"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. " (John 12)
Photo copyright : John R Portelli

Thursday, 29 July 2021

GOD FEEDS US WITH HEAVENLY FOOD....

Readings for Sunday, August 1, 2021 - Year/Sena B

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time  Lectionary: 113

It-Tmintax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


Reading 1           Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15

The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!” Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not. “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread, so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.” In the evening quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning a dew lay all about the camp, and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?” for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, “This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”

QARI 1           mill-Ktieb tal-Eżodu 16:2-4,12-15

F’dak iż-żmien, fid-deżert, il-ġemgħa kollha ta’ wlied Iżrael bdew igergru kontra Mosè u Aron. Ulied Iżrael qalulhom: “Mhux li mitna b’id il-Mulej fl-art tal-Eġittu, meta konna ħdejn il-borom tal-laħam u konna nieklu ħobż bix-xaba’! Ħriġtuna f’dan id-deżert biex toqtlu bil-ġuħ din il-ġemgħa kollha!”. Il-Mulej imbagħad qal lil Mosè: “Ara, se nibagħtilkom xita ta’ ħobż mis-sema. Il-poplu kollu joħroġ u jiġbor minn jum għal ieħor kemm ikun jenħtieġ għall-ġurnata, biex hekk inġarrabhom u nara jimxux mal-liġi tiegħi jew le. Jien smajt it-tgergir ta’ wlied Iżrael. Kellimhom u għidilhom: ‘Filgħaxija tieklu l-laħam u filgħodu tixbgħu bil-ħobż. U tkunu tafu li jiena l-Mulej, Alla tagħkom’”. U ġara li filgħaxija dehret qatgħa summien tittajjar fl-għoli u għattiet it-tined kollha, u filgħodu kien hemm wiċċ nida madwar it-tined. Meta din in-nida għabet, fuq wiċċ id-deżert kien hemm xi ħaġa rqiqa qisha ġlata fuq l-art. Malli wlied Iżrael raw dan, bdew jgħidu wieħed lil ieħor: “Man-hu?” – għax ma għarfux x’inhu. Mosè qalilhom: “Dan hu l-ikel li l-Mulej takom biex tieklu”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Responsorial Psalm          PSALM 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54

What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
we will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
And the wonders that he wrought.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

SALM RESPONSORJALI           SALM 77(78):3,4bċ,23-24,25,54

R/. (24b): Il-Mulej tahom il-qamħ mis-sema.


Dak li smajna u tgħallimna,
dak li qalulna missirijietna,
inxandruh lin-nisel ta’ warajhom:
tifħir il-Mulej u l-qawwa tiegħu,
u l-għeġubijiet li għamel. R/.

Imma hu ordna s-sħab fl-għoli,
u fetaħ bwieb is-smewwiet;
u xita ta’ manna bagħtilhom x’jieklu,
tahom il-qamħ mis-sema. R/.

Kull wieħed kiel il-ħobż tal-qalbenin,
ikel bix-xaba’ bagħtilhom.
U daħħalhom fl-art imqaddsa tiegħu,
fuq l-għolja li kisbet il-leminija tiegħu. R/.


Reading 2          EPHESIANS 4:17, 20-24

Brothers and sisters: I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; that is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

QARI 2         mill-Ittra lill-Efesin 4:17,20-24

Ħut, jiena dan ngħidilkom u nwissikom quddiem il-Mulej: li ma ġġibux iżjed ruħkom skont ma jġibu ruħhom il-pagani bil-bluha ta’ moħħhom. Imma intom mhux hekk tgħallimtu ’l Kristu – jekk intom smajtuh u tgħallimtuh skont il-verità li hi f’Ġesù – jiġifieri, li għandkom twarrbu l-ħajja tagħkom ta’ qabel u tinżgħu l-bniedem il-qadim, imħassar bix-xewqat tal-pjaċiri qarrieqa, u li għandkom tiġġeddu b’tibdila spiritwali tal-fehma tagħkom u tilbsu l-bniedem il-ġdid, maħluq skont Alla, fil-ġustizzja u l-qdusija tassew. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel          JOHN 6:24-35

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”  Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

EVANĠELJU          Qari skont San Ġwann 6:24-35


F’dak iż-żmien, in-nies meta ntebħu li fuq id-dgħajsa la kien hemm Ġesù u lanqas id-dixxipli tiegħu, telgħu fuq id-dgħajjes u marru lejn Kafarnahum ifittxu lil Ġesù. U meta sabuh in-naħa l-oħra tal-baħar staqsewh: “Rabbi, meta ġejt hawn?”. Ġesù weġibhom: “Tassew tassew ngħidilkom, intom qegħdin tfittxuni mhux għax rajtu sinjali, imma għax kiltu mill-ħobż u xbajtu. Tħabtu mhux għall-ikel li jgħaddi, iżda għall-ikel li jibqa’ għall-ħajja ta’ dejjem, dak li Bin il-bniedem jagħtikom, għaliex lilu Alla l-Missier immarka bis-siġill tiegħu”. Imbagħad staqsewh: “X’għandna nagħmlu biex nagħmlu l-opri ta’ Alla?”. Weġibhom Ġesù: “L-opra ta’ Alla hija din: li intom temmnu f’dak li huwa bagħat”. Qalulu: “X’sinjal se tagħmel biex aħna narawh u nemmnuk? X’sejjer tagħmel? Missirijietna kielu l-manna fid-deżert, bħalma hemm miktub: ‘Tahom jieklu ħobż mis-sema’”. Weġibhom Ġesù: “Tassew tassew ngħidilkom, mhux Mosè takom il-ħobż mis-sema, iżda Missieri jagħtikom il-ħobż tassew mis-sema; għaliex il-ħobż ta’ Alla huwa dak li jinżel mis-sema u jagħti l-ħajja lid-dinja”. Qalulu huma: “Sinjur, agħtina dejjem minn dan il-ħobż”. Weġibhom Ġesù: “Jiena hu l-ħobż tal-ħajja. Min jiġi għandi ma jieħdu qatt il-ġuħ, u min jemmen fija ma jkun qatt bil-għatx!”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

GETTING OUR SPIRITUAL FOOD REGULARLY   

Introduction:  

Sunday’s readings challenge us to be more concerned with spiritual food than with physical food and to get our spiritual food regularly from the word of God and from the Holy Eucharist – the Heavenly Bread — because only God can satisfy the various forms of our spiritual hunger.

Scripture lessons:   

The first reading shows us how God satisfied the physical hunger of His chosen people in the desert by giving them manna and quail.  The restrictions imposed by God for the collecting of manna remind us to acknowledge humbly our total dependence on God and to trust that He will always provide for what we need.  

Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 78) refers to manna as “Heavenly bread” and the “bread of angels” which God provided for Israel and provides for us today.  In the second reading, St. Paul advises the Ephesians to satisfy their spiritual hunger by turning away from their former evil ways and by leading renewed lives of love, kindness, compassion and forgiveness.  Paul reminds us that our acceptance of Jesus as the real source of our life and the nourishment of our souls, produces a total transformation in us.  Having been nourished by the Bread from Heaven and the word of God, we need to bear witness to Christ by living lives renewed by the Holy Spirit.  

