"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)
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Thursday, 18 August 2022

“'LORD OPEN THE DOOR FOR US!"

Readings for Sunday, August 21, 2022

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 123


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

 

Reading 1                ISAIAH 66:18-21

Thus says the LORD: I know their works and their thoughts, and I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them; from them I will send fugitives to the nations: to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations. They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries, to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their offering to the house of the LORD in clean vessels. Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD.

Qari 1                mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Iżaija 66:18-21

Dan jgħid il-Mulej: “Għad niġi niġbor il-ġnus kollha, u l-popli ta’ kull ilsien; dawn jiġu u jaraw is-sebħ tiegħi. Jiena ngħolli għalihom sinjal, u nibgħat lil xi wħud mill-fdal ta’ Iżrael għand il-ġnus, f’Tarsis, Put, Lud, u Mesek, Ros, Tubal u Ġawan, u lejn ix-xtut imbiegħda li qatt ma semgħu bija, u qatt ma raw is-sebħ tiegħi, u huma jxandru s-sebħ tiegħi qalb il-ġnus. U jġibu lil ħutkom kollha minn kull ġens, bħala offerta lill-Mulej; iġibuhom fuq żwiemel u karrijiet, fuq suġġetti u bgħula u iġmla, għal fuq il-muntanja qaddisa tiegħi, f’Ġerusalemm, jgħid il-Mulej: bħalma wlied Iżrael iġibu l-offerti tal-qmuħ tagħhom f’ġarar indaf fit-tempju tal-Mulej. U lil xi wħud minnhom neħodhom b’qassisin u leviti, jgħid il-Mulej”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

 Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 117:1, 2

Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

Salm Responsorjali               Salm 116(117):1,2

R/. (Mk 16:15): Morru fid-dinja kollha, xandru l-Evanġelju.


Faħħru l-Mulej, intom ġnus kollha,
sebbħuh, intom popli lkoll! R/.

Għax kbira hi t-tjieba tiegħu magħna,
il-fedeltà tal-Mulej tibqa’ għal dejjem. R/.

 Reading 2               HEBREWS 12:5-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters, You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children: "My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges." Endure your trials as "discipline"; God treats you as sons. For what "son" is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.

Qari 2                mill-Ittra lil-Lhud 12:5-7,11-13

Ħuti, insejtuha għalkollox il-kelma ta’ twissija li qalilkom ta’ wlied li intom: “Ibni, la twarrabx it-twiddib tal-Mulej, u la taqtax qalbek meta jċanfrek; għax il-Mulej iwiddeb lil min iħobb, jolqot lil kull min jilqa’ b’ibnu”. Hu għall-edukazzjoni tagħkom li intom qegħdin tbatu! Alla qiegħed jimxi magħkom ta’ wlied. Min hu dak l-iben li missieru ma jwiddbux? Tassew li bħalissa kull twiddiba ma tferraħniex, imma tnikkitna; iżda mbagħad, lil dawk li jkunu tħarrġu biha, hija troddilhom il-frott ta’ ħajja mimlija bis-sliem u l-ġustizzja. Mela erfgħu l-idejn merħija u l-irkupptejn mitluqa tagħkom, u aqbdu triq dritta għal riġlejkom, biex min hu zopp, ma joħroġx mit-triq, imma jerġa’ jieħu saħħtu. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel               LUKE 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" He answered them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, 'Lord, open the door for us.' He will say to you in reply, 'I do not know where you are from. And you will say, 'We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.'  Then he will say to you, 'I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!' And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."

Evanġelju                Qari skont San Luqa 13:22-30

F’dak iż-żmien, huwa u sejjer lejn Ġerusalemm, Ġesù għadda jgħallem f’xi bliet u rħula. U kien hemm wieħed qallu: “Mulej, jaqaw ftit huma dawk li jsalvaw?”. U huwa weġibhom: “Tħabtu biex tidħlu mill-bieb id-dejjaq, għax kif ngħidilkom jien, ħafna għad ifittxu li jidħlu u ma jirnexxilhomx. Għax meta sid id-dar ikun qam jagħlaq il-bieb, intom tibqgħu barra, u tibdew tħabbtu l-bieb u tgħidu: ‘Mulej, iftħilna!’. Iżda hu jweġibkom u jgħid: ‘Ma nafx mnejn intom’. Imbagħad taqbdu tgħidulu: ‘Kilna u xrobna miegħek aħna, u int għallimt fil-pjazez tagħna’. Hu jwieġeb u jgħidilkom: ‘Ma nafx mnejn intom; morru minn quddiemi, intom ilkoll li tagħmlu dak li mhux sewwa!’. Hemmhekk ikun hemm il-biki u tgħażżiż tas-snien, meta taraw lil Abraham u lil Iżakk u lil Ġakobb u l-profeti kollha fis-Saltna ta’ Alla, u intom imkeċċija ’l barra. U jiġu nies mil-Lvant u mill-Punent, mit-Tramuntana u min-Nofsinhar, u joqogħdu għall-mejda fis-Saltna ta’ Alla. U araw, hawn min hu tal-aħħar u għad ikun l-ewwel, u hawn min hu tal-ewwel u għad ikun l-aħħar”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

“Am I prepared to be saved?

Introduction:


As He continues his final journey to Jerusalem prepared for his suffering, and death, Jesus responds to the question asking how many will be saved by answering how one is to enter into salvation and how urgent it that one strive now, before the Master closes the door. Instead of asking how many will be saved, Jesus wants us to ask ourselves, “Am I prepared to be saved, choosing the narrow gate of sacrificial agape love and so loving others as Jesus loves them”?

Scripture lessons summarized:

In the first reading, Isaiah’s prophecy speaks to the Babylonian exiles returning to Jerusalem after 47 years in captivity, the younger members with their pagan wives, telling them that salvation is not a Jewish monopoly and that is why Yahweh welcomes the pagans also into Judaism. The prophet’s great book ends as it began, with a vision of all the peoples of the world streaming toward Jerusalem, acknowledging and praising the God of Israel.

The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 117) refrain, “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News,” reflects the mission of God’s chosen people to be instruments of salvation to the whole world. In the second reading, exploring with his readers the consequences of Christian commitment, St. Paul explains that “the narrow gate” of Jesus means our accepting pain and suffering as the loving discipline God is giving His children.

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus clearly explains that anyone who follows him through the narrow gate of sacrificial service and sharing love will be saved. Jesus also admonishes his followers to concentrate on their own salvation by self-discipline rather than to worry about the salvation of others.

The Non-Catholic doctrine on salvation was taught by Calvin and is currently broadcast by tele-evangelists as follows:

“Once saved, you are always saved,” in spite of your future sins and even apostasy. One is saved by the shed blood of Jesus when, as a young person or an adult, one accepts Jesus as Lord and Saviour, confesses one’s sins and prays the “Sinner’s Prayer,” asking God’s pardon and forgiveness for one’s sins.

Catholic teaching on salvation states that:

Salvation is a past, present, and future event. We were saved from the Bondage of sin when we were baptized as children or adults. We are being saved at present, when we cooperate with God’s grace by loving others as Jesus did, by sharing our blessings with the needy, and by getting reconciled with God daily, asking His forgiveness for our sins.

We will be eternally saved when we hear the loving invitation from Jesus, the Judge, at the moment of our death and on the day of the Last Judgment, saying: “Good and faithful servant, you were faithful in little things enter into the joy of your Master.”

