4th JUNE 2023

Mass prep: 30 seconds/3 points: How do we envision the Trinity?

SUNDAY, SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

 

Ex 34:4-6,8-9;            Dn 3:52-56;    2 Cor 13:11-13;         Jn 3:16-18


                

TRINITY: A MYSTERY TO ENCOUNTER

Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Third person of the Trinity. Today we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity together. The Mother Church rejoices to and honours the Most Holy Persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are the Creator, Redeemer and Inspirer. Our faith is that God is somehow, mysteriously, “Trinitarian” or “triune” in nature. A mystery does not mean we should not understand. A mystery should not mean that he cannot be understood at all.

Saint Catherine of Siena once remarked that for the Christian to ask the question ‘Where is God?’ is like a fish to ask the question ‘Where is water?’ Today, as we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, let us take an opportunity to think about who God truly is and what we understand him to be. Quite often the two do not exactly correspond: what God is truly like and what we think he is like are not always the same. On this Trinity Sunday, let us draw out three life-changing truths from our faith in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

First, as Saint Catherine reminded us, we are inside the mystery of God, not outside. We may not think of it this way, but this changes everything because it means that we no longer have to look ‘up there’ or ‘out there’ for God as if He is a million miles away. Rather we are within the circle of His life, and God has opened it, to gather us into it. With the coming of Jesus into the world, God has opened himself up and inserted us into the space between the Father and the Son where the Spirit of love flows constantly.

Second, if we are made in the image and likeness of God then the more we become like God the more we become ourselves. God is revealed as ‘a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness’. It follows then that if this is God’s true nature then it is our true nature as well. When we are tender, compassionate, patient, rich and kind, we become who we truly are and who we are called to be, our best.

Third, the Trinity is a mystery that we are to experience with our hearts not with our heads. It is not a puzzle or a riddle that we are expected to answer or solve. When we use the word ‘mystery’ to talk about and describe the Trinity, we are talking about a reality that is so endlessly rich and profound that it will never be exhausted. The more we contemplate and pray about the reality and presence of the Trinity in our lives, the more of itself will be revealed to us. Through the Trinity, God creates and loves us, Jesus liberates and saves us and the Spirit encourages and strengthens us. The Trinity is a community of love and life that we are invited to be part of and to share in.

When we look at the news on our televisions or read the newspapers any day, we are often presented with news of violence, segregation and building walls. There is the reality of individuals and indeed some countries speaking about and defending their rights at the expense of dialogue and cooperation with other nations. People of different religions in the same country often not only disagree with each other; they are actively fighting against each other. Sadly, there is division where they could be unity, there is aggression where there could be understanding, and there is suspicion where there could be trust and mutual respect. The Trinity offers us a model of sharing, belonging and community. It also challenges our individualism and our demand that our rights be met all the time. The Trinity asks to be mindful of our responsibilities to those around us in our families, our neighbourhood and our parish community.

In the Christian tradition, when we begin our prayers, whether as individuals or a community, we do so by making the sign of the cross and calling on the power and presence of the Trinity. When we pray glory be…, we do the same. We deliberately and consciously ask the Trinity to be part of prayer and our daily life. Perhaps on the Feast of the Trinity we could say these prayers slower and let their meaning become part of us in a more intimate and personal way.

 


Response: You are to be praised and highly exalted forever!


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3rd JUNE 2023

Christ - The Wisdom of God | St Shenouda Monastery Pimonakhos Articles


SATURDAY, EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga & companions

 

Sir 51: 12-20;                         Ps 19: 8-11;                Mk 11: 27-33


               

WISDOM REVEALS THE MESSIAH

 

The liturgy of the word today invites us to seek the wisdom of God, that is Jesus Himself. The gospel reading can be divided into three parts:

 

  1. Capturing Confrontation – we have in the passage, the chief priests, the scribes and the elders, the three groups that make up the Sanhedrin (highest religious authority, the ruling party and the supreme court). These three groups come together to Jesus and raised the question of His authority. What troubled them was their Power, Prestige and Privilege. Jesus’ teaching and way of life of Jesus challenged their authority over the society and the people.

