"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 July 2024

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD

Readings for Sunday, July 21, 2024 

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 107

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



Reading 1                 JEREMIAH 23:1-6

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

QARI 1                  mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Ġeremija 23, 1-6

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

Responsorial Psalm                  PSALM 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

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

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

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

SALM RESPONSORJALI                 Salm 22 (23), 1-3a.3b-4.5.6

R/. (1): Il-Mulej hu r-ragħaj tiegħi, xejn ma jonqosni

Il-Mulej hu r-ragħaj tiegħi,
xejn ma jonqosni;
f’mergħat kollha ħdura jqegħedni.
Ħdejn l-ilma, fejn nistrieħ, jeħodni;
hemm hu jrejjaqni. R/.

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

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

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

Reading 2                 EPHESIANS 2:13-18

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

QARI 2                   mill-Ittra lill-Efesin 2, 13-18

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

Gospel                 MARK 6:30-34

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

EVANĠELJU                 Qari skond San Mark 6, 30-34

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

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An 8-minute Reflection on Sunday's Readings by Fr Anthony Kadavil 

WE NEED GOD'S GRACE TO BECOME GOOD SHEPHERDS


Introduction: 

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

Scripture lessons summarized: 

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

Today’s Good Shepherd Responsorial Psalm (Ps 23) affirms David’s Faith and trust in God, the “Good Shepherd.” The Psalm Refrain has us sing, “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.”  The second reading introduces Jesus as the shepherd of both the Jews and the Gentiles and explains how Jesus, the good shepherd, has reconciled all of us with His Father by offering Himself on the cross. Paul also speaks about another reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles, brought about by Jesus’ accepting both into the same Christian brotherhood.

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

Life messages: 

1) We need God’s grace to become good shepherds: The Christian life is a continuous passage from the presence of God to the presence of people and back to God again. Prayer is essentially listening to God and talking to Him. We should allow God the opportunity to speak to us and recharge us with spiritual energy and strength by setting aside enough time for Him to speak to us and for us to speak to Him. 

He speaks to us powerfully when we spend some time every day reading the Bible devoutly and meditating on the message God gives us in Scripture. We receive strength from God to do our share of the shepherd’s preaching and healing ministry by asking for it individually, in the family, and as a community in the parish Church, participating in the Eucharistic celebration.

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

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Thursday 11 July 2024

WE HAVE BEEN SENT ON A MISSION

 Readings for Sunday, July 14, 2024 

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 104

Qari tal-Ħmistax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


Reading 1                 AMOS 7:12-15

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

QARI 1                 mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Għamos 7, 12-15

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

Responsorial Psalm                PSALM 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14

I will hear what God proclaims;
    the LORD —for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
    glory dwelling in our land.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

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

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

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

Ħa nisma’ xi jgħid Alla;

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

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

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

Reading 2                 EPHESIANS 1:3-14 or 1:3-10

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

QARI 2                 mill-Ittra lill-Efesin 1, 3-14

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

Gospel                 MARK 6:7-13

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

EVANĠELJU                 Qari skond San Mark 6, 7-13

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

///////////////////////////////////////////////                                                                                          An 8-minute Reflection on Sunday's Readings by Fr Anthony Kadavil 

WE, TOO, HAVE A WITNESSING MISSION 

Introduction: 

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

Scripture lessons summarized: 

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

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

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

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

Life Messages:

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

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

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Wednesday 3 July 2024

WHEN WE'RE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT....

Readings for Sunday, July 7, 2024 

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time   
Lectionary: 101

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


Reading 1                 EZEKIEL 2:2-5

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

QARI 1                mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Eżekjel 2:2-5

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

Responsorial Psalm                PSALM 123:1-2, 2, 3-4

To you I lift up my eyes
who are enthroned in heaven —
As the eyes of servants
are on the hands of their masters.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy. 

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

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

SALM RESPONSORJALI                 Salm 122(123):1-2a,2bċd,3-4

R/. (2ċd): Għajnejna lejn il-Mulej, sa ma jkollu ħniena minna.