Life messages:

We need to cooperate with God’s grace daily given to us:

   a) by choosing the narrow way and the narrow gate of self-control and self-disciplining of our evil tendencies, evil habits, and addictions;

   b) by loving others, seeing the face of Jesus in them, and sharing our blessings with them sacrificially;

   c) by obtaining the daily Divine strength to practice self-control and sharing love through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in daily prayer, in Bible reading, and in reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.

//////////////////////////////////////     http://frtonyshomilies.com

Thursday, 11 August 2022

"I HAVE COME TO SET THE WORLD ON FIRE...!

 Readings for Sunday, August 7, 2022


Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 120


L-Għoxrin Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


Reading 1               JEREMIAH 38:4-6, 8-10

 In those days, the princes said to the king: "Jeremiah ought to be put to death; he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such things to them; he is not interested in the welfare of our people, but in their ruin." King Zedekiah answered: "He is in your power"; for the king could do nothing with them. And so they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah, which was in the quarters of the guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. Ebed-melech, a court official, went there from the palace and said to him: "My lord king, these men have been at fault in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, casting him into the cistern. He will die of famine on the spot, for there is no more food in the city." Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite to take three men along with him, and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he should die.

Qari 1                 mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Ġeremija 38:4-6,8-10

F’dak iż-żmien, il-prinċpijiet marru jgħidu lis-sultan: “Ħalli jiġi maqtul Ġeremija, għax b’dan il-kliem li qiegħed jgħidilhom qiegħed jaqta’ qalb is-suldati li fadal f’din il-belt u qalb il-poplu kollu. Tassew, bniedem bħal dan mhuwiex ifittex il-ġid ta’ dan il-poplu, imma l-qerda tiegħu”. U s-sultan Sedekija qalilhom: “Araw, f’idejkom, hu! Għax is-sultan ma jista’ jagħmel xejn magħkom”.  U ħadu lil Ġeremija u xeħtuh fil-bir ta’ Malakija, bin is-sultan, li kien fil-bitħa tal-għassa; imbagħad lil Ġeremija niżżluh bil-ħbula f’dan il-bir; ilma ma kienx fih, imma ħama biss; u Ġeremija għodos fil-ħama. Għebed-melek ħareġ mill-palazz tas-sultan, mar ikellmu u qallu: “Sidi s-sultan, dawn in-nies ġiebu ruħhom ħażin f’kulma għamlu lil Ġeremija, il-profeta, li xeħtuh fil-bir, u dalwaqt imut bil-ġuħ, għax ma baqax ħobż fil-belt”. Is-sultan imbagħad ordna lil Għebed-melek, il-Kusi, u qallu: “Ħu miegħek tlitt irġiel minn dawn u mur tella’ lil Ġeremija, il-profeta, mill-bir, qabel ma jmut”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Responsorial Psalm                PSALM 40:2, 3, 4, 18

I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me.
R. Lord, come to my aid!

The LORD heard my cry.
He drew me out of the pit of destruction,
 out of the mud of the swamp;
he set my feet upon a crag;
 he made firm my steps.
R. Lord, come to my aid!

And he put a new song into my mouth,
 a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in awe
 and trust in the LORD.
R. Lord, come to my aid!

Though I am afflicted and poor,
 yet the LORD thinks of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
 O my God, hold not back!
R. Lord, come to my aid!

Salm Responsorjali               Salm 39(40):2,3,4,18

R/.(14b): Mulej, fittex għinni.


Ittamajt b’tama qawwija fil-Mulej;
hu niżel ħdejja
u sama’ l-għajta tiegħi. R/.

Minn bir waħxi tellagħni,
minn qalb il-ħama u t-tajn;
fuq il-blat qegħedli riġlejja,
u saħħaħli l-mixi tiegħi. R/.

Qegħedli fuq fommi għanja ġdida,
għanja ta’ tifħir lil Alla tagħna.
Ħafna jaraw u jimtlew bil-biża’ tiegħu,
u jittamaw fil-Mulej. R/.

Jien, fqajjar u msejken,
għandi ’l Sidi jaħseb fija.
Inti l-għajnuna u l-ħelsien tiegħi;
iddumx ma tgħinni, Alla tiegħi! R/.


Reading 2               HEBREWS 12:1-4


Brothers and sisters: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

Qari 2                  mill-Ittra lil-Lhud12:1-4

Ħuti, ladarba aħna wkoll għandna madwarna sħaba hekk kbira ta’ xhieda, ejjew inwarrbu minna kull xkiel u kull dnub li malajr ifixkilna, u b’qalbna qawwija nibqgħu niġru t-triq tal-prova li għandna quddiemna. Inżommu għajnejna merfugħa lejn Ġesù, li minnu tibda u fih tintemm il-fidi tagħna; hu li, flok l-hena li kellu quddiemu, qagħad għas-salib bla xejn ma qies l-għajb tiegħu, u issa qiegħed fuq in-naħa tal-lemin tat-tron ta’ Alla. Aħsbu mela fih, li qagħad għal oppożizzjoni hekk kbira min-naħa tal-midinbin, biex ma tegħjewx u ma taqtgħux qalbkom. Sa issa fil-ġlieda tagħkom kontra d-dnub, għad ma żammejtux hekk iebes li wasaltu biex xerridtu demmkom.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel                LUKE 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three;  a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father,  a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

Evanġelju                Qari skont San Luqa 12:49-53

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù qal lid-dixxipli tiegħu: “Nar ġejt inqiegħed fuq l-art, u kemm nixtieq li diġà qabad! Iżda hemm magħmudija li biha għandi nitgħammed, u x’diqa għandi sa ma dan iseħħ! Taħsbu intom li jien ġejt inġib il-paċi fid-dinja? Le, ngħidilkom, imma l-firda; għax mil-lum ’il quddiem ħamsa min-nies f’dar waħda jkunu mifruda bejniethom, tlieta kontra tnejn u tnejn kontra tlieta; jinfirdu l-missier kontra l-iben u l-iben kontra l-missier, l-omm kontra l-bint u l-bint kontra l-omm, omm ir-raġel kontra mart binha u mart l-iben kontra omm żewġha”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
 

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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

Are we practicing “inoffensive Christianity?”

Introduction:


The central theme of Sunday’s readings is that we should courageously live out our religious convictions and principles in our lives, as Jeremiah, Paul, and Jesus did, even if doing so should result in our martyrdom and turn society upside down. If no one is ever offended by the quality of our commitment to Christ, then perhaps we are practicing “inoffensive Christianity.”

Scripture lessons summarized:

Jeremiah, in our first reading, is presented as experiencing the consequences of the burning word of God within him. Jeremiah’s preaching divided the city and incited such opposition that people sought his death. He showed the courage of his prophetic conviction by telling the king that he had to surrender to the mighty army of Babylonian empire to save Israel. The result was that Jeremiah was thrown into a deep, muddy unused cistern to die for his “treason.”

The refrain for today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 40), has us sing what could have been Jeremiah’s plea to God, “Lord! Come to my aid!” Standing in this prophetic tradition, Paul, in the second reading, challenges the Judeo-Christians to stand firm in their Faith in Jesus, ignoring the ostracism imposed on them by their own former Jewish community.

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus, too, preaches the word of God which continues to divide families, a word which, he knew, would lead ultimately to his death. The fire Jesus brings is the fire of love and the fire of hope. The disruption, division, and revolution, which Jesus and his true followers cause in society by the fire of sacrificial love and the fire of justice, are necessary to re-set what’s fractured, put right what’s dislocated and cleanse what’s infected. 


