23rd Sunday in Ordinary time – Year A

by Fr D. Ntshangase

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Today’s readings are reminding us of our Christian responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in Christ to do what is right. Jesus further gives a method on how to correct each other to do what is right: first in private, then before a few and finally before the whole community. This is everyone’s duty, not for a priest or old people but for everyone. It often happens when someone has done something wrong, especially in Church, that people would be gossiping about it and pointing out that (s)he is from a family which should correct him/her. We forget that it is our responsibility too to correct that person. However, it is something that calls for courage, sensitivity and love for one another.

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September 2020: Respect for the planet’s resources

by Jacob Boddicker, SJ

Pope’s prayer intention: Let us pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner. No to plundering; yes to sharing.

In the beginning, God created the earth and everything within it and upon it, bearing us in mind all the while: this world was made for us. When He created Adam and Eve in His image and likeness He said to them “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over…all the living creatures…”. This word “subdue” is a strong one; our instinct is to see it in terms of crushing some manner of resistance. Some see this as God telling Adam to conquer the wilderness outside of Eden, that mankind has a blank check to use the Earth as it sees fit. But this is not so: notice what God does in the beginning. Continue reading “September 2020: Respect for the planet’s resources”

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

by Fr Odise SDB

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There was a certain (so called) Christian who went to a Jewish Rabbi complaining, saying that I cannot support any more this Christian life. There are too many rules and regulations, that they are stressing my life. I am sick and tired of all these commandments. They do not say anything else except don’t do this and don’t do that. I cannot afford a life of don’t, don’t, don’t, everything is don’t! So, I want to change religion. What should I do to become a Jew? The Rabbi looking at him, started laughing at him. The Christian man said to the Rabbi, I am not joking, I want to become a Jewish man. The Rabbi continued to laugh even louder than before. The Christian man got a bit upset and asked him, why are you laughing? That is not funny, I am a serious man! The Rabbi answered him, you are complaining for ten commandments. Do you know how many laws we have? The man replied saying, I do not know that, but am ready for any sacrifice… just to avoid these Christian don’ts!
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Twenty first Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

by Fr Odise SDB

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This Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 16:13-20) generally highlight who Jesus is according to the people and according to his disciples. Here we are going to focus on who Jesus is and his authority. Peter inspired by the holy spirit replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you Peter … for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church…” (16-19). This episode defines also Peter’s primacy among the disciples and his role. Jesus’ blessing on Peter draws from Old Testament traditions about the Davidic covenant. The key concepts and images (Christ / Son of the living God / rock / build / gates of Hades / keys / kingdom) are all connected with Israel’s kingdom established under David and confirmed by Solomon and his construction of the Temple (see 2 Sam 7:4-17; Ps 2:7). Although David’s empire crumbled in 586 B.C., but our Heavenly Father will restore it through Jesus Christ as the Angel Gabriel announced that “the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever” (Lk 1:32);
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Thanks to you the people are now relying on what is false!

by Bishop Jose Luis IMC

Our diocese has a number of WhatsApp groups. Many of them added the bishop as soon as the group was created. It is not easy for me to follow them but, every now and then, I do read the messages trying my best not to interfere and allow everyone to freely share on a topic.

Fake news, though, has been one of those cases where I struggle to keep quiet.

Not long ago, a member of the Catholic men’s group shared news with this title: “We are at the end of times”. It then said: “Pope Francis cancels the Bible and proposes to create a new book”. He himself never believed it but felt important to share it and open a dialogue. Someone, in fact, confirmed that members of other churches had shared their sadness and horror at the Pope’s decision.

A question arose regarding what to do about it. Continue reading “Thanks to you the people are now relying on what is false!”

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

by Fr Odise SDB

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‘‘The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.’’ In these words of the apostolic constitution MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS (MD) Pope Pius XII, on Nov. 1, 1950, most solemnly described the crowning event of the life of the Blessed Virgin. Thus defining the dogma of Mary’s Assumption, he wrote the final chapter of the centuries-long tradition of belief in this mystery. This article considers mainly the scriptural basis, taking as its guide the apostolic constitution, the theological explanation of the Assumption.

Focusing on the first reading (Revelation 11:19,12:1-6,10) Continue reading “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

August 2020: The Maritime World

by Siobhán O’Keeffe S.H.J.M

Pope’s prayer intention: Let us pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families.

The beauty of the sunrise took my breath away. A tall fishing vessel glided over the horizon as it approached the shore. A little while later it yielded up its harvest of 153 beautiful fish. Despite the catch, the nets were not broken. (John 21:11) Fishermen had breakfast on the seashore and gave thanks for the labour of the night.

Sadly, for many a different story unfolds. Inclement weather, poor quality boats and ever changing legislation cripples the fishing industry plunging the families of these good men into poverty and distress. Man’s abuse of creation pollutes the oceans – the seabed is poisoned, fish die. Continue reading “August 2020: The Maritime World”

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

by Fr Odise SDB

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In the first reading (1 Kings 19:9,11-13) the question God put, Why are you here, Elijah? is a reproof. It concerns us often to ask whether we are in our proper place, and in the way of our duty. Am I where I should be right now? Whether God calls me, where does my business lie, and where may I be useful? Did Elijah go there to meet with God? Nevertheless he shall find out that God will meet him. God is ready to meet us even in our ordinary places. The wind, and earthquake, and fire, did not make him cover his face, but the still voice did. Gracious souls are more affected by the tender mercies of the Lord, than by his terrors. Our zeal for the Lord, for his people and his creatures should be manifested with our loving-kindness, because “the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God” (Jas 1:20). The mild voice of Him who speaks from the cross, or the mercy-seat, is accompanied with peculiar power in taking possession of the hearts. Continue reading “19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A”