 

  1. Clever Comeback – Jesus does not give them a direct answer but answers them by questioning. The question is whether the baptism of John comes from heaven or man. This question is a very clever comeback to withstand the evil confrontation he faced. John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Jesus. His preaching of repentance and conversion was to accept Jesus as the Messiah. In short, to accept John the Baptist is to equally accept Jesus as Messiah and rejecting John would be rejecting Jesus as Messiah.

 

  1. Cunning Compromise – the scribes and the elders gather together and discuss the question raised by Jesus. As in the first part, we saw that these three groups come together to find a response. Therefore, it is obvious that they must have the answer of Jesus. It was their duty to know the authority of John the Baptist as well as Jesus. However, we see a contradiction, that the ones who were to teach the truth are silent.

 

There is always a conflict between intellectual pride and Divine wisdom. Intellectual pride, that comes from man does not necessarily stand for truth. Let us thus look for wisdom and be blessed because wisdom reveals the Messiah.

 


Response: The precepts of the Lord are right;they gladden the heart.


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2nd JUNE 2023

The Cursed Fig Tree Teaches a Lesson About Faith | Life of Jesus

FRIDAY, EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Sir 44: 1, 9-13;                       Ps 149: 1-6, 9;                        Mk 11: 11-26


              

“FAITH” IS THE BREATH OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE

Human life on earth blossoms with the help of “breath” and “faith”. God is the source of them both. Breath is an act (involuntary) of man, and we do not have complete control over it and is essential for our physical being. Similarly, Faith is a human act, which is important for our spiritual being. To lead a happy life, there must be an element of faith between the individuals. “Faith” plays a very important role not only in worldly life but also in our spiritual life. A life without faith is like a vehicle without fuel. Like the saying, ‘By faith you can conquer the world,’ Lord Jesus Christ asks us in today’s gospel, to ‘believe that you have received all that you ask in prayer.’ We must believe that in faith everything is possible. However, such an unswerving faith does not sprout all at once. It grows gradually. We must go through different stages of faith in different situations of life.

    1. Unbelief (Mk 4:40) “Why are you so afraid?”
    2. Little Faith (Lk 12:28) “Little, believers…
    3. Deep Faith (Mt 8:10) Confidence in the Centurion
    4. Rich Faith (Jas 2:5) God’s grace
    5. Precious Faith (2 Pt 1:1) is God’s Gift
    6. Immense Faith (Eccl 6:5) the Faith of the Seven Helpers
    7. Complete Faith (Eccl 2:22) Abraham’s faith

Thus, God’s gift is essential to move from a life of unbelief to a complete life of faith, and we must strive to remove from our lives the factors that impede the life of faith. Faith always bears fruit because faith depends on God at every moment and unbelief depends on the world. As the Lord Jesus Christ says in today’s gospel, the spiritual life will be attainable only through a life of faith, passing through prayer, scripture and a life of virtue.


Response: The Lord takes delight in his people.


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1st JUNE 2023

Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight -Mk | Listen to God, Receive Grace

THURSDAY, EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr

 

Sir 42: 15-25;                         Ps 33: 2-9;                  Mk 10: 46-52


              

JESUS COMPLEMENTS OUR LIVES

In life, we come across things which are complementary to each other, like cars and petrol; pens and ink etc. One possesses a real meaning only when its complementary is present. In the Gospel passage, we come across two complementary realities, light and darkness. The darkness blinds Barthimeus, and the light, i.e. Jesus Christ gives him sight. Jesus is truly the light of the world and in him, there is no darkness. The book of Sirach clearly elicits that “all things that exist in this world are in pairs (in opposites).” God has not made anything imperfect. Rather certain things become imperfect because of man’s imperfection and finite nature but God through his Son, Christ brings perfection and makes all things complete in him.

Bartimaeus, the blind man is on the road to Jericho. Jericho stands for the culture that poisons the heart and the mind, one which leads to spiritual blindness. The man sitting at the wall of Jericho represents all of us. And his only hope was Jesus of Nazareth, about whom he had only heard stories. Jesus asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The answer is quick, clear and certain. “Lord, I want to see.” The request is granted. He not only asked for physical sight but also spiritual sight. The two sights are quite different. One helps to see the magnificent beauty of the scene, the other helps to see God and praise God. Seeing becomes believing. As Paschal said, “The heart has reasons, the intellect does not know.” We must ask the Lord to give us this sight of faith.