In other words, the curative pain caused by Jesus’ ideas and ideals is necessary for the establishment of real shalom of God. Even though Jesus brings a sword and causes division, he is the bringer of true and lasting peace. In pursuing his mission, Jesus brings division because some follow him and others oppose him. We must make a decision to follow him or not, to share his “baptism” or not. This choice can result in division, even within families.

Life messages:

#1: Let us learn to appreciate the contemporary prophets in the Church: The Jesuit Cardinal Avery Dulles, writing about the role of prophecy in the modern Church communities in his book Models of the Church, remarks: “Christianity is not healthy unless there is room in it for prophetic protest against abuses of authority.” God continues to send such prophets to every parish community, and it is the duty of the bishop, pastor, and parish council to listen to the well-intended, constructive criticisms of such Jeremiahs.

# 2: We should have fire in our hearts: On the day of our Baptism, we received the light of Christ and were instructed to keep that torch burning brightly until the return of Christ Jesus. In addition, the Holy Spirit was sent into our hearts at Confirmation to help set us on fire. “One who is on fire cannot sit on a chair.” So, as Christians on fire, we have to inflame people to care, to serve, and to bless one another with all the gifts of Faith. We should allow that fire to burn off the impurities in us and to bring out the purity of the gold and silver within us.

//////////////////////////////////////     http://frtonyshomilies.com

 

 

Thursday, 4 August 2022

“YOU ALSO MUST BE PREPARED.... "

Readings for Sunday, August 7, 2022

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 117

Id-Dsatax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


 
Reading 1                WISDOM 18:6-9

The night of the passover was known beforehand to our fathers,  that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith,  they might have courage.  Your people awaited the salvation of the just  and the destruction of their foes.  For when you punished our adversaries,  in this you glorified us whom you had summoned.  For in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice  and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution.

Qari 1                mill-Ktieb tal-Għerf 18:6-9


Dak il-lejl tal-ħelsien tħabbar minn qabel lil missirijietna, biex, wara li għarfu sewwa f’liema wegħdiet emmnu, aktar iqawwu qalbhom. Il-poplu tiegħek stenna l-ħelsien tal-ġusti, u l-qerda tal-għedewwa tagħhom, għax kif int ikkastigajt l-għedewwa tagħna,  hekk sebbaħt lilna meta sejjaħtilna għalik.  L-ulied twajba tal-ġusti offrew sagrifiċċju bil-moħbi, u lkoll fehma waħda qagħdu għal-Liġi ta’ Alla: li l-qaddisin tiegħek jaqsmu xorta bejniethom kemm il-ġid u kemm id-deni; għalhekk minn qabel għannew tifħir missirijiethom. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
 

Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22

Exult, you just, in the LORD;
 praise from the upright is fitting.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
 the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
 upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
 and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Our soul waits for the LORD,
 who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
 who have put our hope in you.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Salm Responsorjali                Salm 32 33):1,12,18-19,20,22

R/.(12b): Hieni l-poplu li l-Mulej għażel b’wirtu.

Għannu, ġusti, bil-ferħ lill-Mulej;
jixirqilhom ifaħħruh in-nies sewwa.
Hieni l-ġens li l-Mulej hu Alla tiegħu,
il-poplu li hu għażel b’wirtu. R/.

Ara, għajnejn il-Mulej fuq dawk li jibżgħu minnu,
fuq dawk li jittamaw fit-tjieba tiegħu,
biex jeħilsilhom mill-mewt ħajjithom,
u jaħjihom fi żmien il-ġuħ. R/.

Ruħna tixxennaq għall-Mulej,
hu l-għajnuna u t-tarka tagħna.
Ħa tkun, Mulej, it-tjieba tiegħek fuqna,
kif fik hi t-tama tagħna. R/.

 
Reading 2               HEBREWS 11:1-2, 8-19

Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.BVBecause of it the ancients were well attested. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise;  for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God. By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age —and Sarah herself was sterile— for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy. So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore. All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth, for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.

Qari 2                mill-Ittra lil-Lhud  11:1-2,8-19

Ħuti, il-fidi hija pedament tal-ħwejjeġ li għandna nittamaw, hija l-prova tal-ħwejjeġ li ma narawx. In-nies tal-imgħoddi għoġbu lil Alla sewwasew għax kellhom il-fidi. Kienet il-fidi li ġagħlet lil Abraham jobdi s-sejħa ta’ Alla, meta dan qallu biex imur f’art li kien se jagħtih b’wirt; u telaq, bla ma kien jaf fejn kien sejjer.  Kienet il-fidi li ġagħlitu jgħammar fl-art imwiegħda, qisu barrani f’art barranija, u jgħix taħt it-tined flimkien ma’ Iżakk u Ġakobb, li kienu werrieta miegħu tal-istess wegħda; għax hu kien iħares ’il quddiem, lejn il-belt mibnija fis-sod, li l-imgħallem u l-bennej tagħha huwa Alla.  Kienet ukoll il-fidi li biha Sarah, mara mdaħħla fiż-żmien, setgħet titqal, għax hija għarfet li ta’ kelmtu kien dak li għamlilha l-wegħda. Kien għalhekk li minn bniedem wieħed, li kien tista’ tgħid mejjet, twieldu nies bil-kotra daqs il-kwiekeb tas-sema u daqs ir-ramel ta’ xatt il-baħar, li ħadd ma jista’ jgħoddu.  Kollha bil-fidi mietu dawn in-nies. Kienu għadhom ma ħadux dak li kien imwiegħed, iżda huma rawh mill-bogħod u sellmulu, waqt li għarfu li huma kienu barranin u għorba fuq l-art. Tabilħaqq, dawk li jitkellmu b’dan il-mod juru ċar li huma qegħdin ifittxu pajjiż għalihom. Li kieku kellhom fi ħsiebhom il-pajjiż li minnu kienu ħarġu, kellhom żmien biżżejjed biex jerġgħu lura fih. Imma issa huma jixtiequ pajjiż aħjar, jiġifieri, dak tas-sema. Huwa għalhekk li Alla ma jistmellx jissejjaħ Alla tagħhom, għax hu ħejja belt għalihom.  Kienet il-fidi li ġagħlet lil Abraham joffri ’l Iżakk meta Alla ġarrbu; u kien se joffri lil ibnu l-waħdieni sewwasew dak li kien ħa l-wegħdiet, hu li Alla kien qallu: “Minn Iżakk int għad ikollok nisel”. Huwa fehem li Alla kellu s-setgħa saħansitra li jqajjem mill-mewt; u, fis-sens ta’ tixbiha, ħadu tabilħaqq lura mill-mewt.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel               LUKE 12:32-48

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.  Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”  Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Evanġelju                Qari skont San Luqa 12:32-48  

