"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

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

A CALL TO CHANGE

Readings for December 4, 2022

Second Sunday of Advent               Lectionary: 4

It-Tieni Ħadd tal-Avvent

 

Reading 1                ISAIAH 11:1-10  

On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength,  a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Qari 1                mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Iżaija 11:1-10

Għad toħroġ fergħa miz-zokk ta’ Ġesse, għad tinbet rimja minn għeruqu: fuqu jistrieħ l-ispirtu tal-Mulej, l-ispirtu tal-għerf u d-dehen, l-ispirtu tal-għaqal u l-qawwa, l-ispirtu tal-għerf u l-biża’ tal-Mulej, u l-għaxqa tiegħu fil-biża’ tal-Mulej. Ma jiġġudikax skond ma jidher fl-għajnejn, u ma jagħtix sentenza skond ma jisma’, iżda jiġġudika l-imsejknin skond il-ġustizzja, u jagħti sentenza skond is-sewwa lill-fqajrin tal-art. Isawwat il-kiefra bix-xettru ta’ fommu, u b’nifs xufftejh joqtol lill-ħażin. Il-ħżiem ta’ ġenbejh tkun il-ġustizzja, u l-fedeltà l-ħżiem ta’ qaddu. Il-lupu jibda jgħix mal-ħaruf, il-leopard mal-gidi, u jirgħu flimkien l-għoġol u ferħ l-iljun, daqsxejn ta’ tfajjel isuqhom. Il-baqra u l-ors jirgħu flimkien,  u l-frieħ tagħhom flimkien jistrieħu. L-iljun bħall-gendus jiekol it-tiben. It-tarbija tal-ħalib titliegħeb fil-ħofra tas-serp; u t-tifel miftum idaħħal idu fil-bejta tal-lifgħa. Ma jagħmlux aktar deni u anqas ħsara fuq il-muntanja qaddisa kollha tiegħi, għax mimlija hi l-art bl-għarfien tal-Mulej bħalma l-baħar hu miksi bl-ilmijiet. Imbagħad jiġri f’dak il-jum li l-għerq ta’ Ġesse jieqaf bħala sinjal għall-popli. Lilu jfittxu l-ġnus, u l-għamara tiegħu tkun imsebbħa. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17

O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
he shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.


For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.


May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Salm Responsorjali               Salm 71(72):1,7-8,12-13,17

R/. (7): Tħaddar f’jiemu l-ġustizzja.


O Alla, agħti lis-sultan il-ħaqq tiegħek,
il-ġustizzja tiegħek lil bin is-sultan,
biex jiġġudika l-poplu tiegħek bil-ġustizzja,
u bil-ħaqq l-imsejknin tiegħek. R/.

Tħaddar f’jiemu l-ġustizzja,
u sliem kotran sa ma jintemm il-qamar.
Isaltan minn baħar sa baħar,
u mix-xmara sa truf l-art. R/.

Għax hu jeħles lill-fqir li jsejjaħlu,
u lill-imsejken li m’għandux min jgħinu.
Iħenn għad-dgħajjef u għall-fqajjar;
il-ħajja tal-fqajrin isalva. R/.

Ismu jibqa’ jissemma għal dejjem;
idum ismu sakemm iddum ix-xemx!
Bih jitbierku l-ġnus kollha tal-art;
il-popli kollha jsejħulu hieni. R/.

Reading 2               ROMANS 15:4-9

Brothers and sisters: Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to your name.

Qari 2                mill-Ittra ta’ San Pawl Appostlu lir-Rumani 15:4-9

Ħuti, kulma nkiteb fl-Iskrittura fl-imgħoddi nkiteb għat-tagħlim tagħna, biex bis-sabar u bil-faraġ li tagħtina l-Iskrittura aħna jkollna t-tama. Alla, li minnu ġej kull sabar u faraġ, jagħtikom il-grazzja li tkunu fehma waħda bejnietkom skond Kristu Ġesù, biex b’fomm wieħed u b’qalb waħda tfaħħru lil Alla u Missier Sidna Ġesù Kristu. Għalhekk ilqgħu lil xulxin bħalma Kristu wkoll laqa’ lilkom, għall-glorja ta’ Alla. Jiena ngħidilkom li Kristu sar qaddej tal-Lhud ċirkonċiżi minħabba l-fedeltà ta’ Alla, biex iseħħu l-wegħdiet li għamel lill-Patrijarki, u biex il-pagani wkoll ifaħħru lil Alla minħabba l-ħniena tiegħu, bħalma hu miktub: “Għalhekk jiena nfaħħrek fost il-ġnus u ngħanni tifħir ismek”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel               MATTHEW 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and  fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Evanġelju               Qari skond San Mattew 3:1-12

F’dawk il-jiem, deher Ġwanni l-Battista jipprietka fid-deżert tal-Lhudija u jgħid: “Indmu, għax is-saltna tas-smewwiet waslet”. Għax għalih kien ingħad permezz tal-profeta Iżaija, meta qal: “Leħen ta’ wieħed jgħajjat fid-deżert: Ħejju t-triq tal-Mulej, iddrittaw il-mogħdijiet tiegħu”.  Dan Ġwanni kellu fuqu libsa tax-xagħar tal-ġemel, bi ħżiem tal-ġild madwar qaddu, u l-ikel tiegħu kien ġradijiet u għasel selvaġġ. U kienet tmur għandu Ġerusalemm u l-Lhudija kollha u l-inħawi kollha ta’ madwar il-Ġordan, u kienu jitgħammdu minnu fix-xmara Ġordan huma u jistqarru dnubiethom. Kif ra bosta mill-Fariżej u mis-Sadduċej ġejjin għall-magħmudija tiegħu, qalilhom: “Ja nisel il-lifgħat, min uriekom kif għandkom taħarbu mill-korla li ġejja? Agħmlu mela frott xieraq tal-indiema, u taħsbux li tistgħu tgħidu fikom infuskom: ‘Għandna b’missier lil Abraham’. Ngħidilkom li Alla, minn dan l-istess ġebel, jista’ jqajjem ulied lil Abraham. Il-mannara ġa tressqet ma’ għerq is-siġra; u għalhekk, kull siġra li ma tagħmilx frott tajjeb titqaċċat u tinxteħet fin-nar. Jien, ngħid għalija, ngħammidkom bl-ilma għall-indiema; imma min ġej warajja hu aqwa minni, u jien ma jistħoqqlix inġorr il-qorq tiegħu. Hu jgħammidkom bl-Ispirtu s-Santu u n-nar. Il-midra qiegħda f’idu, biex iderri l-qiegħa tiegħu u jiġbor il-qamħ fil-maħżen, imma t-tiben jaħarqu b’nar li ma jintefiex”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

Advent 2 - 

Reforming and renewing our lives for Jesus’ first coming

Introduction:


On the one hand, salvation is God’s doing, and we cannot earn His blessings. We are saved by His grace. On the other hand, we must cooperate with God’s grace because God cannot force his bounty upon us. That is why John the Baptist in Sunday’s Gospel summons us to play our essential part by leading lives of repentance, conversion, and renewal, thus preparing the way for the Lord’s second coming. We start this process by spiritually preparing for the annual celebration of Christmas, the Lord’s first coming, as we reform and renew our lives by repentance and works of charity.