As someone has said very well, if you want to be a responsible Christian you must read two things, the Bible and the daily newspaper, but never one without the other. One gives us a vision of the body and the other gives us the vision of the faith. We need to see our daily life through the eyes of our faith; It provides us with the belief in the providence of God. This sight tells us that Jesus complements all that is lacking in our lives.


Response: By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.


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31st MAY 2023

Feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary

WEDNESDAY, EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Zep 3: 14-18/Rom 12: 9-16;             Is 12: 2-6;                   Lk 1: 39-56


             

THE BLESSINGS OF A VISIT

The feast of today can inspire us in many ways. As per Luke’s narration, both Mary and Elizabeth were pregnant. If one had just received the announcement of the birth of the Saviour, the other was already in the sixth month of pregnancy, with the forerunner of the Saviour. Upon entering the house, Mary greeted Elizabeth. It is just a word of simple greeting and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and the child leapt in her womb. Can we imagine what a simple greeting can do? A greeting with love and warmth can fill the other with extreme joy and life. We need to learn to greet each other with genuine warmth and affection.

Mary paid a visit to her cousin and stayed with her for three months, which could mean Mary perhaps assisted Elizabeth in giving birth to John. Look at the sacrifice Mary made. Many of us have no time to visit the sick and suffering, much less stay with them. To bring comfort and happiness but above all to make someone feel loved, appreciated and cared for by our visit is the task of every Christian.

God also visits us always through ordinary people and events. Many find it difficult to recognize the divine presence during a visit. We need to learn from Elizabeth and the babe in her womb how to respond to a visitation of God himself in various forms. Every visit should be a moment of grace and the experience of the divine presence. Mary for the first time today exercises the function of being a mediatrix. She becomes the medium through which Elizabeth receives grace and joy from God.

All of us have the mission of being mediators between God and others. To change from oneself to Christ and to find Him in others is the vocation of every disciple of Christ. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen (1 Jn 4:20).


Response: Great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.


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30th MAY 2023

Pin on Mary's Way Quotes & Shareables

TUESDAY, EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Sir 35: 1-12;               Ps 50: 5-8,14,23;                    Mk 10: 28-31


             

LET IT BE DONE TO ME, ACCORDING TO MY WILL

Imagine that your child, or someone you love, comes to you and say, “I love you very much but I don’t think I trust you.” What would be your reaction? How would that make you feel? No doubt, that would leave you with profound sadness and pain! This is how we behave when we hold on to our own will and insecurities. In fact, in one of the visions of Saint Margaret Mary of Alacoque, Jesus said, “What saddens me the most is, that even though they love me, they do not trust me.”

Often when we hear the call of God inviting us into an intimate relationship with Him; to a higher degree of perfection in our spiritual lives, we are afraid to let go and give the Lord total freedom to control our lives, because we feel by doing that, we will be deprived from many things by letting go and giving the total freedom of our life to God.

Often, we think we are doing the will of God, but instead, we are doing our own will, and fool ourselves that we are doing God’s Will. We all pray for better lives. But if we don’t give the freedom to God to take hold of our lives, He cannot do anything. We can ask an artist to paint us a portrait. In order to do that the artist needs the freedom of his paint brush. If we hold onto the tip of the brush, the artist is not free to do what he needs to do. In the same way, God doesn’t interfere with our freedom and free will. However, if we must trust the lord and give Him freedom over our lives, we will see, like an artist, the Lord will do wonders in our lives.

Sometimes, we feel that the God is asking from us more that we can afford to give. However, if we trust him to be the one who created us and give Him our entire selves, without doubt, we will see that He gives us much more than he asks of us. Because in obedience to the Divine Will we find the true freedom and only by giving, we can receive.


Response: To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God.


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29th MAY 2023

Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church - Inside The  Vatican Pilgrimages

MONDAY, EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Memorial of Our Lady, Mother of the Church

 

Gen 3: 9-15, 20 / Acts 1:12-14;         Jdt 13:18-19;              Jn 19: 25-34


             

MARY, SOURCE OF STRENGTH AND ENCOURAGEMENT

If there is any person here on earth, with many titles and attributes, it is none other than the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is addressed by so many names, and she has so many attributes attached to her name, and this we find in the Litany that we recite during the Rosary. Besides, we also have other litanies in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today, the Church honours her as Mary, Mother of the Church. This title was attributed to Mary by Pope Paul VI in 1964. In 1975, a votive Mass was inserted into the Roman Missal in honour of Mary, Mother of the Church. But it was Pope Francis, who in 2018 made the celebration part of the Universal Church and liturgy as a memorial on the Monday after the Pentecost Sunday.