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù qal lid-dixxipli tiegħu: “Le, merħla ċkejkna, tibżgħu xejn, għax Missierkom għoġbu jagħtikom is-Saltna! Bigħu ġidkom u agħtuh karità u fittxu għalikom infuskom boroż li ma jitmermrux, teżor li ma jiġix nieqes fis-sema, fejn la l-ħalliel ma jersaq u lanqas il-kamla ma tħassar. Għax fejn hemm it-teżor tagħkom, hemm tinsab qalbkom ukoll. Żommu ġenbejkom imħażżma u l-imsiebaħ tagħkom mixgħula; kunu bħal nies jistennew lil sidhom lura mill-festa tat-tieġ, biex malli jiġi u jħabbat jiftħulu minnufih. Henjin dawk il-qaddejja li meta jiġi sidhom isibhom jishru! Tassew ngħidilkom, li hu jitħażżem, iqegħedhom madwar il-mejda, u jgħaddi quddiemhom iservihom. U kieku kellu jiġi fil-ħin tat-tieni sahra, jew tat-tielet, u jsibhom xorta waħda fuq dmirhom, henjin huma! Kunu afu dan, li kieku sid id-dar kellu jkun jaf xħin ikun ġej il-ħalliel, ma kienx se jħalli min jinfidlu l-ħajt ta’ daru. Mela kunu lesti intom ukoll, għax qatt ma tistgħu tobsru s-siegħa li fiha jiġi Bin il-bniedem”.  Qallu Pietru: “Mulej, din il-parabbola qiegħed tgħidha għalina, jew għal kulħadd?”. Wieġbu l-Mulej: “Int min tgħid li hu l-qaddej fidil u għaqli? Min hu dak li s-sid iqiegħdu fuq in-nies tad-dar biex jagħtihom sehemhom f’ħin l-ikel? Hieni dak il-qaddej li sidu jiġi u jsibu jagħmel dan. Ngħidilkom is-sewwa, li jafdalu ġidu kollu f’idejh. Imma nagħmlu mod li dak il-qaddej jibda jgħid f’qalbu: ‘Sidi jiddawwar ma jiġi’, u jaqbad isawwat lill-qaddejja kollha, irġiel u nisa, u jiekol u jagħtiha għax-xorb u s-sokor; sid dak il-qaddej jasal f’jum meta ma jkunx jistennieh, f’siegħa li fiha jieħdu għall-għarrieda, u jagħmlu bċejjeċ u jagħtih dak li ħaqqhom in-nies li mhumiex fidili. U dak il-qaddej li jkun jaf xi jrid sidu, u madankollu ma jħejjix jew ma jagħmilx li jrid sidu, swat kbir jaqla’. Min imbagħad, bla ma jkun jaf xi jrid sidu, jagħmel xi ħaġa li jkun ħaqqha s-swat, dan ftit jissawwat. Għax lil min tawh ħafna, ifittxu li jieħdu ħafna mingħandu; u min ħallewlu ħafna f’idejh, iżjed jippretendu mingħandu”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   


The necessity for trusting in God’s promises

Introduction:

The central theme of today’s readings is the necessity for trusting Faith in God’s promises and vigilant preparedness among Christ’s followers to meet their God as their Judge and Rewarder, at the time of their death. Fidelity in doing God’s will is the best preparation for our death.

Scripture lessons summarized:

The first reading cites the Faith-filled preparedness of the ancient Hebrew slaves in Egypt before their mass exodus to the Promised Land. Their trusting Faith in their God’s promises gave them hope. We are told how their Faith and Hope resulted in their liberation. With expectant Hope, the Hebrews sacrificed the first Passover lamb and ate the first ritual meal, as prescribed by their God through Moses. They awaited their imminent release and were prepared for it.

Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 33) invites us to express our own confidence in God and to declare our trust in His Providence. In the Second Reading, taken from the last chapter of the letter to the Hebrews, the author defines Faith as “the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). He tries to bolster the Faith of the Jewish Christians (the Hebrews), by appealing to the example of their ancestors, starting with Abraham, and reviewing the things they accomplished by Faith.

In the Gospel, Jesus challenges his disciples to trust the Father’s promise to give them eternal happiness in His kingdom. But they are to be prepared at all times, because the Son of Man will come at an unexpected hour, either at the moment of their death or at the end of the world, whichever is comes first. Using the master-thief parable, Jesus warns us to be on our guard so that the thief (the devil), may not steal our treasure of Divine grace or our relationship with God by his temptations. Using the master-servant parable, Jesus reminds us always to do the will of God by obeying Jesus’ commandment of love and offering humble and sacrificial service to others.

Life message:

We always need to be prepared to meet Our Lord as our judge:

    1) Let us always remember the words of the Book of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him and he with me” (3:20). Since nobody is sure about the time and circumstances of his or her death, we must be ever prepared to face Jesus our Lord and Savior as our Judge at the moment of our death to give an account of our lives. He wants to see that we have kept our personal relationship with him by growing in holiness.

    2) Such a growth is assisted by daily talking to him and listening to him in Bible reading; by asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit every day; by recharging our spiritual batteries through offering our lives on the altar and getting spiritual nourishment in Holy Communion during the Holy Mass; by getting reconciled with God every day, asking for His pardon and forgiveness with a repentant heart, and seeking His forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation for serious sins; and by obeying Jesus’ commandment of love by serving all the people around us, sacrificially sharing our blessings with them, seeing the face of Jesus in everyone.

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Thursday, 28 July 2022

“TAKE CARE TO GUARD AGAINST ALL GREED..."


Readings for Sunday, July 31, 2022

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 114

It-18-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena (Ċ)

   

 

Reading 1               ECCLESIASTES 1:2; 2:21-23

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities!  All things are vanity! Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and yet to another who has not labored over it, he must leave property. This also is vanity and a great misfortune. For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which he has labored under the sun? All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest. This also is vanity.

Qari 1                mill-Ktieb ta’ Qoħelet 1:2; 2:21-23  

O frugħa tal-frugħat, jgħid Qoħèlet. O frugħa tal-frugħat! Kollox frugħa! Għax dan jiġri: wieħed, li jkun ħadem bl-għaqal u l-ħila u b’suċċess, ikollu jgħaddi sehmu lil ħaddieħor li xejn ma tħabat għalih. Dan ukoll frugħa u ħaġa mill-agħar. Għax x’se jmissu l-bniedem mit-taħbit u l-kedda li jkun ħa taħt ix-xemx? Għomru kollu jbati u jinħaqar bil-kedda u lanqas billejl ma jserraħ rasu. Dan ukoll hu frugħa!   Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17

You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
 are as yesterday, now that it is past,
 or as a watch of the night.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

You make an end of them in their sleep;
 the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Teach us to number our days aright,
 that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
 Have pity on your servants!
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
 that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
 prosper the work of our hands for us!
 Prosper the work of our hands!
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Salm Responsorjali               Salm 89(90):3-4,5-6,12-13,14,17

R/.(1): Mulej, int kont għalina kenn minn nisel għal nisel.

Int traġġa’ l-bnedmin lejn it-trab,
u tgħidilhom: “Erġgħu lura, intom bnedmin!”.
Elf sena huma għalik bħal jum tal-bieraħ li għadda,
jew bħal sahra tal-lejl. R/.

Int taħsadhom, u jsiru bħal ħolma.
Huma bħall-ħaxix li jinbet filgħodu;
filgħodu jwarrad u jħaddar,
filgħaxija jidbiel u jinxef. R/.

Għalhekk għallimna ngħoddu jiem ħajjitna,
sabiex aħna nimxu bil-għaqal.
Dur lejna, Mulej! Kemm se ddum?
Ħenn għall-qaddejja tiegħek! R/.

Imliena kmieni bit-tjieba tiegħek,
biex nifirħu u nithennew ħajjitna kollha.
Ħa tkun fuqna l-grazzja ta’ Alla Sidna!
Wettqilna inti x-xogħol ta’ jdejna,
wettaq, iva, xogħol idejna. R/.

Reading 2               COLOSSIANS 3:1-5, 9-11

Brothers and sisters: If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory. Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.