Today’s Gospel passage is taken from the “Bread of Life Discourse” in John’s Gospel. Here, Jesus makes the unique and bold claim: “I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.”  Jesus is offering the crowd Bread from Heaven, Bread that nourishes them for eternal life, the Bread available to people who have Faith in Jesus Christ — the presence and indwelling of God in their hearts. 

When Jesus instructed those who had sought after him for earthly food that they should be fed by the Bread that Jesus would give them, some accepted this teaching.  But others turned away disappointed, because Jesus’ challenge required a commitment that they were unwilling to make.

Life messages:


1) We receive the spiritual nourishment we need from the word of God and from the Holy Eucharist: In the Holy Mass, the Church offers us two types of bread: a) the Bread of Life, contained in God’s Word and b) the Bread of Life, contained in the Holy Eucharist.  Let us nourish our souls with this Heavenly Manna and carry Jesus to our homes and workplaces, radiating Jesus’ love, mercy and compassion all around us. But we should not take for granted the Divine generosity, that so readily provides these gifts gratuitously, by sharing in the Bread of Life simply as a matter of habit, without repenting of our sins or showing due attention and proper respect. 

2) We need to gain the benefits of our Holy Communion with Jesus. Our reception of Jesus in Holy Communion acts spiritually as Food to nourish the spirit, as, similarly, bread and wine act materially for our body. Unconsecrated bread and wine, i.e., material food, 

  (a), is assimilated by our bodies into our substance;  

  (b), maintains physical life, promoting physical growth; 

  (c), dispels fatigue and weakness from, and imparts strength to, the body;  

  (d), affords a certain satisfaction by pleasing the palate; and  

  (e), influences the mind and spirit by the medium of the body. 

In a similar way, the action of Jesus on our soul in Holy Communion may be described, as  

  (i), uniting us most closely to Himself: Our Lord says: “He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, abides in Me, and I in him” (Jn 6:57); 

  (ii), uniting each of us individually to each individual member of the human race by joining us to Himself; 

  (iii), imparting actual graces, including strength, the power to withstand temptation, and the desire to practice virtue, while maintaining, deepening, and increasing Sanctifying Grace in the soul; 

  (iv), lessening force of concupiscence of the eyes, concupiscence of the flesh and the pride of life , and freeing us from repented venial sin; as a result , one who communicates frequently will feel less sharply the stimulus of anger, envy, uncleanness, and other evil propensities; 

  (v), often affording much refreshment to the soul; 

  (vi), sanctifying the body, and implanting in it the germ of a future glorious resurrection; and

  (vii), cancelling the temporal penalties of sin according to the measure of our devotion.

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Thursday, 22 July 2021

BECOMING HUMBLE INSTRUMENTS FOR GOD

 Readings for Sunday, July 25, 2021 - Year/Sena B

 
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time     Lectionary: 110
                            Is-Sbatax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


Reading 1           2 KINGS 4:42-44
A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God, twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits, and fresh grain in the ear. Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.” But his servant objected, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” Elisha insisted, “Give it to the people to eat.” “For thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’” And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the LORD had said.  

QARI 1           mit-Tieni Ktieb tas-Slaten 4:42-44

F’dak iż-żmien, ġie għand Eliżew raġel minn Bagħal-Salisa, u ġieb lir-raġel ta’ Alla ħobż tal-bikri: għoxrin ħobża tax-xgħir, u sbul mimli qamħ ġdid. Eliżew qallu: “Agħtihom lin-nies ħa jieklu”. Imma l-qaddej tiegħu wieġeb: “Kif nista’ nqassam dawn lil mitt ruħ?”. Raġa’ qallu Eliżew: “Agħti lin-nies ħa jieklu; għax dan jgħid il-Mulej: ‘Mhux biss jieklu, imma jifdal ukoll’”. Dak qassmilhom; u huma kielu, u kien għad fadal minnhom, bħalma qal il-Mulej. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Responsorial Psalm          PSALM 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

The LORD is just in all his ways
 and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
 to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

SALM RESPONSORJALI          Salm 144(145):10-11,15-16,17-18
R/. (ara 16): Iftaħ idek, Mulej: ferraħna bil-ġid li tagħtina.

Kulma għamilt iroddlok ħajr, Mulej;
iberkuk il-ħbieb tiegħek kollha.
Is-sebħ tas-saltna tiegħek ixandru,
fuq is-setgħa tiegħek jitkellmu. R/.

Għajnejn kulħadd iħarsu lejk, Mulej,
u inti tagħtihom l-ikel f’waqtu.
Int tiftaħ idek,
u xxabba’ ’l kulħadd bil-ġid. R/.

Ġust il-Mulej fl-imġiba tiegħu kollha,
twajjeb f’dak kollu li għamel.
Qrib il-Mulej lejn kull min isejjaħlu,
lejn kull min isejjaħlu fis-sewwa. R/.

Reading 2          EPHWSIANS 4:1-6
Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace:one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

QARI 2             mill-Ittra lill-Efesin 4:1-6
Ħuti, inħeġġiġkom jien, il-priġunier tal-Mulej, biex timxu sewwa skont is-sejħa li biha kontu msejħin; billi bl-umiltà kollha, bil-ħlewwa u bis-sabar, taħmlu u tħobbu ’l xulxin. Ħabirku biex iżżommu spirtu wieħed bir-rabta tas-sliem; ġisem wieħed u ruħ waħda, l-istess kif kontu msejħa għal tama waħda; Mulej wieħed, fidi waħda, magħmudija waħda; Alla wieħed u Missier ta’ kulħadd, li hu fuq kulħadd, b’kulħadd u f’kulħadd. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel          JOHN 6:1-15
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

EVANĠELJU          Qari skont San Ġwann 6:1-15

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù telaq lejn in-naħa l-oħra tal-baħar tal-Galilija, jew ta’ Tiberija. Ħafna nies marru warajh, għax raw is-sinjali li kien jagħmel bil-fejqan tal-morda. Ġesù tela’ lejn l-għoljiet u qagħad hemm bilqiegħda mad-dixxipli tiegħu. Kien qrib l-Għid, il-festa tal-Lhud.Ġesù rafa’ għajnejh, lemaħ kotra ta’ nies ġejja lejh, u qal lil Filippu: “Mnejn nixtru l-ħobż biex dawn ikollhom x’jieklu?”. Dan qalhulu biex jippruvah, għaliex hu kien jaf x’sejjer jagħmel. Filippu wieġbu: “Mitejn dinar ħobż ma jkunux biżżejjed għalihom biex kull wieħed minnhom jieħu xi ftit”. Wieħed mid-dixxipli tiegħu, Indrì, ħu Xmun Pietru, qallu: “Hawn tfajjel li għandu ħames ħobżiet tax-xgħir u żewġ ħutiet żgħar; imma dawn x’inhuma għal daqshekk nies?”. Ġesù qal: “Qiegħdu n-nies bilqiegħda”. Dik in-naħa kien hemm ħafna ħaxix. Għalhekk in-nies, xi ħamest elef raġel, qagħdu bilqiegħda. Ġesù ħa l-ħobżiet, radd il-ħajr, u qassamhom lil dawk li kienu bilqiegħda; hek k ukoll għamel bil-ħut, u kulħadd ħa kemm ried. Meta xebgħu, Ġesù qal lid-dixxipli tiegħu: “Iġbru l-loqom li baqa’, biex xejn ma jinħela”. Marru jiġbruhom, u mlew tnax-il qoffa bil-loqom li kien fadlilhom in-nies mill-ħames ħobżiet tax-xgħir wara li kienu kielu. Għalhekk dawn in-nies, meta raw dan is-sinjal li għamel Ġesù, qalu: “Dan hu tassew il-Profeta li għandu jiġi fid-dinja!”. Imma Ġesù, meta ntebaħ li kienu ġejjin biex jeħduh bilfors ħalli jagħmluh sultan, raġa’ warrab waħdu lejn l-għoljiet.Il-Kelma tal-Mulej..

