3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) – 21st January 2018

Theme: TURN AWAY FROM SIN AND FROM THE WORLD AND TURN TO GOD – TO THE GOD OF JESUS CHRIST

  • Jonah 3:1-5. 10;
  • Psalm 24 (25): 4-9. R/ v. 4;
  • 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
  • Mark 1:14-20 

Today is the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The gospel today tells us to “Repent, and believe the Good News”. That is, to turn away from sin and from the world, and to turn to God, to the God of Jesus Christ! A God of love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation!

The gospel also tells us that the first disciples, Simon (Peter), Andrew, James and John repented and believed the Good News. That is they turned away from the world and they turned to Jesus Christ! They followed Jesus Christ!

In the case of Simon (Peter) and Andrew, they left their nets at once and followed Jesus. And in the case of James and John they left their father and their father’s employees and their boat and they followed Jesus!

The first four disciples responded to the Good News of repentance immediately (NJBC) and totally, that is, they left everything and followed Jesus (NJB)!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the message of repentance is not only for the Jews, but it is also for the gentiles, the pagans, the non-Jews, the enemies of the Jews, the worst enemies of the Jews, that is, the Ninevites, the Assyrians!

The first reading tells us that when Jonah preached the message of repentance to the Ninevites, they repented with fasting and sackcloth! Consequently, God did not punish them.

It is important to note in the following chapter 4:1-3 that Jonah was angry because God was merciful! Jonah did not want the Ninevites to repent and be saved. Jonah wanted God to destroy the Ninevites.

In the first place, Jonah did not even want to preach to the Ninevites, because he knew that God was loving and merciful, slow to anger and rich in kindness, and slow to punish. (GNB) Jonah was quoting Exodus 34:6-7 where God revealed himself and his divine attributes – most particularly his faithful love – to Moses! (NJB)

Jonah was so angry that he asked God to take his life! He preferred to be dead than to be alive! Jonah was a typical Jew of his time! But most importantly, the whole book of Jonah prepares for the gospel revelation that “God is love”! (NJB)

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm is a prayer for guidance and forgiveness. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“Lord, make me know your ways.” (SM)

The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza is a prayer for guidance (vv. 4-5). The second stanza is a prayer for forgiveness (vv. 6-7). And the third stanza is an affirmation of God’s goodness, which is the ground of the prayer (8-9)! (HCSB; CSB)

Incidentally, the second reading also follows the theme of the gospel. The second reading also tells us to turn away from the world! In the second reading St. Paul mistakenly thought that the end of the world was imminent! (HCSB; NJBC) Nonetheless the second reading is relevant to us because it corresponds to the gospel exhortation to turn away from the world! Thus we read in the second reading:

“Brothers: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.” (1 Co 7:29-31; SM)

Incidentally, St. Paul was advising virgins! (CSB; HCSB)

Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us “Repent and believe the Good News”. The Holy Spirit will help us to turn away from sin and from the world, and to turn to God – to the God of Jesus Christ; a God of love, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation! A happy Sunday and a happy week to all of you! Amen!

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) – 14th January 2018

Theme: WE ARE TO RESPOND IMMEDIATELY AND TOTALLY TO THE CALL OF GOD

  • 1 Samuel 3:3-10. 19;
  • Psalm 39 (40): 2. 4. 7-10. R/ vv. 8. 9;
  • 1 Corinthians 6:13-15. 17-20
  • John 1:35-42

Today is the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us about the call of the first disciples and the call of Samuel the prophet.

The gospel today tells us that when John the Baptist pointed out to his disciples (Andrew and, traditionally, John) that Jesus was the Lamb of God, they immediately followed Jesus. And when Jesus asked them what they wanted, they asked Jesus where he stayed. Jesus then invited them to see where he stayed and they saw where Jesus stayed and they stayed with Jesus.