Scripture lessons:

The first reading describes how God will reform the lives of His Chosen People by sending the Messiah. Because of the bad example of the unfaithful successors of King David, the Chosen People were wavering in their loyalty to Yahweh. Hence, in the first reading, the Lord God, through His prophet, Isaiah, tries to dispel their fears and to stir up hope among His people with His promise of a new Davidic King (a son of Jesse), who will establish peace and a glorious Kingdom of justice on earth.

In Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 72), the Psalmist pictures the Messiah as one who will show compassion to the poor, the lowly, and the afflicted. In the second reading, Paul is praying for the reformation of the Jewish Christians of Rome and instructing them to draw endurance and encouragement from the Old Testament books. They are to live in harmony with Gentile Christians, accepting them as equals, brothers and sisters, while they wait together for the second coming of Jesus.

In the Gospel, John the Baptizer urges the Pharisees and Sadducees to give evidence that they mean to reform their lives so as to recognize and be ready to meet and accept the promised Messiah. He challenges them to repentance, conversion, and renewal. He tells the common people, who expect the Messiah to come soon, to act with justice and charity, letting their lives reflect the transformation that will occur when the Messiah enters their lives. In the same way, as we prepare to welcome Christ at Christmas, John advises us to “prepare the way of the Lord.”

Life messages:


1) We need to prepare for Christ’s coming by allowing him to be reborn daily in our lives: Advent is the time for us to make this preparation by repenting of our sins and renewing our lives through prayer, penance, and the sharing of our blessings with others. Let us humbly admit the truth with the German mystic Angelus Silesius “Christ could be born a thousand times in Bethlehem – but all in vain until He is born in me.” (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Angelus_Silesius). He means that Jesus must be reborn in our heart during this season of Advent and every day of our lives, radiating his love, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, and spirit of humble service to the world through our lives.

2) We need to answer the call for a change of life. John the Baptist challenges our superficial attempts at change, demanding that, while we are obeying the commandments faithfully, we must correct our relationships with others, mend ruptures, soothe frictions, face family responsibilities, work honestly, and treat our employers and employees justly. 

Let us share our love with others as selfless and humble service. “Do small things but with great love” advise St. Theresa of Lisieux and St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa). Therefore, following John’s advice, let us celebrate the memory of Jesus’ first advent, prepare for Jesus’ daily advent into our lives through the Sacraments and the Bible, and wait confidently for his second advent at our death and/or at the end of the world.

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Wednesday, 23 November 2022

 READY TO GREET HIM WHEN HE COMES

 Readings for Sunday, November 27, 2022

 

First Sunday of Advent - Year A
Lectionary: 1      

L-Ewwel Ħadd tal-Avvent

 
Reading 1                ISAIAH  2:1-5


This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come, the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say:"Come, let us  climb the LORD's mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths." For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Qari 1                mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Iżaija 2:1-5

Il-kelma li ġiet f’dehra lil Iżaija bin Amos, dwar Ġuda u Ġerusalemm. Għad jiġri fl-aħħar jiem li l-għolja tad-dar tal-Mulej  togħla ’l fuq mill-qċaċet tal-muntanji, u tintrefa’ ’l fuq mill-għoljiet, lejha għad jiġru l-ġnus kollha. Kotra ta’ popli għad jiġu u jgħidu: “Ħalli mmorru u nitilgħu fuq l-għolja tal-Mulej, lejn id-dar ta’ Alla ta’ Ġakobb, biex jgħallimna triqatu, u nimxu fil-mogħdijiet tiegħu”. Għax minn Sijon joħroġ it-tagħlim, u l-kelma tal-Mulej minn Ġerusalemm. Il-Mulej jagħmel il-ħaqq bejn il-ġnus, u jaqta’ s-sentenza bejn ħafna popli; u huma jibdlu x-xwabel tagħhom f’sikek tal-moħriet, u l-lanez tagħhom fi mnieġel. Ebda ġens ma jerfa’ x-xabla kontra ġens ieħor, u s-sengħa tal-gwerra ma jitgħallmuhiex iżjed. Ejja, dar Ġakobb, ħalli nimxu fid-dawl tal-Mulej! Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

 Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.


According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Because of my brothers and friends
I will say, "Peace be within you!"
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

 Salm Responsorjali               Salm 121(122):1-2,4-5,6-7,8-9

R/.(ara 1): Immorru ferħana f’dar il-Mulej!


Fraħt meta qaluli:
“Sejrin f’dar il-Mulej!”.
Diġà qegħdin riġlejna
fi bwiebek, Ġerusalemm! R/.

Lejha t-tribujiet jitilgħu,
it-tribujiet tal-Mulej,
biex, skont il-liġi ta’ Iżrael,
ifaħħru isem il-Mulej.
Għax hemm twaqqfu t-tronijiet tal-ħaqq,
it-tronijiet tad-dar ta’ David. R/.

Itolbu s-sliem għal Ġerusalemm:
ħa jkollhom is-sliem dawk kollha li jħobbuk!
Ħa jkun hemm is-sliem ġewwa l-ħitan tiegħek,
u l-ġid fil-palazzi tiegħek! R/.

Minħabba ħuti u ħbiebi,
ħallini ngħidlek: “Is-sliem għalik!”.
Minħabba f’dar il-Mulej, Alla tagħna,
nixtieq illi jkollok il-ġid. R/.


Reading 2               ROMANS 13:11-14

Brothers and sisters:  You know the time;  it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Qari 2                mill-Ittra lir-Rumani 13:11-14a

Ħuti, waslet is-siegħa li intom tqumu min-ngħas; għax is-salvazzjoni tagħna hi eqreb minn meta bdejna nemmnu. Il-lejl għoddu għadda, u qorob il-jum. Inwarrbu mela l-għemil tad-dlam u nilbsu l-armi tad-dawl. Ngħixu kif jixraq, bħal f’binhar; mhux bl-ikel iż-żejjed u s-sokor, mhux biż-żìna u t-tbahrid, mhux bil-ġlied u l-għira. Imma ilbsu lil Sidna Ġesù Kristu u ħallukom mill-ħsieb tal-ġisem u l-ġibdiet tiegħu. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

 Gospel                MATTHEW 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."

Evanġelju               Qari skond San Mattew  24:37-44


F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù qal lid-dixxipli tiegħu: “Bħal fi żmien Noè, hekk tkun il-miġja ta’ Bin il-bniedem. Għax kif fiż-żmien ta’ qabel id-dilluvju kienu jieklu u jixorbu, jiżżewġu u jżewġu sa dakinhar li Noè daħal fl-arka, u b’xejn ma ntebħu sa ma wasal id-dilluvju u ġarr lil kulħadd, hekk tkun il-miġja ta’ Bin il-bniedem. Imbagħad tnejn ikunu fl-għalqa: wieħed jittieħed u l-ieħor jitħalla; żewġ nisa jkunu jitħnu flimkien: waħda tittieħed u l-oħra titħalla. Ishru, mela, għax ma tafuhx il-jum li fih jiġi Sidkom. Kunu afu dan, li kieku sid id-dar kellu jkun jaf f’liema sahra tal-lejl se jiġi l-ħalliel, kien jishar u ma jħallix min jinfidlu l-ħitan ta’ daru. Mela kunu lesti intom ukoll, għax qatt ma tistgħu tobsru s-siegħa li fiha jiġi Bin il-bniedem”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej. 


