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“THE PEOPLE WHO WALKED IN DARKNESS HAVE SEEN A GREAT LIGHT” (Isa 9:2)

⏰CHRISTMAS EVE (MIDNIGHT MASS) 📖Isa 9:2-7; Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 11-12, 13 (R. cf. Luke 2:11); Tit 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14 We have come to a very significant night! We are all keeping Vigil and waiting for the appearing of the Messiah! Great signs accompany him as he appears. The prophet Isaiah points out that he shall appear as the light the enlightens the darkness of our lives. Darkness brings confusion and pains into our lives. It blocks away opportunities and introduces insecurity. This darkness can be in the form of poverty, sickness, unemployment, injustice, oppression, etc. But the Messiah comes with...

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REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS!

⏰Third Sunday in Advent (Year C) 📕Zeph 3:14-18a; Isa 12:2-3, 4bcde, 5-6 (R.v.6); Phil 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18 Obviously, Christmas is a period of joy for most people. Yet the reason for this joy differs from person to person. Some people, in fact, rejoice for wrong reasons and in wrong ways. Hence as the season gradually draws closer to its apex, the Liturgy of today tries to re-orientate us on the reason and ways to rejoice. Both the First and Second Readings inform us that the reason for our joy must come from the fact that the Lord, who is the...

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HE WHO FOLLOWS THE LORD WILL HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE (cf. John 8:12)

⏰Friday of the Second Week of Advent (14 December 2018 – Memorial of St. John of the Cross) 📖Isa 48:17-19; Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6 (R. John 8:12); Matt 11:16-19 Coming into the presence of the Lord yields a much desired positive transformation. The prophet Isaiah informs us today that it would earn us peace, righteousness and every good thing, including having our names in his book of life (cf. Isa 48:17-19). To be in the presence of the Lord is to be without sin. The prophet Isaiah had also noted that it was our sins that separated us...

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“FEAR NOT, I WILL HELP YOU” (Isa 41:13)

⏰Thursday of the Second Week of Advent (13 December 2018 – Memorial of St. Lucy) 📖Isa 41:13-20; Ps 145:1 and 9, 10-11, 12-13ab (R.v.8); Matt 11:11-15 Think of the shame and trauma the Israelites had while they were being led to exile. They suffered humiliation and were helpless in the face of opposition. To worsen the case, they were helplessly turned to slaves in exile. This was the same nation that had been empowered by God to conquer all the nations that stood on their way to the Promised Land. But by now, their self confidence and esteem have been...

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“GOD WILL LEAD ISRAEL WITH JOY… WITH THE MERCY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT COME FROM HIM” (Bar 5:9)

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT (YEAR C) Bar 5:1-9; Ps 126:1-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6 (R.v.3); Phil 1:4-6, 8-11; Luke 3:1-6 As we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent today, the three readings we have for today’s liturgy invite us to anticipate the mercy of God and to prepare ourselves to receive it. In the First Reading, the prophet Baruch, who was, historically, the Secretary of the prophet Jeremiah, encouraged the exiled Jews who were suffering in foreign lands that God is going to restore their joy and visit them with mercy and righteousness (cf. Bar 5:9). Today, I pray that God...

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“THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND MY SALVATION” (Ps 27:1)

⏰Friday of the First Week of Advent (07 December 2018 – Memorial of St. Ambrose) 📖Isa 29:17-24; Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14, (R.v.1a); Matt 9:27-3 The transition from darkness to light is one of the phenomena that is often used to describe the messianic era in the scriptures. The prophet Isaiah used it to describe the events surrounding the birth of the Child, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. A light has dawned upon those who lived in the land as dark as death” (Isa 9:2). The evangelist Matthew also borrowed that passage to describe the...

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“COME, LET US GO UP TO THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD” (Isa 2:3)

⏰Monaday of the First Week of Advent (03 December 2018 – Memorial of St. Francis Xavier) 📖Isa 2:1-5; Ps 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5, 6-7, 8-9 (R.v.1); Matt 8:5-11 My dear, at the beginning of this new working week, and just as we kick off the advent period to the fullest, the prophet Isaiah reminds us that God is set to do something new and better for us. And that would be achieved in our perfect union with God. Recall what happened in 1 Kings 12:26ff. In a bid to protect his newly formed dynasty, King Jeroboam built an altar at Bethel...

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LET YOUR BABYLON BE FALLEN

⏰Thursday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time 2 (29 Nov 2018) 📖Rev 18:1-2, 21-23, 19:1-3, 9a; Ps 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5 (R. Rev 19:9a); Luke 21:20-28 What comes to your mind when you think of Babylon? For the Israelites, it was a place of exile, alienation from their fatherland, backwardness, oppression, slavery, etc. Babylon offered them nothing but pains. Remember that the book of Revelation uses coded language in talking so that only the people it is addressing would understand. So, at the time the Christians were suffering great persecution, the book used the image of Babylon to represent...

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BE WISE! THERE IS NO TIME!

⏰Tuesday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time 2 (27 Nov 2018) 📖Rev 14:14-19; Ps 96:10, 11-12, 13 (R.v.13b); Luke 21:5-11 What is your understanding of the eschatological discourses of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke 21? Many understood that to mean that there is still plenty of time, but that is not so. Remember that these Gospels were written down at the time the early Christians were still building up and were facing many temptations. There were sufferings everywhere and people were rising to give interpretations of these as signs of end time, and instilling more fear on people....

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“WILL ONLY A FEW BE SAVED?” (Luke 13:23)

⏰Monday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time 2 (26 November 2018) 📖Rev 14:1-3, 4b-5; Ps 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 (R.v.6); Luke 21:1-4 A misreading of Rev 14 has always created confusion for people. It talks about a vision of 144,000 who are marked with the seal of the Lamb, and who alone were capable of hearing the voice of the Lamb. So some people now assume that heaven must have been filled up. Hmmmmm! Remember that Jesus said, “my sheep hears my voice and follows me” (John 10:13). Ok! Rev 14 does not suggest that only 144,000 people would be...

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