"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, 2 December 2021

A ROYAL HIGHWAY IN OUR HEARTS

Readings for Sunday, December 5, 2021


Second Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 6

it-Tieni Ħadd tal-Avvent

 

 Reading             Baruch 5:1-9

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever: wrapped in the cloak of justice from God, bear on your head the mitre that displays the glory of the eternal name. For God will show all the earth your splendor: you will be named by God forever the peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship. Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights; look to the east and see your children gathered from the east and the west at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that they are remembered by God. Led away on foot by their enemies they left you: but God will bring them back to you borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones. For God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low, and that the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground, that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God. The forests and every fragrant kind of tree have overshadowed Israel at God’s command; for God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company

QARI 1             mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Baruk 5:1-9


Neħħi minn fuqek, Ġerusalemm, ilbies il-vistu u n-niket tiegħek, u ilbes għal dejjem id-dija tal-glorja ta’ Alla. Ilbes mantar il-ġustizzja ta’ Alla, qiegħed fuq rasek id-dijadema tal-glorja ta’ Alla ta’ dejjem. Għax Alla għad juri sbuħitek lid-dinja taħt ix-xemx, Alla jsemmik għal dejjem: “Sliem tal-Ġustizzja” u “Glorja tal-Qima ta’ Alla”. Qum, Ġerusalemm, itla’ fl-għoli, u ħares madwarek lejn il-Lvant, ara ’l uliedek miġmugħa, minn fejn tinżel ix-xemx sa fejn titla’, għall-kelma tal-Qaddis, ferħana li Alla ftakar fihom. Telqu mingħandek bil-mixi, imkarkra mill-għedewwa, u issa Alla se jġibhomlok, merfugħin fil-ġieħ bħalkieku fuq tronijiet is-slaten. Għax Alla ordna; jitniżżlu l-muntanji għolja, u l-għoljiet ta’ dejjem, jimtlew il-widien u titwitta l-art, biex hemm Iżrael jimxi ’l quddiem, bla tfixkil ta’ xejn, taħt il-ħarsien ta’ Alla. U l-foresti u s-siġar tal-fwieħa jixħtu dellhom għal fuq Iżrael, bl-ordni ta’ Alla. Għax Alla jmexxi lil Iżrael ferħan, b’dawl il-glorja tiegħu, imsieħba mill-ħniena u l-ġustizzja ħierġa minnu. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Responsorial Psalm             PSALM 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6.

When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
   we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
   and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Then they said among the nations,
  “The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
   we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
   like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
   shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Although they go forth weeping,
   carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
   carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

SALM RESPONSORJALI            Salm 125(126):1-2ab,2ċd-3,4-5,6
R/.(3): Kbir f’għemilu l-Mulej magħna!

Meta l-Mulej reġġa’ lura l-imjassra ta’ Sijon,
konna qisna mitlufa f’ħolma;
imbagħad bid-daħk imtela fommna,
u bl-għajat ta’ ferħ ilsienna. R/.

Imbagħad bdew jgħidu fost il-ġnus:
“Kbir f’għemilu l-Mulej magħhom!”.
Kbir f’għemilu l-Mulej magħna!
U aħna bil-ferħ imtlejna. R/.

Biddel, Mulej, xortina
bħall-widien tan-Negeb!
Dawk li jiżirgħu fid-dmugħ
jaħsdu bl-għana ta’ ferħ. R/.

Huma u sejrin, imorru jibku,
iġorru ż-żerriegħa għaż-żrigħ.
Iżda huma u ġejjin lura,
jiġu b’għana ta’ ferħ, iġorru l-qatet f’idejhom. R/.
 

Reading 2              PHILIPPIANS 1:4-6, 8-11

Brothers and sisters: I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

QARI 2              mill-Ittra lill-Filippin 1:4-6,8-11

Ħuti, nitlob dejjem ferħan fit-talb tiegħi għalikom, minħabba s-sehem li intom ħadtu fix-xandir tal-Evanġelju, mill-ewwel jiem sal-lum. Jiena żgur minn dan: li dak li beda din l-opra tajba fikom, iwassalha għat-tmiem tagħha sa ma jasal il-jum ta’ Kristu Ġesù. Iva, jixhidli Alla kemm jien miġbud lejkom bil-qalb ta’ Kristu Ġesù! U jien dan nitlob: li l-imħabba tagħkom tikber u toktor dejjem iżjed bl-għerf u b’kull dehen, biex tistgħu tagħrfu tagħżlu l-aħjar, u mbagħad tkunu safja u bla ebda ħtija fil-jum ta’ Kristu, mimlijin bil-frott tal-ġustizzja li ġejja permezz ta’ Ġesù Kristu, għall-glorja u l-foħrija ta’ Alla. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel              LUKE 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”


EVANĠELJU            Qari skont San Luqa 3:1-6

Fis-sena ħmistax tal-ħakma ta’ Tiberju Ċesari, meta Ponzju Pilatu kien gvernatur tal-Lhudija, Erodi tetrarka tal-Galilija, ħuh Filippu tetrarka tal-artijiet tal-Iturija u t-Trakonija, u Lisanja tetrarka ta’ Abileni, fiż-żmien meta l-uffiċċju ta’ qassis il-kbir kien f’idejn Anna u Kajfa, il-kelma tal-Mulej ġiet fuq Ġwanni bin Żakkarija, fid-deżert. U ġie fl-inħawi kollha ta’ madwar il-Ġordan, ixandar magħmudija ta’ ndiema għall-maħfra tad-dnubiet, kif hemm imniżżel fil-ktieb tal-profeziji ta’ Iżaija: “Leħen ta’ wieħed jgħajjat fid-deżert: Ħejju t-triq tal-Mulej, iddrittaw il-mogħdijiet tiegħu. Kull wied jimtela, kull muntanja u għolja titbaxxa, il-mogħdijiet mgħawwġa jiddrittaw, u t-triqat imħarbta jitwittew. U l-bnedmin kollha jaraw is-salvazzjoni ta’ Alla!”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
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 Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil  

CHRIST 

INVITES 

US
 

Central theme:

The Second Sunday of Advent challenges us to prepare a royal highway in our hearts so that we may receive Jesus as our saving God on Christmas. We should also be prepared for Christ’s daily coming into our lives in the Holy Eucharist, in the Holy Bible, in everyone we encounter, and in the praying community. Finally, we are asked to be ready to meet Jesus as our Judge on His Second Coming, at the end of our lives and at the end of the world.

Scripture lessons summarized:

In the first reading, the prophet Baruch introduces Yahweh, the God of Israel, preparing the way for, and leading the Babylonian exiles to, Jerusalem. Hence, the prophet invites the weeping Jerusalem to rejoice and go to high places to watch the return of the exiles. Baruch’s prophecy announces the return of the whole human race to God. During this Advent season, we, too, are asked to return to the Lord from our slavery to sin.

Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm
(Ps 126) offers us a close-up of the exiles who had wept bitterly on leaving Jerusalem but are now returning home, rejoicing.

In the second reading, Paul advises the Philippians to prepare themselves for Christ’s Second Coming by practicing Christian love and by leading pure and blameless lives.

John the Baptist, in today’s Gospel, challenges the Jews to prepare their lives for receiving their long-awaited Messiah. They are to prepare a highway in their hearts for their Messiah by levelling the mountains of pride and the valleys of impurity, injustice and neglect and straightening their crooked ways. They are to get ready by repenting of their sins, renewing their lives, and expressing their repentance by receiving the baptism of repentance in River Jordan and changing their lives.

Life messages:


#1:   We need to prepare our hearts and lives for Jesus our Savior to be reborn in us during this Christmas time. We have to fill in the “valleys” of our souls, formed from our shallow prayer life and a minimalist living out of our Faith. We have to straighten whatever crooked paths we’ve been walking, like involvement in some secret or habitual sins or in a sinful relationship. If we have been involved in some dishonest practices at work or at home, we are called to straighten them out and make restitution. 

If we have been harbouring grudges or hatred, or failing to be reconciled with others, now is the time to clear away all the debris. As individuals, we might have to overcome deep-seated resentment, persistent fault-finding, unwillingness to forgive, dishonesty in our dealings with others, or a bullying attitude. And we all have to level the “mountains” of our pride and egocentrism by practicing the true humility of rendering humble service to others.

#2: 
  We need to repent and seek forgiveness from God and those we have injured: John’s message calls us to confront and confess our sins. We need to turn away from them in sincere repentance and receive God’s forgiveness. Next, we need to forgive others who have offended us and ask forgiveness for our offenses. Jesus explicitly declares (Mt 6:14-15): “For if you forgive men their transgressions, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

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Thursday, 25 November 2021

THE LORD COMES WITH A NEW YEAR!

Readings for Sunday, November 28, 2021 


First Sunday of Advent - Year C
 Lectionary: 3  

L-Ewwel Ħadd tal-Avvent - Sena C

        

Reading 1             JEREMIAH 33:14-16


The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise  I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time,  I will raise up for David a just shoot;  he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: “The LORD our justice.”


QARI 1            mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Ġeremija 33:14-16

Ara, għad jiġu jiem – oraklu tal-Mulej – meta nġib fuq dar Iżrael u dar Ġuda l-ġid li wegħedthom. F’dawk il-jiem u f’dak iż-żmien intalla’ min-nisel ta’ David rimja tas-sewwa, bniedem li jagħmel il-ġustizzja u s-sewwa fil-pajjiż. F’dawk il-jiem Ġuda jinħeles u Ġerusalemm tgħammar b’moħħha mistrieħ, u għalhekk isejħulha: l-Mulej is-sewwa tagħna. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

 Responsorial Psalm            PSALM 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
   teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
   for you are God my savior,
   and for you I wait all the day.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Good and upright is the LORD;
   thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
   and teaches the humble his way.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
   toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
   and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

SALM RESPONSORJALI            Salm 24(25):4bċ-5ab,8-9,10,14
R/. (1b): Lejk jien nerfa’ ruħi, Mulej.


Triqatek, Mulej, għarrafni,
il-mogħdijiet tiegħek għallimni.
Mexxini fis-sewwa tiegħek u għallimni,
għax int Alla tas-salvazzjoni tiegħi. R/.

Tajjeb u sewwa l-Mulej;
għalhekk juri triqtu lill-ħatja.
Imexxi l-imsejkna fis-sewwa,
jgħallem lill-fqajrin it-triq tiegħu. R/.

Il-mogħdijiet tal-Mulej kollhom tjieba u fedeltà
għal min iħares il-patt u l-liġijiet tiegħu.
Midħla l-Mulej ta’ dawk li jibżgħu minnu,
lilhom jgħarraf il-patt tiegħu. R/.
 

Reading 2             1 THESSALONIANS 3:12—4:2

Brothers and sisters: May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father  at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.  Amen. Finally, brothers and sisters,  we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God and as you are conducting yourselves you do so even more.  For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

QARI 2             mill-Ewwel Ittra lit-Tessalonikin 3:12–4:2

Ħuti, jalla l-Mulej ikattrilkom u jfawwarkom bl-imħabba għal xulxin u lejn kulħadd, l-istess bħalma aħna nħobbu lilkom, ħalli jqawwilkom qalbkom u jkollkom qdusija bla għajb quddiem Alla, Missierna, għal meta jiġi Sidna Ġesù mdawwar bil-qaddisin tiegħu. Fl-aħħar, ħuti, intom tgħallimtu mingħandna kif għandkom timxu biex togħġbu lil Alla, kif tabilħaqq qegħdin iġġibu ruħkom; aħna f’Sidna Ġesù nitolbukom u nħeġġukom biex tagħmlu xi ħaġa iżjed. Tafu x’tagħlim tajniekom permezz ta’ Sidna Ġesù. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel              LUKE 21:25-28, 34-36

Jesus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay,  perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads  because your redemption is at hand. “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy  from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

EVANĠELJU             Qari skont San Luqa 21:25-28,34-36

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù qal lid-dixxipli tiegħu: “Ikun hemm sinjali fix-xemx u l-qamar u l-kwiekeb. Il-ġnus fuq l-art, b’qalbhom ittaqtaq, ma jafux x’jaqbdu jagħmlu minħabba l-ħsejjes tal-baħar u tal-imwieġ; in-nies ruħhom ħierġa bil-biża’ billi jobsru xi jkun ġej fuq id-dinja, għax il-qawwiet tas-smewwiet jitqallbu. Imbagħad jaraw lil Bin il-bniedem ġej fi sħaba, b’qawwa u glorja kbira. Meta jibda jseħħ dan kollu, qawwu qalbkom u erfgħu raskom, għax il-fidwa tagħkom hi fil-qrib.  Oqogħdu attenti, u qisu li l-ikel u x-xorb żejjed u s-sokor ma jmewtulkomx qalbkom, u tħallux li l-ħafna tħassib għall-ħtiġiet tal-ħajja jeħdilkom raskom, li ma ssibuhx dak il-Jum fuqkom għall-għarrieda. Għax hu Jum li għad jaqa’ bħal nassa fuq kull min jgħammar fuq wiċċ l-art kollha. Ishru, mela, u itolbu l-ħin kollu, biex tkunu tifilħu tgħaddu minn kulma għandu jiġri u tieqfu quddiem Bin il-bniedem”.
Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

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 Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

AWAITING CHRIST

 

Central theme:


Advent is a time of waiting for Christ, allowing Jesus to be reborn in our lives. It is also a time for purifying our hearts by repentance and for renewing our lives by reflecting on and experiencing the several comings (advents) of Christ into our lives. Besides coming into our world through birth, Jesus comes into our lives as we live them through His Church, its Sacraments (especially the Eucharist), the Word of God, the worshiping community, as we die, and finally, in His Second Coming

Scripture lessons summarized: 

In the first reading, the prophet Jeremiah waits and hopes for an ideal descendant of King David Who, as Messiah of God, will bring security, peace, and justice to God’s people. Christians believe that Jeremiah’s waiting and hoping have been fulfilled in Jesus. Jeremiah’s prophecy assures us that the Lord, our Justice will fulfill His promises, and, hence, we need not be afraid, despite the frightening events and almost universal moral degradation. 