Qari 2                mill-Ittra lill-Kolossin 3:1-5,9-11

 Ħuti, jekk intom irxuxtajtu ma’ Kristu, fittxu l-ħwejjeġ tas-sema, fejn Kristu qiegħed fuq il-lemin ta’ Alla. Aħsbu fil-ħwejjeġ tas-sema, mhux f’dawk tal-art. Għax intom mittu, imma ħajjitkom hi moħbija flimkien ma’ Kristu f’Alla. Meta jidher Kristu, li hu l-ħajja tagħkom, imbagħad intom ukoll tidhru flimkien miegħu fil-glorja. Mewtu ġo fikom dak kollu li hu tal-art: żína, faħx, ġibdiet, xewqat ħżiena, u r-regħba li hi idolatrija. Tigdbux lil xulxin, intom li nżajtu l-bniedem il-qadim bl-għemil kollu tiegħu, u lbistu l-bniedem il-ġdid, li jiġġedded dejjem skont ix-xbieha ta’ min ħalqu, u jikber fl-għerf. Fih ma hemmx Grieg jew Lhudi, ċirkonċiż jew mhux, Barbaru jew Skita, ilsir jew ħieles, iżda Kristu f’kollox u f’kulħadd.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel               LUKE 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my  harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”

 
Evanġelju               Qari skont San Luqa 12:13-21


F’dak iż-żmien, xi ħadd mill-folla qal lil Ġesù: “Mgħallem, għid lil ħija jaqsam il-wirt miegħi”. Wieġbu Ġesù: “Ħabib, min qegħedni mħallef fuqkom, jew qabbadni nqassmilkom il-ġid bejnietkom?”. Imbagħad qal lin-nies: “Iftħu għajnejkom u ħarsu rwieħkom minn kull regħba, għax imqar jekk wieħed ikollu bir-radam, ħajtu ma tiddependix mill-ġid li jkollu”. U qalilhom parabbola: “Wieħed raġel għani ġabar kotra ta’ frott mir-raba’ tiegħu. U beda jaħseb u jgħid bejnu u bejn ruħu: ‘X’se nagħmel? Għax dan il-frott kollu ma għandix fejn naħżnu! Ara x’nagħmel’, qal, “inħott l-imħażen li għandi u nibni oħrajn akbar, u naħżen fihom il-qamħ u l-ġid kollu li għandi. Imbagħad ngħid lili nnifsi: Ruħi, għandek ħażna kbira ta’ ġid għal bosta snin; mela strieħ, kul, ixrob, ixxala!’. Iżda qallu Alla: ‘Iblah li int! Dan il-lejl stess jitolbuk ruħek lura. U l-ħwejjeġ li ħejjejt għalik, ta’ min ikunu?’. Hekk jiġrilu min jiġma’ l-ġid għalih innifsu bla ma jistagħna quddiem Alla”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

The futility of greedy acquisition and power

Introduction:

The common theme of Sunday’s Readings is the futility of the greedy acquisition of wealth and power because everything and everyone is “here today and gone tomorrow.” So, the meaning of life cannot be found in selfishly hoarding wealth and possessions, but only in sharing these with the needy.

Scripture lessons:

The first reading, taken from Ecclesiastes, reminds us that the greedy acquisition and hording of material wealth is useless because when the hoarder dies, he goes to eternity empty-handed, and his heir gains, and perhaps squanders, his riches.

In the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 90), the Psalmist challenges us to listen to God and allow Him to soften our hearts that we may share our blessings with others.  The Psalm Response urges, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Ps 95:8).

In the second reading, Paul directs our attention to lasting, Heavenly treasures and warns that greed (pleonexia) for wealth and influence is idolatry. He advises, “Put to death, your parts that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry” (Col 3:5).

In today’s Gospel, Jesus, telling the parable of the foolish rich man, warns us against all types of greed, because greed takes our life’s focus away from God and away from serving and loving Him in Himself and in other people. Jesus says that God calls the greedy rich man a fool because the man thought he would not die soon and that he was not accountable for the way he used his riches. Besides, the rich man forgot the fact that his wealth had been lent to him by God for sharing with the needy. Jesus also warns us that our eternal life does not consist of earthly possessions (Lk 12:15), which we should share to gain eternal life.

Life messages:


1) We are invited to share our blessings with others. The parable of the rich fool gives us a warning as well as an invitation. It reminds us that our possessions are merely lent to us by God, and that we are accountable for their use. We must be generous in sharing our time, our treasure, and our talents in Christian stewardship. Even if we are poor financially, we may be blessed with intelligence, good will, a sense of humor, or the ability to console, encourage, inspire, support, and help others. God expects us to give our thanks to Him for all these blessings by sharing them with others for His glory. The Old Testament Scriptures are clear about tithing – giving 10% of our income for God’s cause and for helping the needy. God never allows tithers to regret their generosity.

2) Let us control our greed. Our greed takes different shapes and forms. For some, it may be the desire for the approval and praise of others. For others, it is the uncontrolled desire for power, control, or fame. For still others, greed takes the form of excessive and sinful indulgence in eating, drinking, gambling, drugs, or sexual activities. Greed also turns our life away from God and away from loving and serving Him in Himself and in other people. As greed directs all our energy and attention to fulfilling the self, its objects become our false gods, and they will consume us, unless we become rich in the sight of God.

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Thursday, 21 July 2022

HOW WE SHOULD PRAY TO GOD

Readings for Sunday, July 24, 2022

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 111


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

 
 

Reading 1               GENESIS 18:20-32

In those days, the LORD said: "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry  against them that comes to me. I mean to find out." While Abraham's visitors walked on farther toward Sodom, the LORD remained standing before Abraham. Then Abraham drew nearer and said: "Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather tha  spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?" The LORD replied, "If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." Abraham spoke up again: "See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes! What if there are five less than fifty innocent people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?" He answered, "I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there." But Abraham persisted, saying "What if only forty are found there?" He replied, "I will forbear doing it for the sake of the forty." Then Abraham said, "Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?" He replied, "I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there." Still Abraham went on, "Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?" The LORD answered, "I will not destroy it, for the sake of the twenty." But he still persisted: "Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?" He replied, "For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it."

Qari 1               Qari mill-Ktieb tal-Ġenesi 18:20-32

F’dak iż-żmien il-Mulej qal: “L-għajta ta’ Sodoma u Gomorra hi tassew qawwija, u t-toqol ta’ dnubhom hu kbir. U issa se ninżel u nara jekk għamlux għalkollox skont l-għajta tagħhom li waslet għandi. Jekk le, inkun naf”. Dawk l-irġiel kisru minn hemm, u rħewlha lejn Sodoma; imma l-Mulej baqa’ wieqaf quddiem Abraham. Abraham resaq lejn il-Mulej u staqsieh: “U int se teqred it-tajjeb mal-ħażin? U jekk hemm ħamsin bniedem ġust f’nofs il-belt, jaqaw lil dawn se teqridhom u ma taħfirx lill-pajjiż minħabba l-ħamsin ġust li hemm f’nofsha? Ma jkun qatt li inti tagħmel ħaġa bħal din, li toqtol il-bniedem ġust mal-ħażin, u l-ġust u l-ħażin tmisshom l-istess xorti. Ma jkun qatt minnek, l-imħallef tal-art kollha, li ma tagħmilx ġustizzja”. U l-Mulej wieġeb: “Jekk jiena nsib ħamsin bniedem ġust f’nofs il-belt, jien naħfirha lill-post kollu minħabba fihom”. Wieġeb Abraham u qal: “Arani, jien issugrajt nitkellem mal-Mulej, għalkemm jien trab u rmied. U jekk hemm nieqsa ħamsa għall-ħamsin ġust, minħabba ħamsa u erbgħin se teqred il-belt kollha?”. U wieġbu l-Mulej: “Ma neqridhiex jekk insib fiha ħamsa u erbgħin”. Imma Abraham kompla jitkellem miegħu u jgħidlu: “U jekk issib hemm erbgħin?”. U wieġbu: “Ma nagħmilx dan, minħabba l-erbgħin”. Qal Abraham: “La tagħdabx, Sidi, jekk nerġa’ nitkellem: u jekk jinstabu tletin?”. U hu wieġeb: “Ma nagħmilx dan, jekk insib hemm tletin”. U raġa’ qallu: “Ara kif nissogra nkellem lil Sidi: U jekk jinstabu hemm għoxrin?”. U l-Mulej wieġeb: “Ma neqridhiex minħabba l-għoxrin”. U wieġeb: “La tagħdabx, Sidi, jekk nerġa’ nitkellem darba oħra biss: U jekk jinstabu hemm għaxra?”. U hu qallu: “Ma neqridhiex minħabba l-għaxra”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

 

Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees,
and the proud he knows from afar.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me;
against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Salm Responsorjali                 Salm 137(138):1-2a,2bċ-3,6-7ab,7ċ-8

R/.(3a): Meta sejjaħtlek, int weġibtni, Mulej.