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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

A CHALLENGE TO GENEROUS SHARING

Introduction: 

Sunday’s readings invite us to become humble instruments in God’s hands by sharing our blessings with our needy brothers and sisters. They focus on hunger and food and about how we can satisfy the deeper hunger of our life. They remind us that if we and our country are blessed with abundant food supply, we need to share it with the hungry people and poor countries. Once physical hungers are satisfied, then we are challenged to satisfy the deeper hungers, for love, mercy, forgiveness, companionship, peace, and fulfillment.

Scripture lessons summarized:

The first reading tells us how the prophet Elisha, by invoking God’s power, fed one hundred men with twenty barley loaves. Elisha relied not on what he had but on what God would do with what the Prophet had received as a gift.  This miracle foreshadows the Gospel account of Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the pursuing crowd seeking the Master.   

Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm tells us that it is “the hand of the Lord that feeds us,” and that it is God who “answers all our needs.” In the second reading, St. Paul reminds the Ephesians that Jesus united the Jews and the Gentiles by bringing them together as Christians in one Faith by means of one Baptism, enabling them to become one by eating Jesus’ Body. Hence, they have to live together, helping each other by sharing their blessings. Paul urges us to become communities of sharing Christians. 

In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand people, using five barley loaves and two fish offered by a boy in the crowd through the apostles, is associated with the Holy Eucharist early in the Church’s tradition. The people immediately interpreted the miracle, giving Jesus two Messianic titles: “The prophet” and “the one who is to come.” 

This miracle teaches us that God works marvels through ordinary people. Elisha’s servant and Jesus’ disciples distributed the bread provided by God through generous people who were willing to share their food with the hungry. Thus, God meets the needs of people through the good will and services provided by members of His community.   

The Gospel story teaches that Jesus meets the most basic human need, namely hunger, with generosity and compassion. Today’s readings also tell us that God really cares about His people, and that He provides more than enough for everybody. Studies show that the world today produces enough food grains to provide every human being on the planet with 3,600 calories a day, not counting such foods as tuber crops, vegetables, beans, nuts, fruits, meats, and fish. Hence, let us pray and work for better social justice in all communities and countries.

Life messages:

A challenge to generous sharing: As Christians we need to commit ourselves to share and to work with God in communicating His compassion to all as the early Christians did. God always blesses those who share their blessings, time, and talents with loving commitment. We can begin our own humble efforts at “sharing” right in our parish by participating in the works of charity done by organizations like St. Vincent DePaul Society, the Knights of Columbus etc. Once physical hungers are satisfied, then we are challenged to satisfy the deeper hungers, for love, mercy, forgiveness, companionship, peace, and fulfillment.

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Thursday, 15 July 2021

JESUS IS MOVED WITH PITY FOR US

Sixeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 107

Is-Sittax il-Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena



Reading 1          JEREMIAH 23:1-6


Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD. Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds. I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow; there they shall increase and multiply. I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble; and none shall be missing, says the LORD. Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,   when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; as king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him: “The LORD our justice.”

QARI 1          mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Ġeremija 23, 1-6
Dan jgħid il-Mulej: “Gwaj għar-rgħajja li jeqirdu u jxerrdu l-merħla tal-mergħa tiegħi – oraklu tal-Mulej. Għalhekk dan jgħid il-Mulej, Alla ta’ Iżrael, lir-rgħajja, li jirgħu l-poplu tiegħi: Intom xerridtu n-nagħaġ tiegħi, gerrixtuhom u ma ħadtux aktar ħsiebhom. Arawni, se naħseb fikom jien minħabba l-ħażen ta’ għemilkom – oraklu tal-Mulej. U jiena niġbor il-fdal tan-nagħaġ tiegħi mill-artijiet kollha li xerridthom fihom, u nreġġagħhom lura lejn il-mergħa tagħhom, u jnisslu u joktru. U nqiegħed fuqhom rgħajja li jirgħuhom, u ma jitbeżżgħux aktar, ma jitwaħħxux; u ħadd minnhom ma jonqos – oraklu tal-Mulej. Araw, għad jasal żmien – oraklu tal-Mulej – meta nqajjem lil David rimja ġusta, li jsaltan ta’ sultan, u jmexxi bil-għaqal u jagħmel is-sewwa u l-ħaqq fil-pajjiż. Fi żmienu Ġuda jkun salv, u Iżrael jgħammar fiż-żgur. U dan hu l-isem li jsejħulu: Il-Mulej is-Sewwa tagħna”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej


Responsorial Psalm           PSALM 23:1-3, 3-4, 5,
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

SALM RESPONSORJALI          Salm 22 (23), 1-3a.3b-4.5.6
R/. (1): Il-Mulej hu r-ragħaj tiegħi, xejn ma jonqosni
I
l-Mulej hu r-ragħaj tiegħi,
xejn ma jonqosni;
f’mergħat kollha ħdura jqegħedni.
Ħdejn l-ilma, fejn nistrieħ, jeħodni;
hemm hu jrejjaqni. R/.

Imexxini fit-triq tas-sewwa
minħabba l-isem tiegħu.
Imqar jekk nimxi f’wied mudlam,
ma nibżax mill-ħsara, għax inti miegħi.
Il-ħatar tiegħek u l-għasluġ tiegħek,
huma jwennsuni. R/.

Int tħejji mejda għalija
quddiem l-għedewwa tiegħi.
Biż-żejt tidlikli rasi,
u l-kalċi tiegħi tfawwarli. R/.

Miegħi, iva, jimxu t-tjieba u l-ħniena
il-jiem kollha ta’ ħajti
U ngħammar f’dar il-Mulej
sakemm indum ħaj!
R/.