The next day, early in the morning, Andrew one of the two disciples who followed Jesus brought his brother Simon to Jesus and Jesus named him Peter, that is, the Rock. The Rock on which to build His Church! (Mt 16:18)

The disciples responded immediately and totally to the call of God! This is even clearer in the parallel gospel texts of Matthew 4:18-20; Mk 1:16-20 and Luke 5:1-11.

“And at once they (Peter and Andrew) left their nets and followed him.” (Mt 4:20; Mk 1:18; NJB) “Then, bringing their boats back to land they (Peter, Andrew, James and John) left everything and followed him.” (Lk 5:11; NJB)

More importantly, the gospel tells us why they responded immediately and totally! They responded immediately and totally because Jesus is the Lamb of God; “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1:29). Or as the Gospel Acclamation today tells us, Jesus is the grace and truth of God, that is, Jesus is the love and faithfulness of God; the two divine attributes of God revealed to Moses in Ex 34:6! (Jn 1:17; CSB; NJB) Jesus is God!

The caption of today’s gospel: “They saw where he lived, and stayed with him” (Jn 1:39; SM) means they saw with the eyes of faith and they followed him. Again, the disciples responded immediately and totally in faith and followed Jesus!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us about the call of the prophet Samuel. Samuel was called three times by God, but he did not know it was God calling him. He thought it was Eli who was calling him. But at the fourth time and instructed by Eli, he answered, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” Samuel then became the prophet of God and his words became effective!

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. To listen to God is also to do his will. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will”. (Ps 39: 8. 9; SM)

The responsorial psalm is a thanksgiving for salvation. The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first stanza (vv. 2 & 4) tells us that the psalmist was saved by God. The second and third stanzas (vv. 7-9) from which the response is taken tell us that the psalmist thanked God for his salvation, not by offering animal sacrifices or offerings, but by doing the will of God! The fourth stanza (v. 10) tells us that the psalmist proclaimed the good news of his salvation to the whole community! (HCSB)

The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but the second reading has something important to tell us. St. Paul tells us in the second reading that our bodies do not belong to us, but our bodies belong to God. In Baptism we become the body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit!

We are therefore not to commit the sin of fornication with prostitutes or with any other person. Fornication is between two unmarried persons. In the case of adultery one or both parties are married. We are not to engage in premarital sex or extramarital sex. This may lead to an even bigger sin, that is, the sin of abortion.

In the year 2003 there were 41.6 million abortions worldwide (Internet, Catholic World News, October 15, 2009), making the womb of the mother the most dangerous place in the world! More dangerous than Iraq or Afghanistan! More innocent and defenseless lives are destroyed in the wombs of mothers than all the wars put together!

We are to use our bodies to glorify God, that is, to get married and to procreate children and have a family and be happy! But today there is a crisis in marriage and the family, especially in the West, that is, some people do not want to get married and they do not want to have children and family. They only want sex, but sex was created by God for marriage, for love and procreation, that is, for the family! To maintain a population we need to have 2.1 children, that is, 3 children!

Today in the Eucharist we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and our Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us respond immediately and totally in faith to the call of God to follow him. The Holy Spirit will help us listen to God and do his will. And the Holy Spirit will help us use our bodies to glorify God by getting married and by having children and family. A happy Sunday and a happy week to all of you! Amen!

 

The Epiphany of The Lord (Year ABC) – 7th January 2018

Theme: THE REVELATION OF THE LORD AS KING, GOD AND SUFFERING SAVIOR TO ALL THE PAGAN NATIONS OF THE WORLD

  • Isaiah 60:1-6;
  • Psalm 71:1-2. 7-8. 10-13. R/ v. 11;
  • Ephesians 3:2-3. 5-6
  • Matthew 2:1-12

A Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you! Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, that is, the revelation of the Lord as King, God and Suffering Savior to all the pagan nations of the world!

The gospel today tells us that the Jews rejected Jesus in the person of King Herod! But more importantly, the gospel today tells us that the pagans accepted Jesus in the persons of the wise men! But most importantly, the gospel today tells us of the revelation of the Lord as King, God and Suffering Savior to all the pagan nations of the world!

