22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 28th August 2022

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 28th August 2022

Theme: TO BE HUMBLE AND NOT TO BE PROUD

Ecclesiasticus / Sirach 3:17-20. 28-29; Psalm 67:4-7. 10-11. R. v. 11
Hebrews 12:18-19. 22-24; Luke 14:1. 7-14

1. Today is the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings today tell us to be humble and not to be proud.

The gospel tells us that Jesus was invited to a meal in the house of one of the leading
Pharisees and he noticed that the guests were taking the places of honor. Jesus told them a parable telling them not to take the places of honor but to take the lowest places.

Finally, Jesus said to them, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Lk 14:11)

Jesus was not teaching them about social humility, but Jesus was teaching them about spiritual humility! The parable tells us that Jesus himself is the host inviting us to his messianic banquet (“wedding feast”)! The proud and self-righteous Pharisees who think they can be saved by keeping the Law will be humbled! But the humble, who acknowledge their sins and put their faith in God will be exalted! (R H Fuller / Bernard J Lefrois)

This teaching is even clearer from a parallel text in the same gospel of Luke where Jesus told them another parable:
“Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like everyone else, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.’ The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said,

‘God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ This man, I tell you, went home again justified; the other did not. For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, but anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.” (Lk 18:10-14)

Humility is the greatest virtue and pride is the greatest sin! The Devil fell from heaven because of pride! (1 Tm 3:6; Is 14:12-15 / CG-DB / NBD) Adam and Eve fell from Paradise because of pride! The Pharisees fell also because of pride! But the tax collector was justified because of humility, that is, he acknowledged his sins and more and most importantly, he depended on God and not on himself for his salvation!

The important difference between the Pharisee and the tax collector was not that one was holy and the other was a sinner, but that one was proud and the other was humble!

The Pharisee was not saved by his holiness, but the tax collector was saved by his humility!

“When St Augustine was asked which was the most necessary of all the virtues he is
supposed to have said, ‘Humility’. What was the second? ‘Humility’. And the third?
‘Humility’.” (Emeric Lawrence)

2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that God favors the humble, but the proud has no cure for his disease! Thus we read in the first reading: “The greater you are, the more you should behave humbly, and then you will find favor with the Lord; for great though the power of the Lord is, he accepts the homage of the humble. There is no cure for the proud man’s malady, since an evil growth has taken root in him.”! (Si 3:18-20. 28) God saves the humble, but the proud cannot save himself!

3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading and thus the response of the responsorial psalm: “In your goodness, O God, you prepared a home for the poor.”! (Ps 67:11)

The poor are not only the materially poor and spiritually poor, but the poor are those who are totally dependent on God both materially and spiritually! “How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”! (Mt 5:3) The poor are the humble who depend on God both for their material and spiritual sustenance!

The responsorial psalm is a thanksgiving hymn. (NJB) It is on the Exodus and the
conquest of Canaan. The responsorial psalm has 3 stanzas. The first verse of the first stanza is an expression of confidence that God will destroy Israel’s enemies (Egyptians).

The second verse of the first stanza and the second stanza is a call to praise God as Savior. The third stanza is on the settlement in Canaan. (CSB) The last verse of the third stanza is the response of the responsorial psalm: “In your goodness, O God, you prepared a home for the poor.”! (Ps 67:11)

4. Finally, the second reading tells us about the old and new covenants! The old covenant was made through Moses at Mount Sinai for the Jews! It is based on the Law! The new covenant was made through Jesus at Mount Zion (heaven / CG-DB) for the poor and humble! It is based on the gospel, that is, the good news of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness! Only the poor and the humble can accept the new covenant and be saved!

5. 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, to help us to be humble, so that we will acknowledge our sinfulness and helplessness, and so that we will depend on God for our salvation! Amen!

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 21st August 2022

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 21st August 2022

Theme: JESUS CHRIST THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WORLD!

  • Isaiah 66:18-21;
  • Psalm 116 (117). R/ Mk 16:15;
  • Hebrews 12:5-7. 11-13
  • Luke 13:22-30

1. Today is the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. The readings today tell us about salvation! The gospel today tells us that in order to be saved we must enter by the narrow door, that is, we must make great efforts. The gospel also tells us that the narrow door does not remain open indefinitely, that is, we have to enter it immediately, here and now! (CSB)

More importantly, the gospel today tells us that the Jews rejected the salvation of Jesus! But most importantly, the gospel tells us that the pagans accepted the salvation of Jesus! That is why they will come from the East and West, and from the North and South to enter into the kingdom of God!