The Psalmist expresses the central idea of patient, vigilant, prayerful waiting for the Lord in today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 25), praying, “Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, guide me in your Truth and teach me for You are God, my Savior.” 

In the second reading, Paul urges the Thessalonians to continue and intensify the life of holiness and mutual love he has taught them as they wait for “the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His holy ones.”

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus prophesies the signs and portents that will accompany his Second Coming and encourages us to be expectant, optimistic, vigilant, and well-prepared: “When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand” (Luke 21:28). Jesus wants us to face the future with confidence in God’s providence.

Life messages:

1)
  We need to prepare ourselves for Christ’s second coming by allowing Jesus to be reborn daily in our lives. Advent gives us time to make this preparation — repenting of and confessing our sins, renewing our lives through prayer and penance, and sharing our blessings with others. In Advent, we also need to check for what needs to be put right in our lives, to see how we have failed, and to assess the ways in which we can do better. Let us accept the challenge of Alexander Pope this Advent season: “What does it profit me if Jesus is reborn in thousands of cribs all over the world and not reborn in my heart?”

2)  A message of warning and hope: The Church reminds us that we will each be asked to give an account of our lives before Christ the Judge, both at the moment of our death and at Jesus’ second coming. Today’s readings invite us to assess our lives every night during Advent and to make the necessary alterations in the light of the approaching Christmas celebration. Amid the tragedies that sometimes occur in our daily lives and the setbacks in spiritual life, we must raise our heads in hope and anticipation, knowing that the Lord is coming again.

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Thursday, 18 November 2021

 Readings for Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Thirty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Lectionary: 161

 L-Erbgħa u Tletin Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena
Solennità ta’ Sidna Ġesù Kristu, Sultan tal-Ħolqien Kollu

 

Reading 1           DANIEL 7:13-14

As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming,on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.


QARI 1              mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Danjel
7:13-1

Billejl deherli qiegħed nara bħal iben ta’ bniedem, ġej mis-sħab tas-sema, li baqa’ sejjer sax-Xiħ fl-għomor u ressquh quddiemu. U tawh ħakma, ġieħ, u saltna, biex lilu jaqdi kull ġens, u poplu, u lsien. Ħakmietu ħakma għal dejjem li ma tgħaddix, u saltnatu li ma tinqeridx.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Responsorial Psalm            PSALM 93:1, 1-2, 5

The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
    robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.

And he has made the world firm,
    not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
    from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.

Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed;
    holiness befits your house,
    O LORD, for length of days.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.


SALM RESPONSORJALI             Salm 92(93):1ab,1ċ-2,5

R/. (1a): Il-Mulej isaltan; il-kobor libes.

Il-Mulej isaltan; il-kobor libes,
libes il-Mulej u tħażżem bil-qawwa. R/.

Iżomm sħiħa d-dinja; qatt ma titħarrek.
Imwaqqaf it-tron tiegħek fis-sod minn dejjem;
minn dejjem ta’ dejjem int. R/.

Il-kmandamenti tiegħek ta’ min joqgħod fuqhom;
qdusija lil darek tixraq, Mulej,
sakemm itul iż-żmien. R/.
 

Reading 2            REVELATIONS 1:5-8

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever.  Amen. Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes.  Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God, "the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."

QARI 2              mill-Ktieb tal-Apokalissi ta’ San Ġwann Appostlu 1:5-8 

 Ġesù Kristu hu x-xhud fidil, il-Kbir fost il-mejtin, il-Prinċep tas-slaten tad-dinja. Lil Dak li ħabbna, u li ħallna minn dnubietna bis-saħħa ta’ demmu, u li għamilna saltna, qassisin għal Alla tiegħu Missieru, lilu l-glorja u s-setgħa għal dejjem ta’ dejjem. Amen. Arawh, ġej fis-sħab, u l-għajnejn kollha jarawh, ukoll dawk li kienu nifduh; u r-razez kollha tal-art jibdew iħabbtu fuq sidirhom minħabba fih. Iva. Amen! Jiena huwa l-Alfa u l-Omega, jgħid il-Mulej Alla, li hu, u li kien, u li għad irid jiġi, Dak li jista’ kollox! Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel             JOHN 18:33b-37

Pilate said to Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?" Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I?  Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.  What have you done?"  Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.  But as it is, my kingdom is not here."  So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king.  For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

EVANĠELJU              Qari skont San Ġwann 18:33b-37

F’dak iż-żmien, Pilatu sejjaħ lil Ġesù u qallu: “Inti s-sultan tal-Lhud?”. Ġesù wieġeb: “Dan qiegħed tgħidu int minn moħħok, jew kienu oħrajn li qalulek dan fuqi?”. Pilatu wieġeb: “Mela jiena Lhudi? Kien il-poplu tiegħek u l-qassisin il-kbar li tawk f’idejja. X’għamilt?”. Ġesù wieġeb: “Is-saltna tiegħi mhijiex ta’ din id-dinja. Li kieku saltnati kienet ta’ din id-dinja, l-għases tiegħi kienu jiġġieldu biex ma ningħatax f’idejn il-Lhud; imma tabilħaqq saltnati mhijiex ta’ hawn”. Pilatu qallu: “Mela int sultan?”. U Ġesù wieġeb: “Int qiegħed tgħidu; jien sultan. Jien għalhekk twelidt, u għalhekk ġejt fid-dinja, biex nixhed għall-verità. U kull min iħobb il-verità jisma’ leħni”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

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


Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

GOD WILL BE WITH US ALL OUR LIFE

Central theme: 

Sunday’s readings give us the assurance that our God will be with us all the days of our lives and that we will have the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst, guiding, protecting, and strengthening us in spite of our necessary uncertainty concerning the end time when “Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” Each year at this time, the Church asks us to consider the “four last things” – Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell – as happening to ourselves.