Lejk nerfa’ għajnejja,
int li tgħammar fis-smewwiet.
Ara, bħal għajnejn il-qaddejja
lejn id sidhom; hekk għajnejna lejn il-Mulej. R/.

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

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

Reading 2                 2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-10 

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

QARI 2                 mit-Tieni Ittra lill-Korintin 12:7-10

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

Gospel                 MARK 6:1-6

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

EVANĠELJU                 Qari skond San Mark 6:1-6

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

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An 8-minute Reflection on Sunday's Readings by Fr Anthony Kadavil 

WHEN GOD CALLS YOU... EXPECT TROUBLE!

Introduction: 

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

Scripture lessons: 

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

In the Second reading Paul confesses that God has given him a share in Christ’s suffering – a chronic illness which causes physical suffering — a “thorn in the flesh,” so that he might rely solely on God’s grace in all his work and might glory in the power of the strengthening God Who alone sustains him.  The apostle invites us to rise above our own weaknesses and disabilities, cooperating with the grace of God and proclaiming His message by word and example as Paul did.  

Today’s Gospel passage, Mark 6:1-6, tells us that the first reaction of the people in the synagogue to Jesus’ words was one of astonishment. Luke says they were “amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” But in spite of their amazement, many people of Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth did not accept him as a prophet because they “knew” Jesus and the family. They also “knew” that this “son of the carpenter” could not be the promised Messiah because he had not (as far as they knew),   come from Bethlehem as a descendant of David’s royal family. They knew Jesus only as a carpenter from a poor family, with no formal training in Mosaic Law. 

Jesus’ neighbours did not expect this “carpenter’s son,” to be skilled in interpreting the Scriptures.  They also could not understand how a mere carpenter could be their wealthy, powerful, political Messiah who would liberate them from Roman rule and re-establish the Davidic kingdom of power and glory.  Besides, they were angry when Jesus not only did not work any miracles in Nazareth but chided them with prophetic courage for their lack of Faith, then left them, going to proclaim God’s message through a preaching, healing ministry to those who would receive it and believe. 

Certainly, they thought Jesus had gone far beyond the proper place of a humble carpenter. The apostle John wrote of Christ in John 1:10–11, “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.... He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.”

Life message: 

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

As prophets, our task is to “speak the truth in love,” and to oppose the evils in our society, refusing to condone or encourage sinful behavior even in our dear ones. Let us also acknowledge, appreciate, and encourage the prophets of our time who stand for Truth and Justice in our society with the wisdom of God in their heads, the power and love of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and words, and the courage of God in their actions.

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Thursday 27 June 2024

OUR LOVING SAVIOUR....

Readings for Sunday, June 30, 2024 

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 98

Qari tat-Tlettax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


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

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

QARI 1                 mill-Ktieb tal-Għerf 1:13-15; 2:23-24

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

Responsorial Psalm                 PSALM 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

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

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

SALM RESPONSORJALI                  Salm 29(30):2,4,5-6,11,12a,13b

R/. (2a): Ngħollik, Mulej, għax erfajtni.

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

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

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

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

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

QARI 2                 mit-Tieni Ittra lill-Korintin 8:7,9,13-15

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

Gospel                 MARK 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43

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

EVANĠELJU                 Qari skond San Mark 5:21-43

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

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An 8-minute Reflection on Sunday's Readings by Fr Anthony Kadavil 

THE GIFT OF LIFE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US

Introduction: 

Sunday’s readings speak of the gift of life, both physical and spiritual, that God has given us. They urge and challenge us to be grateful for our health in body and soul and to use God’s gifts of life and health responsibly.

Scripture lessons: 

The first reading, taken from the Book of Wisdom, tells us that God gave us life and health, and that it was the jealousy of the Satan that produced illness and death. The reading also suggests that God’s intent for our lives on earth is that we be able to know, to love, and to serve God here, with perfect health in body and soul, and to share His immortal Life forever. 

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

Today’s Gospel describes two of our Lord’s miracles, the healing of a woman who suffered from a chronic bleeding disease and the returning of the dead daughter of Jairus to life. These healings show us that, like God described in Wisdom today, Jesus wills life, and wills full life for all God’s children, and wields Divine power and the Infinite Mercy as our Saviour. These miracles were worked by Jesus as reward for the trusting Faith of a synagogue ruler and of a woman with a haemorrhage. Although the Faith of the ruler may have been defective, and the woman’s Faith may have been a bit superstitious, Jesus amply rewarded the Faith they had by granting them health and life.