Reading 2          EPHESIANS 2:13-18

Brothers and sisters: In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God,  in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

QARI 2           mill-Ittra ta’ San Pawl Appostlu lill-Efesin 2, 13-18
Ħuti, imma issa, fi Kristu Ġesù, intom, li darba kontu ’l bogħod, issa tqarribtu bis-saħħa tad-demm ta’ Kristu. Kristu hu s-sliem tagħna, hu, li minna t-tnejn għamel poplu wieħed, billi ġarraf il-ħajt li kien jifridna – il-mibegħda ta’ bejnietna – u ħassar bis-sagrifiċċju ta’ ġismu l-Liġi bil-kmandamenti u l-preċetti tagħha. Mit-tnejn, ried b’hekk joħloq bih innifsu bniedem wieħed, il-bniedem il-ġdid, billi jagħmilhom paċi t-tnejn bejniethom u jħabbibhom it-tnejn ma’ Alla f’ġisem wieħed permezz tas-salib li bih qered il-mibegħda ta’ bejniethom. Imbagħad ġie jħabbar is-sliem, sliem lilkom li kontu fil-bogħod, u sliem lil dawk li kienu fil-qrib. Permezz tiegħu, it-tnejn li aħna għandna bi Spirtu wieħed id-dħul għal għand il-Missier. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej


Gospel           MARK 6:30-34
The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.  They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

EVANĠELJU         Qari skont San Mark 6, 30-34
F’dak iż-żmien, l-appostli reġgħu ġew ħdejn Ġesù u qalulu kull ma kienu għamlu u għallmu. U hu qalilhom: “Ejjew miegħi intom biss weħidkom f’xi post imwarrab, u strieħu ftit”. Għax tassew, kien hemm ħafna nies ġejjin u sejrin, u anqas żmien biex jieklu ma kienu jħallulhom. Marru mela bid-dgħajsa weħidhom lejn post imwarrab, imma n-nies rawhom sejrin; kienu ħafna dawk li għarfuhom, u telqu jiġru ’l hemm bil-mixi, nies mill-ibliet kollha, u waslu qabilhom. Xħin niżel l-art mid-dgħajsa ra kotra kbira ta’ nies u tħassarhom, għax kienu qishom nagħaġ bla ma għandhom ragħaj, u qabad jgħallimhom ħafna ħwejjeġ. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil  

 

 

 

 

THE GOOD SHEPHERD REDEEMS

Introduction:  

This Sunday’s readings explain how God, like a good shepherd, redeems His people and provides for them. The readings also challenge us to use our God-given authority in the family, in the Church, and in society, with fidelity and responsibility.  Today, pastoral ministry includes not only the pastoral care given by those named or ordained as “pastors,” but the loving service given by all Christians who follow different callings to serve and lead others. (A homily starter anecdote may be added)

Scripture lessons summarized: 

In the first reading, the prophet Jeremiah (sixth century B.C.), thunders against Israel’s careless leaders – the king, some priests, and some court prophets – because they have shown no concern for the poor. The prophet also foretells the rise of a new, good shepherd in the family-line of David. Then he consoles the Israelites enslaved in Babylon, assuring them that God will lead them back to their original pasture in Israel.

Sunday’s Good Shepherd Psalm (Ps 23) affirms David’s Faith and trust in God, the “Good Shepherd.”

The second reading introduces Jesus as the shepherd of both the Jews and the Gentiles and explains how Jesus, the good shepherd, has reconciled all of us with His Father by offering Himself on the cross. Paul also speaks about another reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles, brought about by Jesus’ accepting both into the same Christian brotherhood.

The reading from the Gospel of Mark presents Jesus as the good shepherd fulfilling God’s promise given through His prophet Jeremiah in the first reading. Here we see Jesus attending the weary apostles, who have just returned, jubilant, from their first preaching mission, while at the same time expressing concern for the people who, like “sheep without a shepherd,” have gathered at their landing place in the wilderness.

Life messages:

1)
We need God’s grace to become good shepherds: The Christian life is a continuous passage from the presence of God to the presence of people and back to God again. Prayer is essentially listening to God and talking to Him. We should allow God the opportunity to speak to us and recharge us with spiritual energy and strength by setting aside enough time for Him to speak to us and for us to speak to Him. He speaks to us powerfully when we spend some time every day reading the Bible devoutly and meditating on the message God gives us in Scripture. We receive strength from God to do our share of the shepherd’s preaching and healing ministry by asking for it individually, in the family, and as a community in the parish Church, participating in the Eucharistic celebration.

2) The Church has the double responsibility of teaching and feeding: There can be no true Christianity without the proclamation of the Gospel. Teaching the Word of God is essential to a Christian community.   Christians must also display the compassion of Jesus by meeting the social and material needs of others by our works of charity as individual Christians and as a parish community.

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Thursday, 8 July 2021

OUR CALL TO PREACH THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS

Readings for Sunday, July 11, 2021 - Year/Sena B


Lectionary: 104 
 



Reading I          AMOS 7:12-15
Amaziah, priest of Bethel, said to Amos, “Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying, but never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.” Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

QARI 1          mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Għamos7, 12-15
F’dak iż-żmien, Amasija, qassis ta’ Betel, qal lil Għamos: “Mur, bniedem veġġenti, itlaq lejn l-art ta’ Ġuda, u ħobżok kulu hemm, u ħabbar hemm; u tkomplix iżjed tħabbar ġo Betel, għaliex Betel santwarju tas-sultan, it-tempju tas-saltna”. Wieġeb imbagħad Għamos u qal lil Amasija: “Jien m’iniex profeta, lanqas bin profeta; jiena biss ragħaj u niżbor il-ġummajż. Iżda l-Mulej qabadni minn wara l-merħla, u l-Mulej qalli: Mur, ħabbar lill-poplu tiegħi, Iżrael”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej


Responsorial Psalm          PSALM 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
I will hear what God proclaims;
    the LORD —for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
    glory dwelling in our land.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

Kindness and truth shall meet;
    justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
    and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

The LORD himself will give his benefits;
    our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
    and prepare the way of his steps.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

SALM RESPONSORJALI          Salm 84 (85), 9ab-10. 11-12. 13-14
R/. (8): Uri lilna, Mulej, it-tjieba tiegħek,
u s-salvazzjoni tiegħek agħtina


Ħa nisma’ xi jgħid Alla;
il-Mulej is-sliem ixandar.
Qrib hi tassew is-salvazzjoni tiegħu
għal dawk li jibżgħu minnu,
biex jgħammar is-sebħ f’artna. R/.

It-tjieba u l-fedeltà jiltaqgħu,
il-ġustizzja u s-sliem jitbewsu.
Il-fedeltà mill-art tinbet,
u l-ġustizzja mis-sema tixref. R/.

Il-Mulej ukoll jagħti l-ġid tiegħu,
u artna tagħti l-frott tagħha.
Il-ġustizzja quddiemu timxi,
u s-sliem fuq il-passi tiegħu. R/.


Reading 2            EPHESIANS 1:3-14 or 1:3-10
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.  In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth. In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.