The gospel ends by telling us that:

“Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.” (Lk 13:30; SM) 

That is, the pagans who were called last will be the first to enter the kingdom of God, and the Jews who were called first will be the last to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, St. Paul tells us in Chapter 11 of the letter to the Romans that in the end even the Jews who crucified Jesus will believe and accept Jesus and will also be saved!   

Indeed, whether first or last, Jew or pagan, all have to be saved in Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world! Thus the Gospel Acclamation of today:

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord: no one can come to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6; SM)

That is, Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father, because he is the only truth that reveals the Father’s love and it is only the Father’s love that can give us eternal life!  

2. That is why the first reading tells us that all the nations of the world will be converted! And more than that, the first reading also tells us that the converted nations will in their turn become missionaries and evangelizers of salvation! And even more than that, the first reading tells us that the converted pagans will even become priests!   

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

“Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.” (Mk 16:15; SM)

The responsorial psalm is the shortest of all the 150 psalms of the Psalter. It has only two verses. The first verse, that is, the first stanza, tells us to praise and worship God! The second verse, that is, the second stanza, tells us why we praise and worship God, that is, we praise and worship God because he is love and faithfulness! The two attributes of God revealed to Moses (Ex 34:6) and revealed perfectly by Jesus Christ (Jn 1:14; NJB)!

God loves us even when we do not love him and God is faithful to us even when we are not faithful to him! We see, hear, touch, smell and taste these two attributes of God perfectly in the cross of Jesus Christ!

The response of the responsorial psalm tells us to “go out to the whole world” and “proclaim the Good News” of God’s love and faithfulness in the cross of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the whole world!

4. The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but the second reading has something very important to tell us! The second reading has something important to tell us because it answers the question we always ask, that is, if God is love then why all the sufferings in the world!

An Australian theologian answered this question well! He said that suffering is the love of God experienced by the sinner for his conversion, so that he will turn away from sin and death and turn to God and receive love, life and happiness! Or in the words of today’s second reading:

“Suffering is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? Of course, any punishment is most painful at the time, and far from pleasant; but later, in those on whom it has been used, it bears fruit in peace and goodness.” (Heb 12:7. 11; SM)    

5. Today we give thanks to God for the free gift of salvation and we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit so that we will proclaim the Good News of his salvation to the whole world and so that the whole world may believe and be saved, including the Jews who crucified Jesus! Then will come the end of the world, that is, the end of the evil world and the final fulfillment of the kingdom of God here on earth!

A blessed Sunday to all of you!                                                                             

Amen!

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (Year C) – 15th August 2022

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (Year C) – 15th August 2022

Theme: WE WILL BE ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN – BODY AND SOUL – WITH THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Apocalypse (Revelation) 11:19; 12:1-6. 10; Psalm 44 (45):10-12. 16. R/ v. 10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26 Luke 1:39-56

1. Today we celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. Mary was assumed into heaven’s body and soul because she was not touched by Original Sin and consequently her body was not touched by the corruption of death. Marywas preserved from Original Sin by the grace of her Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ saves us in two ways, that is, by forgiving us our sins and by preserving us from sin by his grace.

Mary was preserved from sin by the grace of Jesus Christ. (MCE) Thus the gospel today tells us that she is the most blessed among women, blessed is the fruit of her womb, blessed is she who believed that the promise made to her will be fulfilled, and all generations will call her blessed! Mary was blessed and graced! In fact that is the first part of the prayer “Hail Mary”:

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus”! Thus we read in the gospel today: “Elizabeth gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, andblessed is the fruit of your womb. …. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promisemade her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

And Mary said: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults inGod my savior; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid. Yes, from this dayforward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things forme.’” (Lk 1:42. 45-49a; SM)

2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. According to our Catholic Churchthe first reading tells us about Mary, her Son Jesus Christ, and the Dragon, that is, theDevil. (NJB; NJBC; IBC) The first reading tells us that Mary gave birth to the child Jesusand the dragon wanted to eat the child, but the child was taken up into heaven, that is, he“ascended” into heaven, while Mary escaped into the desert to a place of safety preparedby God!

Most importantly, the first reading tells us that God and Jesus Christ have won over theDevil! Thus we read in the first reading: “Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever havebeen won by our God, and all authority for his Christ.’” (Rv 12:10; SM) Again, Mary was preserved from the Devil and from Original Sin and from theconsequent corruption of death by the grace of Jesus Christ! Thus Mary was assumed intoheaven body and soul!