Life messages: 

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

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

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Thursday 20 June 2024

"HERE SHALL YOUR PROUD WAVES BE STILLED!"

Readings for Sunday, June 23, 2024 

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time   Lectionary: 95


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


 

Reading 1                 J0B 38:1, 8-11

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

QARI 1                  mill-Ktieb ta’ Ġob 38:1,8-11

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

Responsorial Psalm                 PSALM 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31

They who sailed the sea in ships,
    trading on the deep waters,
These saw the works of the LORD
    and his wonders in the abyss.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
or: R. Alleluia.

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

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

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

SALM RESPONSORJALI                 Salm 106(107):23-24,25-26,28-29,30-31

R/. (1b): Roddu ħajr lill-Mulej, għax għal dejjem it-tjieba tiegħu.

Dawk li jbaħħru fuq l-iġfna,
li jinnegozjaw fuq l-ibħra bla tarf,
raw l-opri tal-Mulej
u l-għeġubijiet tiegħu f’qiegħ il-baħar. R/.

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

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

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

Reading 2                 2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-17

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

QARI 2                 mit-Tieni Ittra lill-Korintin 5:14-17

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

Gospel                 MARK 4:35-41

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

EVANĠELJU                 Qari skont San Mark 4:35-41

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

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An 8-minute Reflection on Sunday's Readings by Fr Anthony Kadavil 

IT HAPPENED ONE STORMY SUNDAY!

Introduction: 

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

Scripture lessons summarized: 

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

Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 107) picks up the storm theme and tells us how the Lord saves the sailors caught up in the high waves of a tempest: “They who sailed the sea in ships … saw the works of the Lord and His wonders in the abyss, "by first 'raising up a storm wind,' then 'hushing the storm to a gentle breeze.' Paul, who “rode out the storm” of rejection by his former friends, also experienced storms of violent hostility from the Jews, his brothers and sisters in God’s Chosen People, who refused to believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah. So, he explains in the second reading that Jesus died for us to make us a “new creation.” In order to receive this gift of love, we have to respond, living for Jesus in all situations of our lives because Jesus has gone before us through the uncharted sea of life. 

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

Life messages: 

We need to remember that Jesus is always with us in the boat of our life. 

1) We all experience different types of violent storms in our lives: physical storms, emotional storms, and spiritual storms. We face storms of sorrow, doubt, anxiety, worry, temptation, and passion. Only Jesus can still these storms. Jesus can give us real peace in the storm of sorrow. 

2) When we are totally depressed with sorrow Jesus assures us of the glory of the life to come. He consoles us at the loss of our dear ones with the assurance of eternal life for them in the Heavenly home of God the Father where we, too, will live one day. 

3) When the storms of doubt seek to uproot the very foundations of our Faith, Jesus is there to still that storm, revealing to us His Divinity and the authority behind the words of the Holy Scripture. 

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

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Thursday 13 June 2024

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE ... .....

Readings for Sunday, June 16, 2024 

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time  
Lectionary: 92

Qari tal-Ħdax-il Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


Reading 1                 EZEKIEL 17:22-24

Thus says the Lord GOD:   I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot, and plant it on a high and lofty mountain; on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it. It shall put forth branches and bear fruit, and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it, every winged thing in the shade of its boughs. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom. As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.