Scripture lessons summarized: 

The readings invite us to focus our attention on the threefold coming of Jesus: 1) His first coming according to the flesh, as Redeemer. 2) His second coming, either at our death, or at the end of time and the world, which will bring our salvation to completion. 3) His coming into our lives each time we step forward in genuine Christian living.

The first reading, taken from the prophet Daniel (167 BC), was originally given to comfort and give hope to the Jewish people persecuted by a cruel pagan king. It advises us to live wisely and justly in the present time, instead of worrying about the unknown future. Through the Psalm Response for today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 16), the Holy Spirit has us sing our Faith affirmation, “You are my inheritance, O Lord!” 

In this coming Sunday’s second reading, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews challenges us to look to the future with hope and serenity because Jesus, having secured the forgiveness of our sins and our sanctification through the sacrifice on the cross, sits forever at God’s right hand as the one Mediator between man and God.

Sunday’s Gospel, taken from Mark (AD 69), offered hope to early Christians persecuted by the Roman Emperor Nero, by reminding them of Jesus’ words about His glorious return to earth with great power and glory as Judge to gather and reward the elect. Daniel and Mark continue to remind us that God will ensure that the righteous will survive the ordeal and will find a place with Him. Through the parable of the fig tree, Jesus warns us all to read the “signs of the time,” reminding us that we must be ever prepared to give an account of our lives to Jesus when He comes in glory as our Judge, because we cannot know “either the day or the hour” of His Second Coming.

Life messages:

 1) Let us recognize the “second coming” of Jesus in our daily lives through everyday occurrences, always remembering that Jesus comes without warning. But let us not get frightened at the thought of Christ’s Second Coming, because Jesus is with us every day, abiding with the Father and the Holy Spirit in our hearts, dwelling in our Church in the Holy Eucharist, teaching us in the Holy Bible, and unifying us with Him and each other in our worshipping communities. We will be able to welcome Jesus in His Second Coming as long as we faithfully do the will of God by daily serving our brothers and sisters, recognizing Christ’s presence in them, and by being reconciled with God and with our brothers and sisters every day.

2) We need to “learn the lesson from the fig tree.” This means that we are to watch and wait in a state of readiness. Instead of worrying about the endtime events, we are asked to live every day of our lives loving God living in others, by our committed service to them with sacrificial agape love.

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

Thursday, 11 November 2021

THE LESSON OF THE FIG TREE

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 158

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



Reading 1             DANIEL 12:1-3

In those days, I Daniel, heard this word of the Lord: "At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book. “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace. “But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever."

QARI 1             mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Danjel 12:1-3 

F’dak iż-żmien iqum Mikiel, il-prinċep il-kbir, dak li qiegħed fuq ulied il-poplu tiegħek. Imbagħad jiġi żmien ta’ għawġ, li qatt ma jkun deher ieħor bħalu minn mindu ġens kien ġens sa dak iż-żmien. Imma jkun żmien li fih il-poplu tiegħek jinħeles, dawk kollha li jkunu nstabu miktuba fil-ktieb. U ħafna minn dawk li huma rieqda fit-trab tal-art jistenbħu, min għall-ħajja ta’ dejjem u min għall-għajb u l-istmerrija għal dejjem. Il-bnedmin bil-għaqal ikollhom fuqhom dija bħal dik tas-sema, u dawk li jkunu wasslu ’l ħafna fis-sewwa jkunu jiddu bħal kwiekeb għal dejjem ta’ dejjem. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Responsorial Psalm            PSALM 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11

O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
    you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
    with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
    my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
    nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!

You will show me the path to life,
    fullness of joys in your presence,
    the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!

SALM RESPONSORJALI            Salm 15(16):5,8,9-10,11

R/.(1): Ħarisni, o Alla, għax fik jien nistkenn.


Mulej, inti s-sehem tal-wirt u r-riżq tiegħi,
inti żżomm f’idejk xortija.
Inżomm il-Mulej dejjem quddiemi,
għax bih f’leminti qatt ma nitħarrek. R/.

Hekk tifraħ qalbi u tithenna ruħi,
u ġismi wkoll jistrieħ fil-kwiet.
Għax int ma titlaqnix fl-imwiet,
ma tħallix il-maħbub tiegħek jara l-qabar. R/.

Int tgħallimni t-triq tal-ħajja;
hemm il-milja tal-ferħ quddiemek,
hemm l-għaxqa għal dejjem f’lemintek. R/.

Reading 2            HEBREWS 10:11-14, 18

Brothers and sisters: Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated. Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.

 QARI 2            Qari mill-Ittra lil-Lhud 10:11-14,18

Kull qassis ieħor imur kuljum biex jaqdi l-ministeru tiegħu, u joffri u jerġa’ joffri l-istess sagrifiċċju, bla ma jistgħu qatt ineħħu d-dnubiet. Imma Kristu, wara li offra sagrifiċċju wieħed għad-dnubiet, qagħad għal dejjem fuq in-naħa tal-lemin ta’ Alla, fejn qiegħed jistenna sa ma l-għedewwa tiegħu jitqiegħdu mirfes taħt riġlejh. Għax hu b’offerta waħda għamel perfetti għal dejjem lil dawk li huwa jqaddes. Issa, fejn hemm il-maħfra tad-dnubiet, ma hemmx għalfejn issir aktar l-offerta għad-dnubiet. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Gospel             MARK 13:24-32

Jesus said to his disciples: "In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. "And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds' with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky. "Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

EVANĠELJU            Qari mill-Evanġelju skont San Mark 13:24-32

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù qal lid-dixxipli tiegħu: “Wara jiem ta’ dwejjaq kbar, ix-xemx tiddallam, il-qamar jitlef id-dija tiegħu, il-kwiekeb jibdew jaqgħu mis-sema, u l-qawwiet tas-smewwiet jitqallbu. Imbagħad jaraw lil Bin il-bniedem ġej fis-sħab b’qawwa kbira u bi glorja. U mbagħad jibgħat l-anġli biex jiġbor flimkien il-maħturin tiegħu mill-erbat irjieħ, minn tarf l-art sa tarf is-sema. Mis-siġra tat-tin tgħallmu din il-parabbola. Meta l-fergħa tagħha tirtab u tarmi l-weraq, intom tintebħu li s-sajf fil-qrib. Hekk ukoll meta taraw dan jiġri, kunu afu li hu fil-qrib, fil-bieb. Tassew ngħidilkom, li ma jgħaddix dan in-nisel qabel ma jiġri dan kollu. Is-sema u l-art jgħaddu, imma kliemi ma jgħaddix. Dwar dak il-jum u s-siegħa ħadd ma jaf meta se jaslu, anqas l-anġli fis-sema, u anqas l-Iben; ħadd ħlief il-Missier”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

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

Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   


SURRENDERING TO GOD


Central theme: 

Sunday’s readings give us the assurance that our God will be with us all the days of our lives and that we will have the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst, guiding, protecting, and strengthening us in spite of our necessary uncertainty concerning the end time when “Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” Each year at this time, the Church asks us to consider the “four last things” – Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell – as happening to ourselves.