QARI 2          mill-Ittra lill-Efesin 1, 3-14
Imbierek Alla u Missier Sidna Ġesù Kristu,  li berikna b’kull xorta ta’ barka spiritwali, fis-smewwiet fi Kristu. Hekk hu għażilna fih, sa minn qabel il-ħolqien tad-dinja, biex inkunu qaddisa u bla tebgħa quddiemu fl-imħabba. Iddestinana minn qabel li nkunu għalih ulied adottivi permezz ta’ Ġesù Kristu; hekk għoġob lir-rieda tajba tiegħu, għat-tifħir tal-glorja tal-grazzja tiegħu, li biha mliena fil-Maħbub tiegħu. Fih aħna għandna l-fidwa bid-demm tiegħu, il-maħfra tad-dnubiet, skont l-għana tal-grazzja tiegħu. Biha fawwarna fl-għerf u l-għaqal kollu. Hu għarrafna l-misteru tar-rieda tiegħu; il-pjan li għoġbu jfassal fih minn qabel, u li kellu jseħħ meta tasal il-milja taż-żminijiet; jiġifieri, li kollox jinġabar taħt Ras waħda, li hu Kristu, kulma hu fis-sema u kulma hu fl-art. Fih aħna wkoll konna magħżula, iddestinati minn qabel, skont il-pjan imfassal minn qabel minn min imexxi kollox skont il-fehma tar-rieda tiegħu, sabiex inkunu għat-tifħir tal-glorja tiegħu, aħna, li, sa minn qabel, konna nittamaw fi Kristu. U fih intom ukoll smajtu l-Kelma tal-Verità, l-Evanġelju tas-salvazzjoni tagħkom, u emmintu fiha. Kontu ssiġillati bl-Ispirtu s-Santu li kien imwiegħed; li hu r-rahan tal-wirt tagħna sakemm għadna nistennew il-fidwa sħiħa tal-Poplu li Alla kiseb għalih, għat-tifħir tal-glorja tiegħu. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej


Gospel          MARK 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

EVANĠELJU          Qari skont San Mark 6, 7-13
F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù sejjaħ it-Tnax, u beda jibgħathom tnejn tnejn, filwaqt li tahom is-setgħa fuq l-ispirti ħżiena. U wissiehom biex ma jieħdu xejn magħhom għat-triq ħlief ħatar: la ħobż, la ħorġa, lanqas flus fi ħżiemhom; imma li jilbsu l-qrieq u ma jxiddux żewġ ilbiesi. Qalilhom: “Fejn tidħlu f’xi dar, ibqgħu fiha sa ma titilqu minn hemmhekk. U jekk xi post ma jilqagħkomx u ma jisimgħukomx, itilqu minn hemm u farfru t-trab minn taħt saqajkom bħala xhieda kontrihom”. Ħarġu mela jxandru biex in-nies jindmu; u keċċew bosta xjaten, u dilku ħafna morda biż-żejt u fejquhom. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   


BEARING WITNESS TO GOD'S LOVE

Introduction:

Sunday’s readings remind us of our Divine adoption as God’s children and of our call to preach the Good News of Jesus by bearing witness to God’s love, mercy, and salvation, as revealed through Jesus:  “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:4).

Scripture lessons summarized: 

The first reading (Am 7:12-15), warns us that our witnessing mission will be rejected, as happened to the Old Testament prophets like Amos. He was ordered by Amaziah, the angry chief priest serving in the Northern Kingdom of Israel at Bethel, to take his prophesying back to his own country, the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Amos defended his prophetic role with courage, clarifying that it was not his, but God’s choice to elevate him from a shepherd and tree-dresser to a prophet. Like Amos, we are chosen by God, through the mystery of Divine adoption in Jesus, to become missionaries and to preach the “Good News,” mainly by Christian witnessing. 

The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 85) Refrain has us begging God for that Salvation, singing “Lord, let us see Your Kindness, and grant us Your Salvation.”

In the second reading (Eph 1:3-14), St. Paul explains the blessings that we have received through our Baptism and the responsibility we have to become missionaries. Then Paul reveals the Divine secret that it is God’s eternal plan to extend salvation, through Jesus, to all mankind — first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. Hence, the Jewish and the Gentile Christians need to love, help, and respect one another, and thus, to proclaim Jesus, giving true witness by their lives.

In today’s Gospel (Mk 6:1-13), the evangelist tells the story of Jesus’ commissioning of the twelve apostles to preach the “Good News” of repentance, forgiveness of sins, liberation, and salvation through Jesus. Just as God sent the prophet Amos to preach repentance to ancient Israel and St. Paul to preach the Good News of salvation to the Gentiles, so Jesus sends forth the Twelve to proclaim the Good News of God’s Kingdom and to bring healing to those who need it most. Today’s Gospel reports the instruction Jesus gave the apostles for their first mission. They are to be walking illustrations of God’s love and providence in action. They are to preach repentance — a change of heart and a change of action taking people from a self-centered life to a God-centered life.

Life Messages:

# 1: We, too, have a witnessing mission: We are called to be witnessing disciples and evangelizing apostles. As witnessing disciples, we need to follow, imitate, reflect, and radiate only Jesus. As apostles, we need to evangelize the world by sharing with others our experience of God and His Son, Jesus, proclaiming Jesus’ Gospel and promised salvation through our transparent Christian lives and words, radiating the love, mercy, forgiveness, spirit of humble service and concern of Jesus to the people around us.

# 2  We also have the liberating mission of helping to free people from the demons of nicotine, alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, promiscuous sex, hatred, jealousy, racial prejudice, and consumerism. We need the help of Jesus to liberate both ourselves and others from these things.

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Friday, 2 July 2021

ARE WE CHALLENGED TO FACE REJECTION?

Readings for Sunday, July 4, 2021 - Year/Sena B

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 101

L-Erbatax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena



Reading 1          Ezekiel 2:2-5
As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard the one who was speaking say to me: Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day. Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you. But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD! And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house— they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

QARI 1           mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Eżekjel 2:2-5
F’dak iż-żmien, daħal fija l-ispirtu u waqqafni fuq riġlejja; u smajt x’kien qiegħed jgħidli. Qalli: “O bniedem, qiegħed nibagħtek għand ulied Iżrael, ġens ta’ nies rashom iebsa, li rvellaw kontra tiegħi; dinbu kontra tiegħi, huma u missirijiethom sal-lum stess. Huma nies wiċċhom sfiq u qalbhom iebsa. Se nibagħtek għandhom, biex tgħidilhom: ‘Dan jgħid Sidi l-Mulej’. Jisimgħu u ma jisimgħux – nies ta’ ras iebsa huma – ħa jkunu jafu li hemm profeta f’nofshom”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Responsorial Psalm          PSALM 123:1-2, 2, 3-4
To you I lift up my eyes
who are enthroned in heaven —
As the eyes of servants
are on the hands of their masters.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

As the eyes of a maid
are on the hands of her mistress,
So are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
till he have pity on us.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us,
for we are more than sated with contempt;
our souls are more than sated
with the mockery of the arrogant,
with the contempt of the proud.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

SALM RESPONSORJALI          Salm 122(123):1-2a,2bċd,3-4
R/. (2ċd): Għajnejna lejn il-Mulej, sa ma jkollu ħniena minna.
Lejk nerfa’ għajnejja,
int li tgħammar fis-smewwiet.
Ara, bħal għajnejn il-qaddejja
lejn id sidhom; hekk għajnejna lejn il-Mulej. R/.

Bħal għajnejn il-qaddejja lejn id sidtha;
hekk għajnejna lejn il-Mulej, Alla tagħna,
sa ma jkollu ħniena minna. R/.

Ħenn għalina, Mulej, ħenn għalina,
għax mitmugħa sax-xaba’ bit-tagħjir.
Imxebbgħa għall-aħħar ruħna
biż-żebliħ tal-għonja, bit-tagħjir tal-kburin. R/.


