Let us spend our lives here on earth doing good for others without being blinded by pride and prejudice.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 18, 2021

Today’s Gospel instructs us to secure and lasting treasures in Heaven by a life of righteousness, doing the will of God and sharing our blessings with the needy. Jesus uses two metaphors, one explaining the mistake of keeping perishable treasures on earth and the other of loving the darkness caused by pride and prejudice.

Our hearts yearn for a treasure that will give us security and happiness. But treasure in the form of riches very often gives us constant worry because riches can be lost, destroyed or stolen, or our lives may be terminated abruptly.  

The only treasure that lasts beyond this life is treasure stored in Heaven. Obtaining such a treasure is possible only by lovingly and sacrificially sharing God’s blessings with others and leading an upright life doing the will of God.

Jesus goes on to compare the human eye to a lamp that provides the body with light. Bad eyesight is a Biblical metaphor for stupidity and spiritual blindness. Such blindness is caused by pride, prejudice, jealousy, hatred, etc., that destroys our fair judgment.

Let us spend our lives here on earth doing good for others without being blinded by pride and prejudice. In this way, we will store up everlasting treasures in Heaven.

If you forgive others their wrongs, your Father in Heaven will also forgive yours.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 17, 2021

The Lord’s Prayer is found in two gospels, Matthew and Luke. In Matthew, Jesus begins by telling the disciples when praying not to use many words. He refers to the pagan practice of bombarding the gods with wordy, unintelligible formulae, to get them to act favorably to mankind. The disciples of Jesus are not to relate to his heavenly Father in that way. God cannot be manipulated by our many words. Rather, as the Lord’s Prayer suggests, we begin by surrendering ourselves to whatever God may want to do with us and with our world.  

Than we ask God for our needs, food clothing and shelter, for forgiveness of our sins and finally, for protection against temptations. We are also told to ask for forgiveness from others for our offenses against them, and to offer unconditional forgiveness to others for their offenses against us as a condition for receiving God’s forgiveness.

Jesus further clarifies, “If you forgive others their wrongs, your Father in Heaven will also forgive yours. If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you either”

“For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, now and forever. Amen.” The manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew do not contain this phrase, nor do any of the Catholic translations. Martin Luther added this doxology to Our Father in his translation of Matthew’s Gospel, and the King James editions of the Bible keep it.

Preforming good deeds in public for show as the Pharisees did is wrong and sinful. It is hypocrisy

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 16, 2021

Jesus says, “Be careful not to parade your good deeds ( fasting and alms giving) before others to attract their notice.” But earlier in the same sermon, he seems to have said the very opposite, “Let you light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

There seems to be a disconnect between these sayings. Yet, there is truth in both. We are not to hide the light of our faith, or hide it under a basket. Rather, we are to publicly proclaim our faith by our lifestyle, by what we actually do.

We are to help the poor as an expression of our sharing love, in thanksgiving for the blessings we have received from God, but we can’t let it become an act of self-glorification when we do it as the Pharisees did, to demonstrate our generosity in public and to get popular acclaim.

When we fast give the price of what we do not eat to feed the poor. Discipline ourselves in eating and drinking to appreciate better God’s blessings of good health, and generous provisions.

Preforming good deeds in public for show as the Pharisees did is wrong and sinful. It is hypocrisy

Jesus is calling us to unconditional love, when relating to others.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 15, 2021

In today’s Gospel Jesus requires us to love our enemies. It is a very extreme demand, for who else is left to love, after one has loved the enemy? The unconditional love proposed by Jesus would lead us to actually pray for our enemy, as Jesus prayed forgiveness for those who were responsible for his crucifixion.

The human tendency is to limit our goodwill to those for who we have feelings and affection. The love we have for others is a conditional love. We indulge in exchange and term it love. We are willing to do something for someone and expect that they do the same or something else in return. It is a matter of “give”, but also a matter of “take”. This is natural love, and its value is clear to everyone. But it is not exceptional; and Jesus wants his friends to stretch their love beyond those who they would naturally embrace.

The command to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” does not mean to be without faults, but means to be undivided in love as God is undivided in love. When Jesus asks us to be like the heavenly Father, he is calling us to unconditional love, when relating to others. This ideal is only possible in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives among us and within us.