Scripture lessons summarized: 

The readings invite us to focus our attention on the threefold coming of Jesus: 

1) His first coming according to the flesh, as Redeemer. 

2) His second coming, either at our death, or at the end of time and the world, which will bring our salvation to completion. 

3) His coming into our lives each time we step forward in genuine Christian living.

The first reading, taken from the prophet Daniel (167 BC), was originally given to comfort and give hope to the Jewish people persecuted by a cruel pagan king. It advises us to live wisely and justly in the present time, instead of worrying about the unknown future. 

Through the Psalm Response for Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 16), the Holy Spirit has us sing our Faith affirmation, “You are my inheritance, O Lord!” In today’s second reading, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews challenges us to look to the future with hope and serenity because Jesus, having secured the forgiveness of our sins and our sanctification through the sacrifice on the cross, sits forever at God’s right hand as the one Mediator between man and God.

Sunday’s Gospel, taken from Mark (AD 69), offered hope to early Christians persecuted by the Roman Emperor Nero, by reminding them of Jesus’ words about His glorious return to earth with great power and glory as Judge to gather and reward the elect. Daniel and Mark continue to remind us that God will ensure that the righteous will survive the ordeal and will find a place with Him. Through the parable of the fig tree, Jesus warns us all to read the “signs of the time,” reminding us that we must be ever prepared to give an account of our lives to Jesus when He comes in glory as our Judge, because we cannot know “either the day or the hour” of His Second Coming.

Life messages: 

1) Let us recognize the “second coming” of Jesus in our daily lives through everyday occurrences, always remembering that Jesus comes without warning. But let us not get frightened at the thought of Christ’s Second Coming, because Jesus is with us every day, abiding with the Father and the Holy Spirit in our hearts, dwelling in our Church in the Holy Eucharist, teaching us in the Holy Bible, and unifying us with Him and each other in our worshipping communities. 

We will be able to welcome Jesus in His Second Coming as long as we faithfully do the will of God by daily serving our brothers and sisters, recognizing Christ’s presence in them, and by being reconciled with God and with our brothers and sisters every day.

2) We need to “learn the lesson from the fig tree.” This means that we are to watch and wait in a state of readiness. Instead of worrying about the end time events, we are asked to live every day of our lives loving God living in others, by our committed service to them with sacrificial agape love.

 

Thursday, 4 November 2021

GIVING GOD OUR ALL!

 READINGS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2021

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 155

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

 

 Reading           1 KINGS 17:10-16

In those days, Elijah the prophet went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her, "Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink."  She left to get it, and he called out after her, "Please bring along a bit of bread."  She answered, "As the LORD, your God, lives, I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die." Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid. Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son. For the LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'"  She left and did as Elijah had said. She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well; the jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.

QARI            mill-Ewwel Ktieb tas-Slaten 17:10-16

F’dak iż-żmien, il-profeta Elija qam u rħielha lejn Sarefta. Kif wasal ħdejn bieb il-belt, kien hemm waħda armla tiġbor il-ħatab. Elija sejħilha u qalilha: “Jekk jogħġbok, ġibli f’bieqja belgħa ilma x’nixrob”. Hi u sejra, Elija raġa’ sejħilha u qalilha: “Ġibli wkoll, jekk jogħġbok, kisra ħobż f’idek”. Hija wieġbet: “Daqskemm hu ħaj il-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, ma għandi xejn maħbuż; qabda dqiq f’ġarra u ftit żejt fil-kus kulma baqagħli. Ara, qiegħda niġbor biċċtejn ħatab; issa nħejji xi ħaġa għalija u għal ibni; u mbagħad nikluha u mmutu”. Elija wieġeb: “La tibżax, mur u agħmel kif għedtli: imma qabel agħmel ftira żgħira għalija, u ġibhieli.  mbagħad agħmel għalik u għal ibnek. Għax din hi l-kelma tal-Mulej, Alla ta’ Iżrael: Il-ġarra tad-dqiq ma tintemm qatt, u l-kus taż-żejt ma jitbattalx, sa dakinhar li l-Mulej jibgħat ix-xita fil-pajjiż”. U dik marret u għamlet kif qalilha Elija. Damu jieklu għal żmien, hi u hu, u darha kollha. U l-ġarra tad-dqiq ma ntemmitx, u l-kus taż-żejt ma tbattalx, kif kien qal il-Mulej permezz ta’ Elija. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
 

Responsorial Psalm           PSALM 146:7, 8-9, 9-10

The LORD keeps faith forever,
    secures justice for the oppressed,
    gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

The LORD gives sight to the blind.
    The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
    The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
    but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
    your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

SALM RESPONSORJALI             Salm 145(146):7,8-9a,9bċ-10

R/.(1): Faħħar, ruħ tiegħi, il-Mulej!

Il-Mulej jagħmel ħaqq lill-maħqurin,
u jagħti l-ħobż lill-imġewħin.
Il-Mulej jeħles lill-imjassrin. R/.

Il-Mulej jiftaħ għajnejn l-għomja;
il-Mulej jerfa’ lill-milwijin;
il-Mulej iħobb lill-ġusti;
il-Mulej iħares lill-barranin. R/.

Il-Mulej iżomm lill-iltim u lill-armla,
imma lill-ħżiena jħarbtilhom triqathom.
Il-Mulej isaltan għal dejjem;
Alla tiegħek, Sijon, minn nisel għal nisel. R/.
 

Reading             HEBREWS 9:24-28

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the  with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment, so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to thos
e who eagerly await him.

QARI 2            mill-Ittra lil-Lhud 9:24-28

Kristu ma daħalx f’santwarju magħmul b’idejn il-bnedmin li hu biss xbieha tas-santwarju veru, imma daħal fis-sema stess, biex issa jidher għalina quddiem Alla. U daħal hemm mhux biex minn żmien għal żmien joffri lilu nnifsu bħalma l-qassis il-kbir jidħol kull sena fis-santwarju biex joffri demm ħaddieħor. Li kieku kien hekk, kien ikollu jbati ħafna drabi sa mill-ħolqien tad-dinja. Iżda issa deher darba għal dejjem, meta waslet il-milja taż-żminijiet, biex ineħħi d-dnub bis-sagrifiċċju tiegħu nnifsu. U kif hu miktub għall-bnedmin li għandhom imutu darba biss, u wara dan isir il-ġudizzju, hekk ukoll Kristu, wara li offra lilu nnifsu darba biss biex jitgħabba bid-dnubiet tal-kotra, għad jerġa’ jidher darb’oħra, mhux biex ineħħi d-dnubiet, imma biex isalva lil dawk li qegħdin jistennewh bil-ħerqa.
Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel             MARK 12:38-44 or 12:41-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds, "Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honour in synagogues, and places of honour at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation." He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury.  For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."