The gospel today tells us that some wise men came from the east to do homage to the infant king of the Jews! The wise men represent all the different nations of the world! That is why in our Christmas crib they are of different colors! But more importantly, the gospel tells us that they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh! The Fathers of the Church tell us that gold is a gift for a King, frankincense is a gift for a God, and myrrh which is used for embalmment and burial symbolizes a Suffering Savior! (NJB)

Thus the revelation of the Lord as King, God and Suffering Savior to all the pagan nations of the world!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that Jerusalem is the light of all the nations! The light of God’s glory! The glory of God shines on Jerusalem!

All the nations of the world will come to the light of Jerusalem! The light of God’s glory! The glory of God shines on Jerusalem! They will bring back the exiled Jews. They will bring all the riches of the world to Jerusalem and Jerusalem will rejoice! The nations will come to Jerusalem to praise and worship the Lord!

Note that of the many gifts; only two gifts are named, that is, gold and incense (frankincense). Gold for a King and Frankincense for a God! They have come to praise and worship the Lord as King and as God!

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. Thus the response:

“All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.” (Ps 71:11; SM)

The responsorial psalm tells us about the Promised King, the Davidic King, and the Messianic King!

The responsorial psalm tells us that unlike the other kings who are corrupted, the Messianic King will bring justice and peace! Peace, shalom, salvation! Thus we read:

“In his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails.” (Ps 71:7; SM)  

The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first (vv. 1-2), second (vv. 7-8) and fourth (vv. 12-13) stanzas tell us that the Messianic King will bring justice and peace! Peace, shalom, salvation! The third stanza (vv. 10-11) tells us that all the kings of the world will bring him gifts and will come and worship him, because unlike other kings who are corrupted, he will bring justice and peace! Peace, shalom, salvation!

The second reading tells us that the mystery that has been kept secret for ages has now been revealed! The mystery is that pagans now share the same inheritance as the Jews, that pagans are parts of the same body, and that the same promise is made to pagans, in Christ Jesus, through the gospel.

That is why we have to preach the gospel to the pagans, so that all pagans may share the same inheritance, so that all pagans may be parts of the same body, and so that the same promise is made to pagans in Christ Jesus through the gospel!

That is why the first duty of the Bishop is to preach the good news, the first duty of the Priest is also to preach the good news and the first duty of the Christian is also to preach the good news! That is why we end the Sunday Mass with this mission:

“Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.”!

A Blessed feast day of the “Epiphany of the Lord” to all of you! Amen!

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph (Year B) – 31st December 2017

Theme: THE HOLY FAMILY IS HOLY, BECAUSE GOD IS THE FATHER, JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, BORN THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, FROM THE WOMB OF THE VIRGIN MARY

  • Genesis 15:1-6. 21:1-3;
  • Psalm 104/105:1-6. 8-9. R/ vv. 7. 8;
  • Hebrews 11:8. 11-12. 17-19
  • Luke 2:22. 39-40 (Shorter Form) 

Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The Holy Family is holy, because God is the Father, Jesus is the Son of God, born through the power of the Holy Spirit, from the womb of the Virgin Mary. Our families are also holy, because God is our Father, we are the children of God, born through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the sacrament of Baptism, from the womb of Mother Church. The Church is our Mother, God is our Father, and we are the children of God. And Jesus is our brother. Our families are therefore holy.

The readings today tell us about faith. The first reading tells us that Abraham and Sarah were too old to have a child, but more importantly, the first reading tells us that God promised them a child, but most importantly, Abraham and Sarah put their faith in God and believed in the promise of God. And Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age.