QARI 1                  mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Eżekjel 17, 22-24

Dan jgħid Sidi l-Mulej: “Jien naqta’ mill-quċċata taċ-ċedru l-għoli, minn tarf il-friegħi l-għolja, rimja żgħira, u nxettilha fuq il-muntanja għolja u kbira; fuq il-muntanja l-għolja ta’ Iżrael inxettilha. U hi toħroġ il-friegħi, u tagħmel il-frott, u ssir siġra sabiħa taċ-ċedru. U taħtha jistkenn kull tajr tal-ġwienaħ, jistkennu għad-dell tal-friegħi tagħha. U jagħrfu s-siġar kollha tar-raba’ li jien il-Mulej, li siġra għolja nċekkinha, u siġra żgħira nkabbarha; innixxef is-siġra l-ħadra, u n-niexfa bil-weraq inħaddarha. Jien, il-Mulej, tkellimt, u li għedt nagħmlu”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej

Responsorial Psalm                 PSALM 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16

It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praise to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your kindness at dawn
and your faithfulness throughout the night.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

The just one shall flourish like the palm tree,
like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow.
They that are planted in the house of the LORD
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

They shall bear fruit even in old age;
vigorous and sturdy shall they be,
Declaring how just is the LORD,
my rock, in whom there is no wrong.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

SALM RESPONSORJALI                Salm 91 (92), 2-3.13-14.15-16

R/. (2a): Tajjeb li nfaħħru l-Mulej
Tajjeb li nfaħħru l-Mulej,
li ngħannu lil ismek, inti l-Għoli,
inxandru filgħodu t-tjieba tiegħek,
u billejl il-fedeltà tiegħek. R/.

Il-bniedem ġust bħall-palma jħaddar,
bħal ċedru tal-Libanu jikber.
Imħawlin f’dar il-Mulej,
iħaddru fil-btieħi tat-tempju ta’ Alla tagħna. R/.

Sa fi xjuħithom il-frott jagħmlu,
kollhom ħajja u ħdura,
biex ixandru li ġust hu l-Mulej, blata tiegħi,
u ebda qerq ma jinsab fih. R/.

Reading 2                 2 CORINTHIANS  5:6-10

Brothers and sisters:  We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

QARI 2                   mit-Tieni Ittra lill-Korintin 5, 6-10

Ħuti, aħna dejjem qalbna qawwija u nafu li sakemm indumu mlibbsa b’dan il-ġisem, nibqgħu ’l bogħod mill-Mulej – għax aħna ngħixu bil-fidi u mhux bil-viżjoni. Aħna qalbna qawwija u persważi li aħjar noħorġu minn dan il-ġisem u mmorru noqogħdu għand il-Mulej.  Għalhekk fuq kollox aħna nfittxu li nogħġbu lilu, sew jekk nibqgħu hawn, sew jekk noħorġu minn dan il-ġisem. Jeħtieġ li lkoll kemm aħna nidhru quddiem it-tribunal ta’ Kristu, ħalli kulħadd jieħu skont it-tajjeb jew il-ħażin li jkun għamel meta kien għadu ħaj fil-ġisem. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej

Gospel                 MARK 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private. 

EVANĠELJU                  mill-Evanġelju skont San Mark 4, 26-34

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù qal lill-kotra tan-nies: “Is-Saltna ta’ Alla hi bħal meta raġel ikun xeħet iż-żerriegħa fl-art. Rieqed jew imqajjem, billejl jew binhar, iż-żerriegħa tinbet u tikber, bla ma jaf kif. L-art trodd minnha nfisha l-ewwel il-barma, imbagħad is-sbula, imbagħad il-qamħ mimli fis-sbula. U meta l-frott isir, malajr il-bidwi jmidd idu għall-minġel, għax ikun wasal żmien il-ħsad”.  U qal: “Ma’ xiex sejrin inqabbluha s-Saltna ta’ Alla, jew b’liema parabbola nfissruha? Qisha żerriegħa tal-mustarda; din meta tinżara’ fil-ħamrija, hi l-iċken fost iż-żrieragħ kollha fuq l-art; imma wara li tinżara’ tikber u ssir l-akbar waħda fost il-ħxejjex kollha, u toħroġ friegħi wesgħin, hekk li l-għasafar tal-ajru jkunu jistgħu jistkennu għad-dell tagħha”.  B’ħafna parabboli bħal dawn kien ixandrilhom il-kelma, kif kienu jistgħu jifhmuha huma, u mingħajr xi parabbola ma kienx ikellimhom; imma lid-dixxipli tiegħu, meta kien ikun waħdu magħhom, kien ifissrilhom kollox.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej

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An 8-minute Reflection on Sunday's Readings 
by Fr Anthony Kadavil 

God's Slow and Mysterious growth in Us

Introduction: 

Sunday’s readings focus our attention on the birth and growth of the reign or rule of God (the Kingdom of God), in our human lives and on the gigantic growth of the Church from very humble beginnings. Both growths are slow and mysterious, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture lessons summarized: 

The first reading, taken from Ezekiel 17:22-24, is a Messianic prophecy. Ezekiel tells us how the Lord God of Israel will allow a descendant of King David to become the Messiah and Saviour of the world. In contrast with the parable of the tiny mustard seed in today’s Gospel, Ezekiel sees the Messiah originating in a royal family (lofty Cedar, David). In today's Responsorial Psalm (Ps 92), the Psalmist sings of Jesus, “The Just One shall flourish like the palm tree, like a Cedar of Lebanon shall He grow.” 

In the second reading, St. Paul teaches the Corinthian Christians that they are to advance the growth of God’s Kingdom and His rule in their lives by doing His will so that they may be amply rewarded in the final judgment. In today’s Gospel, Jesus compares the growth of the Kingdom of God to the germination of a wheat seed and that of a tiny mustard seed. Both have exceedingly small beginnings. The wheat seeds, by gradual but steady growth, give the farmer a bumper crop. In the same way, the life principle in a tiny mustard seed enables it to grow into a large bush. 

The reign of God in human hearts and the growth of the Church in the world also have small beginnings. But the Source of all life, God the Holy Spirit, gives to both a steady, persistent, and gigantic growth, provided we, the members of the Church, ask for and cooperate with God’s grace.

Life messages: 

1) We need to cooperate in the growth of God’s Kingdom: The Kingdom of God is the growth of God’s rule in human hearts that occurs when man does the will of God and surrenders his life to God. The seed of Faith lies dormant within each of us. When we permit the Holy Spirit to nurture it with TLC (tender loving care), it grows miraculously to gigantic proportions. The growth is slow and microscopic in the beginning. But the seed grows by using the power of the Holy Spirit, given to us through the Word of God, the Mass, the Sacraments, and prayer.   

As we learn God’s will from His words and try to put these words into practice, we participate in the growth of God’s Kingdom on earth, a growth which will be completed in our Heavenly life. But since we need the special anointing of the Holy Spirit to be doers of the Word of God, let us offer our lives before God every day, asking for this special anointing.

2) We need to avoid discouragement: Since the acceptance of God’s rule by human beings is a terribly slow process, there is the danger of discouragement and hopelessness among preachers, evangelizers, and believers. The conviction that growth of the Kingdom of God is the work of the Holy Spirit and needs our humble cooperation should make us optimistic in continuing our work of witnessing. We should continue sowing tiny seeds in the form of words of love, acts of encouragement, deeds of charity, mercy and forgiveness.

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Thursday 6 June 2024

LOOKING BEYOND.....

Readings for Sunday, June 9, 2024 



Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 89

Qari tal-Għaxar Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena


Reading 1                  GENESIS 3:9-15

After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree, the LORD God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself." Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!" The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me— she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it." The LORD God then asked the woman, "Why did you do such a thing?" The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."

QARI 1                  mill-Ktieb tal-Ġenesi 3, 9-15

Wara li Adam kiel mis-siġra, il-Mulej Alla sejjaħ lil Adam u staqsieh: “Fejn int?” U dak wieġeb: “Smajt ħossok fil-ġnien u bżajt għax jien għeri, u nħbejt”. U staqsieh: “Min qallek li int għeri? Jaqaw kilt mis-siġra li jien ordnajtlek li ma tikolx minnha?” U wieġeb Adam: “Il-mara li inti tajtni għal miegħi, hi tatni mis-siġra, u jiena kilt”. U l-Mulej Alla qal lill-mara: “X’inhu dan li għamilt?” U l-mara wieġbet: “Is-serp qarraq bija, u jien kilt”. U l-Mulej Alla qal lis-serp: “Talli għamilt dan, misħut int fost il-bhejjem kollha u fost l-annimali selvaġġi!  Għal żaqqek titkaxkar, u t-trab tal-art tiekol il-jiem kollha ta’ ħajtek. U jien inqajjem mibegħda bejnek u bejn il-mara, bejn nislek u nisilha, u hu jisħaqlek rasek u int tisħaqlu għarqubu”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej 

