We reach out to him as the one who can satisfy our deepest hunger.

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 20, 2022

In today’s Gospel we see people crowding around Jesus not just Jews, but many who had come from Idumea, Transjordania, Tyre and Sidon. They all felt burdened in some way. All who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him.”

Jesus describes himself as a healer who came not for the healthy but for the sick.

We can identify with the people who took the trouble to come crowding around Jesus. We need him as they did, because what he offers is not available from any other source.

That is why we seek him, knock on his door, want him to touch us. We reach out to him as the one who can satisfy our deepest hunger. A special way of letting him help us is by sharing in the Eucharist, which is “broken bread for broken people

Let us do whatever we can to do God’s will and do our best in life to be good and devoted Christians.

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 19, 2022

In today’s Gospel tells of an ethical debate between the Pharisees and Jesus, about what behavior is allowed on the Sabbath Day. He was appalled by their insistence that not even a work of healing was permitted on the Lord’s day of rest.

Jesus could have side-stepped the the Sabbath dispute, by healing the sick man in private and out of sight, but he chose to confront the issue publicly and cured the man in full view of all. In the ensuing debate he leaves them in no doubt about the deeper purpose of the Sabbath. It is above all a day for life-giving activities. He stresses the contrast between what is right, whatever enhances life, and what is wrong, whatever diminishes life. God is Lord of life, not death; of peace, not violence; of justice, not oppression.

Jesus stood up for those who were sick and ostracised, as He reached out to all of them without worry or fear of repercussions from those authorities and power to make His works difficult. Let us not easily give in to despair but do whatever we can to do God’s will and do our best in life to be good and devoted Christians.

The Sabbath a day to do works of charity in the neighborhood and in the parish

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 18, 2022

In today’s Gospel the Pharisees object to the disciples of Jesus rubbing the heads of grain they had plucked in their hands because they be considered it as threshing and therefore work, which was prohibited on the Sabbath. Jesus’ responses, takes the objectors beyond the immediate objection to a higher level. Here, he focuses not just on the question of work on the Sabbath but beyond: to the Sabbath itself.

There are times in our lives when we treat rules as ends in themselves. One reason why we do this is because we have an image of God as a policeman who will catch and punish us if we do not follow the rules, as we ought to. It is possible that sometimes we are so focussed on following the rules that we believe God has set for us that we might lose sight of human persons whose needs we must respond to first.

In other words, human needs take precedence over any rules and regulations. This must be the primary focus.

Like the Jewish Sabbath, the Christian Sunday is to be a day of rest and refreshment with members of the family; a day for thanksgiving and the recharging of spiritual batteries through participation in the Eucharistic celebration; a day to do works of charity in the neighborhood and in the parish; a day for socializing with family members, neighbors, and fellow-parishioners.

As for us the moment we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and savior, we become. a new person.

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 17, 2022

In today’s gospel we hear the disciples of John and of the Pharisees objections, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast? This is the beginning of the tension between Jesus and his critics. The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were quick to see and feel the difference between their usual life and the “new life” that Jesus brings. So they complained.

Jesus responded by saying that the old has gone and the new has arrived. He uses a wedding as a metaphor means that His presence is like a party or a celebration. Obviously, it is not a time for fasting but a time for rejoicing. Jesus came not to establish the Kingdom of God where there is peace and joy, love and justice, hope and faith. That is why His new radical way of life was at odds with the religious authorities. Their opposition to Jesus would later culminate in the crucifixion.

It is easy to understand the behavior of the critics of Jesus. Many people are afraid of change they would keep the old way of life than embrace the new. Especially if you are the privileged like the Pharisees, there is no incentive for change. Yet change is the message of Jesus. He has arrived to inaugurate the foundation of a new world that would alter the way we relate to each other and to God.

As for us the moment we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and savior, we become. a new person. It is no longer business as usual. Old habits die and give way to new habits. It is not easy of course. As in all kinds of change, there is pain involved just like the tearing of old wineskins. But the fact remains, life in Christ is full of joy, hope and love.

What gifts has God given us? Are we using these gifts for some service in the community?

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 16, 2022

We all know the story of the marriage feast at Cana. But what does the Cana miracle tell us? Is it that God’s special gifts are not meant primarily for our personal benefit but for the service of others. That is what St Paul says when he lists examples of different gifts of the Holy Spirit and adds that “to each person is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

What gifts has God given us? Are we using these gifts for some service in the community?” We may wonder why there are no more manifestations of the Holy Spirit like what we read in the Bible. Maybe if we began better using the gifts we have for the common good – like the gift of praying, teaching, caring, sharing, encouraging, supporting, motivating, writing, etc. – then we might begin to see miracles. Concern for others is the basic miracle.