Irroddlok ħajr, Mulej, b’qalbi kollha,
għaliex int smajt kliem fommi.
Quddiem l-allat irrid ngħannilek.
B’wiċċi fl-art ninxteħet quddiem is-santwarju tiegħek. R/.

Irroddlok ħajr għat-tjieba u l-fedeltà tiegħek,
għax int kabbart ismek u kelmtek fuq kollox.
Meta sejjaħtlek, int weġibtni,
kattarli l-qawwa f’ruħi. R/.

Kbir il-Mulej, imma jieħu ħsieb iż-żgħar;
u, għalkemm fl-għoli, jagħraf mill-bogħod.
Jekk insib ruħi fl-għali, inti tħarisli ħajti;
terfa’ idek kontra l-għedewwa tiegħi. R/.

Il-leminija tiegħek issalvani mill-qilla tagħhom.
Il-Mulej iżomm kelmtu miegħi.
It-tjieba tiegħek, Mulej, tibqa’ għal dejjem;
la titlaqx għemil idejk! R/.

 
Reading 2               COLOSSIANS 2:12-14

Brothers and sisters:  You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And even when you were dead in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions;  obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.

Qari 2               mill-Ittra ta’ San Pawl lill-Kolossin 2:12-14

Ħuti, intom indfintu ma’ Kristu bil-magħmudija u rxuxtajtu miegħu permezz tal-fidi tagħkom fil-qawwa ta’ Alla li qajmu mill-imwiet. Kontu mejta minħabba dnubietkom u għax ma kellkomx iċ-ċirkonċiżjoni f’ġisimkom; imma issa Alla takom il-ħajja flimkien ma’ Kristu: Ħafrilna dnubietna kollha. Ħassar il-kont tad-dejn li kellna bl-obbligi li kien hemm kontrina; neħħieh min-nofs u sammru mas-salib. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel               LUKE 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test." And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,' and he says in reply from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.' I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. "And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find;  knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

Evanġelju             Qari skont San Luqa 11:1-13

Darba Ġesù kien qiegħed xi mkien jitlob. Kif spiċċa mit-talb, wieħed mid-dixxipli tiegħu qallu: “Mulej, għallimna nitolbu, bħalma Ġwanni wkoll għallem lid-dixxipli tiegħu”. U qalilhom: “Meta titolbu, għidu: ‘Missier, jitqaddes ismek, tiġi Saltnatek. Ħobżna ta’ kuljum agħtina kuljum. U aħfrilna dnubietna, għax aħna wkoll naħfru lil kull min hu ħati għalina, u la ddaħħalniex fit-tiġrib’”. Qalilhom ukoll: “Wieħed minnkom ikollu ħabib li jiġih f’nofs ta’ lejl u jgħidlu: ‘Ħabib, islifni tliet ħobżiet, għax ġie għandi wieħed ħabib tiegħi mill-vjaġġ u ma għandix x’nagħtih’. U l-ieħor iwieġbu minn ġewwa u jgħidlu: ‘Iddejjaqnix; issa l-bieb magħluq, u wliedi qegħdin fis-sodda miegħi; ma nistax inqum nagħtik’. Ngħidilkom jien, li jekk ma jqumx jagħtih għax ħabib tiegħu, iqum u jagħtih kulma jkollu bżonn minħabba l-wiċċ sfiq tiegħu. U jiena ngħidilkom: Itolbu u jingħatalkom, fittxu u ssibu, ħabbtu u jiftħulkom. Għax min jitlob, jaqla’; min ifittex, isib; u min iħabbat, jiftħulu. Min hu dak il-missier fostkom li, jekk ibnu jitolbu ħuta, minflok ħuta jagħtih serp? Inkella jekk jitolbu bajda jagħtih skorpjun? Mela jekk intom, nies ħżiena bħalkom, tafu tagħtu lil uliedkom ħwejjeġ tajba, kemm aktar il-Missier mis-smewwiet jagħti spirtu qaddis lil dawk li jitolbuhulu!”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


///////////////////////////////////////////////                                                                                                         Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil    

THE POWER OF INTERCESSORY PRAYER

Introduction: 

The main themes of Sunday’s Scripture readings are the power of intercessory prayer, the Our Father as the ideal prayer, and the necessity for persistence and perseverance in prayer with trusting faith and boldness. In short, the readings teach us what to pray and how to pray. (An anecdote may be added)

Scripture lessons, summarized:

The first reading, taken from the book of Genesis, gives us the model for intercessory prayer provided by Abraham in his dialogue with God. Although Abraham seems to be trying to manipulate God through his skillful bargaining and humble, persistent intercession, God is actually being moved to mercy by the goodness of a few innocent souls.

The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 138), with the Psalm Response, “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me,” is a hymn of hope and trust in the Lord, reminding us that God is close to the humble of heart and to all those who call upon Him in their need. The second reading, taken from Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, though it does not address prayer,reminds us of the need of perseverance in our living faith in Christ, which provides the basis for all Christian prayers, especially for liturgical prayer: the mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Paul assures us that even when we were dead in sin, God gave us new life through Jesus and pardoned all our sins.

In the Gospel passage, after teaching a model prayer, Jesus instructs his disciples to pray to God their Heavenly Father with the same boldness, daring, intimacy, conviction, persistence and perseverance Abraham displayed and the friend in need in the parable employed. He gives us the assurance that God will not be irritated by our requests or unwilling to meet them with generosity.

Life Messages:

    1) Prayer is essential for Christian family life. To remain faithful in marriage, the spouses must pray, not only individually, but together. They must thank God and offer intercessory prayers for each other, for their children and for their dear ones. Daily prayer will help married couples tocelebrate and reverence God’s vision of human sexuality and honor life from conception to natural death. Here is St. John Marie Vianney’s advice to a couple: “Spend three minutes praising and thanking God for all you have. Spend three minutes asking God’s pardon for your sins and presenting your needs before Him. Spend three minutes reading the Bible and listening to God in silence. And do this every day.”

    2) We need to accept others as children of God and thereby our brothers and sisters: Through the Our Father, Jesus is giving us a new vision of human relationships: that we all, irrespective of our color, creed or social background, are the children of God and thereby are brothers and sisters. 

When we learn this lesson – if we can learn this lesson, if we are able to treat God as our Father and love Him accordingly, and if we are able to treat every other human being as our own dear brothers and sisters and love them accordingly — then, and then only, shall we experience the Kingdom of God here on earth and enjoy this in the next life. When we love each other and forgive each other’s failings God also will love us and forgive us. This is the foundation of true faith. (Joe Vemp).