EVANĠELJU            Qari skont San Mark 12:38-44

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù kien qiegħed jgħallem fit-tempju u jgħid: “Iftħu għajnejkom mill-kittieba, li jħobbu jduru mat-toroq bi lbiesi twal, jixtiequ min isellmilhom fil-pjazez, u fis-sinagogi joqogħdu fis-siġġijiet ta’ quddiem, u fil-postijiet ewlenin fil-pranzijiet; iberbqu ġid ir-romol, u mbagħad għal wiċċ in-nies idumu ħafna jitolbu. Dawn jieħdu kundanna aktar iebsa”. Ġesù kien qiegħed biswit it-teżor, iħares u jara xi flus jitfgħu n-nies fit-teżor. Bosta għonja bdew jitfgħu ħafna. Resqet waħda armla fqira u tefgħet biċċtejn żgħar, jiġifieri xi żewġ ċenteżmi. Hu sejjaħ id-dixxipli tiegħu u qalilhom: “Tassew ngħidilkom, li din l-armla fqira tefgħet iktar minn dawk kollha li tefgħu fit-teżor. Għax dawk kollha tefgħu miż-żejjed tagħhom, imma hi, fil-faqar tagħha, tefgħet kulma kellha, dak kollu li kellha biex tgħix”.
Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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

Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   


SURRENDERING TO GOD



Introduction:


Sunday’s readings invite us to surrender our lives to God with a humble and generous heart by serving others lovingly and sacrificially.

Scripture lessons:

The first reading and the Gospel today present poor widows who sacrificially gave their whole lives and means of livelihood to God, foreshadowing the supreme sacrifice Jesus would offer by giving His life for others. In the first reading, taken from the First Book of Kings, a poor widow who has barely enough food for herself and her son welcomes the prophet Elijah as a man of God, offers all her food to him and receives her reward from God in the form of a continuing daily supply of food. 

In the Gospel, Jesus contrasts the external signs of honour sought by the scribes with the humble, sacrificial offering of a poor widow and declares that she has found true honour in God’s eyes. The poor widows in both the first reading and the Gospel give away all that they possess for the glory of God. The sacrificial self-giving of the widows in the first reading and the Gospel reflects God’s love in giving His only Son for us, and Christ’s love in sacrificing himself on the cross. 

Sunday’s Resposorial Psalm (Ps 146) reminds us that everything that exists belongs to the Lord and that He sustains us all, so that when we return thanks to Him, as the widows did, we please Him. That prepares us for the second reading which tells us how Jesus, as the High Priest of the New Testament, surrendered His life to God His Father totally and unconditionally as a sacrificial offering for our sins – a sacrifice far beyond the sacrifices made by the poor widows.

Life messages:

# 1: We need to appreciate the widows of our parish: Even in seemingly prosperous societies, widows (and widowers), in addition to their deep grief, often suffer from economic loss, from the burden of rearing a family alone, and from a strange isolation from friends, which often sets in soon after protestations of support at their spouses’ funerals. Let us learn to appreciate the widows and widowers of our parish community. Their loneliness draws them closer to God and to stewardship in the parish. 

They are often active participants in all the liturgical celebrations, offering prayers for their families and for their parish family. Frequently, they are active in the parish organizations, as well as in visiting and serving the sick and the shut-ins. Hence, let us appreciate them, support them, encourage them and pray for them.

#2: We need to accept Christ’s criteria of judging people: We often judge people by what they possess. We give weight to their position in society, to their educational qualifications, or to their celebrity status. But Jesus measures us in a totally different way – on the basis of our inner motives and the intentions hidden behind our actions. 

He evaluates us on the basis of the sacrifices we make for others and on the degree of our surrender to His holy will. The offering God wants from us is not our material possessions, but our whole hearts and lives. What is hardest to give is ourselves in love and concern, because that gift costs us more than reaching for our purses.

Let us, like the poor widow, find the courage to share the wealth and talents we hold. Let us stop dribbling out our stores of love, selflessness, sacrifice, and compassion and dare to pour out our whole heart, our whole being, our “whole life” into the Hands and Heart of God and so into the hidden, love-starved coffers of this world.

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


Friday, 29 October 2021

Readings for Sunday, October 31, 2021 

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 152


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

 

 Reading            DEUTERONOMY 6:2-6

Moses spoke to the people, saying: "Fear the LORD, your God, and keep, throughout the days of your lives, all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you, and thus have long life. Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them, that you may grow and prosper the more, in keeping with the promise of the LORD, the God of your fathers, to give you a land flowing with milk and honey. "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!  Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.  Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today."

QARI 1          mill-Ktieb tad-Dewteronomju 6:2-6

Mosè kellem lill-poplu u qal: “Ibża’ mill-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, billi int, ibnek u bin ibnek, tħarsu dejjem il-liġijiet u l-kmandamenti kollha tiegħu, li jien qiegħed nagħtik, biex ikollok għomor twil. Isma’, o Iżrael, u ħu ħsieb agħmilhom, biex ikollok il-ġid u toktor ħafna, bħalma wiegħed il-Mulej, Alla ta’ missirijietek, li jagħtik art tnixxi ħalib u għasel. Isma’, o Iżrael: Alla tagħna l-Mulej, il-Mulej waħdu. Ħobb, mela, lill-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, b’qalbek kollha, b’ruħek kollha u b’saħħtek kollha. Żomm f’qalbek dan il-kliem u dawn il-kmandamenti li qiegħed nagħtik illum”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

Responsorial Psalm            PSALM 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51

I love you, O LORD, my strength,
    O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

My God, my rock of refuge,
    my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
    and I am safe from my enemies.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

The LORD lives!  And blessed be my rock!
    Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your king
    and showed kindness to your anointed
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

SALM RESPONSORJALI            Salm 17:2-3a,3bċ-4,47,51ab

R/.(2): Inħobbok, Mulej, qawwa tiegħi!

Inħobbok, Mulej, qawwa tiegħi!
Il-Mulej blata tiegħi,
fortizza u ħellies tiegħi! R/.

Alla tiegħi, sur tal-kenn tiegħi u tarka tiegħi,
qawwa tas-salvazzjoni tiegħi u kenn tiegħi!
Insejjaħ il-Mulej, li hu ta’ min ifaħħru,
u nkun meħlus mill-għedewwa tiegħi. R/.