It is the hardest challenge to remain good in the face of evil

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 14, 2021

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells his disciples not to repay evil with evil, but to respond to evil with goodness. The worst instinct in human nature is to respond with malice to goodness.

The best instinct of human nature is to overcome evil with good. This could be called the divine impulse, God’s own impulse. It was the main characteristic of Jesus. He overcame the evil that was done to him with good. In the very moment when he was wrongly rejected he revealed his love most fully. He lived and died to overcome evil with good.

It is the hardest challenge to remain good in the face of evil, to remain loving in the face of hostility, to be faithful even if one is betrayed, to be peacemakers in a hostile world.

We simply could not do it by our own strength alone. We need God’s strength, God’s resources, God’s Spirit – but this strength and grace is promised to us. In todays first reading, St Paul calls on us “not to neglect the grace of God you have received.” God is always gracing us and if we rely on his grace we can keep working towards that ideal of overcoming evil with good.

We are all small seeds, but God can make of us great trees.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 13, 2021

Today’s gospel reading, contains two parables The first is the parable of the seed.  The farmer plants the seed and goes about his routine day, day after day.  Eventually the seed grows, not because the farmer does something special, but because nature took its course. 

The second parable is about the mustard seed which seems insignificant, but with the growth that God gives becomes a plant, probably 8 to 10 feet, large enough to shelter the birds of the sky.

These two parables of the Kingdom of God tell us that we have to trust in God to give growth to the Kingdom. Furthermore, the growth He gives will be greater than we could ever imagine. The kingdom that we trust God to give growth is the Kingdom of the church in the world, or, particularly, the Kingdom of our home.

If we trust in God, He will give growth.  This growth might be very subtle, nothing we can put our fingers on.  But after a while it suddenly occurs to us: God has brought us a long way.  If we trust in God the growth that He gives us will be more than we could imagine. 

We are all small seeds, but God can make of us great trees. However, if we think that we can do everything ourselves, and if we don’t trust in God, we won’t get anywhere. None of us can make ourselves or others grow with out trust in God.

We too can become instruments in the hands of God and reveal Jesus to the world.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 12, 2021

The Gospel text for today’s feast is popularly known as “The Finding in the Temple” and is taken to mean the finding of Jesus. However, a close look will indicate that Jesus was never lost. He always knew where he was and where he was supposed to be. It was Mary and Joseph who were lost without their son.

This text gives us an insight into the childhood of Jesus. It also indicates the awareness of Jesus even at this young age of who he was and his relationship with the Father. It also brings out powerfully the relentless search of Mary for her son. He was the centre of her life and she would not rest until she found him. What we are searching for reveals a great deal about who we are too.

The Immaculate heart of Mary reminds us of the response of Mary to the privilege to be God’s mother. Her response went beyond a mere “yes” or even co-operation with God. Through Her response, She became the instrument through which God was able to reveal his son to the world. If we like Mary dare to respond like she did, we too can become instruments in the hands of God and reveal Jesus to the world.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is not a private possession, but one that must be shared with all.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 11, 2021

What then does the Feast of the Sacred Heart mean for us today? First the Sacred Heart of Jesus represents the whole Christ who is unconditional and eternal love. This love of Christ is given freely, without reservation to all who open themselves to receive it.

Second, the feast reminds us of the constant concern that God has even now for each one of us. By celebrating the feast we make present the self sacrifice of Jesus for all humankind. Our God is a God ‘with us and for us’. God is Emmanuel.

Third, the feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us of the connection between the Eucharist and devotion to the Sacred Heart. The Eucharist was that pivotal event in the life of Jesus when he showed how much he loved the whole world. Just as the bread was broken so would his body be and just as the wine was shared so would his blood be spilled. In the Sacrament of the Eucharist we receive the real, whole and risen Christ, so in the devotion that we profess to the Sacred Heart we relive this encounter.

The feast is not only a privilege and grace, but also carries with it a responsibility. First, the love that we receive from the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not a private possession, but one that must be shared with all. Just as the Father makes no distinction and makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, we to must share the love of Christ with all.

Second, the concern that God has for us and our Universe must be a concern which we must show to our world. The wanton destruction of nature, excessive and abusive use of scarce resources, are signs that we are working against God’s concern.

If God cares for us so much, we must care for our world.