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that God is faithful to his promise. We put our faith in God because God is faithful to his promise. The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first three stanzas are a call to thank God for all that God has done for us. The fourth stanza is a praise for God who is faithful to his promise. (HCSB) Thus the fourth stanza:

  “He remembers his covenant for ever, his promise for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.” (Ps 104 (105): 8-9)

And thus the response of the responsorial psalm: “He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.” (Ps 104 (105): 7-8)

Again, the second reading tells us about faith. The second reading tells us that it was by faith that Abraham obeyed God and set out on a journey to a country that God promised him and his descendents. He did not even know where he was going. The second reading also tells us that it was by faith that Sarah gave birth to Isaac in her old age. Finally, the second reading tells us that it was by faith that Abraham when tested, offered Isaac as a sacrifice to God!

More importantly, the New Testament tells us that it was by the faith of Mary and Joseph that Jesus the Son of God was born through the power of the Holy Spirit from the womb of the Virgin Mary. It was also by faith that we were born again as children of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Baptism from the womb of the Church. The Church becomes our Mother, and God becomes our Father, and Jesus becomes our brother. It was also by faith that our children were born again as children of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of baptism from the womb of the Church. The Church becomes their Mother, and God becomes their Father, and Jesus becomes their brother. Our families like the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph are therefore holy families!

The gospel today tells us that the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph was faithful to the Law of the Lord. The gospel also tells us that Jesus grew up physically, mentally and spiritually. Thus we read in the gospel today: “When they had done everything the law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favor was with him.” (Lk 2:39-40) The gospel today tells us to keep the Law of the Lord and we and our children will grow up physically, mentally and spiritually!

Let us conclude with a few pastoral suggestions for our families:

(i) A family must pray together. A family that prays together stays together.

(ii) A family must be part of a bigger family, that is, a family must be part of a BEC (Basic Ecclesial Community) of ten to fifteen families.

(iii) A family must eat dinner together everyday. There should be no watching of television during dinner time.

(iv) Members of a family must communicate with one another, that is, listen and talk to one another.

(v) A family should also play together and go for holidays together.

(vi) Husband and wife must always be together. Parents and children must always be together. There must not be any “absent father syndrome” or “absent mother syndrome” or “absent parents syndrome”.

(vii) Parents must pass their faith and love to their children.

Again, a merry, happy and blessed Christmas and New Year to all of you! Amen!

Christmas – MASS DURING THE DAY (A B C)

Theme: GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN CREATION, IN OTHER RELIGIONS, AND IN JESUS CHRIST 

  • Isaiah 52:7-10;
  • Ps 97 (98): 1-6. R/ v. 3;
  • Hebrews 1:1-6
  • John 1:1-18 (Shorter Form, verses 1-5. 9-14)

A happy and joyful Christmas to all of you! The readings today tell us about Christmas!

The gospel today tells us that God reveals himself in creation. Everything was created through Christ and in Christ. Everything comes from Christ and goes back to Christ. He is the alpha (beginning) and the omega (end). There is a meaning, a purpose and a direction in creation! Creation did not come by accident. That is why we have to care for creation. We have to protect the environment.

Today with global warming, climate change; and in the news last week, flash floods in the Philippines that killed over a thousand people due to logging of the forest, the killing of orang utans in Indonesia in some oil palm estates, and the pollution of our rivers in Sabah, by some oil palm estates; we have defaced creation. We have destroyed the environment.

The gospel today also tells us that God reveals himself in other religions and particularly in Judaism. That is why it is important that we dialogue with other religions.

In fact in the year 2007, 138 Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals from all over the world wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You” inviting him to dialogue on the principles of “Love of God and Love of Neighbor”! Our Pope accepted the invitation and the dialogue is still going on.

In his Christmas Day message this year; our Bishop Julius also noted that with the recent establishment of diplomatic relationship between Malaysia and the Vatican we are encouraged to have “inter-religious dialogues for the promotion of peace and justice”!

The gospel also tells us that God reveals himself fully, perfectly and completely in Jesus Christ! In Jesus Christ God reveals his “grace and truth”, that is, his “love and faithfulness” respectively, that is, his “faithful love”! In Moses God reveled his law, but in Jesus Christ he revealed his “faithful love”! The law cannot save us; only the “faithful love” of God can save us! That is why it is most urgent and most important to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, the “faithful love” of God, for the salvation of the whole world!

