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St. Andrew’s zeal is a real inspiration to us

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 30, 2021

In today’s gospel, according to Matthew, we see Jesus selecting four fishermen, Andrew and his brother Peter, with James and his brother John, right from their fishing boats. Peter and Andrew “immediately” left their nets and followed Jesus. Similarly, James and John “immediately” left the boats and their father and followed Jesus.

According to John’s Gospel, John and Andrew were the disciples of John the Baptist, and they had been encouraged to follow Jesus by John the Baptist, who pointed out Jesus as “the Lamb of God” suggesting that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah.

When St. John the Baptist pointed to Jesus, saying, “Behold! The Lamb of God!” Andrew immediately ran after Jesus with his questions. After talking with Jesus, Andrew wasted no time in bringing his brother, Simon Peter, to meet Jesus. We can almost picture Andrew, full of excitement, telling everyone he met about our Lord. Through Andrew’s evangelization, St. Peter the rock, was brought to Jesus.

As the first four apostles, including Andrew, gave priority to Christ and left behind everything, we, too, are to give priority to Jesus and Jesus’ ideals in our vocation in life. St. Andrew’s zeal is a real inspiration to us.

The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called simply the “Christmas Novena”

While the novena is tied to the Feast of Saint Andrew, it is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in honor of the birth of His Son at Christmas. You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal).

Saint Andrews prayer Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother.

As believers of Jesus we need to grow to the level of Faith of the centurion

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 29, 2021

The Israelites believed themselves to be the people of God. Yet they often turned away from Him and committed great sins particularly the worship of other gods. When He sent His only Son, they refused to believe in Him. It took a pagan foreigner, the centurion, to express great faith in Him.

Jesus appreciates the man’s faith.  He says, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.”  He should have found such faith in Israel.  That is where the people would profess to have the most faith, but the strongest faith found was in a man of violence – a soldier – a centurion – an outsider.  it is a man of war who professes the strongest faith in the Lord, and who has the most devotion to His authority.

As believers of Jesus we need to grow to the level of Faith of the centurion by knowing and personally experiencing Jesus in our lives. We do so by our meditative daily reading of the scripture, by our daily personal and family prayers, by frequenting the Sacraments, especially the Eucharistic celebration, and by surrendering our lives to Jesus in rendering loving service to others in all humility.

In Advent, we need to check for what needs to be put right in our lives.

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 28, 2021

In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks about the second coming in apocalyptical terms. His language is meant to engage us, involve us. We can’t just be passive bystanders to the words, “People will die in fright in anticipation of what is coming.” The Lord’s words cause us to react with the question: “What can we do to be ready for the end time?”

While Jesus prophesies the signs that will accompany his Second Coming he encourages us to be expectant, optimistic, vigilant, and well-prepared: “When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand” Jesus wants us to face the future with confidence in God’s providence.

We need to prepare ourselves for Christ’s second coming by allowing Jesus to be reborn daily in our lives. Advent gives us time to make this preparation — repenting our sins, renewing our lives through prayer and penance, and sharing our blessings with others.

In Advent, we also need to check for what needs to be put right in our lives, and to make the necessary alterations in the light of the approaching Christmas celebration.

We need to trust in God’s power to protect us and provide for all our needs.

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 27, 2021

In the gospel reading today, Jesus is warning us to be on guard against the three things that will make us sleepy: carousing or overindulgence, drunkenness, and the anxieties of daily living. He wants us to be fully awake when He comes.

Jesus warns us not to be anxious of anything in our daily life. Worrying is a sign of lack of faith and too much of it can lead us to depression. It is a thief that takes away our joy and peace of mind. Jesus emphasizes the need to be vigilant at all times and to pray more fervently.

We need to avoid spiritual laziness and indifference. We need to be freed from excessive and crippling anxiety, needless worries and evil habits. We need to get our strength from God by prayer, which means listening to God and talking to Him.

We need to trust in God’s power to protect us and provide for all our needs. Constant prayer is a powerful weapon against worry and addictions. It is our source of strength in the midst of tribulations. Moreover, prayer provides us the confidence to meet our Creator at the end of our earthy life.

Our job as Christians is not to bother about when the end will be but to live fully in the present moment.

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 26, 2021

In todays Gospel we hear the parable of the fig tree the last parable that Jesus tells in the Gospel of Luke. When people can see for themselves that these trees have come out in leaf they know for themselves that summer is near, so when they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud they will know that the kingdom is near. Since Luke probably thought that the end would come soon, he has added the last two sayings about what will not pass away until “these things” have taken place. They are “this generation” and the “words” of Jesus.

Our job as Christians is not to bother about when the end will be but to live fully in the present moment. If we do so then no matter when the end comes we will always be ready We need to be faithfully doing God’s will every day of our lives. We need to continue serving others in humility and love and bearing witness to Jesus through the integrity and transparency of our Christian lives.