Third, the intimate connection of the Sacred Heart and Eucharist reminds us that just as Christ is so easily available to us, we must be available to each other. The Eucharist and the feast of the Sacred Heart must be celebrations that make us ready to reach out in service and availability to anyone who needs us.

Are there any relationships in our lives that need to be healed?

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 10, 2021

In today’s gospel Jesus calls for a virtue that goes beyond what is called for by the Old Testament, or indeed by our own civil laws. The ten commandments relate to actions which are to be done or to be avoided.

Jesus quotes one of the commandments “You shall not kill.” He goes on to prohibit not just the act of killing but attitudes and emotions that can lead people to kill each other. He warns against anger and the scorning of others.

Most of us would regard the commandment, “Do not kill,” as not applying to us because we are unlikely ever to want to kill someone else. But when it comes to the level of feelings, attitudes and prejudices, we cannot escape so easily.

We have all experienced anger and recognized its potentially destructive power. We have all judged others in ways that led us to speak of them disrespectfully. Even though are actions are not criminal, we may fail at that underlying level of anger and resentment that Jesus talks about.

If we are to reach this deeper virtue taught by Jesus, we know it can only be with the help of the Holy Spirit, whose power at work within us can begin to shape all we do and how and why we do it.

Are there any relationships in our lives that need to be healed? Have we blocked the healing process by lack of forgiveness of someone who has hurt us? Is there someone who we have hurt if so we must restore our relationship? If the answer is yes pray to God for the the attitude and strength to reconcile with your brother or sister.

Reflect on Jesus’ words Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

We might follow in some cases the letter of the law, but miss out on its spirit.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 9, 2021

In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes it certain that he is a law abiding Jew. His attitude towards the Jewish law is fundamentally positive. However, Jesus also makes known, that he has come not merely to confirm or establish the law, but to fulfil or complete it.

This means that he will go beyond a purely legal interpretation to a broader perspective. He will remove the focus from the external and concentrate on the internal. The focus will be more on the attitude than merely on the action.

While laws, rules and regulations are necessary and help towards order, it is also possible that they can become ends in themselves and not as a means to an end.

We might follow in some cases the letter of the law, but miss out on its spirit. We might even follow the rule or law only because we are afraid of getting caught and punished and not because we have embraced of it.

We must remove the darkness from the lives of others bringing them the light of Christ.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 8, 2021

Todays Gospel makes two assertions about the followers of Jesus. The first is that they are the salt of the earth and the second is that they are the light of the world. Both these symbols seem to point to the role that the disciples of Jesus are to play in the liberation of the world.

It is through the lives of the disciples of Jesus that the world will be moved to glorify God. This is indeed a great privilege, but also a great responsibility.

Salt is an ingredient that adds flavor or taste to that to which it is added. It makes food tasty, and enjoyable. Disciples of Jesus we are called to add taste and flavor to the lives of others. Light enables one to see correctly and results in removing darkness. This is what Jesus says we must do. We must remove the darkness from the lives of others bringing them the light of Christ.

Today’s Gospel is a call call to merciful spirit of servant-leadership.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 7, 2021

People who are more poor and neglected are not necessarily holier or more spiritual. Poverty is not in itself a biblical ideal, but sometimes it brings out the finest qualities in a disciple. But poverty can just as easily lead to vice, to stealing, disregard for the property and even the lives of others. Of course these vices are also found among the wealthy, only under more sophisticated forms of greed, dominance or arrogance. Without money or rank, we are forced to rely on basic human resources.

Notably, the first of the beatitudes is spoken to the “poor in spirit”, a kind of humility based upon dependence on God rather than on fame and fortune. It is linked to the patience and compassion which mark people as true disciples of Jesus.

Poverty and mildness of spirit can be the school of compassion as well as purity of heart. More people are attracted to the faith by the compassion of its religious leaders than by any other virtue.More are turned away from religion by arrogance and dominance than by all other faults of those in charge of others.

Today’s Gospel is a call call to merciful spirit of servant-leadership. Such leadership fosters a strong, caring Catholic community, a persevering community that foreshadows the kingdom of God. When we and our leaders are poor in spirit, we let God accomplish the beatitudes in us, and then through us for other-Beatitudes.jpg

Let us offer our lives on the altar along with Jesus’ sacrifice

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 6, 2021

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi forces us to take a deep look at our belief in the Eucharist as well as our participation in the Eucharistic Community that is the Church.  The solemnity reminds us: This is Jesus. He is present on our altars offering Himself up for us to the Father.  He is present within us in the reception of communion. 

Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist both as a sacramental banquet and a sacrificial offering. As a Sacrament, the Eucharist is a visible sign that gives us God’s grace and God’s life. As a Meal, The Eucharist nourishes our souls. As a sacrifice the Eucharistic celebration is a re-enactment of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, completed in His Resurrection. We offer Jesus’ sacrifice to God the Father for the remission of our sins.

Let us appreciate the “Real Presence” of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, by receiving him with true repentance for our sins, due preparation and reverence.

Let us offer our lives on the altar along with Jesus’ sacrifice, asking pardon for our sins, expressing gratitude for the blessings we have received and presenting our needs and petitions on the altar.

While we judge people by what they possess, Jesus measures us on the basis of our inner motives and the intentions hidden behind our actions.

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 5, 2021

Religion loses meaning if its leaders focus upon splendid vestments, guaranteed front seats in synagogues and churches, places of honor at banquets. To correct this distortion of religion, Jesus praises the old woman putting her two small copper coins into the collection box.

The phrase widow’s mite has made its way into the English language. It often refers to something small that displays a tremendous generosity of spirit. The widow gave a very small amount of money to the temple treasure, but in giving that very little, she was giving everything she had to live on.

Jesus shows her to his own disciples as an example of a wonderful generosity of spirit. Jesus often encouraged his disciples to learn from people who were not his disciples.

This woman who gave everything was a figure of Jesus who was soon to give everything on the cross. This seemingly insignificant widow reminds us that there are saints in our midst that we don’t often notice.

While we judge people by what they possess, 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, gifts that cost us more than just opening our purses.

We cannot love God without loving our neighbor

Posted in homily by frtonys on June 3, 2021

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is asked a question that is vital to our relationship with God. One. A Jewish scribe comes up to Jesus and asks him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” There were a lot of rules and regulations in the Jewish religion at that time. He wanted to know which one was the most important.

In his answer Jesus gave more, he gave the first and second commandment, the first being to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second being to love our neighbor as ourselves. In that way Jesus was showing that these two commandments are inseparable.

We cannot love God without loving our neighbor, and in loving our neighbor we are also, loving God. Yet, the two commandments are not on the same level, one is first and one is second. It is the love of God that is to be primary in our lives. We owe the greatest devotion to God.

As Jesus says , “Seek first the kingdom of God.” God as revealed in Jesus is to be our greatest love. If we are caught up into a loving relationship with God, it will overflow into a love of all those that God loves, and our love for other people will reflect something of God’s love for them.

This means we have to help, support, encourage, forgive, and pray for everyone without regard to color, race, gender, age wealth, life style,social status, intelligence, education or charm.

As Mary did for Elizabeth We should convey Jesus to others.

Posted in homily by frtonys on May 31, 2021

Today’s Gospel, tells us how two seemingly insignificant women met to celebrate the kindness and fidelity of God.    In the Gospel, one definition of discipleship is to listen to God’s word and then carry it out. Mary did both.   The incident also shows us how sensitive Mary was to the needs of Elizabeth, her older cousin, who had miraculously become pregnant in her old age.

Mary, carrying Jesus and filled with the fire and empowering of the Holy Spirit, hurried to the mountain country where Elizabeth lived, thereby conveying the Holy Spirit to her cousin and her child.  Like all good Jews, Mary was prompted in everything she did by her commitment to God’s word in her life.

The paradox of blessedness.  Blessedness confers on a person both the greatest joy and the greatest task in the world.   Mary was granted the blessedness and privilege of being the mother of the Son of God.  Yet, that was to be a sword to pierce her heart:  one day she would see her Son hanging on a cross.  So, to be chosen by God is often both a crown of joy and a cross of sorrow.  God does not choose us to give us a life of ease and comfort, but in order to use us for His purposes.

We should recognize the real presence of Emmanuel (God Is with Us) and say “yes” to Him: Christ continues to be present among his people. As Mary did for Elizabeth We should convey Jesus to others. We can make a real difference in the lives of others today by carrying Jesus to them. We can do this by offering them humble and committed service, unconditional forgiveness, and compassionate caring.