3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalmtells us that Mary is Queen as God is King, and Mary is bride as God is bridegroom! Theresponsorial psalm praises Mary as bride of God and Queen of heaven! (NJBC) Thus theresponse of the responsorial psalm:

“On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.”! (Ps 44 (45):10; SM)

4. Finally, the second reading tells us that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. Moreimportantly, the second reading tells us that we will also rise with Jesus Christ from thedead and ascend into heaven with him! Thus we read in the second reading:

“Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has comethrough one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life inChrist.” (1 Co 15:20-22; SM)

5. Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and weeat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. TheHoly Spirit will forgive us our sins. The Holy Spirit will also preserve us from sin, so thatwe will not sin, and so that one day we will also be assumed into heaven – body and soul- with the Blessed Virgin Mary! Amen

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 14th August 2022

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 14th August 2022

Theme: JESUS: A CAUSE OF DIVISION

  • Jeremiah 38:4-6. 8-10;
  • Psalm 39:2-4. 18. R. v. 14;
  • Hebrews 12:1-4
  • Luke 12:49-53

1. Today is the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings today tell us that the Lord causes divisions, divisions between those who are for him and those who are againsthim, but more importantly, the readings today tell us to be for God, and not to be against God, and most importantly, the readings today tell us to trust in God, and God will save us – and though this is not mentioned in today’s readings – and through us save the wholeworld! After all, Jesus Christ did not suffer, die, rise from the dead and went to heaven allby himself, but he gave the world the Holy Spirit and brought the whole world with him to heaven!

2. The gospel today tells us that Jesus is a cause of division, that is, a division between those who accept Jesus and those who reject Jesus, a division between those who are for God and those who are against God! But more importantly, the gospel tells us to be for God and to put our faith in God and God will hear us and save us! Thus the gospel tells us: “For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”! (Lk 12:52-53) Jesus was quoting from the prophet Micah, chapter 7:6, but more importantly, the following verse, that is, the prophet Micah, chapter 7:7 tells us to put our faith in God and God will hear us and save us! The prophet Micah mentioned the word God 3 times in one short verse! Thus we read: “But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will put my trust in God my savior; my God will hear me!”

3. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that Jeremiah was a cause of division, a division between those who were for God and those who were against God! But more importantly, the first reading tells us to be for God, and not to be against God, and most importantly, the first reading tells us that those who were for God and put their trust in God were saved! Thus Jeremiah was saved from the well of death! But thosewho were against God – including King Zedekiah of Judah – were put to death! They were put to death by the Babylonians and exiled into Babylon in the 6th century BC! (Jr 39)

4. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that those who put their trust in God were saved! (HCSB) The responsorial psalm has 4 stanzas. The first 3 stanzas are a thanksgiving for deliverance, and the last stanza and the response are a prayer to God for help. The usual order is reversed, that is, the thanksgiving is before the prayer. (NJBC)
Thus the first 3 stanzas of the responsorial psalm: “I waited, I waited for the Lord and he stooped down to me; he heard my cry. He drew me from the deadly pit, from the miry clay. He set my feet upon a rock and made my footsteps firm. He put a new song into my mouth, praise of our God. Many shall see and fear and shall trust in the Lord.”! (Ps 39: 2-4)

5. Finally, and most importantly, the second reading tells us to forget about the prophet Jeremiah, and all the prophets of the Old Testament, and all the men and women of faith of the Old Testament (“witnesses”), and to look to Jesus Christ in the New Testament! (IBC/CSB) In the face of sinners, Jesus Christ put his faith in God his Father through suffering and death, and today he is exalted high above in heaven in glory! In our struggle with sin and sinners we must also put our faith in God our Father until death, and we too will be exalted high above in heaven in glory!6.

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 so that we may be for God and not against God, and so that in our struggle against sin and sinners we may put our faith in God until death, and so that we may be exalted high above in heaven in glory, and so that through us the whole world may also be exalted high above in heaven in glory! This is the Good News! Amen!

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 7th Aug 2022

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 7th Aug 2022

Theme: THE END OF THE WORLD: THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST

  • Wisdom 18:6-9;
  • Psalm 32 (33):1. 12. 18-20. 22. R/ v. 12;
  • Hebrews 11:1-2. 8-12. (Shorter Form)
  • Luke 12:35-40 (Shorter Form)

1. Today is the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. The gospel today tells us about the end of the world, that is, the end of the evil world, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when all will be saved!