We could make our own the famous prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Many of us tend to look down on those who may not come up to our expectations

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 15, 2022

The tax collector at the time of Jesus was a person whose duty it was to collect tax or duty on goods fore the empire. They were accused of charging more than the required amount and so were seen as dishonest. This is the kind of person called by Jesus to discipleship. The call of Levi is similar to that of the first four disciples. Jesus passes by, sees Levi at his work, calls to him, Levi leaves his work and follows Jesus. After which, Jesus goes to Levi’s house for a meal during which many tax collectors and sinners at table with him.

This leads to the scribes of the Pharisees complaining probably that Jesus did not observe that higher standard of holiness that would be expected of him. Jesus responds to their objection, first he states that that those who are well have no need of a physician the sick do.. Than he says I have come not to call the righteous but sinners.

Many of us tend to look down on those who may not come up to our expectations or behave the way we want them to. We may also often judge others by what we see and be too quick to do that. The challenge for each of us is to realise that our way of looking may be a stereotypical way of looking and that we may be looking with a prejudiced view.

We need to carry each other’s burdens.

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 14, 2022

Today’s gospel shows us both the authority of Jesus and the creative helpfulness of some friends of the sick man. Without his friends the paralytic man was unable to get anywhere, let alone get close to Jesus. The Lord shows himself a healer of body and spirit: Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk again’?

The story of those four men carrying their friend to Jesus is a powerful call to be helpful where we can. They were so determined to get him to Jesus that. When the door was blocked they opened a hole in the roof above Jesus. They wanted to get their friend to Jesus because they recognized Jesus as the source of health and life. The image of the four who carried their sick friend towards the source of life is a powerful lesson.

At times we can do little for ourselves and must depend on others for health, for life, for safety. At other times we might be, able to help others. We need to carry each other’s burdens. When we try to do that we align ourselves with the one who said, “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.” He wants us to help him to carry the burdens of others and help them in any way we can. Together we can support each other in changing times, rallying round to help, willing to serve with love.

Jesus teaches the lesson that the essence of Christianity is to touch the untouchable

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 13, 2022

In today’s gospel we see Jesus healing the leper. The term leprosy was used for any kind of skin disease, and those with such kind of diseases were considered as unclean and not allowed to be part of society. They had to live on the outskirts of the city, and had to make their presence known whenever they entered the city, so that others could avoid any kind of contact with them and so not get contaminated.

In this miracle, Jesus not only heals the leper, but also reaches out and touches him. The strong Faith of the sick man prompted him to violate the Mosaic Law prohibiting him from joining a crowd and approaching Jesus. The sympathy and mercy of Jesus prompted Jesus to violate the Mosaic Law which forbade anyone to touch an untouchable leper.

The prayer of the leper is a lesson for each one of us on the meaning of prayer. In his prayer the leper both acknowledges his dependence on Jesus through the words, “If you will” and also has faith in the ability of Jesus to heal through the words, “you can make me clean”. Jesus teaches the lesson that the essence of Christianity is to touch the untouchable, to love the unlovable, and to forgive the unforgivable

We are called to continue Jesus’ preaching mission primarily by bearing witness to Christ through our day-to-day lives,

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 12, 2022

Today’s Gospel shows us that Jesus was never tired of healing the sick, demonstrating the Heavenly Father’s mercy and compassion to every sick person who approached with trusting Faith. On finishing the day’s preaching in the synagogue on one Sabbath, Jesus went to Simon’s home and healed Simon’s mother-in-law of a fever. In the evening when the Sabbath rest was over, people brought all their sick dear ones to Jesus for healing and exorcism, and they were all healed.

We are called to continue Jesus’ preaching mission primarily by bearing witness to Christ through our day-to-day lives, as we radiate Christ’s mercy, love, forgiveness, and spirit of humble service to all around us.

We can participate in Jesus’ healing mission by praying for the sick, by visiting them, and by helping and encouraging the sick and shut-ins. But in order to continue Jesus’ preaching and healing mission, we, too, need to have our spiritual batteries recharged every day by prayer, as Jesus did.

In due time, all will be subdued and everything will come under His dominion.