Let us be thankful and let us learn to express our thanks daily to God

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving day in the USA, the Gospel readings are from Luke Chapter 4: 11 – 19

They describe how one of the ten lepers Jesus healed, a Samaritan, returned to Jesus to express his gratitude while the nine Jewish lepers did not return to thank the healer. Jesus asks the pained question: “Where are the other nine?

This reading tells us that God, too, expects gratitude from us. In 2 Kings 5:1-9, Naaman, the now-healed leper, chief of the army of the Syrian king, returned to the prophet Elisha to express his thanks for the healing with a gift of 10 talents of silver, 6000 pieces of gold and six Egyptian robes as gifts.

When Elisha refused the gifts, Naaman asked for permission take home two sacks of the soil of Israel that he might offer worship to the Lord Who had healed him, and he promised to offer sacrifices only to the God of Israel.

Jesus gave thanks to the Father at the tomb of Lazarus, saying, “Thank you Father for hearing My prayer”. St. Paul advises the Ephesians (and us), “Give thanks to God the Father for everything”

Let us be thankful and let us learn to express our thanks daily to God for His innumerable blessings, providential care and protection and for the unconditional pardon given to us for our failures. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving

We are called to bear witness to Christ by loving those who hate us

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 24, 2021

In today’s Gospel Jesus discusses the cost of discipleship and tells his followers they will be hated for standing by the truth, for being different, for advocating justice, and because of their hunger and thirst for righteousness. Anyone determined to live according to the gospel message should be ready to be hated and persecuted. This is because the gospel message contradicts the way of the world and implies swimming against the tide.

Moreover, Jesus assures his disciples of grace, wisdom, and protection. He says those who persevere to the end will secure their lives. Their patience will lead to triumph. This great sense of assurance led the Apostle Paul to declare: “And therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he can guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me” (2 Timothy 1:12).

How do we persevere and bear witness to Christ in the heat of hatred, persecution, humiliation, and discrimination? We may not get a chance to die for the Faith, we are invited to face a “living death” as outcasts in our contemporary materialistic, secular, agnostic, and atheistic society.

We are called to bear witness to Christ by loving those who hate us, by showing mercy and compassion to those who hurt us, by forgiving those who continue to offend us, and by continuing to keep Jesus’ word in our lives.

Reflect, today, upon the undeniable fact that your life will involve difficulty,

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 23, 2021

As we come to an end of the liturgical year, the readings tend to focus on the darker side of human experience. They speak of destruction, loss, conflict and deception. It is a suitable background to the dark days of November. When we begin the new liturgical year next Sunday with Advent, the days will remain dark, but the readings take on a brighter hue and look forward to the coming of the light.

Nobody could imagine the temple in Jerusalem being destroyed. This magnificent structure had taken nearly fifty years to build, and was world famous. But even the finest buildings only last so long. Jesus foretold the destruction of the wonderful Temple in Jerusalem, as well as other tragic events such as wars and insurrections, powerful earthquakes, famines, plagues, “and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” Why does Jesus prophesy all of these things?

Because, we are meant not to get too attached to structures that do not last and disasters that will pass. Instead, we are to rely on Jesus, who is greater than the Temple and all things. When all else fails and disappears, he endures, and through our relationship with him we too will last.

Reflect, today, upon the undeniable fact that your life will involve difficulty, “Life is not a bowl of cherries.” While we live in this fallen world, chaos, confusion, deception, abuse, scandal, conflict and the like will be all around us. And when we do come face-to-face with any such difficulty, there is a temptation to fear, anger and despair. Be it family conflicts, civil unrest or even divisions within the Church itself, God wants us to remain at peace and to trust Him always.

We need to accept Christ’s criteria for judging people

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 22, 2021

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is in the Temple in Jerusalem, He watches people giving their donations.  Some wealthy individuals obviously attracted great attention as they make their contributions, excesses from their great fortunes.  Jesus also notices a poor widow who drops a couple copper coins. Jesus points out that she gave more than the rest, because she gave all that she had.

Jesus contrasted the external signs of honor sought by the scribes with the humble, sacrificial offering of a poor widow and declared that she had found true honor in God’s eyes. She gave her whole life and means of livelihood to God, symbolizing the supreme sacrifice Jesus would offer by giving His life for others.

We need to accept Christ’s criteria for judging people: We often judge people by what they possess. But Jesus measures us on the basis of our inner motives and the intentions hidden behind our actions. He evaluates us on the basis of the sacrifices we make for others and on the degree of our surrender to His holy will. Giving of ourselves in love and concern, is the that gift costs us more than reaching for our purses.