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Thursday, 14 July 2022

THE NECESSITY OF LISTENING TO GOD BEFORE ACTING

Readings for Sunday, July `10, 2022

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 108

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

  

Reading 1               GENESIS 18:1-10a

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground, he said: "Sir, if I may ask you this favor, please do not go on past your servant. Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree. Now that you have come this close to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way." The men replied, "Very well, do as you have said." Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah, "Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls." He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. Then Abraham got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before the three men; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate. They asked Abraham, "Where is your wife Sarah?" He replied, "There in the tent." One of them said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son."

Qari 1                mill-Ktieb tal-Ġenesi 18:1-10a

F’dak iż-żmien, il-Mulej deher lil Abraham ħdejn il-ballut ta’ Mamri; u hu kien fil-bieb tal-għarix fl-aqwa tas-sħana tal-jum. U rafa’ għajnejh u ħares, u ra tlitt irġiel weqfin quddiemu; u malli rahom mar jiġri jilqagħhom mill-bieb tal-għarix u nxteħet wiċċu fl-art quddiemhom. U qal: “Sidi, jekk jien sibt ħniena f’għajnejk, tibqax għaddej minn quddiem il-qaddej tiegħek. Ħa nġib ftit ilma u aħslu riġlejkom, u strieħu taħt is-siġra, sakemm inġibilkom gidma ħobż, biex titrejqu, imbagħad tibqgħu sejrin – għax għalhekk għaddejtu għand il-qaddej tagħkom”. U huma qalulu: “Tajjeb, agħmel kif għedt”.  U Abraham ħaffef lejn l-għarix, ħdejn Sara, u qalilha: “Fittex lesti tliet sigħan smid, agħġnu u agħmlu ftajjar”. U Abraham mar jiġri ħdejn il-baqar u ħa għoġol tari u sabiħ, u tah lill-qaddej; u dan fittex ilestih. U ħa l-baqta u l-ħalib u l-għoġol li kien lesta, u qegħedhom quddiemhom. U hu baqa’ bilwieqfa quddiemhom taħt is-siġra, u huma bdew jieklu. U staqsewh: “Fejn hi Sara, martek?”. U hu weġibhom: “Hemm fl-għarix”. U qallu: “Nerġa’ niġi għandek bħal dan iż-żmien sena, u ara, Sara martek ikollha iben”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

 Responsorial Psalm                PSALM 15:2-3, 3-4, 5

One who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
by whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
One who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Salm Responsorjali               Salm 14(15):2-3ab,3ċd-4ab,5   

R/.(1a): Mulej, min jgħammar fid-dar tiegħek?

 Min jgħix bla ħtija u jagħmel it-tajjeb,
min jgħid is-sewwa f’qalbu;
min ma jqassasx bi lsienu. R/.

Min ma jagħmilx deni lil ġaru,
u ma jgħajjarx lil għajru;
min ma jistmax lill-bniedem ħażin,
imma jweġġaħ lil dawk li jibżgħu mill-Mulej. R/.

Min jislef u ma jitlobx imgħax,
u ma jixxaħħamx kontra min hu bla ħtija.
Min jagħmel dan qatt ma jitħarrek. R/.

Reading 2                COLOSSIANS 1:24-28

Brothers and sisters: Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God's stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

Qari 2                mill-Ittra lill-Kolossin  1:24-28

Ħuti, jien issa nifraħ bit-tbatijiet tiegħi minħabba fikom, għaliex bihom jiena ntemm f’ġismi dak li jonqos mit-tbatijiet ta’ Kristu għall-ġisem tiegħu li hu l-Knisja. Tagħha jiena sirt ministru, skont ma tani nagħmel Alla għalikom, jiġifieri li nxandar b’mod sħiħ il-Kelma ta’ Alla, il-misteru li kien moħbi sa miż-żminijiet u l-ġenerazzjonijiet kollha, u li issa hu mgħarraf lill-qaddisin tiegħu. Lil dawn Alla ried jgħarrafhom kemm huwa kbir l-għana tal-glorja ta’ dan il-misteru fost il-pagani: Kristu hu fikom, it-tama tal-glorja tagħkom. Lilu aħna nħabbru lill-bnedmin kollha, u nwissu u ngħallmu lil kulħadd bl-għerf kollu biex inwasslu lil kull bniedem għall-perfezzjoni fi Kristu. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel               LUKE 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."

Evanġelju               Qari skont San Luqa 10:38-42

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù daħal f’raħal, u laqgħetu għandha waħda mara jisimha Marta. Din kellha oħtha, jisimha Marija, li niżlet bilqiegħda f’riġlejn il-Mulej tisimgħu x’kien qiegħed jgħid. Iżda Marta kienet moħħha fuq il-ħafna xogħol tad-dar. Imbagħad resqet u qaltlu: “Mulej, m’intix tara kif oħti ħalliet ix-xogħol kollu fuqi biss? Mela għidilha taqbad tagħmel xi ħaġa miegħi”. Qabeż il-Mulej u qalilha: “Marta, Marta! Inti taħseb wisq u tinkwieta fuq ħafna ħwejjeġ; imma waħda hi meħtieġa. U Marija għażlet l-aħjar sehem, li ma jitteħdilhiex”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


///////////////////////////////////////////////

Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil     HOSPITALITY AND THE CHRISTIAN
Introduction:


The central themes of Sunday’s readings are the importance of hospitality in Christian life and the necessity of listening to God before acting. The key to the Christian life is setting priorities: Jesus Christ first, then everything else. The only way really to learn that lesson is to spend some time every day, “sitting at the feet of Jesus.” (An anecdote may be added).

Scripture lessons:

Sunday’s first reading describes how Abraham and Sarah’s hospitality to angels in the guise of strangers was rewarded by God, who blessed them with a son in their old age. The refrain for today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 15) He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord, reminds us of our intended final destination.

In the second reading, Paul declares that he was commissioned by God to minister to the Church, as the revealer of the mystery of salvation and the preacher of the word in its fullness (v. 25). He invites believers to open their hearts and minds and to show their hospitality to the mystery of Christ which he preaches. Paul also challenges us to cultivate that quality of hospitality which welcomes all others in Christ. 

Sunday’s Gospel passage describes how Martha, a genuine child of Abraham, wanted to extend the traditional generous hospitality of her people to Jesus, the true Messiah, by preparing an elaborate meal for him (while her sister Mary spent her time in talking to Jesus and listening to him; It invites us to serve others with Martha’s diligence after recharging our spiritual batteries every day by prayer – listening to God and talking to God – as Mary did. We can minister truly to the needs of others only after welcoming God’s Word into in our hearts and minds.

Life Messages:

1) We need to recharge our spiritual batteries: We should put aside the work we do for the Lord in serving others and just spend some time being with Him, talking to Him and listening to Him, fully aware of His holy presence in our souls. We may also recharge our spiritual energy by means of our personal and family prayers, our meditative reading of the Bible and our participation in the celebration of the Holy Mass.

2) We need listening Marthas and serving Marys: Martha has become a symbol of action-oriented, responsible people who get the job done. Our world and our parish churches need such dynamic and generous men, women, boys and girls. We need them to sing in the choir, to help in the Church, to teach in the Sunday school, to visit the sick and the shut-ins and to serve in all other ministries of the parish community.