According to the decree issued by Pope Francis quoting today’s gospel reading, “Mary is depicted at the foot of the Cross. There she became the Mother of the Church when she accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple John as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal”.

Mary gave birth to Jesus, the beloved Son of the Eternal Father, who became the head of the Church. Jesus, son of Mary, being the head of the Church, makes Mary, his Mother as the Mother of the Church too. We are the redeemed members of that Body, the Church and automatically claim Mary as our Mother too.

According to the Acts of the Apostles, after the death of Jesus, Mary kept the early church, apostles and other disciples together in prayer. She was their strength and encouragement when they were so much afraid of the Pharisees and Jews. She will never leave us orphans. She will take care of us in all circumstances. Let us run to her with complete trust and confidence in her motherly care as if we run to our human mother. She will understand and take care of us much more than our human mother.


Response: You are the great pride of our nation.


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28th MAY 2023

Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. Psalms 104:30  | One Walk

SUNDAY, SOLEMNITY OF THE PENTECOST

 

Acts 2:1-11;    Ps 104: 1,24,29-31,34;           1 Cor 12:3-7,12-13;   Jn 20:19-23


             

COME HOLY SPIRIT, RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH

Today the Church celebrates one of the powerful and transformative events in the life of the Church, the coming of the Holy Spirit, or the solemnity of the Pentecost. The Holy Spirit played an important role in the public ministry of Jesus, as we witness him inaugurating his public ministry through the baptism in the river Jordan and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon him. Now we see the feeble, shocked and disillusioned disciples, those that expected great things, but witnessed the merciless, and shameful death of their master and hid themselves for the fear of the Jews, too are empowered by the coming of the Holy Spirit. As one of the most powerful witness to the presence and working of the Holy Spirit, the frightened disciples, in unison, come out of their hiding and proclaim the wonders of God, and convert a multitude that gathered in Jerusalem.

In an unforgettable outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the promise of Christ was fulfilled. In an unprecedented interplay of fire and wind and sound and light, the birth of the Church took place as the mystical Body of Christ. And the Mother of the Church was there at prayer with the apostles. Mary and the apostles being human, needed some tangible and sensible signs that an extraordinarily spiritual event was taking place. Something that appeared like tongues of fire, came down from above, separated, and rested on each of them. Then they began to speak in different languages as the Holy Spirit gave them.

At the tower of Babel, God confused and dispersed the people into many languages and nations due to their selfishness and arrogance of the people. But at the Pentecost we witness, people of various nations and languages are united into one by the Holy Spirit, and they all understand in their very own tongues, the wonders God accomplished through Jesus, through the preaching of the apostles. The presence of people from different nations itself is a powerful message, of proclaiming the universality of salvation. The Church, the bride of Christ, would call her children from among all the nations to form a new people of God, a new nation gathered together without distinction of caste, religion, language, gender, race and other measures of distinguishing and alienating people.

This unity in one Spirit is once again stressed by Saint Paul in the second reading today. He speaks of unity in diversity, that brings various gifts and charisms together under the stewardship of the Holy Spirit to form one mystical body of Christ, geared towards bringing people to God, through the instrumentality of the Church. The Gospel also stresses the unity of believers, while presenting to us the appearance of Jesus to his disciples behind closed doors. As his first gift after the resurrection, Jesus bequeaths peace on his disciples, and they are commissioned to go and preach and spread the kingdom of God.

As we celebrate Pentecost today, the world we live in needs a fresh breath of renewal and newness. We see today various divisions among the believers based on various yardsticks of division. The Church today has been divided between classes of population, belief systems, caste, language, geographical considerations and so on. Further just like the people dispersed at the tower of Babel, today people have dispersed throughout the world through even the external attacks on the Church. There have been far more challenges that we have to face today, while witnessing our faith.