Indeed, the first reading tells us that the prophet Isaiah proclaimed this good news of salvation to the Jews and to the whole world! Thus we read in the first reading:

“How beautiful on the mountains, are the feet of one who brings good news, who heralds peace, brings happiness, proclaims salvation, and tells Zion, ‘Your God is king!’” (Is 52:7; SM)

“The Lord bares his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Is 52:10; SM)

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of “universal salvation” of the first reading. The responsorial psalm is a hymn of praise to God for salvation. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” (Ps 97 (98): 3; SM)

And thus the first, second and third stanzas of the responsorial psalm:

“Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders. His right hand and his holy arm have brought salvation. The Lord has made known his salvation; has shown his justice to the nations. He has remembered his truth (faithfulness) and love for the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” (Ps 97 (98): 1- 3; SM)

The second reading also follows the theme of the gospel. The second reading also tells us that God reveals himself in creation. Everything is for Jesus Christ, created through Jesus Christ and sustained by Jesus Christ.

The second reading also tells us that God reveals himself in other religions, particularly in Judaism, in the prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Nathan, Elijah, etc. (CSB; NJBC)

The second reading also tells us that in the fullness of time, God revealed himself in Jesus Christ, “the perfect copy of his nature”!

Again, that is why we have to protect creation, dialogue with other religions, and proclaim the good news of salvation!

 

Again, a happy and joyful Christmas to all of you!  Amen!

Christmas – Mass at Midnight (A B C)

Theme: JESUS CHRIST IS GOD, SAVIOR AND BRINGER OF PEACE

  • Isaiah 9:1-7;
  • Psalm 95 (96): 1-3. 11-13. R/ Lk 2:11;
  • Titus 2:11-14
  • Luke 2:1-14

 A happy and joyful Christmas to all of you! The readings today tell us why we are happy and joyful about Christmas!

The gospel today tells us that Jesus Christ is God, Savior and bringer of peace! The gospel tells us that Caesar Augustus with all his political, economic and military powers is not god, savior and bringer of peace! The Roman Empire believed that Caesar Augustus was god, savior and bringer of peace! That is why the gospel today began with Caesar Augustus.

The gospel also tells us that the promise God made to David about the Messiah is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The promise was fulfilled not because David and his descendents, that is, the kings of Israel, were faithful, but because God was faithful!

Indeed, the gospel tells us that God has become man, God has become food for man, and God has become food for sinful man! A professor in one of our local colleges said that he cannot believe that God can become man, that God can die, and that God can die for sinful man! He believes in a God of law, justice, punishment and damnation, but we believe in a God of love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation!

Indeed, the symbolic details of today’s gospel tell us that God became man, God became food for man, and God became food for sinful man! The sign the angel gave to the shepherds was “a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12; SM). “A baby wrapped in swaddling clothes” symbolizes that God has become man, and “lying in a manger” symbolizes that God has become food for man! The shepherds symbolize sinful man! (CSB; NJBC)

That is why the angels sang glory to God saying, ‘peace, shalom, salvation to men who enjoy his favor, blessing, grace’! Salvation is a total free gift from God! That is why the angel told the shepherds, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared with all the people, today a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord’!

 

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us about the “Prince of Peace”! (CSB; NJBC) Again, peace, shalom, salvation! Again, be happy, be joyful, and rejoice! Thus we read in the first reading:

“You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase; they rejoice in your presence as men rejoice at harvest time, as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.” (Is 9:3; SM)

 

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us to rejoice and to be happy because of our Savior Jesus Christ! Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“Today a savior has been born to us; he is Christ the Lord.” (Lk 2:11; SM)

And thus the third stanza of the responsorial psalm:

“Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad, let the sea and all within it thunder praise, let the land and all it bears rejoice, all the trees of the wood shout for joy at the presence of the Lord for he comes, he comes to rule the earth.” (Ps 95 (96): 11-13; SM)

Note that not only human beings rejoice, but the whole of creation rejoices, because the peace that Jesus Christ brings is also a peace with the whole of creation! Remember the message of Pope John Paul II for World Day of Peace, 1 January 1990: “Peace with God the Creator, Peace with all of Creation”!