Ħaj il-Mulej! Imbierek hu, il-blata tiegħi!
Ikun imfaħħar Alla tas-salvazzjoni tiegħi!
Hu jkabbar ir-rebħ lis-sultan tiegħu,
juri mħabbtu mal-midluk tiegħu. R/.

Reading            HEBREWS 7:23-28

Brothers and sisters: The Levitical priests were many because they were prevented by death from remaining in office,  but Jesus, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away. Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them. It was fitting that we should have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens. He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests, but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law, appoints a son, who has been made perfect forever.

QARI 2             mill-Ittra lil-Lhud 7:23-28

Ħuti, dawk tal-imgħoddi kienu jsiru qassisin f’għadd kbir, għax minħabba fil-mewt ma kinux jistgħu jibqgħu għal dejjem. Imma Ġesù, billi jibqa’ għal dejjem, għandu saċerdozju li ma jintemm qatt. Għalhekk ukoll huwa jista’ jsalva għalkollox ’il dawk li bih jersqu lejn Alla, ladarba hu jibqa’ għal dejjem ħaj biex jidħol għalihom. Dan hu, tabilħaqq, il-qassis il-kbir li kien jgħodd għalina: qaddis, innoċenti, safi, maqtugħ mill-midinbin, merfugħ ’il fuq mis-smewwiet; li ma għandux bżonn, bħall-qassisin il-kbar l-oħra, joffri kuljum is-sagrifiċċju, l-ewwel għad-dnubiet tiegħu stess, imbagħad għad-dnubiet tal-poplu. Dan hu għamlu darba għal dejjem, meta offra lilu nnifsu. Għax il-Liġi tqiegħed bħala qassisin il-kbar bnedmin li huma dgħajfa; iżda l-kelma tal-ġurament, li ġiet wara l-Liġi, tqiegħed Iben, li ġie magħmul perfett għal dejjem. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
  

 Gospel            MARK 12:28b-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, "Which is the first of all the commandments?" Jesus replied, "The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."  The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, 'He is One and there is no other than he.' And 'to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself' is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

EVANĠELJU            Qari skont San Mark 12:28b-34


F’dak iż-żmien, wieħed mill-kittieba resaq fuq Ġesù u staqsieh: “Liema wieħed fost il-kmandamenti kollha huwa l-ewwel?”. Ġesù wieġbu: “L-ewwel wieħed huwa dan: Isma’ Iżrael! Il-Mulej, Alla tagħna, Mulej wieħed hu, u int għandek tħobb lill-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, b’qalbek kollha, b’ruħek kollha, b’moħħok kollu, u bil-qawwa tiegħek kollha. U t-tieni hu dan: Ħobb lil għajrek bħalek innifsek. Ma hemmx kmandament ieħor akbar minn dawn”. Qallu l-kittieb: “Sewwa qiegħed tgħid, Mgħallem; għandek raġun tgħid li wieħed hemm, u li ma hemmx ieħor ħliefu. Iva, li tħobb lilu b’qalbek kollha, b’moħħok kollu, u bil-qawwa tiegħek kollha, u li tħobb lil għajrek bħalek innifsek, huwa aqwa minn kull sagrifiċċju tal-ħruq u mis-sagrifiċċji kollha”.  Ġesù, meta rah kemm kien wieġeb bil-għaqal, qallu: “M’intix ’il bogħod mis-Saltna ta’ Alla”. U ħadd ma kellu l-ħila jistaqsih iżjed. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.

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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES


Central Theme:


This Sunday's central message in the liturgical readings is the most fundamental principle of all religions, especially Christianity. It is to love God in Himself and living in others. Scripture readings for next Sunday remind us that we are created to love God by loving others and to love others as an expression of our love for God. 

Our religious practices like prayers, Bible reading, Sacraments, acts of penance, and self-control are meant to help us to acknowledge and appreciate the presence of God in our neighbors and to express our love for God by serving our neighbors with love, sharing our blessings with them.

Scripture Lessons:

The first reading presents Moses explaining the Law to the Israelites after his return from Mount Sinai. He tries to make the people reverence and obey the Law given by God as something that will bring them dignity, purpose, stature, distinction, and a unique place in history. He reminds them that keeping God’s commandments will give them God’s blessings of long life, prosperity, and fruitful, peaceful lives. 

The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 18) invites us to love God because He alone is our strength and our stronghold. 

In Sunday’s Gospel, a Scribe asks Jesus to summarize the most important of the Mosaic Laws in one sentence. Jesus cites the first sentence of the Jewish Shema prayer: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Dt 6:4). Then He adds its complementary law: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lv 19:18). Thus, Jesus says that true religion is loving God and loving our fellow human beings at the same time. It is by showing genuine, active love for our neighbors that we can demonstrate that we really love God.

Life Messages:

#1: How do we love God? We must keep God’s commandments, and offer daily prayers of thanksgiving, praise, contrition for our failings, and petition. We also need to read and meditate on His word in the Holy Bible and to participate actively in the Holy Mass and other liturgical functions. If I am going to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, then I am going to have to place His will ahead of mine, and to ask Him for help when I have to say no to some things that I might want to do. I am also going to have to seek the Lord’s will and make it paramount in my life.

#2: How do we love our neighbor: We love our neighbor by helping, supporting, encouraging, forgiving, and praying for everyone, without discrimination based on color, race, gender, age, wealth, or social status. If I am going to love my neighbor as I love myself, or as Jesus has loved me, it will cost me suffering as it did Jesus! I may have to seek forgiveness when I think I have done something wrong. I may have to sacrifice something I think I need, to meet a brother’s need. I may have to spend time in prayer for other people and reach out to them, helping, encouraging, and supporting them in the name of the Lord. 


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Thursday, 21 October 2021

WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU?

 READINGS for SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24th, 2021


 
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

                       Lectionary: 149

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

 

 Reading 1               JEREMIAH 31:7-9

Thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob,exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, the mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng. They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them;I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble. For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.

QARI 1             mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Ġeremija 31:7-9

Dan jgħid il-Mulej: “Għannu bil-ferħ għal Ġakobb, sellmu lill-ewlieni fost il-ġnus. Xandru, faħħru u niedu: ‘Il-Mulej salva l-poplu tiegħu, il-fdal ta’ Iżrael’. Arani, se nġibhom minn art it-tramuntana, niġborhom minn truf l-art, ilkoll kemm huma, l-għomja u z-zopop, in-nisa bit-tfal u n-nisa fil-ħlas: kotra kbira terġa’ lura hawn. Jiġu bil-biki, imma nfarraġhom jiena u nġibhom lura. Immexxihom lejn l-ilma ġieri, minn mogħdijiet watja biex ma jitfixklux. Għax jien missier għal Iżrael, u Efrajm hu ibni l-kbir”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
Responsorial 

Psalm           PSALM 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
    we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Then they said among the nations,
    "The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
    we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
    shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Although they go forth weeping,
    carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
    carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

SALM RESPONSORJALI            SALM 125(126):1-2ab,2ċd-3,4-5,6

R/.(3): Kbir f’għemilu l-Mulej magħna!


