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1ST WEEK OF LENT Saturday, February 24

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*** 1st Reading ***       

 

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 26:16-19

On this day, Yahweh, your God, commands you to fulfill these norms and these commandments. Obey them now and put them into practice with all your heart and with all your soul. Today Yahweh has declared to you that he will be your God, and so you shall follow his ways, observing his norms, his commandments and his laws, and listening to his voice.

 

Today Yahweh has declared that you will be his very own people even as he had promised you, and you must obey all his commandments. He, for his part, will give you honor, renown and glory, and set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will become a nation consecrated to Yahweh, your God, as he has declared.

 

Ps 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8 Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

 

*** Gospel ***     

Matthew 5:43-48

You have heard that it was said: Love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy. But this I tell you: love your enemies; and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. For he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good; and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust.

 

If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only to your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much? As for you, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

Gospel Reflection :

"Love your enemies."

All of us will pray for the wellbeing of our loved ones. But whether we admit it or not, not all of us will wish our enemies well. Humanly speaking, to pray for the good of one's enemy is extremely difficult. But the mandate remains clear: "Love your enemies; and pray for those who persecute you." (Mt. 5:44)

 

Why should we do this? Jesus challenges us to love our enemies so that we will become the children of the heavenly Father who "makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good; and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust." (Mt. 5:45) Does this mean that we are going to passively accept the evil things which our enemies inflict on us? No.

 

It is also part of our sacred duty that while desiring and striving to become God's children, we also desire that our enemies will also become God's children too in the process. To pray for the wellbeing of our enemies is only the first step. To help them change is a further step toward our call to build up God's family. In our responses to this particular call, our ego and hurts are dissolved.

常年期第三十周平日 2022-10-29 星期六

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「凡高舉自己的,必被貶抑;凡自謙自卑的,必被高舉。」

教宗方濟各:「聖人不是英雄,而是被耶穌聖化的謙卑罪人,他們跟隨耶穌走謙卑和十字架的的道路。

他們在基督內學習胸懷博大,隨遇而安,不計較、不逞強、不自傲、不邀寵,完全交付地活著。」

*** 讀經一 ***

斐1:18-26

弟兄們:無論如何,

30TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2022-10-23 Sunday

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" O God, be merciful to me, a sinner." 

*** 1st Reading ***

Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18

The Lord is judge and shows no partiality. He will not disadvantage the poor, he who hears the prayer of the oppressed. He does not disdain the plea of the orphan, nor the complaint of the widow.

The one who serves God whole­­­heartedly will be heard; his petition will reach the clouds. The prayer of the humble person pierces the clouds, and he is not consoled until he has been heard. His prayer will not cease until the Most High has looked down, until justice has been done in favor of the righteous.

 

Ps 34:2-3, 17-18,19-23

The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

 

 *** 2nd Reading ***

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

 As for me, I am already poured out as a libation, and the moment of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is laid up for me the crown of righteous­ness with which the Lord, the just judge, will reward me on that day; and not only me, but all those who have longed for his glorious coming.

At my first hearing in court no one supported me; all deserted me. May the Lord not hold it against them. But the Lord was at my side, giving me strength to proclaim the Word fully, and let all the pagans hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will save me from all evil, bringing me to his heavenly kingdom. Glory to him for ever and ever. Amen!

 

**** Gospel ****      

Luke 18:9-14

Jesus told another parable to some per­sons fully convinced of their own righteous­ness, who looked down on others, “Two men went up to the Temple to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by him­self and said: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people, grasping, crooked, adulterous, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give the tenth of all my income to the Temple.’

 In the meantime the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying: ‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’

 I tell you, when this man went back to his house, he had been reconciled

with God, but not the other. For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised up.”

 

Gospel Reflection:

Prayer of the Humble

Read: The book of Sirach declares that whereas God is impartial, the prayers of the humble have a way of claiming God’s attention. Paul declares that he has fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith; and God will reward him. Through the parable on prayer, Jesus declares that God hears the prayer of the humble.

Reflect: The Pharisee’s prayer is one of comparative triumphalism. His prayer was not heard, because his was not a prayer; but a self-parading. In contrast, the tax collector presents himself before God with a sense of embarrassment. Beating his breast, he acknowledges his sinfulness and pleads for mercy. His was a true prayer and hence, was heard. Listening to Paul’s words (second reading), one might wonder if he isn’t doing a Pharisee, boasting of himself. Not so, because, Paul goes on to state that all of them was possible because “the Lord was at my side, giving me strength.” Thus, essentially, his boasting is a boasting in the Lord(cf. 1 Cor. 1:31). Delighting in God’s doing in us is an act of humility as well – as we see in Mary’s Magnificat.

Pray: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me” (‘Jesus Prayer’)

Act: Make a good confession this week.

27TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2022-10-02 Sunday

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                                                                                                                                          "  Increase our faith."

*** 1st Reading *** 

Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4

Yahweh, how long will I cry for help