The gospel today tells us that Jesus will come a second time, but we do not know when. That is why we must always be ready for his Second Coming! Thus the “Gospel Acclamation” today:

“Stay awake and stand ready, because you do no know the hour when the Son of Man is coming.” (Mt 24:42. 44; SM) 

And thus the gospel today ends:

“You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Lk 12:40; SM)

To prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of time, we must pray, we must do the will of God, and we must be detached from the world!

2. The first reading tells us that when Jesus Christ comes a second time he will destroy sin and death completely and finally and he will save the whole world!

The first reading tells us about the destruction of the first-born of the Egyptians and the salvation of the Israelites in the Exodus from Egypt! Thus the caption of the first reading:

“By the same act with which you took vengeance on our foes you made us glorious by calling us to you.” (Ws 18:8; SM)

But more importantly, the first reading prefigures the second and new Exodus of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit destroys sin and saves us from death! Today the Holy Spirit continues to destroy sin and saves us from death in the Sacrament of Baptism!

But most importantly, the first reading prefigures the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of time when sin and death will be completely destroyed and we will all be saved!

3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the Sunday. The responsorial psalm tells us that as baptized Christians we are the chosen people of God and as we prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ we are to hope and pray for his love and he will rescue us from death!

The responsible psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza (vv. 1 & 12) tells us that as baptized Christians we are the chosen people of God! Thus the response which is taken from the first stanza:

“Happy are the people the Lord has chosen as his own.” (Ps 32 (33): 12; SM) 

The second stanza (vv. 18-19; SM) tells us to hope in God’s love and he will save us from death! The third stanza (vv. 20 & 22) tells us to pray and hope in God’s love and he will save us from death! (IBC)      

4. Incidentally, the second reading also follows the theme of the Sunday. The second reading tells us that we have to hold on to our faith until the end of our lives and until the end of the world, even and especially in the face of persecutions and the Lord will save us! The second reading was addressed to the Jewish Christians who were persecuted and who were losing their faith! (NJB; CCB)

The second reading gives us the example of Abraham! Abraham held on to his faith even in the face of many obstacles! Abraham had to go to a land he did not know. He was promised a son in his old age and his wife was barren. And finally he was asked to sacrifice Isaac, the son of the promise! (Longer Form, vv. 17-19; SM) But, because of his faith, Abraham was blessed with many descendants, as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the grains of sand on the seashore!   

We are therefore to hold on to our faith to the end of our lives and to the end of the world, even in the face of persecutions and we will be blessed with salvation!

5. Today we thank God for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins and for saving us from death. And we ask God to continue to give us the Holy Spirit to help us to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when all will be saved! Again, we prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ by prayer, by doing the will of God and by detaching ourselves from the world! God bless you!  

Amen!

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 31st July 2022

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 31st July 2022

Theme: MONEY CANNOT BUY LIFE, LOVE AND HAPPINESS

  • Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth 1:2; 2:21-23;
  • Psalm 89 (90):3-6. 12-14. 17. R/ v. 1;
  • Colossians 3:1-5. 9-11
  • Luke 12:13-21

1. Today is the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. The readings today tell us that money cannot buy life, love and happiness. Life, love and happiness are the three most important things! They are found in heaven! And God gives them to us through the death and resurrection of his Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! Seek first the kingdom of God and all the other things will be given to you as well! That is, seek first salvation and all of creation will be given to you as well!

The gospel today tells us that a man in the crowd asked Jesus to tell his brother to give him his share of their inheritance, but Jesus did not respond to his request. Instead Jesus told them something more important, that is, life does not come from wealth, even if we have more than we need! Then Jesus told them the “parable of the rich fool”:

There was once a rich man who had a bountiful harvest. The harvest was so plentiful that he had to build new storehouses to store his harvest! Then the rich man thought to himself that his harvest will last him a life time, he will now take things easy and eat and drink and have a good time; but that very night God took away his soul, that is, he died!

We may not be physically dead, but we may be spiritually dead, that is, our souls may be dead because of sin and there is no life, love and happiness in our souls. Like the “rich fool” we cannot enjoy our rich harvest, that is, though we may be rich we have no life, love and happiness!    

That is why the “Gospel Acclamation” today tell us:

“How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3; SM)   

The poor in spirit are not only the materially or spiritually poor, but the poor in spirit are those who are dependent on God and God will bless them with his life, love and happiness from heaven!    