Reading 2         2 Cor 12:7-10
Brothers and sisters: That I, Paul, might not become too elated,  because of the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.  Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

QARI 2            mit-Tieni Ittra lill-Korintin 12:7-10
Ħuti, biex ma mmurx nintefaħ bija nnifsi minħabba fil-kobor tar-rivelazzjonijiet, tqegħditli xewka f’ġismi, messaġġiera tax-Xitan, biex toqgħod tniggiżni ħalli ma nintefaħx.Fuq hekk tliet darbiet tlabt il-Mulej biex hi titbiegħed minni. Iżda hu weġibni: “Biżżejjed għalik il-grazzja tiegħi; għax il-qawwa tiegħi tidher fl-aqwa tagħha fejn hemm id-dgħajjef”. Għalhekk niftaħar minn qalbi l-aktar bid-debbulizzi tiegħi biex il-qawwa ta’ Kristu tgħammar fija. Mela bil-qalb kollha nitgħaxxaq bid-debbulizzi tiegħi, bit-tagħjir, bl-għaks, bil-persekuzzjonijiet, bid-dwejjaq minħabba Kristu; għax meta nkun dgħajjef, inkun qawwi. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel           Mk 6:1-6
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.  Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”  So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

EVANĠELJU           Qari skond San Mark  6:1-6
F’dak iż-żmien Ġesù mar lejn pajjiżu u d-dixxipli tiegħu marru miegħu. Meta wasal is-Sibt, daħal jgħallem fis-sinagoga, u l-ħafna li semgħuh bdew jistagħġbu u jgħidu: “Mnejn kisbu dan kollu? U x’inhu dan l-għerf li ngħatalu biex saħansitra qegħdin isiru dawn l-għeġubijiet kbar b’idejh? Dan mhuwiex il-mastrudaxxa bin Marija u ħu Ġakbu u Ġożè u Ġuda u Xmun? U ħutu l-bniet mhumiex hawn magħna?”. U huma skandalizzaw ruħhom minħabba fih. Qalilhom Ġesù: “Ebda profeta ma hu bla ġieħ jekk mhux f’pajjiżu u fost qrabatu u f’daru stess”. U hemmhekk ma sata’ jagħmel ebda miraklu, ħlief li qiegħed idejh fuq ftit morda u fejjaqhom; u baqa’ mistagħġeb bin-nuqqas ta’ fidi tagħhom. U mar idur l-irħula ta’ dawk l-inħawi jgħallem. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

WE ARE CALLED TO BE PROPHETS

Introduction:


Sunday’s readings introduce Jesus as a prophet and explain how prophets and other messengers from God inevitably suffer rejection. The readings challenge us to face rejection and hardship with prophetic courage.

Scripture lessons:

The first reading, taken from the book of the prophet Ezekiel, tells us about his call from God to be a prophet. Yahweh warns Ezekiel that he is being sent to obstinate and rebellious Israelites in exile in Babylon. Hence, as God’s prophet, he will have to face rejection and persecution for giving God’s message. This reading warns us that, as Christians who accept the Way of Jesus and seek to follow it, we also may face indifference, hostility, contempt, scorn, weakness, hardship, persecution, insults, and rejection.

In the second reading, St. Paul gives us the same warning from his own experience, that not only prophets, but apostles and missionaries will encounter hardships and rejection in their preaching mission. Paul confesses that God has given him a share in Christ’s suffering – a chronic illness which causes physical suffering — a “thorn in the flesh,” — so that he might rely solely on God’s grace in all his work and might glory in the power of the strengthening God Who alone sustains him. The apostle invites us to rise above our own weaknesses and disabilities, cooperating with the grace of God and proclaiming His message by word and example as Paul did.

Today’s Gospel passage, Mark 6:1-6, shows us that many people of Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth did not accept him as a prophet because they “knew” Jesus and the family. They also “knew” that this “son of the carpenter” could not be the promised Messiah who would come from Bethlehem as a descendant of David’s royal family. Besides, they were angry when Jesus not only did not work any miracles in Nazareth but chided them with prophetic courage for their lack of Faith, then left them, to proclaim God’s message, through a preaching, healing ministry to those who would receive it and believe.

Life message:

Sunday’s Scriptures challenge us to face rejection with prophetic courage and optimism. Very often our friends, families, or childhood companions fail to listen to us and refuse to accept the words of grace, love, and encouragement that we offer to them because they are so familiar with us that they are unable to see us as God’s appointed instruments, the agents of God’s healing and saving grace.  But we have to face such rejection with prophetic courage because by our Baptism we are called to be prophets like Jesus, sharing Jesus’ prophetic mission. 

As prophets, our task is to “speak the truth in love,” and to oppose the evils in our society without condoning or encouraging sinful behavior even in our dear ones. Let us also acknowledge, appreciate, and encourage the prophets of our time who stand for Truth and Justice in our society with the wisdom of God in their heads, the power and love of the Holy Spirit in their words, and the courage of God in their actions.

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Friday, 25 June 2021

"THIS IS THE LIFE I GAVE YOU"

Readings for Sunday, June 27, 2021 - Year/Sena B

 

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 98

It-Tlettax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


Reading 1          WISDOM  1:13-15; 2:23-24

God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, and there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the netherworld on earth, for justice is undying. For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to his company experience it.

QARI 1          mill-Ktieb tal-Għerf 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Il-mewt mhux Alla għamilha; u lanqas togħġbu l-qerda tal-ħajjin. Hu ħalaq kollox biex jgħix; għall-ħajja huma l-ħlejjaq tad-dinja, m’hemmx fihom velenu tal-mewt. Is-saltna tal-mewt ma taħkimx fuq l-art, għax il-ġustizzja ma taqax taħt il-mewt. Alla ħalaq il-bniedem biex ma jmutx, u għamlu xbieha tiegħu nnifsu. Bl-għira tax-xitan daħlet il-mewt fid-dinja; u jafu xi tfisser dawk li huma tiegħu.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Responsorial Psalm         PSALM 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
 O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

SALM RESPONSORJALI          Salm 29(30):2,4,5-6,11,12a,13b
R/. (2a): Ngħollik, Mulej, għax erfajtni.

Ngħollik, Mulej, għax erfajtni,
u ma ferraħtx l-għedewwa tiegħi bija.
Mulej, tellajtli mill-mewt ’il ruħi,
ħlistni minn fost dawk li jinżlu fil-ħofra. R/.

Għannu lill-Mulej, ħbieb tiegħu,
faħħru l-isem imqaddes tiegħu.
Għax ftit iddum is-saħna tiegħu,
iżda għomor sħiħ l-imħabba tiegħu.
Filgħaxija jidħol il-biki,
filgħodu jidwi l-għajat ta’ ferħ. R/.

Ismagħni, Mulej, u ħenn għalija;
kun, Mulej, l-għajnuna tiegħi.
Int bdilt fi żfin l-għali tiegħi,
Mulej, Alla tiegħi, infaħħrek għal dejjem! R/.