Responsorial Psalm                       PSALM 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the LORD.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption
and he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

SALM RESPONSORJALI                Salm 129 (130), 1-2.3-4ab.4ċ-6.7-8

R/. (7): Għand il-Mulej hemm it-tjieba, u l-fidwa għandu bil-kotra

Minn qiegħ l-art insejjaħlek, Mulej:
isma’, Sidi, il-leħen tiegħi!
Ħa jkunu widnejk miftuħa,
jiena u nitolbok bil-ħniena. R/.

Jekk tal-ħtijiet int tagħti kas, Mulej,
Sidi, min jista’ jżomm sħiħ?
Imma għandek hemm il-maħfra,
biex hekk inqimuk fil-biża’ tiegħek. R/.

Jien lill-Mulej nistenna,
ruħi f’kelmtu tittama.
Tistenna ruħi lil Sidi,
aktar milli l-għassiesa s-sebħ. R/.

Jistenna Iżrael lill-Mulej!
Għax għand il-Mulej hemm it-tjieba,
u l-fidwa għandu bil-kotra.
Hu li jifdi lil Iżrael
minn ħtijietu kollha. R/.

Reading 2                2 CORINTHIANS 4:13—5:1

Brothers and sisters: Since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we too believe and therefore we speak, knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God. Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

QARI 2                  mit-2 Ittra lill-Korintin 4, 13 – 5, 1

Ħuti, billi aħna għandna l-istess spirtu ta’ fidi li fuqu hemm miktub: “Emmint, u għalhekk tkellimt”, aħna wkoll emminna, u għalhekk tkellimna; għax nafu li dak li qajjem lill-Mulej Ġesù, lilna wkoll għad iqajjimna flimkien ma’ Ġesù u jressaqna quddiemu flimkien magħkom. Għax dan kollu minħabba fikom, biex il-grazzja tilħaq ħafna bnedmin oħra, u b’hekk jitkattar ir-radd ta’ ħajr, għall-glorja ta’ Alla. Għalhekk ma naqtgħux qalbna, għax imqar jekk il-bniedem ta’ barra jitħassar, il-bniedem ta’ ġewwa jiġġedded minn jum għal jum. Id-daqsxejn ta’ tbatija tagħna ta’ issa tħejjilna kobor ta’ glorja bla qjies għal dejjem; lilna li ma nħarsux lejn il-ħwejjeġ li jidhru, iżda lejn dawk li ma jidhrux. Dawk li jidhru huma għal żmien qasir, dawk li ma jidhrux huma għal dejjem. Aħna nafu li jekk din it-tinda tal-għamara tagħna fl-art tiġġarraf, aħna għandna dar oħra, maħduma mhux bl-idejn, imma xogħol ta’ Alla, għal dejjem fis-sema. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej

Gospel                 MARK 3:20-35

Jesus came home with his disciples. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons." Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder the house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin." For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit." His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you." But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

