Thursday 27 August 2020

Saturday of Week 34 Year 2

I believe most of us would want to keep healthy, especially as we age. We spend a lot of time and effort to ensure that we eat healthily, we go for regular checkups to detect diseases early so that such diseases could be treated early to have a better chance at survival, and we do many other things which concern the health and well-being of our body. But how many of us spend time and effort to keep our soul healthy? Do we go for confession regularly, and build our relationship with God for the health and well-being of our soul?

In today's Gospel, Jesus warns us: "Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap." If we are not vigilant; if we slacken in our spiritual health and allow sin to permeate in our soul and neglect to cleanse ourselves from sin by going for confession, we may find ourselves regretting for not taking care of our spiritual health. By then, it may be too late, and we may find ourselves away from God.

While it is good for us to be concerned for the health and well-being of our body, we should also not neglect to be concerned about the health and well-being of our soul, lest we find ourselves suffering physically and even spiritually. Let us remain vigilant and watch ourselves, so that when the time comes, we would be better prepared to meet the Lord.

Saturday of Week 33 Year 2

We sometimes here people saying words like: "you can't put a good person down" or "justice will prevail." Such sayings give us hope and encouragement that, no matter what, a wrong will eventually be made right, though not necessarily the way we expect, but it would be made right by God in His time and according to His plan. We do not know exactly when and how this will happen, so we can only leave it in the hands of the Lord instead of worrying or fretting about it.

In today's reading, we come across an example of how "you can't put a good person down" or "justice will prevail." In the reading, two prophets who have been a plague to the world, were finally killed by the beast that comes out of the Abyss. The people of the world were glad about it, since they thought that they have been finally gotten rid of the prophets. But God had other plans, and "after three-and-a-half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up, and everybody who saw it happen was terrified; then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here’, and while their enemies were watching, they went up to heaven in a cloud." Indeed, "you can't put a good person down" or "justice will prevail", since the prophets could not be silenced or stopped, since God is with them.

What does this mean to us? As Christians, when it comes to doing what is right and just, are we willing to stick with it, knowing that eventually, "you can't put a good person down" or "justice will prevail?" We may face troubles or persecution, or even put to death, but we should not be worried or concerned, and continue doing what is right and just, since what we are doing is not for our own gratification or glory, but for the glory of God.

Monday 10 August 2020

Saturday of Week 32 Year 2

Among the many tasks that the church needs to do, the one which is paramount is to go forth and preach the Good News. This means that the church is continuously on mission to bring the Good News to all. It also means that, at times, the church needs to send persons to places further away, or even far away, to bring the Good News to others. Thus, to enable the church to fulfil its duty and task in preaching the Good News with less delay or interruptions, it is necessary that the faithful support the mission of the church, especially in funds contributed and other supporting roles, so that those doing mission could focus on their duty.

Today's reading reminds us that "It is our duty to welcome missionaries and contribute our share to their work." This means that we not only need to encourage and support them, we also need to see to their upkeep and for other works of charity they may endeavour. As we know, doing God's work involves expenses, as nothing is free, and the more we are willing to contribute to missionary efforts, the more people can be sent to reach out to others, especially in areas where some of us may not be able to go ourselves.

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: are we contributing willingly, fairly and generously for the growth of the church and for its missionary efforts? Sometimes the little extra we offer could go a long way towards helping the church to continue in its efforts in bringing the Good News to all. May we be willing to give generously, just as God has been generous to us in many ways.

Saturday of Week 31 Year 2

It is a reality in life that we need money to survive, especially in the modern world we live in. Few things in life are free, and to ensure a decent existence, we need to have some money with us. But needing to have some money does not mean we end up focusing only on money, at the risk or expense of losing our relationship with God. The question we need to ask is this: do we use money or do we serve money?

One good example of how one should use money and not serve money is St. Paul. In today's reading, St. Paul tells us: "I have learnt to manage on whatever I have, I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich too. I have been through my initiation and now I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength."

What about us? Are we learning to be like St. Paul and use money for the glory of God? Or have we allowed ourselves to become enslaved by money and serve money? May we come to realise our spiritual situation and what sort of relationship we have with God, and do something while we have the time and opportunity to do so.

Saturday 8 August 2020

Saturday of Week 30 Year 2

A dilemma is a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable. Usually, when one is faced with a dilemma, one would try to choose the option which is less difficult to accept compared to the other choices.

In today's reading, St. Paul spoke of a dilemma. But St. Paul's dilemma was of a different kind, where there were two options or possibilities and both of which were good for him. St. Paul's dilemma was either remaining alive so that he would able to continue guide and strengthen the community, while remaining in Christ; or facing death so that he would be forever with Christ. Though St. Paul would have wanted to be forever with Christ, he also realised that to stay alive on this earth would be better for the sake of the community. So, St. Paul chose to survive and stay, and continue to serve for the good of community and glorify God.

What about us? If we were to face a "happy" dilemma like St. Paul, would we be willing to set aside our personal desire or personal interests to be forever with Christ, and continue to guide the community entrusted to us, for the good of the community? May we continue to humbly walk in God's ways, and help others to do the same.

Friday 7 August 2020

Saturday of Week 29 Year 2

It is easy and tempting for some of us to get carried away with new teaching by certain church leaders. Such church leaders may have heard such teaching from the internet, or they may have been influenced by their friends or colleagues. But what we need to watch out for is whether such teaching is for the benefit of those who spread such teaching, and not for the glory of God. That is why we need to discern what we hear, remain true to the truth, and continue to grow in love as we grow to become more like Christ, and not for our own glory or benefit.

In today's reading, we are reminded: "Then we shall not be children any longer, or tossed one way and another and carried along by every wind of doctrine, at the mercy of all the tricks men play and their cleverness in practising deceit. If we live by the truth and in love, we shall grow in all ways into Christ, who is the head by whom the whole body is fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength, for each separate part to work according to its function. So the body grows until it has built itself up, in love."

The reading reminds us that it is through living by the truth and love that we shall grow in all ways into Christ. The reading also cautions us not to be so easily tossed one way and another and carried along by every wind of doctrine, at the mercy of all the tricks men play and their cleverness in practising deceit. What this means is we should take care to follow the ways of Christ, by making every effort to live by the truth and in love. May we be prudent and walk in Christ's ways, glorifying Him in all we do.

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




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.