2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel, but the first reading is not good news, but bad news! The first reading tells us that without God our lives are futile, empty and meaningless! “Vanity of vanity”! We work hard day and night year after year only to die and leave our possessions to others who never worked for it. And to make things worse our possessions may all be wasted in one generation by those who never worked for it! (Qo 2:18-19) “Vanity of vanity”! Without God it is all futility, emptiness and meaninglessness!

3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the Sunday. The responsorial psalm tells us that life and death, and love and happiness come from God. That is why we have to pray for wisdom to live a life of love and happiness!

The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first and second stanzas (vv. 3-6) tell us that life and death come from God! The third and fourth stanzas (vv. 12-14. 17) tell us to pray for wisdom to live a life of love and happiness! The fourth stanza (v. 17) also tells us to pray for God’s blessings so that the work of our hands may be successful! Thus the response:

“O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.” (Ps 89 (90):1; SM)

4. Incidentally, the second reading also follows the theme of the Sunday. The second reading has two paragraphs. The first paragraph (vv. 1-4) tells us to look for the things of heaven so that we can find life (NJB), love and happiness!

The second paragraph (vv. 5. 9-11) tells us not to look for the things of earth, because the things of earth may tempt us to sin and sin brings death and in death there is no love and happiness!

5. Today we thank God for creation and we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit of his life, love and happiness! Again, seek first the kingdom of God and all the other things will be given to you as well! (Lk 12:31; Mt 6:33) That is, seek first salvation and all of creation will be given to you as well! God bless you!

Amen!

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 24th July 2022

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 24th July 2022

Theme: PRAY: PRAY TO GOD WHO IS LOVE, MERCY, AND FORGIVENESS

  • Genesis 18:20-32;
  • Psalm 137:1-3. 6-8. R. v. 3;
  • Colossians 2:12-14;
  • Luke 11:1-13

1. Today is the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings today tell us to pray to God who is love, mercy, and forgiveness!

    The gospel tells us to pray to God as Father, Abba, Papa, Dad, Bapa, Baba, that is, to pray to God who is love, mercy, and forgiveness!

    We have to pray to God as children totally dependent on our Father; asking the Father to make his name holy, to make his kingdom come, to give us our daily bread – both material and spiritual, to forgive us our sins, and not to put us to the test! (CSB / //Mt 6:9-13)

    Thus the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father: “Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.” (Lk 11:2-4)

    The second part of the gospel (Lk 11:5-8) tells us to pray persistently and perseveringly; and the third part of the gospel (Lk 11: 9-13) tells us that our prayers will be effective!

    Our prayers will be effective because God will give us the Holy Spirit and in the power of the Holy Spirit we will hold God’s name holy, we will build God’s kingdom here on earth, we will receive our daily bread – both material and spiritual, we will forgive others as God has forgiven us, and we will not be put to the test, that is, we will not fall in times of trials, that is, we will not apostatize, that is, we will not renounce our faith in times of trials!

2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel, and the first reading is to be read in the light of the gospel! The first reading tells us to pray to God who is merciful! The first reading tells us that Abraham prayed to God who is merciful!

    The first reading tells us that God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but Abraham pleaded with God not to destroy the just men with the sinners. Abraham pleaded with God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for 50 just men and God relented. Abraham bargained with God – not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah – from 50 just men down to 45, 40, 30, 20, and even to only 10 just men, and God relented! And the first reading stops here! God is merciful! (IBC) Again, the first reading tells us to pray to God who is merciful!

3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm is “a song of thanksgiving for deliverance by God”. (HCSB) The responsorial psalm tells us that God who is love will answer our prayers. Thus the responsorial psalm is enveloped by the word love in verses 2 and 8 (NJBC): “I thank you for your faithfulness and love which excel all we ever knew of you.”! (Ps 137:2), and “Your love, O Lord, is eternal, discard not the work of your hands.”! (Ps 137:8); and thus the response of the responsorial psalm: “On the day I called, you answered me, O Lord.”! (Ps 137:3)              

4. Finally, the second reading tells us that the God to whom we pray; the God who is love, mercy, and forgiveness; is the God who forgives us in his Son Jesus Christ! Thus we read in the second reading: “You were dead, because you were sinners and had not been circumcised: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us all our sins.

    He has overridden the Law, and cancelled every record of the debt that we had to pay; he has done away with it by nailing it to the cross.”! (Col 2:13-14)

5. 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, so that we will hold God’s name holy, so that we will build God’s kingdom here on earth, so that we will receive his daily bread – both material and spiritual, so that we will forgive others as he has forgiven us, and so that we will not be put to the test, that is, we will not fall in times of trials!

Amen!