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

Advent 1 -  an invitation to meditate on Jesus’ first coming

Introduction:


On Sunday we begin our yearly pilgrimage through the events of history of salvation starting with our preparation for the birthday celebration of Jesus and ending with our reflection on his glorious “second coming” as judge at the end of the world.

We are entering the Advent season. Advent means coming. We are invited to meditate on Jesus’ first coming in history as a baby in Bethlehem, his daily coming into our lives in mystery through the Sacraments, through the Bible, and through the worshipping community, and finally his Second Coming (Parousia) at the end of the world to reward the just and to punish the wicked. We see the traditional signs of Advent in our Church: violet vestments and hangings, dried flowers or plain green plants and the Advent wreath. These signs remind us that we must prepare for the rebirth of Jesus in our hearts and lives, enabling him to radiate his love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness through and all around us.

Scripture lessons summarized:

In the first reading (Is 2:1-5), Isaiah describes his prophetic vision of all nations making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, affirming their Faith in the one true God. Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 122), is one of the Songs of Assent, the joyous hymns originally sung as pilgrims journeyed to the Temple in Jerusalem. They prepare us for our yearly pilgrimage. In the second reading (Rom 13:11-14), Paul exhorts the Roman Christian community to get ready to meet Jesus in his Second Coming by discharging their duties properly and by freeing themselves from their former pagan life style of jealousy, and rivalry. We, too, are challenged to make spiritual preparations for Christ’s birth in our lives.

In Sunday’s Gospel (Mt 24:37-44), Jesus warns us of the urgency of vigilant preparation for his coming on our part that we may meet him as our Judge both at the end of our lives on earth and on the day of the Last Judgment when he comes in his glory. Jesus reminds us that the unrepentant, ill-prepared evil people were destroyed by the flood in the time of Noah and that a thief will be able to break in and plunder the precious belongings of an ill-prepared householder. Using additional examples later, Jesus repeats his warning for us to be vigilant and well-prepared all the time, doing the will of God by loving others.

Life message:

We need to be alert and watchful while spiritually preparing for Christmas by offering our daily work to God for His glory, by practicing more self-control in resisting our evil habits and inclinations, by seeking reconciliation daily with God, our families, and our neighbors, and by asking God’s pardon and forgiveness as we extend our unconditional forgiveness to those who have hurt us. Let us begin each day by praying for the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ rebirth in our hearts and lives.

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Thursday, 17 November 2022

TO BE SERVING DISCIPLES OF A SERVING KING

Readings for Sunday, NOVEMBER 13, 2022 

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Lectionary: 162

 
Solennità ta' Sidna Ġesù Kristu Sultan tal-Ħolqien Kollu
 



Reading 1               2 SAMUEL 5:1-3

In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: "Here we are, your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.'" When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD, and they anointed him king of Israel.

Qari 1                mit-Tieni Ktieb ta’ Samwel  5:1-3


F’dak iż-żmien, it-tribujiet kollha ta’ Iżrael ġew għand David f’Ħebron u qalulu: “Arana, għadmek u laħmek aħna! Fl-imgħoddi, meta Sawl kien sultan fuqna, kont int li kont toħroġ lil Iżrael għall-gwerra u ġġibhom lura, u l-Mulej qallek: ‘Int għad tirgħa l-poplu tiegħi u tkun prinċep fuq Iżrael’”. U x-xjuħ kollha ta’ Iżrael ġew għand is-Sultan f’Ħebron u s-sultan David għamel patt magħhom f’Ħebron quddiem il-Mulej; u lil David dilkuh sultan fuq Iżrael. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5

R. (cf. 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Salm Responsorjali               Salm 121(122):1-2,4-5

R/.: Sejrin ferħana f’dar il-Mulej.


Fraħt meta qaluli:
“Sejrin f’dar il-Mulej!”.
Diġà qegħdin riġlejna
fi bwiebek, Ġerusalemm! R/.

Ġerusalemm, mibnija bħal belt,
magħquda ħaġa waħda.
Lejha t-tribujiet jitilgħu,
it-tribujiet tal-Mulej. R/.

Biex, skont il-liġi ta’ Iżrael,
ifaħħru isem il-Mulej.
Għax hemm twaqqfu t-tronijiet tal-ħaqq,
it-tronijiet tad-dar ta’ David. R/.

Reading 2                COLOSSIANS 1:12-20

Brothers and sisters: Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Qari 2                mill-Ittra lill-Kolossin 1:12-20

Ħuti, roddu ħajr lill-Missier, li għamilkom denji li tissieħbu fil-wirt tal-qaddisin fis-saltna tad-dawl. Hu ħelisna mill-ħakma tad-dlam, u daħħalna fis-saltna ta’ Ibnu l-maħbub, li bih għandna l-fidwa, il-maħfra tad-dnubiet. Hu x-xbieha ta’ Alla li ma jidhirx, il-kbir fost il-ħlejjaq kollha; għax fih kien maħluq kollox, fis-sema u fl-art, dak kollu li jidher u dak kollu li ma jidhirx, Troni u Ħakmiet, Prinċipati u Setgħat. Kollox bih u għalih kien maħluq, hu li hu qabel kollox, u kollox fih qiegħed iżomm. Hu r-Ras tal-Ġisem, li hu l-Knisja. Hu li hu l-bidu, il-kbir li qam mill-imwiet, sabiex ikun hu l-ewwel f’kollox. Hekk Alla għoġbu li tgħammar fih il-milja kollha; bih Alla għoġbu jerġa’ jħabbeb kollox miegħu; bid-demm tiegħu, imxerred fuq is-salib, ġieb is-sliem permezz tiegħu fis-sema u fl-art.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel               LUKE 23:35-43

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself." Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews."  Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Evanġelju               Qari skond San Luqa 23:35-43

F’dak iż-żmien, wara li sallbu lil Ġesù, il-poplu waqaf hemm iħares, waqt li l-kapijiet bdew jiddieħku b’Ġesù u jgħidu: “Salva lil oħrajn; ħa jsalva lilu nnifsu jekk dan hu l-Messija, il-Maħtur ta’ Alla!”. Is-suldati wkoll bdew jgħadduh biż-żmien; u resqu lejh, newlulu nbid qares u qalulu: “Jekk inti s-sultan tal-Lhud, salva lilek innifsek”. Fuq rasu kien hemm ukoll kitba li kienet tgħid: “Dan huwa s-sultan tal-Lhud”.  Wieħed mill-ħatjin li kienu msallbin miegħu beda jgħajru u jgħidlu: “Int m’intix il-Messija? Salva lilek innifsek u lilna!”. Imma qabeż l-ieħor, ċanfru u qallu: “Anqas minn Alla int ma tibża’, int li qiegħed taħt l-istess kundanna? Tagħna hija ġusta, tassew, għax qegħdin nieħdu li ħaqqna ta’ kulma għamilna; imma dan ma għamel xejn ħażin”. Imbagħad qal: “Ġesù, ftakar fija meta tidħol fis-Saltna tiegħek”. U Ġesù wieġbu: “Tassew ngħidlek, illum tkun fil-Ġenna miegħi”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

OUR KING IN HEAVEN

Central theme:


This Sunday, at the end of Church’s liturgical year, the readings describe the enthronement of the victorious Christ as King in Heaven in all his glory. Instituting this Feast of Christ the King in 1925, Pope Pius XI proclaimed: “Pax Christi in regno Christi” (the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ). This means that we live in the peace of Christ when we surrender our lives to him every day, accept him as our God, Saviour and King and allow him to rule our lives.