There is also a shocking decline and decay in our beliefs and morals today. More than ever today, many want to get rid of God from every sphere of life, both at the public and personal level, resulting in more bloodshed, violence, wars and lawlessness in the world. Amidst all these challenges, the Christians, called to be salt and light of the world have hidden themselves for the sake of fear just like apostles after the death of Jesus. May the Holy Spirit empower the Christians around the world to be powerful witness to the risen Christ, through the exemplary way of life.


Response: Lord, send forth your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.


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27th MAY 2023

Jesus' Hidden Life | John 21:20-25 | Church of The Holy Name of Mary

SATURDAY, SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER

 

Acts 28: 16-20, 30-31;                       Ps 11: 4, 5, 7;                         Jn 21: 20-25


              

WHAT CONCERN IS IT OF YOURS?

Peter and John are the Apostles closest to Jesus. Now that Jesus has intimately revealed to Peter what is in store for him, it is but human nature for Peter to know what type of future lies for his friend John. Jesus’ answer looks like a rebuke. The “what if” became the talk of the town even today but our reflection will dwell on the next sentence: ‘What concern is it of yours?’

To be concerned about others is an extension of our love for them. Yet many a time, our concern borders on shallow interest and often extends to gossip. Worser, what seems to be a concern is actually envy, jealousy or even arrogance. Why is my friend more blessed than I am? Sometimes we feel better because we are closer to the boss than others and so we become bossy ourselves.

Ask yourself, were you ever jealous of someone who seemed to be loved and accepted by everyone? Have you ever desired to have the gifts and talents of one of your siblings or a friend? I assume so! These feelings are natural and normal. However, we need to learn how to manage these emotions or else they will begin to manage us.

In the Gospel passage, Jesus tells Peter to follow Him and in following Him, he needs to focus on the particular mission given to him. The enemy knows well to distract us by making us too concerned for others. Each one of us has a mission that no one else will do and there is enough work to do in the vineyard of the Lord. Jealousy and arrogance will only delay and even set back the completion of our work. Peter is to become the leader while John will be an Evangelist. Some of us will be preachers while others will become contemplatives. Still, others will do the dirty work of cleaning the kitchen and more. Indeed, if each one of us will mind his or her own business and cooperate rather than compete, there will be less fighting and peace will be achieved.

 


Response: The upright shall behold your face, O Lord


Copyright ©2023 ©Springs of Living Water  http://springs.carmelmedia.in

26th MAY 2023

The juridic configuration of baptism (Part I) | CBCPNews

FRIDAY, SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER / MEMORIAL OF SAINT PHILIP NERI

 

Acts 25: 13-21;           Ps 103: 1-2,11-12,19-20;        Jn 21: 15-19


             

A MEMBER, NOT NUMBER IN THE CHURCH

Paulo Coelho states, “God always offers us a second chance in life.” Yes! God indeed gives the second and even more chances. It is tough to forgive those who harm us. But the nature of Jesus is to love so that unforgiveness can’t withstand before his nature. We have two individuals in the gospels; both left out God’s will and did their own will. One denied Jesus and the other betrayed.

Peter went from the disgrace of denial to becoming the rock on which the church is built. “To reach something good, it is very useful to have gone astray, and thus acquire experience.” says St Teresa of Avila. Peter was well aware of Jesus’ nature and was sure that he would give him another chance. Judas did not understand the nature of Jesus. He was afraid of the punishment, so he missed the experience of God’s mercy.

It is said that immediately after his election, Pope Francis was asked, “Who is Jorge Bergoglio”? “Jorge is a sinner who has been called! I am called? I am called because I am loved! I am loved without conditions,” he replied. Jesus loves without condition. Peter sinned against him three times, denying him in public. In today’s gospel, Jesus confirms Peter’s love by asking three times “Do you love me?”

Jesus asks the same question ‘Do you love me?’ to us also, his disciples here on earth. He questions us not because we disappoint him. But he wants to know that we are not just a number, but a member of his flock. As a member, one would ask to oneself the questions which St. Ignatius suggested ‘What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do?’ We are called to be the parts of his mystical body the church. Are we living like members or numbers? Members know the mercy of God and come back after falling into sins. Numbers depart from him thinking that he will not forgive one’s sins.


Response: The Lord has fixed his throne in heaven.


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