Reading 2           2 CORINTHIANS 8:7, 9, 13-15

Brothers and sisters: As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also. For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor,  so that by his poverty you might become rich. Not that others should have relief while you are burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their needs, so that their abundance may also supply your needs, that there may be equality. As it is written: Whoever had much did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less.

QARI 2           mit-2 Ittra lill-Korintin 8:7,9,13-15
Ħuti, bħalma intom għonja f’kollox, fil-fidi u fil-kelma, fl-għerf u fiż-żelu kollu, fl-imħabba li aħna rawwimna f’qalbkom, hekk għandkom tistagħnu f’din il-ħidma ta’ ħniena. Intom tafu l-grazzja ta’ Sidna Ġesù Kristu, li għad li kien għani, ftaqar minħabba fikom, sabiex intom tistagħnu permezz tal-faqar tiegħu. Mhux biex il-piż iħeff minn fuq l-oħrajn u jaqa’ kollu fuqkom, imma kulħadd indaqs. Bħalissa ħallu ż-żejjed tagħkom jagħmel tajjeb għan-nieqes ta’ dawk li ma għandhomx, biex iż-żejjed tagħhom għad ikun jista’ jpatti għan-nieqes tagħkom. U hekk ikun kulħadd indaqs, bħalma hu miktub: “Min ġabar ħafna ma sabx iż-żejjed, u min ġabar ftit ma baqax bin-nieqes”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel          MARK 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him. There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” But his disciples said to Jesus, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”  Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.

EVANĠELJU         Qari skond San Mark  5:21-24,35b-43
F’dak iż-żmien, wara li Ġesù raġa’ qasam bid-dgħajsa għax-xatt l-ieħor, waqt li kien ħdejn il-baħar inġabret madwaru kotra kbira ta’ nies. U ġie wieħed mill-kapijiet tas-sinagoga, jismu Ġajru. Dan, malli rah, inxteħet f’riġlejh, u talbu ħafna u qallu: “Binti ż-żgħira waslet fl-aħħar; ejja qiegħed idejk fuqha, ħalli tfiq u tgħix”. U Ġesù telaq miegħu, b’kotra kbira miexja warajh, kulħadd iross fuqu. U kien hemm mara li kienet ilha tnax-il sena sħaħ tbati bit-tnixxija tad-demm. Kienet batiet wisq taħt ħafna tobba, u nefqet kulma kellha, u mhux biss ma swielha xejn, imma talli marret għall-agħar. Meta semgħet b’Ġesù, ġiet qalb il-folla, resqet minn warajh u messitlu l-mantar, għax qalet: “Jekk immiss imqar il-mantar tiegħu nkun imfejqa”. F’daqqa waħda t-tnixxija tad-demm waqfitilha, u ġewwa fiha ħasset li kienet fieqet mill-marda tagħha. Ġesù minnufih intebaħ bil-qawwa li ħarġet minnu, u dar lejn il-kotra u staqsa: “Min messli l-mantar?”. Id-dixxipli tiegħu qalulu: “Qiegħed tara dawn in-nies kollha jrossu madwarek, u tistaqsi: ‘Min messni?’”. Hu beda jħares madwaru biex jara jilmaħx lil dik li kienet għamlet dan. Imbagħad il-mara, tirtogħod bil-biża’ għax għarfet x’kien ġralha, resqet, inxteħtet f’riġlejh u stqarritlu s-sewwa kollu. U qalilha: “Binti, il-fidi tiegħek fejqitek; mur bis-sliem, u kun imfejqa mill-marda tiegħek”.  Kif kien għadu jitkellem, waslu xi wħud mid-dar tal-kap tas-sinagoga u lil dan qalulu: “Bintek mietet; għalfejn tħabbtu iżjed l-Imgħallem?”. Iżda Ġesù sama’ x’kienu qegħdin jgħidu, u qal lill-kap tas-sinagoga: “Tibżax, biss inti emmen”. U ma ħalla lil ħadd imur miegħu ħlief lil Pietru, lil Ġakbu, u lil Ġwanni, ħu Ġakbu. Waslu d-dar tal-kap tas-sinagoga, u ra storbju sħiħ u nies jibku u jixhru. Daħal, u qalilhom: “Dan l-istorbju kollu u dan il-biki għalfejn? It-tfajla mhijiex mejta, imma rieqda”. U qabdu jiddieħku bih. Imma hu keċċiehom ilkoll ’il barra, ħa miegħu lil missier it-tfajla u lil ommha u lil dawk li kienu miegħu u daħal fejn kienet it-tfajla. Qabdilha idha, u qalilha: “Talitha, qum!” – jiġifieri: “Tfajla, qiegħed ngħidlek, qum!”. Minnufih it-tfajla qamet u qabdet timxi; għax kellha tnax-il sena. U baqgħu miblugħin bil-għaġeb. U hu wissiehom bis-sħiħ biex dan ma jkun jaf bih ħadd, u qalilhom jagħtuha tiekol. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   
 
GOD'S GIFT OF LIFE
 
Introduction: 
 
Sunday’s readings speak of the gift of life, both physical and spiritual, that God has given us. They urge and challenge us to be grateful for our health in body and soul and to use God’s gifts of life and health responsibly.
 
Scripture lessons: 
 
The first reading, taken from the Book of Wisdom, tells us that God gave us life and health, and that it was the jealousy of the Satan that produced illness and death. The reading also suggests that the goal of our lives on earth is to know, to love, and to serve God here, with perfect health in body and soul, and to share God’s immortal Life forever. 

The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 30) celebrates Christ’s victory over death. The Psalm refrain, “I will praise you Lord, for You have rescued me,” allows us to join the Psalm in thanksgiving. In the second reading, St. Paul asks the Corinthian Christian community to show to their suffering , starving Jewish brothers and sisters in Jerusalem, living in poverty and sickness, the same generous kindness and compassion Jesus showed in healing all who came to Him believing. The generosity of Jesus is the central theme here also, for Paul describes Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection as “the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Today’s Gospel describes two of our Lord’s miracles, the healing of a woman who suffered from a chronic bleeding disease and the returning of the dead daughter of Jairus to life.    These healings teach us that Jesus wills life, and wills full life for all God’s children. They also reveal Jesus as a generous, kind, compassionate God Who wills that men should live their wholesome lives fully, giving us further proof of the Divine power and the Infinite Mercy of our Saviour. 

These miracles were worked by Jesus as reward for the trusting Faith of a synagogue ruler and of a woman with a hemorrhage. Although the Faith of the ruler may have been defective, and the woman’s Faith may have been a bit superstitious, Jesus amply rewarded the Faith they had by granting them health and life.

Life messages:

# 1: We need to accept God’s call to health, wholeness and holiness. Jesus accepts us as we are. Hence, let us bring before him our bodily illnesses and spiritual wounds and ask for his healing touch. As Christians, we believe that Jesus continues to heal us through God’s instruments in the medical profession like doctors, nurses and medical technicians. Hence, when we go to a doctor, we need to offer a prayer to Christ, The Divine Healer, that we may choose the right doctor, who will make the correct diagnosis, prescribe the correct treatment, and give us the right medicine. Let us not forget the truth that Christ still works wonders of healing. Let us also thank God for the great gift of health and use it for helping those who are sick.