The Biblical basis of the feast:

A) Old Testament texts:

   The title “Christ the King” has its roots both in Scripture and in the whole theology of the Kingdom of God. In most of the Messianic prophecies given in the Old Testament books of Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel, Christ the Messiah is represented as a King.

B) New Testament texts:
    a)
In the Annunciation, recorded in Lk 13:2-33, we read: “The Lord God will make him a King, as his ancestor David was, and He will be the King of the descendants of Jacob forever and His Kingdom will never end.” In fact, the Kingdom of God is the center of Jesus’ teaching and the phrase “Kingdom of God” occurs in the Gospels 122 times, of which 90 instances are uses by Jesus.

   b) The Magi from the Far East came to Jerusalem and asked the question: (Mt. 2:2) “Where is the baby born to be the King of the Jews? We saw his star… and we have come to worship him.”

   c) During the royal reception given to Jesus on Palm Sunday, the Jews shouted: (Lk 19:38) “God bless the King, who comes in the name of the Lord.”

   d) During the trial of Jesus described in today’s Gospel, Pilate asked the question: (Jn 18:33): “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied: “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into this world for this one purpose, to bear witness to the Truth” (Jn 18:37)
   
   e) Sunday’s Gospel tells us that the board hung over Jesus’ head on the cross read: “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews,” (Lk 23:36; see also, Mt 27:37; Mk 15:26; Jn 19:19-20), and that, to the request of the repentant thief on the cross, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom,” Jesus promised “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Lk 23:39-43).

   f) Before his Ascension into Heaven, Jesus declared: (Mt 28:18): “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.”

   g) Finally (Mt 25:31) , we read that Christ the King will come in glory to judge us on the day of the Last Judgment.

Life Messages:

1) We need to accept Christ the King as our Lord, King, and Saviour and surrender our lives to him. We surrender our lives to Jesus every day when we give priority to his teaching in our daily choices, especially in moral decisions. We should not exclude Christ our King from any area of our personal or family lives. In other words, Christ must be in full charge of our lives, and we must give him sovereign power over our bodies, our thoughts, our heart and our will.

2) We need to be serving disciples of a serving King. Jesus declared that he came not to be served but to serve and showed us the spirit of service by washing of the feet of his disciples. We become Jesus’ followers when we recognize his presence in everyone, especially the poor, the sick, the outcast, and the marginalized in the society and render humble and loving service to Jesus in each of them.

3) We need to accept Jesus Christ as the King of love. Jesus came to proclaim to all of us the Good News of God’s love and salvation, gave us his new commandment of love: “Love one another as I have loved you,” (Jn 13:34), and demonstrated that love by dying for us sinners. We accept Jesus as our King of love when we love others as Jesus loved, unconditionally, sacrificially, and with agape love.

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Thursday, 10 November 2022

THE DAY OF THE LORD

Readings for Sunday, NOVEMBER 13, 2022


Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 159

 

It-Tlieta u Tletin Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena

 

 
Reading 1               MALACHI 3:19-20a

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,  when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,  and the day that is coming will set them on fire,  leaving them neither root nor branch,  says the LORD of hosts.  But for you who fear my name, there will arise  the sun of justice with its healing rays.

 Qari 1                 mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Malakija 3:19-20a

Ara, jiġi l-Jum, jaqbad qisu forn, u l-kburin kollha u dawk kollha li jagħmlu l-ħażen ikunu tiben, u l-jum li ġej għad jaħraqhom, jgħid il-Mulej tal-eżerċti: hekk li ma jħallilhom la għerq u lanqas fergħa. Imma għalikom li tibżgħu minn ismi titla’ x-xemx tal-ġustizzja, bis-salvazzjoni fuq ġwenħajha. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Responsorial Psalm              PSALM 98: 5-6, 7-8, 9

Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth,
he will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

 Salm Responsorjali                Salm 97(98):5-6,7-8,9a,9bċ

R/. Il-Mulej jagħmel ħaqq mill-popli.


Għannu lill-Mulej biċ-ċetra,
biċ-ċetra u bil-ħlewwa tal-għana,
bit-trombi u bid-daqq tat-trumbetti;
għajtu bil-ferħ quddiem il-Mulej is-sultan! R/.

Ħa jriegħed il-baħar u kulma fih,
id-dinja u kulma jgħammar fiha.
Ħa jċapċpu x-xmajjar idejhom,
u l-muntanji flimkien jgħajtu bil-ferħ quddiem il-Mulej. R/.

Għax il-Mulej ġej
biex jagħmel ħaqq mill-art;
hu jagħmel ħaqq mid-dinja bil-ġustizzja,
u mill-popli bis-sewwa. R/.


Reading 2               2 THESSALONIANS  3:7-12

 Brothers and sisters:  You know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we w nted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.

Qari 2                 mit-Tieni Ittra lit-Tessalonikin 3:7-12

Ħuti, intom stess tafu kif jeħtieġ li timxu fuq l-eżempju tagħna. Aħna ma tgħażżinniex meta konna fostkom; il-ħobż li kilna, ħadd ma tahulna b’xejn; imma lejl u nhar ħdimna u tħabatna u batejna biex ma nkunu ta’ piż għal ħadd minnkom. Imxejna hekk mhux għax ma għandniex dritt li żżommuna intom, imma ridna nagħtukom eżempju biex timxu fuqu. Meta konna fostkom aħna ordnajnielkom li jekk xi ħadd ma jridx jaħdem, dan anqas ma għandu jiekol. Issa aħna smajna li hemm xi wħud fostkom li qegħdin jitgħażżnu; mhumiex jaħdmu, imma qed jinħlew fix-xejn. Lil dawn in-nies nordnawlhom u nwissuhom, f’isem il-Mulej Ġesù Kristu, biex jaħdmu sewwa u għajxienhom jaqilgħuh. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel               LUKE 21:5-19

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here-- the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down." Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky. Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking  that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

