs: on our shoulders. When we allow God to enter our life, when we discover God in the hearing and doing of His will, we also discover ourselves in the process. We discover that before God, we are naked and transparent. We discover that blaming others is a form of pride and others suffer for our mistakes, faults and sins. We discover that there is nothing we can hide from Him and thus we have to be responsible for our acts. Why so? Because hearing and doing God’s will is something between God and us. He not only sees our acts but our motives, too. Blaming others does not take away the guilt from us. We may fool people but we cannot fool God. There is nothing we can hide from God. Moreover, in hearing and doing God’s will, we also discover that others, like us, are also building a relationship with God. Since we share the same goal with everyone else, we are to help instead of blaming others, so that ultimately, we are doing God’s will. Then we do not only become responsible for our acts, we also become responsible for each other, and in doing so, we become true disciples of Jesus.

How do we begin true discipleship? The beginning of discipleship is conversion: "Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand." To repent and to be forgiven - to be converted - is to begin our journey to God which consists in first accepting and then doing something about our self-centredness and our sins and then letting God take over. When we accept our faults and sins and be sorry for them, we are reconciling with God which leads to reconciliation with others. It is when we embrace reconciliation with God and with others, we begin to be true disciples.

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Our Lady, Mother of the Church - Memorial

What does it mean to be a church? Is a church merely a building? Of course not! A church is more than a building, since the early Christians did not even have proper buildings which we call churches today. Instead, a church is the faithful; the people of God; the community and body of Christ; united as one in love, charity, faith and prayer. There is no room for individualistic attitudes or personal agenda, since as church we are sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters in Christ.

In our church communities, we have one person who has been guiding us and praying for us and with us since the early times of Christianity. That one person is our Lady, Mother Mary. In the Gospel, when Jesus was dying on the cross, He gave Mary to the beloved disciple, and in doing so, gave Mary to us, His disciples. In the reading, we see Mary with the apostles, joined in continuous prayer. Mary did not stay aloof or keep to herself, but was there praying for and with the apostles, after Jesus was taken up into heaven. The readings show us that Mary is also our mother, and that is why we celebrate "Our Lady, Mother of the Church" today.

With Mary as our mother, let us continue to trust in her love and care, and follow her example in reaching out to others in love and prayer. Let us offer our presence as she did, to all in need, especially the sick, the aged, the destitute, the downtrodden, and many more, so that in all we do, God may be glorified.

Monday 7 May 2018

Thursday of Week 13 Year 2

In today's reading, the prophet Amos kept warning the Israelites of the impending doom which would happen to them if they did not change their ways and return to the Lord's path. But Amaziah the priest of Bethel, influenced the king of Israel into thinking that the prophet Amos was a fraud, a fake and a troublemaker. Not only that, Amaziah dared to challenge and chase away the prophet Amos, by saying: "Go away, seer; get back to the land of Judah; earn your bread there, do your prophesying there. We want no more prophesying in Bethel; this is the royal sanctuary, the national temple." By saying so, Amaziah was convinced that God would not allow anything to happen to the nation and to the temple, since he believed that God was with the nation and resided in the temple. But what Amaziah failed to realise is that it was God who had sent the prophet Amos to warn the Israelites, and that God was not confined only to the temple.

What can be learn from this? When we are proud and egoistic, we fail to listen and take heed of God's voice and warning. We begin to think that we are ok and nothing will happen to us. But we may realise when it is too late, that we had been only fooling ourselves into complacency and a false sense of security. May we learn to walk humbly in God's ways, take heed of His promptings, and let Him be our guide.

Wednesday of Week 13 Year 2

In today’s gospel two men from the country of the Gadarenes were healed at the expense of some pigs. Jesus allowed the devils who had possessed the two men to leave the men, and enter into a large herd of pigs some distance away. As a result, "the pigs charged down the cliff into the lake and perished in the water."

When the townspeople heard what had happened, what did they do? Instead of rejoicing and being grateful to Jesus, the townspeople implored Jesus to leave. Instead of appreciating the healing and saving power of Jesus, they did not welcome Jesus into their town. Why did they respond in this way? Perhaps it may be because, the townspeople were more concerned about the loss of the pigs and the potential profits to be made. The townspeople seemed to value more about material wealth and possession, instead of Jesus' presence and salvation.