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 11, 2022

Jesus taught with authority and wisdom. Of course, He can teach with authority because He is God and the Holy Spirit is with Him. Still, the scripture says He spent a long time in the desert in communion with His Father before He began His public ministry. At times He would escape from the crowd to spend time alone to pray. This is to show us that the wisdom and talent to teach are both gifts from God and for anyone to teach with authority, one must always abide with God through constant prayer, and meditation.

Today’s reading shows us that even Satan recognized Jesus. How often do we hear that, in order to win in a battle, you must know who your enemy is. So it is not a surprise that Satan knows who Jesus is. Yet, at the sound of His name, the devil trembles. In due time, all will be subdued and everything will come under His dominion. This is our hope.

The Gospel reading ends with the statement His fame spread everywhere. It is still spreading everywhere. Let us join hands in spreading it, most especially in our own circle of acquaintances.

Those four Galilean fishermen were never the same again. And if Jesus says to us, “Follow me,” and we respond generously, our life too will change.

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 10, 2022

If Jesus sometimes seems only vaguely present to us, he is still near and calling us to follow him generously, as the four fishermen did. In the presence of God, we will find our own ways to spread his message. Those four Galilean fishermen were never the same again. And if Jesus says to us, “Follow me,” and we respond generously, our life too will change.

The meeting of Peter, Andrew, James and John with Jesus was such a life-giving moment for those fishermen. The encounter they had at the lakeshore is offered to each of us. Jesus is not just a figure of history, belonging to the past. He is the living Lord, still present in his church and in the world, constantly available for conversation with us in the course of our day to day lives. He wants to meets us, as he met Simon, Andrew, James and John while they were going about their work as fishermen.

The Lord speaks to us in various ways, especially in the Eucharist, in the Scriptures, through listening to others, listening to nature and listening to our own hearts. If we experience the good news of God’s unconditional love, we will also hear some kind of personal call to share the good news with others. In spirit, we all are meant to bring Christ to the world, “I will make you fishers of people.” Can we also respond to this call, like Peter, Andrew, James and John?

How does this apply to us? Simply this: This Sunday leads us to consider God’s plan for our lives.

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 9, 2022

Today’s celebration presents Jesus being baptized by John in the Jordan River. The celebration marks the end of the Christmas Season and the beginning of Ordinary Time. It is the only Sunday of the year that belongs to two seasons.

This feast belongs to two seasons because it is the beginning. Jesus accepts His ministry. This is the beginning of the teaching, preaching and healing that make up the public ministry of the Lord.

The ancient Christian witnesses see a great significance in this particular Epiphajhny of the Lord. The words of the Father, the presence of the Holy Spirit, demonstrate God’s action among his people. Jesus in his human nature has accepted the plan devised by the Father to care for his people.

How does this apply to us? Simply this: This Sunday leads us to consider God’s plan for our lives. It reminds us of who we are and Whose we are. By Baptism we become sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, members of his Church, heirs of Heaven, and temples of the Holy Spirit.

It also reminds us of our mission to experience the presence of God within us. There are people in the world who will meet God by meeting you. These are people who are searching. They are searching for meaning in life. They are searching for reasons behind their joy and pain, their sadness and hurts. They seek lasting happiness. They search for answers and they rely on us,to help them find these answers.

We Christians believe that life is not just a matter of biology. Life is not just a matter of survival. Life is not just a matter of chance. We Christians believe that life, authentic life, consists in serving God by making the presence of Jesus Christ a reality in the lives of others

We must not forget that God has given us all these blessings to help us fulfill our unique role and our particular mission in the world according to His plan.

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 8, 2022

In today’s Gospel we see the disciples of John the Baptist, bothered and alarmed when they see Jesus, baptizing people. They see Him as a threat or a strong competition.

But John the Baptist is not interested in competition, but in empowerment. From the very beginning he is fully aware of his role and mission. He is not the light; he comes to testify to the light. He is not the Word; he is just the voice crying in the wilderness. He is not the Bridegroom; he is just the best man. He is not the Messiah, but was sent before Him to prepare His way. And so, he concludes: “He must increase; I must decrease.”

For John, seeing Jesus starting to do His mission gives him joy and relief. Joy because the One whom he has been waiting for has finally arrived. And relief because this marks the accomplishment of his mission. So, now, he can slowly disappear.