Evanġelju               Qari skont San Luqa 21:5-19

F’dak iż-żmien, kien hemm xi wħud li bdew jgħidu fuq kemm it-tempju kien imżejjen b’ġebel sabiħ u għotjiet; iżda Ġesù qalilhom: “Kulma qegħdin taraw, għad jiġi żmien li ma tibqax ġebla fuq oħra minnu li ma tiġġarrafx”. U huma staqsewh u qalulu: “Mgħallem, issa dan meta għad jiġri? U x’se jkun is-sinjal li dawn il-ħwejjeġ ikunu waslu biex iseħħu?”. Qalilhom: “Araw li ma titqarrqux. Għax għad jiġu ħafna f’ismi u jgħidu: ‘Jien hu’, u: ‘Iż-żmien wasal’. Tmorrux warajhom! Meta tisimgħu min jitkellem fuq gwerer u taqlib fil-pajjiżi, tinħasdux, għax jeħtieġ li l-ewwel jiġri dan, iżda t-tmiem ma jasalx minnufih”. Imbagħad qalilhom: “Għad iqum ġens kontra ġens u saltna kontra saltna, l-art titheżżeż bil-kbir, f’ħafna bnadi jkun hemm il-ġuħ u mard li jittieħed, u fis-sema jidhru ħwejjeġ tal-biża’ u sinjali tal-għaġeb. Imma qabel dan kollu jixħtu jdejhom fuqkom u jippersegwitawkom, jagħtukom f’idejn il-mexxejja tas-sinagoga u jitfgħukom il-ħabs, u jeħdukom quddiem slaten u gvernaturi minħabba f’ismi. Dan ikun jiswielkom biex tistgħu tagħtu xhieda. U żommu sewwa f’moħħkom: toqogħdux taħsbu minn qabel kif se tiddefendu ruħkom, għax jien nagħtikom kliem u għerf li kull min ikun kontra tagħkom ma jkunx jista’ jiqaflu jew imerih. U jittradukom saħansitra l-ġenituri tagħkom u ħutkom u qrabatkom u ħbiebkom, u lil xi wħud minnkom joqtluhom, u kulħadd isir jobgħodkom minħabba f’ismi. Imma xagħra waħda minn raskom ma tintilifx. Jekk tibqgħu sħaħ sal-aħħar issalvaw ħajjitkom!”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   


THE SECOND COMING

Introduction:


The central theme of Sunday’s readings is “The Day of the Lord” or the “Second Coming” of Jesus in glory, as Judge, at the end of the world. The readings warn us about the final days of the world, our own death, and the final judgment.

Scripture readings summarized:

Malachi, in the first reading, foretells this Day, which will bring healing and reward for the just and punishment in fire for the “proud and all evil doers.” Although St. Paul expected that Jesus would return during his lifetime, he cautions the Thessalonians, in the second reading, against idleness in anticipating the end of the world. Paul advises the Thessalonians that the best preparation for welcoming Jesus in his “Second Coming” is to keep working and doing one’s duties faithfully, as he did.

Sunday’s Gospel passage underlines the truth that the date of the end of the world is uncertain. Signs and portents will precede the end, and the Christians will be called upon to testify before kings and governors. The Good News is that those who persevere in faithfulness to the Lord will save their souls and enter God’s eternal kingdom. Christ’s Second Coming is something to celebrate because he is going to present all creation to his Heavenly Father. That is why we say at Mass, “We proclaim Your death, O Lord, and profess Your Resurrection, until You come again.”

Since Luke’s community had experienced much persecution, today’s Gospel would have given them a cheering reminder: “Don’t give up because God is always with us!” Jesus’ promise of the protective power of a providing God was meant to encourage His disciples to persevere in their Faith and its practice. Jesus later adds the signs for the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world to prepare His disciples and to remind them to rely upon him for Salvation, not their own power.

Life messages:

1)
We must be prepared daily for our death and private judgment. We make this preparation by trying to do God’s will every day, leading holy lives of selfless love, trust in God, mercy, compassion, and unconditional forgiveness. In order to do this, we must recharge our spiritual batteries every day by personal prayer, that is, by talking to God, and by listening to Him through reading the Bible. Daily examination of our conscience at bedtime and asking God’s pardon and forgiveness for the sins of the day will also prepare us to face God any time to give Him an account of our lives.

2) We need to attain permanence in a passing world by leading exemplary lives. We must remember that our homes, our Churches, and even our own lives are temporary. Our greatness is judged by God, not on our worldly achievements, but on our fidelity to our Faith, and our practice of that Faith in loving service of others.

How our faithfulness is expressed each day is the most important thing. We are to persevere in our Faith in spite of worldly temptations, attacks on our religion and moral values by the atheistic or agnostic media, threats of social isolation, and direct or indirect persecution because of our religious beliefs.

Let us conclude this Church year by praying for the grace to endure patiently all our trials, for they are essential to our affirmation of Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.


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THE DAY OF THE LORD

Readings for Sunday, NOVEMBER 13, 2022


Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 159

It-Tlieta u Tletin Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


 

Reading 1         MALACHI 3:19-20a

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,  when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,  and the day that is coming will set them on fire,  leaving them neither root nor branch,  says the LORD of hosts.  But for you who fear my name, there will arise  the sun of justice with its healing rays.

 Qari 1                 mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Malakija 3:19-20a


Ara, jiġi l-Jum, jaqbad qisu forn, u l-kburin kollha u dawk kollha li jagħmlu l-ħażen ikunu tiben, u l-jum li ġej għad jaħraqhom, jgħid il-Mulej tal-eżerċti: hekk li ma jħallilhom la għerq u lanqas fergħa. Imma għalikom li tibżgħu minn ismi titla’ x-xemx tal-ġustizzja, bis-salvazzjoni fuq ġwenħajha. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Responsorial Psalm              PSALM 98: 5-6, 7-8, 9

Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth,
he will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Salm Responsorjali                Salm 97(98):5-6,7-8,9a,9bċ

R/. Il-Mulej jagħmel ħaqq mill-popli
.

Għannu lill-Mulej biċ-ċetra,
biċ-ċetra u bil-ħlewwa tal-għana,
bit-trombi u bid-daqq tat-trumbetti;
għajtu bil-ferħ quddiem il-Mulej is-sultan! R/.

Ħa jriegħed il-baħar u kulma fih,
id-dinja u kulma jgħammar fiha.
Ħa jċapċpu x-xmajjar idejhom,
u l-muntanji flimkien jgħajtu bil-ferħ quddiem il-Mulej. R/.

Għax il-Mulej ġej
biex jagħmel ħaqq mill-art;
hu jagħmel ħaqq mid-dinja bil-ġustizzja,
u mill-popli bis-sewwa. R/.


Reading 2               2 THESSALONIANS  3:7-12
Brothers and sisters:  You know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we w nted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.