What about us? Do we value God more than our material possessions? Are we going to welcome Jesus in our lives or let Him go? Some of us may say that we value God more, but do we really mean what we say, or are we just putting on a show, while we continue to cling on to our wealth and possessions, instead of giving glory to God? May we come to realise what is more important, more valuable, and more lasting, and change our ways, while we have the opportunity and time to do so.

Friday 4 May 2018

Wednesday of Week 10 Year 2

Just imagine for a moment you are in a room full of so-called priests who believe that their god is true and all-powerful, how would you feel and respond? Some of us would feel quite uncomfortable and may even begin to wonder whether we are in the "wrong crowd" so to speak. Some of us may fear for our lives, and some may even go to the extent of joining those so-called priests, just to save their skin. How many of us would stick to our guns, stay committed and steadfast to our faith, and let God deal with the situation, even if it means that we may face persecution, ridicule, or even death?

In today's reading, the prophet Elijah faced a precarious situation where he was confronted with 450 priests of Baal. Even though Elijah was clearly outnumbered, he also knew that he had God on his side. With confidence and trust, he challenged the priests of Baal to implore their so-called god to send down fire to burn the holocaust. In the end, it was the priests of Baal who lost the battle and had to eat humble pie, as the bull they prepared was left untouched, whereas on Elijah's side, "the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the holocaust and wood and licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this they fell on their faces. ‘The Lord is God,’ they cried, ‘the Lord is God.’"

What about us? Would we become so easily disheartened or worried when we seem to face incredible odds? Or would we be like Elijah, knowing and trusting in God's providence? May we not let ourselves falter from our faith, remain steadfast, and know that God would help us according to His terms and for His glory.

Thursday 3 May 2018

Tuesday of Week 9 Year 2

When we want something, we would go all out to get it, hopefully in a legal, fair, just and proper way. For example, if we want to win a marathon, we would train our bodies by putting lots of practice in running marathons; we would go to the gym often to tone our muscles; we would eat nutritious food so that we would build energy; we would ensure we get enough rest; and we would not give up no matter how long it takes. All these efforts are made to achieve something in this life. But what about our spiritual life? Do we take as much effort or go all out to grow in relationship with God, and prepare ourselves for that which is more permanent?

In today's reading, we are reminded: "You should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come... So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace. Think of our Lord’s patience as your opportunity to be saved. You have been warned about this, my friends; be careful not to get carried away by the errors of unprincipled people, from the firm ground that you are standing on. Instead, go on growing in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ."

What we achieve here on earth is only temporary, and may one day be forgotten or become irrelevant. But God is patiently beckoning us to come closer to Him and to walk in His ways, and attain that which is premanent or eternal. May we open our eyes and come to realise what really matters in the end, and do our best to live lives without spot or stain, so that the Lord would find us at peace and ready to meet Him, when He calls.

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Saturday of Week 14 Year 2

I sometimes wonder whether we are living in an era where people are becoming more and more complacent or taking things for granted when it comes to sin. For example, when it comes to Lent and Advent, the number of faithful who come for the Sacrament of Reconciliation seems to depend on when and where confession takes place. At the beginning of Lent or Advent, the number of faithful who come for confession seem so few, so much so that at times, it seems as if the number of priests who have come to listen to confession are more than the faithful present. Yet, towards the end of Lent or Advent, the numbers seem to swell up tremendously, and the priests present find it difficult to cope. Some faithful even take their sweet time to come, sometimes quite late at night, and expect the priests to still be there.

In contrast to the way some faithful are when it comes to sin, today's reading tells us of the prophet Isaiah who had a mystical vision of the holiness of God. The prophet confessed his sinfulness, and subsequently he was cleansed and healed of his sinfulness, because he experienced the overwhelming glory of God. Not only that, the mystical experience also made him readily and willingly respond to God's call to be His messenger.

If we realise, just as the prophet Isaiah did, the magnitude of God's holiness, and how incompatible sin is to God, then surely we should make every effort to go for confession more often, instead of just waiting for Lent or Advent to come by. Have some of us become so lax or have a "tidak apa" attitude or "don't care" attitude when it comes to sin? Or have some of us have the misguided notion that sin should be accumulated into one lump sum before seeking confession? Let us not be caught off guard or unprepared, and make more effort to seek confession when possible, as our eternal future may be at stake.