EVANĠELJU                Qari skond San Mark 3, 20-35

F’dak iż-żmien, Ġesù, flimkien mad-dixxipli tiegħu, mar id-dar, u l-kotra reġgħet inġemgħet, hekk li anqas biss setgħu jieklu. Qrabatu, malli semgħu, ħarġu biex iżommuh, għax qalu li tilef moħħu. Il-kittieba li kienu niżlu minn Ġerusalemm bdew jgħidu: “Dan għandu fih lil Begħelżebul u bis-saħħa tal-Prinċep tax-xjaten qiegħed ikeċċihom ix-xjaten”. Hu sejħilhom lejh u beda jkellimhom bil-parabboli: “Kif jista’ x-Xitan ikeċċi x-Xitan? Jekk saltna tinqasam fiha nfisha, dik is-saltna ma tistax iżżomm wieqfa. U jekk familja tinqasam fiha nfisha, dik il-familja ma tistax iżżomm wieqfa. Li kieku mela x-Xitan qam kontra tiegħu nnifsu u nfired, ma kienx jista’ jżomm sħiħ, imma jkun wasal fit-tmiem. Ħadd ma jista’ jidħol fid-dar ta’ wieħed qawwi u jaħtaflu ġidu jekk qabel ma jkunx rabat lil dak il-qawwi; imbagħad id-dar jaħtafhielu żgur. Tassew ngħidilkom, kollox jinħafrilhom lil ulied il-bniedem, id-dnubiet u d-dagħa kollu li jidgħu. Imma min jieqaf lill-Ispirtu s-Santu ma jkollu qatt maħfra; jibqa’ ħati għal dejjem”. Għax kienu qalu: “Għandu fih spirtu ħażin”.  Darba ġew ommu u ħutu, baqgħu barra u bagħtu jsejħulu. Dak il-ħin kien hemm ħafna nies bilqiegħda madwaru, u qalulu: “Ara, ommok u ħutek qegħdin hemm barra u jriduk”. U hu weġibhom: “Min huma ommi u ħuti?” Imbagħad dawwar ħarstu fuq dawk li kien hemm madwaru bilqiegħda, u qal: “Dawn, ara, huma ommi u ħuti. Kull min jagħmel ir-rieda ta’ Alla, dak huwa ħija, u oħti, u ommi”.  Il-Kelma tal-Mulej

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An 8-minute Reflection on Sunday's Readings by Fr Anthony Kadavil 


WHEN WE SIN....

Introduction: 

The readings for next Sunday, the Tenth Sunday [B] in Ordinary Time, give the name “sin” to our offenses against God. When we sin — violate God’s Commandments — we distance ourselves from Him; when we refuse, or fear, to admit our sins, we deny ourselves God’s freely offered pardon and forgiveness.

Scripture lessons, summarized: 

In describing Adam and Eve’s first sin, disobedience, our first reading, taken from Genesis, explains the beginning of evil in the world with its destructive results. The loving relationship joining man to God was destroyed, and the relationship of mutual love between Adam and Eve was weakened. Their default to a “blame game” allowed each to avoid taking personal responsibility for their joint choice. 

In the second reading, Paul declares to the Corinthians that the many adversities of his missionary work were God’s plan for his spiritual growth; his sufferings, offered with Jesus for the Salvation of the world, would result a glorious reward for him and for all believers who did the same. 

Sunday’s Gospel passage reveals how Jesus himself was misunderstood by his own relatives and was criticized, slandered, and rejected by the Sanhedrin-led scribes and Pharisees. His sufferings for us give us both courage and his offer of healing, strength, and forgiveness, so that we can do as he did when we face unfair treatment and criticism in our lives.

Life messages:

1) Today’s Scriptures challenge us to face rejection with prophetic courage and optimism. Very often our friends, families, or childhood companions fail to listen to us and refuse to accept the words of grace, love, and encouragement that we offer to them because they know so much about us and are so used to us, they disregard what we have to say, if they even hear it! But we have to face such rejection with prophetic courage because by our Baptism we are called to be prophets like Jesus, sharing his prophetic mission. 

As prophets, our task is to speak the truth in love and oppose the evils in our society, refusing to condone or encourage sinful behavior even in our dear ones, though we do not “excommunicate” them, from our lives, but continue to love them while we pray for them.

2) We need to have the courage of our convictions:  Modern “liberal-minded” people may find the genuine Christians’ belief in and practice of Christ’s ideas and ideals ”just plain crazy!” Hence, what is needed in a Christian is the courage of his or her convictions based on the authority of Jesus as God and the truth of his doctrines and expressed in the Magisterium of the Church.

3) We need to live as members of God’s family: Let us remember that by Baptism we become the children of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, and members of the Heavenly family of the Triune God. Hence, let us observe our obligations of treating others with love and respect and of sharing our love with them in corporal and spiritual works of mercy. 

We are also His disciples, and so are obliged to be hearers as well as doers of the word of God. Let us keep our souls daily cleansed and filled with the Spirit of God, leaving no space for the evil spirit to enter our souls.

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