Qari 2                 mit-Tieni Ittra lit-Tessalonikin 3:7-12

Ħuti, intom stess tafu kif jeħtieġ li timxu fuq l-eżempju tagħna. Aħna ma tgħażżinniex meta konna fostkom; il-ħobż li kilna, ħadd ma tahulna b’xejn; imma lejl u nhar ħdimna u tħabatna u batejna biex ma nkunu ta’ piż għal ħadd minnkom. Imxejna hekk mhux għax ma għandniex dritt li żżommuna intom, imma ridna nagħtukom eżempju biex timxu fuqu. Meta konna fostkom aħna ordnajnielkom li jekk xi ħadd ma jridx jaħdem, dan anqas ma għandu jiekol. Issa aħna smajna li hemm xi wħud fostkom li qegħdin jitgħażżnu; mhumiex jaħdmu, imma qed jinħlew fix-xejn. Lil dawn in-nies nordnawlhom u nwissuhom, f’isem il-Mulej Ġesù Kristu, biex jaħdmu sewwa u għajxienhom jaqilgħuh. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel               LUKE 21:5-19

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here-- the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down." Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky. Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

Evanġelju               Qari skont San Luqa 21:5-19

F’dak iż-żmien, kien hemm xi wħud li bdew jgħidu fuq kemm it-tempju kien imżejjen b’ġebel sabiħ u għotjiet; iżda Ġesù qalilhom: “Kulma qegħdin taraw, għad jiġi żmien li ma tibqax ġebla fuq oħra minnu li ma tiġġarrafx”. U huma staqsewh u qalulu: “Mgħallem, issa dan meta għad jiġri? U x’se jkun is-sinjal li dawn il-ħwejjeġ ikunu waslu biex iseħħu?”. Qalilhom: “Araw li ma titqarrqux. Għax għad jiġu ħafna f’ismi u jgħidu: ‘Jien hu’, u: ‘Iż-żmien wasal’. Tmorrux warajhom! Meta tisimgħu min jitkellem fuq gwerer u taqlib fil-pajjiżi, tinħasdux, għax jeħtieġ li l-ewwel jiġri dan, iżda t-tmiem ma jasalx minnufih”. Imbagħad qalilhom: “Għad iqum ġens kontra ġens u saltna kontra saltna, l-art titheżżeż bil-kbir, f’ħafna bnadi jkun hemm il-ġuħ u mard li jittieħed, u fis-sema jidhru ħwejjeġ tal-biża’ u sinjali tal-għaġeb. Imma qabel dan kollu jixħtu jdejhom fuqkom u jippersegwitawkom, jagħtukom f’idejn il-mexxejja tas-sinagoga u jitfgħukom il-ħabs, u jeħdukom quddiem slaten u gvernaturi minħabba f’ismi. Dan ikun jiswielkom biex tistgħu tagħtu xhieda. U żommu sewwa f’moħħkom: toqogħdux taħsbu minn qabel kif se tiddefendu ruħkom, għax jien nagħtikom kliem u għerf li kull min ikun kontra tagħkom ma jkunx jista’ jiqaflu jew imerih. U jittradukom saħansitra l-ġenituri tagħkom u ħutkom u qrabatkom u ħbiebkom, u lil xi wħud minnkom joqtluhom, u kulħadd isir jobgħodkom minħabba f’ismi. Imma xagħra waħda minn raskom ma tintilifx. Jekk tibqgħu sħaħ sal-aħħar issalvaw ħajjitkom!”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

THE SECOND COMING

Introduction:


The central theme of Sunday’s readings is “The Day of the Lord” or the “Second Coming” of Jesus in glory, as Judge, at the end of the world. The readings warn us about the final days of the world, our own death, and the final judgment.

Scripture readings summarized:

Malachi, in the first reading, foretells this Day, which will bring healing and reward for the just and punishment in fire for the “proud and all evil doers.” Although St. Paul expected that Jesus would return during his lifetime, he cautions the Thessalonians, in the second reading, against idleness in anticipating the end of the world. Paul advises the Thessalonians that the best preparation for welcoming Jesus in his “Second Coming” is to keep working and doing one’s duties faithfully, as he did.

Sunday’s Gospel passage underlines the truth that the date of the end of the world is uncertain. Signs and portents will precede the end, and the Christians will be called upon to testify before kings and governors. The Good News is that those who persevere in faithfulness to the Lord will save their souls and enter God’s eternal kingdom. Christ’s Second Coming is something to celebrate because he is going to present all creation to his Heavenly Father. That is why we say at Mass, “We proclaim Your death, O Lord, and profess Your Resurrection, until You come again.”

Since Luke’s community had experienced much persecution, today’s Gospel would have given them a cheering reminder: “Don’t give up because God is always with us!” Jesus’ promise of the protective power of a providing God was meant to encourage His disciples to persevere in their Faith and its practice. Jesus later adds the signs for the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world to prepare His disciples and to remind them to rely upon him for Salvation, not their own power.

Life messages:

1) We must be prepared daily for our death and private judgment. We make this preparation by trying to do God’s will every day, leading holy lives of selfless love, trust in God, mercy, compassion, and unconditional forgiveness. In order to do this, we must recharge our spiritual batteries every day by personal prayer, that is, by talking to God, and by listening to Him through reading the Bible. Daily examination of our conscience at bedtime and asking God’s pardon and forgiveness for the sins of the day will also prepare us to face God any time to give Him an account of our lives.

2) We need to attain permanence in a passing world by leading exemplary lives. We must remember that our homes, our Churches, and even our own lives are temporary. Our greatness is judged by God, not on our worldly achievements, but on our fidelity to our Faith, and our practice of that Faith in loving service of others.

How our faithfulness is expressed each day is the most important thing. We are to persevere in our Faith in spite of worldly temptations, attacks on our religion and moral values by the atheistic or agnostic media, threats of social isolation, and direct or indirect persecution because of our religious beliefs.

Let us conclude this Church year by praying for the grace to endure patiently all our trials, for they are essential to our affirmation of Jesus as our Lord and Savior.


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Thursday, 3 November 2022

LIFE AFTER DEATH

Readings for Sunday, NOVEMBER 6, 2022



Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 156


 It-Tnejn u Tletin Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena

 

Reading 1               2 MACCABEES 7:1-2, 9-14

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law.  One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said: "What do you expect to achieve by questioning us? We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors."  At the point of death he said: "You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying." After him the third suffered their cruel sport. He put out his tongue at once when told to do so, and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words: "It was from Heaven that I received these; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him I hope to receive them again." Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man's courage, because he regarded his sufferings as nothing. After he had died, they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way. When he was near death, he said, "It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by him; but for you, there will be no resurrection to life."

Qari 1                mit-Tieni Ktieb tal-Makkabej 7:1-2,9-14

F’dak iż-żmien, qabdu sebat aħwa u ’l ommhom; u s-sultan beda biex jisfurzahom bid-daqqiet tas-swat u tan-nerv biex jieklu l-laħam tal-majjal li ma jiswiex. Wieħed minnhom beda jitkellem f’isem l-oħrajn u qal: “X’int tfittex tistaqsi u trid taf minna? Aħna lesti mmutu, imma m’aħniex lesti niksru l-liġijiet ta’ missirijietna”. U t-tieni wieħed, kif kien fl-aħħar nifs, qallu: “Int, bniedem mill-agħar, int se ċċaħħadna mill-ħajja ta’ issa, imma s-sultan tad-dinja għad iqajjimna għall-ħajja ta’ dejjem, lilna li se mmutu għal-liġijiet tiegħu”. Imbagħad wara dan bdew jittorturaw it-tielet wieħed u malli talbuh ħareġ minnufih ilsienu u bla biza’ ta’ xejn midd idejh u ta’ qalbieni li kien għajjat: “Mis-sema ksibthom dawn, u għal-liġijiet tiegħu jien nistmerrhom, għax mingħandu nittama li għad nerġa’ niksibhom”. Saħansitra s-sultan u dawk ta’ madwaru stagħġbu bil-qawwa ta’ dan iż-żagħżugħ, kif l-uġigħ ma kien iqisu xejn. Meta miet dan, bdew jittorturaw u jbiċċru r-raba’ wieħed bl-istess mod. Meta wasal fl-aħħar qal: “Aħjar li wieħed imut b’idejn il-bnedmin meta jkollu t-tama mingħand Alla li għad iqajmu mill-ġdid. Imma għalik m’hemmx qawmien għall-ħajja”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15

Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Keep me as the apple of your eye,
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Salm Responsorjali               Salm 16(17):1,5-6,8b,15

R/.(15b): Meta nqum, nithenna bid-dehra tiegħek.