3) We need to be good listeners, like Mary, at home and in the workplace. Active and busy as we are, we must find time every day to listen to God, to our spouse, kids, and neighbors. Listening and quiet caring are essential for the success of married life, of family life and of the rearing of children with love, affection, and a gentle, firm discipline. Human love begins at home, and it begins with listening

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Thursday, 7 July 2022

YOU, GOD AND YOUR NEIGHBOUR

 Readings for Sunday, July `10, 2022

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 105

Il-Ħmistax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena



Reading 1               DEUTERONOMY 30:10-14

Moses said to the people: "If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this book of the law, when you return to the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul. "For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky, that you should say, 'Who will go up in the sky to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?' Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?' No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out."

Qari 1                mill-Ktieb tad-Dewteronomju 30, 10-14


Mosè kellem lill-poplu u qal: “Il-Mulej jifraħ bik u jagħmel il-ġid miegħek, jekk int tisma’ l-kelma tal-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, u tħares l-ordnijiet tiegħu u l-liġijiet miktuba fil-ktieb ta’ din il-liġi; jekk terġa’ lejn il-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, b’qalbek kollha u b’ruħek kollha. Din il-liġi li qiegħed nagħtik illum, mhijiex tqila għalik u anqas ’il bogħod minnek. Mhijiex fis-sema biex int tgħid: “Min se jitlgħalna s-sema jġibhielna u jsemmagħhielna u nagħmluha?”. U anqas ma hi ’l hemm mill-baħar biex int tgħid: “Min se jmur ’l hemm mill-ibħra u jġibhielna, u jsemmagħhielna, u nagħmluha?”. Imma din il-ħaġa hi qribek sewwa f’fommok u f’moħħok, biex tagħmilha”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej


Responsorial Psalm               PSALM 19 (18): 8, 9, 10, 11

The law of the LORD is perfect,
 refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
 giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
 rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
 enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
 enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
 all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

They are more precious than gold,
 than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
 or honey from the comb.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Salm Responsorjali               Salm 18, 8.9. 10.11

R/. (9a): Il-preċetti tal-Mulej dritti, u jferrħu l-qalb  

Il-liġi tal-Mulej perfetta,
u tagħti l-ħajja;
ix-xhieda tal-Mulej hi sewwa,
u tgħallem lil min ma jafx. R/.

Il-preċetti tal-Mulej dritti,
u jferrħu l-qalb;
il-kmandament tal-Mulej safi,
u jdawwal l-għajnejn. R/.

Il-biża’ tal-Mulej sinċier,
u jibqa’ għal dejjem;
il-ġudizzji tal-Mulej sewwa,
u mseddqa għalkollox. R/.

Egħżeż mid-deheb,
mid-deheb l-aktar fin,
oħla mill-għasel
u mill-qtar tax-xehda. R/.


Reading 2               COLOSSIANS 1:15-20

Christ Jesus 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 ta’ San Pawl Appostlu lill-Kolossin 1, 15-20  

Ħuti, Kristu 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 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength,  and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live." But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.' Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Evanġelju               Qari skont San Luqa 10, 25-37

F’dak iż-żmien, iqum wieħed għaref fil-Liġi u, biex iġarrab lil Ġesù, staqsieh: “Mgħallem, x’nagħmel biex niret il-ħajja ta’ dejjem?”. Qallu Ġesù: “Fil-Liġi x’hemm miktub? Inti x’taqra fiha?”. U dak wieġeb: “Int għandek tħobb il-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, b’qalbek kollha, u b’ruħek kollha, bil-qawwa tiegħek kollha, u b’moħħok kollu, u lill-proxxmu tiegħek bħalek innifsek”.  Qallu Ġesù: “Sewwa weġibt; agħmel hekk u tgħix”. Iżda dak, biex juri li kellu raġun, qal lil Ġesù: “U l-proxxmu tiegħi min hu?”. U Ġesù raġa’ qabad jgħidlu: “Wieħed raġel kien nieżel Ġeriko minn Ġerusalemm, u waqa’ f’idejn il-ħallelin; dawn neżżgħuh, biċċruh bis-swat u telqu, u ħallewh nofsu mejjet. Inzerta kien nieżel qassis minn dik it-triq u rah, għadda minn mal-ġenb u baqa’ sejjer. Hekk ukoll wieħed levita, meta wasal hemm u rah, għadda minn mal-ġenb u baqa’ sejjer. Imma kien għaddej minn hemm wieħed Samaritan, wasal ħdejh, rah u tħassru. Resaq lejh, dewwielu l-ġrieħi biż-żejt u l-inbid u rabathomlu, u mbagħad tellgħu fuq il-bhima tiegħu, wasslu f’lukanda u ħa ħsiebu. L-għada ħareġ biċċtejn flus, tahom lil tal-lukanda u qallu: “Ħu ħsiebu; jekk tonfoq xi ħaġa iżjed, irroddhielek jien meta nerġa’ ngħaddi”. Minn dawn it-tlieta, int min jidhirlek li ġieb ruħu ta’ proxxmu ma’ dak li waqa’ f’idejn il-ħallelin?”. “Min ħenn għalih”, wieġbu dak. Qallu Ġesù: “Mur, u agħmel hekk int ukoll”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

LOVING GOD LIVING IN OUR NEIGHBOURS



Introduction:


The central theme of today’s Scripture readings is that we gain eternal life through loving God living in our neighbours by becoming good neighbours.

Scripture lessons:

The first reading, taken from Deuteronomy, reminds us that God not only gives us His Commandments in Holy Scriptures, but that they are also written in our hearts so that we may obey them and inherit eternal life with God.

In the second reading
, St. Paul reminds the Colossians, and us, that just as Christ Jesus is the “visible image of the invisible God,” so our neighbors are the visible image of Christ living in our midst.

In Sunday’s Gospel, a scribe asks Jesus a very basic religious question: “What should I do to inherit eternal life?” In answer to the question, Jesus directs the scribe’s attention to the Sacred Scriptures. The Scriptural answer is, “love God and express it by loving your neighbor.” However, to the scribe the word “neighbour” means another scribe or Pharisee – never a Samaritan or a Gentile. Hence, the scribe insists on clarification of the word “neighbor.”

So, Jesus tells him the parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable clearly indicates that a “neighbor” is anyone who needs help. Thus, the correct approach is not to ask, “Who is my neighbor?” but rather to ask, “Am I a good neighbor to others?” Jesus, the Heavenly Good Samaritan, gives us a final commandment during the Last Supper, “Love one another as I have loved you,” because the invisible God dwells in every human being.

Life messages:

1) Let us remember that the road from Jerusalem to Jericho passes right through our home, parish, school and workplace. We may find our spouse, children or parents lying “wounded” by bitter words or scathing criticism or by other more blatant forms of verbal, emotional or physical abuse. Hence, Jesus invites us to show our love to others, in our own home, in school, in the workplace, and in the neighborhood, as the Good Samaritan did.

2) Let us check to see if we are good neighbors. We become good neighbors when we are people of generosity, kindness, and mercy toward all who are suffering. Our sincere smile, a cheery greeting, an encouraging word of appreciation, a heartfelt “thank you” can all work wonders for a suffering soul.

3) Let us allow the “Good Samaritans” to touch our lives. Let us be willing to touch, or be touched by, persons we have once despised. For some of us, it may be persons of another color or race; for others, it may mean persons of a different political persuasion. Let us pray that the Spirit of the Living God may melt us, mold us and use us, so that there will no longer be even one person who is untouchable or outside the boundaries of compassion.

4) Let us accept the invitation to be loving and merciful to our enemies. This means people we hate, as well as those who hate us. It is an invitation for people of all times to love their enemies–to love those they have previously hated.

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