The example of John the Baptist is a precious lesson for us. Each one of us has our own unique role and mission to play. The problem comes when we begin to compare with others. Then jealousy and pride come in and destroy our peace and contentment. Very soon, this leads to the destruction of relationships and communities.

What many do not realize is that jealousy simply means we are counting the blessings of others, rather than our own. We are truly gifted by God with so many blessings. Learning to count our blessings is the key to overcome jealousy and to always have the spirit of joy and gratefulness in life.

We must not forget that God has given us all these blessings to help us fulfill our unique role and our particular mission in the world according to His plan. “For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfil our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be.ʺ

We need to receive Christ’s freedom, live it and pass it on to others

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 6, 2022

In our Gospel reading today, we hear how the Lord Jesus came to the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth. The Synagogue Sabbath service always began with the “Shema’’ prayer followed by the recital of the “Eighteen Blessings,” praising and thanking God. Then four passages from the “Torah” were read and explained by a priest, followed by a selection from the Prophets, which was read and interpreted by an invited scholar, or guest, Finally, the prayer was concluded with a priest or the synagogue blessing the assembly.

Popular as a miracle working preacher in Capernaum, Jesus was asked to read from the Book of the Prophets and to interpret the Scripture. Jesus was handed the Scroll of the prophet Isaiah, he opened it and read the prophecy on the mission of the expected Messiah.

Surprising everyone, Jesus declared, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing,” meaning that Jesus was the One sent “to bring glad tidings to the poor, liberation to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and freedom for the oppressed.

The townsfolk were greatly amazed, and many were unable to accept that the prophet Isaiah was foretelling and describing Jesus’ Messianic mission and ministry. As Messiah of the Lord God, Jesus’ mission was to give liberation to everyone who would listen to God’s “Good News,” accept it and put it into practice. The initial reaction of the people was surprise at the power and eloquence of this son of the carpenter; the next response of a large group was to try, unsuccessfully, to throw Jesus over the cliff on which the city was built.

We need to receive Christ’s freedom, live it and pass it on to others: As members of Christ’s Mystical Body, we share in the freeing, saving mission of Jesus.p We need to let the power of the Holy Spirit fill us, and stay ready to have miracles done through us. Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus performed miracles because He was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us be ready to become Spirit-filled instruments of Christ’s saving freedom.

What sort of fears do we have?

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 5, 2022

Today’s Gospel takes place immediately following Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. Sensing the danger of being seized by the people and “made King” , Jesus promptly instructed the apostles to leave the place by boat, then he dismissed the crowd and went to the mountain to pray.

A double miracle in the sea: When the apostles in the boat were several furlongs away from the shore, they faced an unexpected storm on the sea, caused by the rush of hot wind from the desert blowing onto the Sea of Galilee.

Recognizing His Apostles’ danger, Jesus went toward their boat, walking on the stormy sea. Jesus calmed the frightened disciples and approached the boat. As soon as Jesus got into the boat, the storm ceased miraculously, to the great astonishment of the apostles.

What sort of fears do we have? Are they caused by focusing on the wrong things rather than focusing on God’s presence? What can we do to redirect our attention away from the fearful parts of our lives? Turn to Jesus and approach him with strong Faith in His ability and availability to calm the storms in our lives.

We may not be able to feed the hungry millions in the world, but today’s Gospel challenges us to do our humble share

Posted in homily by frtonys on January 4, 2022

Today’s gospel reading is about the multiplication of food. It is found in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which means it is an important event in the life of Jesus and in his ministry. It shows us how generous God is and how much He cares for our total well-being. It also manifests how powerful He is and that nothing is indeed impossible for Him

The reading tells us that while teaching, Jesus took pity on the growing physical hunger of those listening, and challenged the apostles to feed them. But they had with them only five loaves of bread and two dried fish. Jesus took these, said a prayer of blessing, broke them, and asked the apostles to distribute them till the hungry people were fully satisfied. Jesus told the people to sit on the green grass in groups of hundreds and fifties. After serving a generous meal to all, the Apostles collected twelve wicker baskets of leftover bread and fish pieces, a vivid proof and reminder of God’s generosity in giving and a warning to all of us not to waste God’s blessings.

We may not be able to feed the hungry millions in the world, but today’s Gospel challenges us to do our humble share in alleviating hunger and poverty in our neighborhood. God will amplify our little contributions and reward our good will and generosity. We need to be thankful to God for miraculously giving us our daily spiritual bread in the Holy Eucharist.