Isma’, Mulej, il-kawża ġusta tiegħi,
ilqa’ l-għajta tiegħi,
agħti widen għat-talb tiegħi;
bla qerq huma xufftejja. R/.

Il-mixi tiegħi żammejt fi triqatek,
qatt ma għotru riġlejja.
Insejjaħlek, għax int tweġibni, o Alla;
ressaq widintek lejja, isma’ kliemi. R/.

Għad-dell ta’ ġwenħajk kenninni.
Jien, fil-ħaqq, għad nara ’l wiċċek;
meta nqum, nithenna bid-dehra tiegħek. R/.


Reading 2                2 THESSALONIANS 2:16-3:5

Brothers and sisters: May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you are doing and will continue to do. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.

Qari 2                      mit-Tieni Ittra lit-Tessalonikin 2:16–3:5

Ħuti, Sidna Ġesù Kristu stess u Alla Missierna, li ħabbna u tana l-kuraġġ ta’ dejjem u t-tama sħiħa bil-grazzja, iqawwilkom qalbkom u jsaħħaħkom f’kull għemil u kelma tajba. Mill-bqija, ħuti, itolbu għalina biex il-kelma tal-Mulej tiġri l-ġirja tagħha u tkun milqugħa bil-ġieħ bħalma ġara fostkom. Itolbu biex inkunu meħlusa minn nies ħżiena u bla liġi. Għax mhux kulħadd għandu l-fidi. Iżda l-Mulej hu fidil: hu jwettaqkom u jħariskom mill-Ħażin. Aħna żguri minnkom fil-Mulej, jiġifieri, li intom qegħdin tagħmlu u għad tagħmlu dak li ordnajnielkom. Jalla l-Mulej iwassal lil qlubkom għall-imħabba ta’ Alla u s-sabar ta’ Kristu. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel               LUKE 20:27-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her." Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out 'Lord, ' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

Evanġelju               Qari skond San Luqa 20:27-38

F’dak iż-żmien, resqu fuqu xi wħud mis-Sadduċej, dawk li jiċħdu l-qawmien mill-imwiet, u staqsewh: “Mgħallem, Mosè ħallielna miktub: ‘Jekk wieħed imutlu ħuh miżżewweġ u dan ikun bla tfal, dak ikollu jiżżewweġ l-armla biex inissel ulied lil ħuh’. Issa jkun hemm sebat aħwa, u l-kbir iżżewweġ u miet bla tfal. It-tieni wieħed, u mbagħad it-tielet, f’kelma waħda, is-sebgħa li kienu, ħadu l-armla, u mietu bla ma ħallew tfal. Fl-aħħar mietet il-mara wkoll. Issa din, fil-qawmien tal-imwiet, mart min minnhom tkun? Għax is-sebgħa jkunu żżewġuha”. Weġibhom Ġesù: “Il-bnedmin f’din id-dinja jiżżewġu u jżewġu; imma dawk li jkun jistħoqqilhom jgħaddu għad-dinja l-oħra u jqumu mill-imwiet, dawn la jżewġu u lanqas jiżżewġu. Għax anqas jistgħu jmutu iżjed, għaliex ikunu bħall-anġli, u huma wlied Alla ladarba qamu mill-imwiet. U li l-mejtin iqumu, Mosè wkoll urieh, fir-rakkont tax-xitla tal-għollieq, għax lill-Mulej isejjaħlu Alla ta’ Abraham, Alla ta’ Iżakk, u Alla ta’ Ġakobb. Issa hu mhuwiex Alla tal-mejtin, iżda tal-ħajjin, għax għalih kulħadd jgħix”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil  

THE END TIMES

As we near the end of the Church’s liturgical year, the readings become more eschatological — having to do with the end times. The main theme of Sun/day’s readings is the reality of life after death and of the relationship between our lives on earth and the life of glory or punishment that will follow. The readings invite us to consider the true meaning of the Resurrection in our lives.


 

Scripture lessons summarized:

The first reading describes a Jewish family, consisting of a mother and her seven sons, who refuse their conqueror’s command to eat pork, forbidden as “unclean” by Jewish Law. Because of their obedient Faith in God, they endure suffering and accept martyrdom. During their torture, three of the brothers speak, and each of them finds strength in the belief that he will eventually be raised and rewarded by God.

In the refrain for today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 17) we proclaim our Faith: “Lord, when Your glory appears, my joy will be full!” The second reading encourages the Thessalonians who were waiting for the Parousia or the second coming of Christ, to trust in the fidelity of God Who would strengthen their hearts in every good work and word.

Thie same belief in the resurrection of the dead is the basis of the confrontation described in Sunday’s Gospel passage. In this confrontation, Jesus ingeniously escapes from a doctrinal trap set for him and explains the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, supported by the Pharisees and denied by the Sadducees. Jesus speaks of God as the God of the living and declares that heavenly life with God in glory is totally different from earthly life, explaining that there is no marriage in Heaven in the earthly sense.

Life messages:

1)
We need to live as people of the Resurrection This means that we are not to lie buried in the tomb of our sins and evil habits. Instead, we are to live joyful and peaceful lives, constantly experiencing the real Presence of the Risen Lord. In addition, the hope of our resurrection to eternal life with God provides us with lasting peace and celestial joy to counter the boredom and tension of our day-to-day lives. Cultivating our awareness of the all-pervading Presence of the Spirit of the living God will help us to control our thoughts, desires, words, and behavior.

The salutary thought of our own resurrection and eternal glory, or eternal punishment, should also inspire us to honor our bodies, keeping them holy, pure, and free from evil habits, and to respect those with whom we come in contact, rendering them loving and humble service.

2) We need to offer living worship to a living God. If our God is the God of the living, our worship of this living God also has to be alive. That means our participation in prayers and songs during the Holy Mass should be active and our behavior in Church reverent, as we offer our lives and all our activities to our living God on the altar with repentant and grateful hearts.