#2: We need to continue the healing mission of the Church: As members of the Church, we are not excused from our vocation to be healers. We do our share of Christ’s healing mission by visiting the sick, by praying for their healing, and by boosting their morale with our loving presence, and words of encouragement and inspiration. Thus, we may enable them to experience the compassion of Jesus the healer.

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Thursday, 17 June 2021

JESUS IS IN FULL CONTROL

 Readings for Sunday, June 20, 2021 - Year/Sena B


                            Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Lectionary: 95

It-Tnax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena B




Reading 1          JOB 38:1, 8-11

The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said: Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb;  when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bnds? When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!

QARI 1          mill-Ktieb ta’ Ġob 38:1,8-11
Il-Mulej wieġeb lil Ġob minn ġot-tempesta u qallu: “Min kien dak li għalaq il-baħar b’bibien, meta dan b’qawwa ħareġ mill-ġuf, meta bis-sħab libbistu, u bid-dlam fisqejtu, meta t-truf tiegħu qegħedtlu bħal xatbiet, u bibien li bihom għalaqtu u għedtlu: ‘Sa hawn biss tasal u mhux aktar, ma taqbiżx minn hawn il-qawwa ta’ mwieġek’?”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Responsorial Psalm          PSALM 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31
They who sailed the sea in ships,
trading on the deep waters,
These saw the works of the LORD
and his wonders in the abyss.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.

His command raised up a storm wind
which tossed its waves on high.
They mounted up to heaven; they sank to the depths;
their hearts melted away in their plight.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.

They cried to the LORD in their distress;
from their straits he rescued them,
He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze,
and the billows of the sea were stilled.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.

They rejoiced that they were calmed,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his kindness
and his wondrous deeds to the children of men.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.

SALM RESPONSORJALI          Salm 106(107):23-24,25-26,28-29,30-31
R/. (1b): Roddu ħajr lill-Mulej, għax għal dejjem it-tjieba tiegħu.
Dawk li jbaħħru fuq l-iġfna,
li jinnegozjaw fuq l-ibħra bla tarf,
raw l-opri tal-Mulej
u l-għeġubijiet tiegħu f’qiegħ il-baħar. R/.

Hu ordna u qajjem riefnu,
li qanqal imwieġ il-baħar.
Għolew sas-smewwiet u niżlu sa qiegħ il-baħar;
qalbhom bdiet tferfer bil-biża’. R/.

Għajtu lill-Mulej fl-hemm tagħhom,
u mid-dwejjaq tagħhom ħelishom.
U bidel ir-riefnu f’żiffa,
u sikket mewġ il-baħar. R/.

Huma ferħu għax ibbnazza;
u hu wassalhom sal-port li xtaqu.
Ħa jroddu ħajr lill-Mulej għal tjubitu,
għall-għeġubijiet tiegħu mal-bnedmin. R/.


Reading 2          2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-17
Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

QARI 2          mit-2 ittra ta’ San Pawl lill-Korintin 5:14-17
Ħuti, l-imħabba ta’ Kristu ġġegħelna naħsbu dan: li wieħed miet għal kulħadd, mela kulħadd miet. U miet għal kulħadd biex dawk li jgħixu ma jgħixux għalihom infushom, imma għal dak li miet u rxoxta għalihom. Għalhekk aħna ma nagħrfu lil ħadd skont il-ġisem. Jekk għarafna lil Kristu skont il-ġisem, issa ma nagħrfuhx aktar hekk. Meta wieħed jingħaqad ma’ Kristu, isir ħolqien ġdid; il-qadim għadda u daħal il-ġdid. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel          MARK 4:35-41
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet!  Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

EVANĠELJU          Qari skont San Mark 4:35-41
Darba, filgħaxija, Ġesù qal lid-dixxipli tiegħu: “Ejjew naqsmu għax-xatt l-ieħor”. Ħallew in-nies, u ħaduh magħhom kif kien fid-dgħajsa; u marru miegħu dgħajjes oħra. U qam riefnu kbir, u l-mewġ beda tiela’ għal ġod-dgħajsa, hekk li kienet ġa bdiet timtela bl-ilma. Hu kien fil-poppa, rieqed fuq imħadda. Qajmuh u qalulu: “Mgħallem, dan qisu mhu xejn għalik li aħna se nintilfu?”. Imbagħad qam, ordna lir-riħ u qal lill-baħar: “Iskot! Biżżejjed!”. U r-riħ waqaf u waqgħet kalma kbira. U qalilhom: “Dal-biża’ kollu għaliex? Mela ma għandkomx fidi?”. U qabadhom biża’ kbir, u bdew jgħidu lil xulxin: “Dan min hu, mela, biex saħansitra r-riħ u l-baħar jisimgħu minnu?”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

CALMING OUR LIFE'S STORMS  


Introduction:

The role of God in calming the storms of life both in the history of the Church and in the lives of Christians is the central theme of the readings for this Storm Sunday.

Scripture lessons summarized:

In the First Reading, God addresses Job for the first time, questioning his right to challenge God’s authority and leading Job deeper and deeper into the mystery of creation. We hear how the Lord speaks to Job whose life was devastated by storms of the total loss of his possessions, the deaths of his dear ones, and a whole-body disease that left him in misery. “Out of the storm,” God reminds Job that He is in control.

Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 107) picks up the storm theme and tells us how the Lord saves the sailors caught up in the high waves of a tempest “They who sailed the sea in ships … saw the works of the Lord and His wonders in the abyss.” by first “raising up a storm wind,” then “hushing the storm to a gentle breeze.”

Paul, who “rode the storm” of rejection by his former friends, also experienced storms of violent hostility from the Jews who refused to believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah. So, he explains in the Second Reading that Jesus died for us to make us a “new creation.” In order to receive this gift of love, we have to respond, living for Jesus in all situations of our lives because Jesus has gone before us through the uncharted sea of life.

In today’s Gospel, Mark assures the first-century believers that nothing can harm the Church as long as the risen Lord is with them. He describes how, by a single commanding word, Jesus stilled a storm on the Sea of Galilee, returned the sea to its natural order and saved the apostles from drowning. The incident reminds us that Jesus, resting in our life’s boat is always ready to help us in the storms of life, when we ask.

Life message:

We need to remember that Jesus is always with us in the boat of our life. We all experience different types of violent storms in our lives: physical storms, emotional storms, and spiritual storms. We face storms of sorrow, doubt, anxiety, worry, temptation, and passion. Only Jesus can still these storms. Jesus can give us real peace in the storm of sorrow. 

When we are totally depressed with sorrow Jesus assures us of the glory of the life to come. Jesus consoles us at the loss of our dear ones with the assurance of eternal life for them in the Heavenly home of God the Father where we, too, will live one day. When the storms of doubt seek to uproot the very foundations of our Faith, Jesus is there to still that storm, revealing to us His Divinity and the authority behind the words of the Holy Scripture. 

If we will ask, and respond with loving trust and obedience, Jesus will give us peace in our tempests of doubt, tension, and uncertainty, peace in our storms of anxiety and worry about ourselves, peace about the unknown future, peace about those we love and calm in the storms of passion when our hearts grow hot and our tempers blaze.

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