Watch “Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 21, 2021” on YouTube

Posted in homily by revmtheogene on November 22, 2021

Watch “Sunday Livestream for November 21 , 2021” on YouTube

Posted in homily by revmtheogene on November 22, 2021

We need to accept and surrender our lives to Christ the King

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 21, 2021

As we celebrate the Kingship of Christ today, let us remember the truth that Jesus is not our King if we do not listen to, love, serve, and follow where Jesus  leads.  We belong to Christ’s Kingdom only when we try to walk with Christ, when we try to live our lives fully in the spirit of the Gospel, and when that Gospel spirit penetrates every facet of our living.  If Christ is really King of my life, Jesus must be King of every part of my life, and I must let Christ reign in all parts of my life.  We become Christ the King’s subjects when we sincerely respond to Jesus’ loving invitation: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart“ (Matthew 11:29).  By cultivating in our lives the gentle and humble mind of Christ, we show others that Jesus Christ is in indeed our King and that He is in charge of our lives.

We need to accept and surrender our lives to Christ the King as our Lord, King, and Savior. We surrender our lives to Jesus every day when we give priority to all Jesus taught in our daily choices, especially in making moral decisions. We should not exclude Christ our King from any area of our personal or family lives.

We become Jesus’ followers when we recognize Jesus, present in everyone, especially the poor, the sick, the outcast, and the marginalized in society and render humble and loving service to Jesus in each of them. We need to accept Jesus Christ as the King of love. We accept Jesus as our King of love when we love others as Jesus loves each of us, unconditionally, sacrificially, and with agape love.

He is indeed the God of the living. In the end, good will triumph over evil.

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 20, 2021

Today’s Gospel reading assures us that there is indeed life after death. Jesus tells us that those who are worthy will be like angels who will no longer die but will become alive as children of God. Wow, in the coming age, on the day of the resurrection of the dead, God will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

The promise of a new life with God in eternity gives us hope in this age of confusion and suffering. God is in control of everything. He is indeed the God of the living. In the end, good will triumph over evil.

The vision of eternal life may not be clear to us today. Saint Paul tells us that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him. However, our faith in the resurrection of the dead is enough for us to live in joy and hope that our problems in life will have and ending and that a mansion in heaven is being prepared for us.

We need to avoid the business mentality of loss and profit in Divine worship.

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 19, 2021

Today’s Gospel we see Jesus’ cleansing the Temple in Jerusalem. He drove out its merchants and moneychangers out of God’s House of Prayer. These people were exploiting of the poor pilgrims in the name of religion. The merchants charged exorbitant prices for the animals to be sacrificed, and the moneychangers charged unjust commissions for the required exchange of pagan coins for Temple coins.

The abuses that infuriated Jesus were: the conversion of a place of prayer into a noisy marketplace, and the unjust business practices of animal merchants and moneychangers encouraged by the temple priest. Enraged, Jesus made a whip of cords and drove away the animals, the dealers and the moneychangers, quoting the prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah, “Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace”

Our Church is the place where we come together as a community to praise and worship God, to thank Him for His blessings, to ask pardon and forgiveness for our sins, and to receive His offered healing and nourishment. We need to avoid the business mentality of loss and profit in Divine worship.

Jesus visits each one of us as our Lord and Savior.

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 18, 2021

In Today’s Gospel Jesus cried tears of sorrow because Jerusalem did not receive him, and did not recognize the choice it needed to make. The inhabitants had to live with the consequences of rejecting the Gospel. His grief was about a love that has been rejected. Jesus came to reveal God’s love for all of humanity, but many rejected the messenger of good news. Jesus could not force himself on people; when rejected, he could only move on. He came to seek and to save the lost, but we need to be open and responsive to his love. He walks with us and wants to bond with us, but we need to admit our need of him. Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus we pray, “Stay with us, Lord.”

Jesus visits each one of us as our Lord and Savior. We hear Jesus’ voice when we read Holy Scripture, and Jesus offers us forgiveness of sins and grace through the Sacraments. So we should not reject Jesus or Jesus’ message as the Jews did, nor remain indifferent to Jesus, but listen to God’s warning about our need to repent, renew our lives, and walk in God’s ways of peace and holiness. We are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and we have no right to desecrate God’s temple by harboring jealousy, discrimination, injustice and impurity in our hearts

We need to trust God enough to make use of the gifts and abilities He has given us

Posted in homily by frtonys on November 17, 2021

In Today’s Gospel Jesus teaches us that we have to put the gifts and qualities He has given each one of us, to work. They are not “ours” for us to do whatever we want with them. He has given them to us in trust so that we can yield a return. Those who had yielded a profit from the pounds were —more or less— praised and rewarded by their Lord. It was for the loafer servant, who kept the moneys in safekeeping without getting any pay-off, to get the blame and be punished.

We need to trust God enough to make use of the gifts and abilities He has given us in the service of our families, our Christian community, and the wider society. 2) We need to make use of our talents in our parish. We should be always willing to share our abilities in the various ministries in our church We need to trade with our talent of Christian Faith: All of us in the Church today have received at least one talent namely, the gift of Faith. Our responsibility is not just to preserve and “keep” the Faith, but to work with it and grow with it We need to promote and add value to Faith by living it out..