Why did Jesus not speak plainly and instead speak to them in parables? When He was in trial before the Sanhedrin, many of them have this question in their hearts, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” Jesus answers them saying: “If I tell you… you will not believe, ands if I question, you will not respond.” (Lk. 22:67-68) The real problem is not in His language, maybe He is already speaking plainly, but we are not listening. It is in the way the listener receives the Words of Jesus. The Gospel today, addresses this question: Why are we not in a better disposition to listen and accept Jesus’ Words? The problem is not in the plain language, but on the part of the receiver of the message, in the reception of the Word.READ MORE
The theme for the three readings can be summarized in Jesus saying in the Gospel, “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” What is Jesus saying to us here, how do we gain a deeper understanding of how we can bring our burdens to Him?
The 1st reading from the book of the prophet Zechariah tells us that even before we can bring our labor and burdens to Him, He makes the first movement towards us. He comes to us: “See, your king shall come to you.” (Zec. 9:9) In His compassion, He makes the first initiative to reach out to us in love. He does not wait for us to come to Him, He always reaches out to His people first. The greatest proof of this is: “God so loved the world that He sent us His only begotten Son.” (Jn. 3:16) In truth, we can not approach God, unless He approaches us first, because between God and Man, there is an immense gap, Jesus filled this gap.READ MORE
We are all called to be missionaries, and the mission includes the cares of daily life, activities, events, and happenings. This chapter of Matthew is often times called Jesus' Missionary Discourse. Jesus teaches His disciples about the mission they are facing and at the same time trains them of the right disposition in the mission. The two paragraphs contain the two main ideas of Jesus about the mission.
What is the hierarchy of values that Jesus' disciples must adopt? He presents three categories: First, and the most important, Love. A disciple must love the Lord, Jesus Christ above everyone else. This simply means that we value our relationship with Him more than any other relationship, including our families.READ MORE
Jesus tells His disciples they must not be afraid, “nothing is concealed that will not be revealed…. Be afraid of the one who can destroy both the body and the soul” There will always be oppositions, but a disciple should not be paralyzed by fear, but continue to proclaim the Gospel to the mountaintops. Fear can indeed paralyze us and even silence us. Sometimes we dilute or soften the message of the Gospel to make it easier or to avoid the consequences of proclaiming the truths of the Gospel. But the bottom line is, God is Love, He loves us, provides for us, and protects us.
At the Ascension, Jesus entrusted His mission to His disciples, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good news.” He wants us to proclaim the full truth of the Gospel, the fulfillment of His mission depends on them and their own salvation as well. Jesus warned them of the oppositions, they will be persecuted and people will reject them and their message, therefore do not be afraid. The song, “Be not afraid”, captures this danger and risk in the mission, “Be not afraid, I go before you always. Come follow me, and I will give you rest…” What they learned from Jesus, they must proclaim to the mountaintop, even at the cost of death, and like Jesus, perhaps, death on the cross.READ MORE
Corpus Christi Sunday is officially called the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. In the Gospel (Jn. 6:51-58), the listeners of Jesus were not prepared to accept His condition for true life, for eternal life. "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever… unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” It is an unfathomable mystery, but something we must believe and live in faith.
The essential point of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi is His desire to be united with us and to continue to live in us. Corpus Christi is Communion with Christ.READ MORE
An English Novelist by the name of Graham Greene said that he refuses to believe in a God he could not understand. It is the nature of God to reveal Himself, so that people will love Him more, know Him better, and live a life of faith in Him. But there are mysteries about God that defy human understanding. The greatness of God indeed surpasses human understanding or wisdom. The gap between the finger of God and Adam in Michael Angelo’ Sistine Chapel painting is probably about an inch, but is so much larger in life. That is why the basic foundation of spirituality is the understanding of this dictum: Let God be God, and let man be man. Man is aware of God’s love, because we experience it in our life and the day to day realities of life. Whatever we know about Him is through His Son, Jesus Christ, “He became like us in all things, except in sin.” In Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit’s divinity is unveiled in His humanity.READ MORE
At Pentecost, Jesus gifted His troubled and spiritually weak disciples with His PEACE and the HOLY SPIRIT. "Peace be with you… receive the Holy Spirit." Today especially, but for the rest of our life, let us pray to the Lord to grant us His PEACE, and the company of the Holy Spirit in our journey of life.
Lord Jesus, we do not understand how things will work out, but we trust in You. At times, we don’t see a way, but we know You will make a way. We have great faith that even now, You are touching hearts, opening doors and lining up the right opportunities for us. Sometimes, the horizon might be dark and gloomy, but we have faith that dawn is coming, in the Peace of Jesus, and the presence of the Holy Spirit.READ MORE
In the Gospel of the Ascension, Jesus empowers His disciples: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations… Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:1820) Jesus assures us of His power and presence.
In a world where unlimited calls, texts, data, refills, offers, etc. is better: There is an unlimited that is very dangerous, because there is no such thing as unlimited power in this world. Everything and everyone will eventually expire. Ascension did not leave the disciples orphaned, all He asked was to TRUST in Him. People, leaders all come and go, all worldly powers will come to an end, thus, we must all hold on to a power that is constant, strong and unchanging. In the Gospel, Jesus revealed to His disciple that His Father entrusted this kind of power to Him, and He in turn is entrusting this power to them.READ MORE
Most scholars divide John’s Gospel into four sections, the 3rd section being the Book of Glory (Jn. 13:1-20:31). A large part of this section is the Farewell Discourse that contains Jesus’ spiritual encouragement. Jesus spoke openly to His disciples of His impending suffering. Thus, the discourse contains message of consolations to strengthen their faith, “Do not let your hearts be trouble, You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” (Jn. 14:1) Because He did not like to leave an impression that He was abandoning them, He re-assures them with a two-fold promise: “I will not leave your orphaned; I will come back to you.”READ MORE
“Believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me…” This is one of the central mysteries of our faith, Easter highlights this even further, Jn. 14:112 presents us another picture of the Relationship of Jesus and Father. Many scholars believe that John chapter 1317 commonly known as the Farewell Discourse, contains most Jesus’ Last Supper Discourse. The scene for this very long discourse is the last supper, Jesus mentions, “I am going to prepare a place for you…” His disciples assumed that He was speaking of a physical place, but Jesus was not speaking of any physical room in Jerusalem. And this is not the first time that He is talking about His Father, who sent Him into this world.
Could Jesus be talking about the “Temple,” because they have heard Him talking about His Fathers house when He drove away the money changers outside the Temple? “My house shall be a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves.” (Mt. 21:13) The Temple is surely the Father’s house, was Jesus talking about preparing a place for them in the Temple? But again, Jesus was not talking about the Temple here, but He did talk often of His Father being “in Heaven.” In the Lord’s Prayer, it starts with the acclamation: Our Father in Heaven. Remembering all this, could Jesus be really talking about going to Heaven, the House of His Father, and when He has prepared a place for them, come back to take them to Heaven?READ MORE