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Thursday, 27 October 2022

OUR BENEVOLENT, COMPASSIONATE, FORGIVING GOD

 Readings for Sunday, OCTOBER 30, 2022 

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 153


Il-Wieħed u Tletin Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena

 
Reading 1                WISDOM 11:22-12:2

Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance  or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.  But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;  and you overlook people's sins that they may repent.  For you love all things that are  and loathe nothing that you have made;  for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.  And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;  or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?  But you spare all things, because they are yours,  O LORD and lover of souls, for your imperishable spirit is in all things!  Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little, warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,  that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

Qari 1                mill-Ktieb tal-Għerf 11:22–12:2

Mulej, quddiemek id-dinja kollha qisha traba fil-miżien, jew qatra nida tal-għodwa li tinżel fuq l-art. Iżda int tħenn għal kulħadd, għax tista’ kollox; int tagħlaq għajnejk għal dnubiet il-bnedmin biex huma jindmu. Għax int tħobb il-ħlejjaq kollha, u xejn ma tistmell minn kulma għamilt; li kien hemm xi ħaġa li stajt tobgħodha, int ma kontx tagħmilha. Kif setgħet tibqa’ xi ħaġa fid-dinja kieku int ma ridthiex? Jew kif setgħet iżżomm, kieku int ma sejjaħtilhiex? Imma int, o Sid li tħobb kulma jgħix, lil kulħadd tagħder, għax kollox huwa tiegħek. Għax f’kulħadd hemm nifsek bla ma qatt jintemm. Għalhekk int twiddeb bil-ftit il-ftit lil dawk li jonqsu, twissihom u tfakkarhom fejn dinbu, biex jerġgħu lura mill-ħażen tagħhom,  u fik, Mulej, iqiegħdu t-tama tagħhom.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14

I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.

The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.


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. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.

The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.

Salm Responsorjali               Salm 144(145):1-2,8-9,10-11,13ċd-14

R/.(1) Mulej, inbierek ismek għal dejjem ta’ dejjem.


Ħa nkabbrek, Alla tiegħi, sultan,
u nbierek ismek għal dejjem ta’ dejjem.
Kuljum irrid inbierkek,
u nfaħħar ismek għal dejjem ta’ dejjem. R/.

Twajjeb u ħanin il-Mulej,
idum biex jagħdab u kollu tjieba.
Twajjeb ma’ kulħadd il-Mulej,
tjubitu fuq kulma għamel. R/.

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

Ta’ kelmtu l-Mulej fil-wegħdiet tiegħu kollha,
twajjeb f’dak kollu li għamel.
Iwieżen il-Mulej ’il kull min se jaqa’,
iqajjem ’il kull min hu mitluq. R/.

Reading 2               2 THESSALONIANS 1:11-2:2

Brothers and sisters: We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. We ask you, brothers and sisters, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling with him, not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed either by a "spirit," or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from us to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

Qari 2                 mit-Tieni Ittra lit-Tessalonikin 1:11–2:2

Ħuti, aħna dejjem nitolbu għalikom li Alla tagħna jagħmilkom denji tas-sejħa tiegħu, u jagħmel li bil-qawwa tiegħu sseħħ kull rieda tajba tagħkom għall-ġid u kull ħidma tal-fidi tagħkom. U hekk l-isem ta’ Sidna Ġesù Kristu jkun igglorifikat fikom u intom fih skont il-grazzja ta’ Alla tagħna u tal-Mulej Ġesù Kristu. Ħuti, għal dak li għandu x’jaqsam mal-miġja ta’ Sidna Ġesù Kristu u l-ġemgħa tagħna biex ningħaqdu miegħu, nitolbukom biex ma toqogħdux tħawdu raskom malajr u tinħasdu bħallikieku l-miġja ta’ jum il-Mulej qorbot, u la jekk tkunu mnebbħin mill-ispirtu u lanqas jekk tisimgħu xi kelma jew taqraw xi ittra taparsi mingħandna. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej


Gospel               LUKE 19:1-10

At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

Evanġelju               Qari skond San Luqa 19:1-10

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù daħal Ġeriko u kien għaddej mit-triq. Mela jkun hemm raġel, jismu Żakkew; dan kien wieħed mill-kapijiet tal-pubblikani, u kien għani. Kellu xewqa li jara min kien Ġesù, imma ma setax minħabba l-folla, billi kien raġel qasir. Għalhekk mar jiġri ’l quddiem u xxabbat ma’ siġra tat-tin selvaġġ, għax minn dik in-naħa kien se jgħaddi. Ġesù, kif wasal hemm, ħares ’il fuq u qallu: “Żakkew, isa, inżel minn hemm, għax illum jeħtieġli noqgħod għandek”. Dak niżel bla telf ta’ żmien, u kollu ferħan laqgħu għandu. In-nies, meta rawh, ilkoll bdew igemgmu bejniethom u jgħidu li għand wieħed midneb daħal jistrieħ. Imma Żakkew, wieqaf, qal lill-Mulej: “Ara, Mulej, nofs ġidi se nagħtih lill-foqra, u jekk jien qarraqt b’xi ħadd irroddlu għal erba’ darbiet iżjed”. Qallu Ġesù: “F’din id-dar illum daħlet is-salvazzjoni, għax dan ir-raġel ukoll huwa bin Abraham. Għax Bin il-bniedem ġie jfittex u jsalva l-mitluf”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil  


THE LOVED SINNER

Introduction:

The common theme of Sunday’s readings is the benevolent, compassionate, forgiving mercy of God for sinners and the response of repentance and conversion expected from us.

Scripture lessons summarized:

The first reading reminds us that God’s Almighty Power includes His strength to be merciful. That is why God, Who created the universe mercifully, waits for sinners to repent. God continues to love us, even when we do not love Him in return. The reading focuses on the love God has for all He has created, the love that overlooks sin so that we all have time for repentance. God shows us His redemptive love through His mercy.

In the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 145), the Psalmist also tells us that the Lord is good to all, and His compassion covers all that He has made. The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness (Ps 145:8). In the second reading, St. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to persevere in their Christian Faith, giving glory to God without idly waiting for the “second coming” of Christ in their lifetime. He advises them to continue to live good Christian lives every day, allowing God to work in them so that they may be worthy of their vocation as Christians.

Sunday’s Gospel presents the story of the instantaneous conversion of the tax-collector, Zacchaeus, whom God’s grace led to a moment of conversion. The account describes how Jesus recognized Zacchaeus for exactly what he was, a lost sinner in need of a Saviour, and shows us how God’s grace worked in Zacchaeus to lead him from idle curiosity to repentance, conversion, and restitution. The episode emphasizes the fact that such a conversion can only result from a person’s fully receiving the love, acceptance, and grace offered to everyone one by a merciful Lord.

Life messages:

1) We need to accept the Divine invitation for repentance. We are all sinners to a greater or lesser degree. Jesus is inviting each one of us to total conversion today. Let us remember that Jesus loves us in spite of our ugly thoughts, broken promises, sullied ideals, lack of prayer and Faith, resentments, and lusts. Hence, let us admit our sinfulness and accept God’s call to repentance, conversion and renewal of life.

2) Let us love others as Jesus loved Zacchaeus, despite his sins. Parents and teachers need to accept children lovingly, without first setting up standards of behavior as conditions for being loved. Husband and wife may have qualities that irritate each other. But they should not, because of that, withhold love from each other. Nor should they withhold their love from a rebellious teenager making stupid and even dangerous choices because of immaturity and peer-pressure.

3) We are called to generosity: Jesus wants us to move from our small and feeble Faith to a greater and more powerful Faith, just as Zacchaeus did. He also wants us to be financially and spiritually generous.

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