 

The second reading also follows the theme of the gospel. The second reading also tells us that salvation is a grace from God! But more than that, the second reading tells us to respond to the grace of salvation by avoiding evil, by avoiding worldliness, and by living good lives and doing good works until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when all will be saved!

Again, a happy and joyful Christmas to all of you!  Amen!

4th Sunday of Advent (Year B) – 24th December 2017

Theme: JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD BORN THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

  • 2 Samuel 7:1-5. 8-12. 14. 16;
  • Psalm 88 (89): 2-5. 27. 29. R/ cf. v. 2;
  • Romans 16:25-27
  • Luke 1:26-38 

Today is the fourth and last Sunday of Advent, Liturgical Year B. Next Sunday we will be celebrating Christmas Day, that is, the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ! The readings today have something very important to tell us!

The gospel today tells us that Jesus Christ is the Son of God born through the power of the Holy Spirit! Although Jesus Christ is a descendent of David through the lineage of Joseph, He is not the son of Joseph, nor even the son of Mary, as Mary was a virgin.

The gospel today tells us that when the angel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of Jesus, Mary wondered how this could be, since she was a virgin. But the angel told her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and she will give birth to Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit and Jesus will be the Son of God! Mary believed the angel! We also believe the angel!

It is important that when we make the Christmas Crib we show that Jesus Christ is the Son of God born through the power of the Holy Spirit. This can be done by representing God the Father with a bright cloud made of cotton wool hung over the Christmas Crib, and the Holy Spirit symbolized by a dove hovering over the Christmas Crib! The spotlight must be shone on the cloud (God), the dove (Holy Spirit), and on Jesus, because Jesus is the Son of God born through the power of the Holy Spirit!

 

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that David wanted to build a house for God, but God told David that it was God who will build a House for David!

Because it was God who made David into a king from a shepherd and it was God who helped David fight wars, win battles and destroy the enemies. God will make David famous and great. God will build a House for David!

But more importantly, when David is dead and gone, his descendent will continue his kingdom and his kingdom will have no end, because his descendent will be the son of God and God will be his father! This prophecy of Nathan to David is fulfilled in today’s gospel in Jesus Christ!

 

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that the prophecy of Nathan will be fulfilled because God is “love” and “faithfulness”! (NJB) David and his descendents, that is, the kings of Israel may not be loving and faithful to God, but God is loving and faithful to them, because God is “love” and “faithfulness”! Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“I will sing forever of your love, O Lord.” (Ps 88 (89): 2; SM)

And thus the first stanza of the responsorial psalm from which the response is taken:

“I will sing forever of your love, O Lord; through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth (loyalty, faithfulness). Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever, that your truth (loyalty, faithfulness) is firmly established as the heavens.” (Ps 88 (89): 2-3; SM)

The second stanza of the responsorial psalm tells us of the covenant God made with David that his dynasty will last forever (vv. 4-5; SM)! And the third stanza tells us of the Messianic prophecy which will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ (vv. 27. 29; SM)! (NJB)

 

The second reading gives glory to God for Jesus Christ and through Jesus Christ! Let us also give glory to God for Jesus Christ and through Jesus Christ!

 

Today as we enter the fourth and last week of Advent, let us continue to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ by prayer, by repentance, by confessing our sins, by reading the Bible, by reading the Sunday Mass readings, by going Christmas caroling, by loving and forgiving others, etc., and by becoming Santa Claus, that is, by giving gifts to the poor, to the needy, to the sick, to the aged, to the foreigner, to the stranger, to poor children, etc. Again, a happy Advent to all of you! Amen!