Meta l-Mulej reġġa’ lura l-imjassra ta’ Sijon,
konna qisna mitlufa f’ħolma;
imbagħad bid-daħk imtela fommna,
u bl-għajat ta’ ferħ ilsienna. R/.

Imbagħad bdew jgħidu fost il-ġnus:
“Kbir f’għemilu l-Mulej magħhom”.
Kbir f’għemilu l-Mulej magħna!
U aħna bil-ferħ imtlejna. R/.

Biddel, Mulej, xortina
bħall-widien tan-Negeb!
Dawk li jiżirgħu fid-dmugħ
jaħsdu bl-għana ta’ ferħ. R/.

Huma u sejrin imorru jibku,
iġorru ż-żerriegħa għaż-żrigħ.
Iżda huma u ġejjin lura jiġu b’għana ta’ ferħ,
iġorru l-qatet f’idejhom. R/.

Reading 2              HEBREWS 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.e is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: You are my son: this day I have begotten you; just as he says in another place: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

QARI 2             mill-Ittra lil-Lhud 5:1-6

Kull qassis il-kbir meħud minn fost il-bnedmin, hu mqiegħed għall-bnedmin f’dak li għandu x’jaqsam ma’ Alla, biex joffri doni u sagrifiċċji għad-dnubiet. Hu dak li jista’ jagħder ’il dawk li ma jafux u li jiżbaljaw, għax huwa mlibbes bid-dgħufija; u minħabba f’hekk għandu joffri sagrifiċċji għad-dnubiet tiegħu wkoll, bħalma joffrihom għad-dnubiet tal-poplu. Ħadd m’għandu jieħu b’idejh dal-ġieħ għalih innifsu, imma biss min hu msejjaħ minn Alla, sewwasew kif kien imsejjaħ Aron. Għax hekk ukoll Kristu ma tax lilu nnifsu l-ġieħ li jkun il-qassis il-kbir, imma dan tahulu Alla, li qallu: “Ibni int; illum jien nissiltek”. U kif jgħid ukoll band’oħra: “Int qassis għal dejjem skont l-ordni ta’ Melkisedek”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


Gospel          MARK 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.  But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

EVANĠELJU            Qari skond San Mark 10:46-52

F’dak iż-żmien, waqt li Ġesù kien ħiereġ minn Ġeriko flimkien mad-dixxipli tiegħu u ma’ kotra kbira ta’ nies, kien hemm wieħed tallab agħma, jismu Bartimew, bin Timew, bilqiegħda mal-ġenb tat-triq. Dan, meta sama’ li kien Ġesù ta’ Nazaret, qabad jgħajjat u jgħid: “Ġesù, bin David, ikollok ħniena minni!”. Kien hemm ħafna li bdew jgħajtu miegħu biex jiskot imma hu aktar beda jgħajjat: “Bin David, ikollok ħniena minni!”. Ġesù waqaf u qal: “Sejħulu”. Huma sejħu l-agħma u qalulu: “Agħmel il-qalb! Qum, qiegħed isejjaħlek”. Dak tajjar il-mantar minn fuqu, qabeż fuq riġlejh u mar ħdejn Ġesù. U Ġesù kellmu u qallu: “Xi tridni nagħmillek?”. “Li nerġa’ nara, Rabbuni”, wieġbu l-agħma. U Ġesù qallu: “Mur, il-fidi tiegħek fejqitek”. U minnufih raġa’ beda jara, u baqa’ miexi warajh fit-triq. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.


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Eight-minute  Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil   

OUR LOVING, HEALING AND FORGIVING GOD

Central Theme:


The central theme of this Sunday’s readings is the overflowing mercy and kindness of a loving, healing and forgiving God for His children. (A homily starter anecdote may be added here)

Scripture lessons:

The first reading tells us how a forgiving and compassionate God has been healing the spiritual blindness of His Chosen People by subjecting them to captivity in Babylon; now He will liberate them, bringing them back to their homeland. Connected to this reading is the Jerusalem journey of Jesus in the company of the lame and the blind in today’s Gospel, in which healing of the blind Bartimaeus is seen as the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s joyful prophecy of the exiled Jews return from Babylon to their homeland. Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 126) gives us the same encouraging promise: ”Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing!” Today’s second reading, taken from Hebrews 5, presents Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for sins and as the true High Priest of the New Testament. It also gives us the assurance that our High Priest, the sinless Jesus, is sympathetic to us because Jesus has shared our human nature in everything, including temptation. Today’s Gospel explains how Jesus shows the mercy and compassion of His Heavenly Father by healing the blind Bartimaeus. Just as the blind and the lame were God’s concern in the first reading, Jesus is concerned with the blind beggar, Bartimaeus of Jericho. On hearing that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, Bartimaeus loudly expressed his trusting Faith in the healing power of Jesus by shouting his request, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”When Jesus invited him to come near, Bartimaeus threw aside his cloak (suggesting, perhaps, the baptismal divesting). His meeting with Jesus gave Bartimaeus the gift of spiritual as well as physical sight, and the fomer blind beggar became a disciple of Jesus.

Life messages:

1) Instead of remaining in spiritual blindness, let us pray for spiritual sight. Each one of us suffers from spiritual blindness. Hence, we need the light of the Holy Spirit to end our darkness and grant us proper spiritual vision. Let us learn to recognize the causes of our spiritual blindness. Anger, hatred, jealousy, evil habits, addictions etc. make us spiritually blind, and they prevent us from seeing the goodness and presence of God in our family members and neighbors. Hence, let us learn to think about and see the goodness in others without becoming unkind, critical, or judgmental. We are blinded by greed when we are never satisfied with what we have and incur debts to buy luxury items. Hence, let us pray to have a clear vision of Christian values and priorities in our lives and to acknowledge the presence of God dwelling in ourselves and in our neighbors. A clear spiritual vision enables us to see the goodness in others, to express our appreciation for all that they have been doing for us, and to refrain from criticizing their performance.

2) We need to “cry out” to Jesus, as Bartimaeus did. Like Bartimaeus, we must seek the love, mercy, and goodness of Jesus with trusting Faith. Sometimes our fears, anger, and habitual sins prevent us from approaching God in prayer. At times, we even become angry with God when He seems slow in answering our prayers. In these desperate moments, let us approach Jesus in prayer with trusting Faith, as Bartimaeus did, and listen carefully to the voice of Jesus asking us: “What do you want me to do for you?” Let us tell Him all our heart’s intentions and needs.

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