7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) – 23rd Feb 2020

Theme: WE HAVE TO LOVE BEYOND THE LAW

  • Leviticus 19:1-2. 17-18;
  • Psalm 102:1-4. 8. 10. 12-13. R/ v. 8;
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
  • Matthew 5:38-48

Today is the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year A. The readings today tell us that love is the spirit of the law and love is the fulfillment of the law! That is why we have to love beyond the law! Indeed the gospel today tells us to love beyond the law! Thus we read in the gospel today:

(i) “If anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well. …. (ii) Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.

(iii) Love your enemies (do good to those who hate you; NJB) and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. …. (iv) You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:39. 42. 44-45. 48; SM)

That is, you must love just as your heavenly Father loves! (NJB; Lk 6:36)

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us to be holy just as the Lord our God is holy! That is, we must not hate our brother, we must not take revenge on our brother, we must not hold a grudge against our brother; instead, we must love our brother as we love ourselves! (HCSB) Thus we read in the first reading:

“Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.

You must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. …. You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people. You must love your neighbor as yourself.” (Lv 19:2. 17a. 18a; SM)

But brotherly love also means brotherly/fraternal correction! (NJBC) Thus we read in the first reading:

“You must openly tell him, your neighbor, of his offence; this way you will not take a sin upon yourself.” (Lv 19: 17b; SM)  

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the gospel and the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us that the Lord is compassion and love! Thus we responded four times:

“The Lord is compassion and love.” (Ps 102:8; SM)

And thus the third and fourth stanzas of the psalm from which the response is taken and which praise and thank God for his compassion and love:

“The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy. He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our faults.

As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins. As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.” (Ps 102:8. 10. 12-23; SM) 

In the second reading, Saint Paul tells the Corinthians to be united in Christ and in God! The Corinthians were divided, with some belonging to Paul, some to Peter and some to Apollos. (1 Co 1:12)

Saint Paul tells them that Paul, Peter and Apollos belong to them instead. Paul, Peter and Apollos are their servants to serve them; in fact, the whole of creation is their servant to serve them, so that they belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God! (NJB) They are therefore to be united in Christ and in God! Thus we read in the second reading:

“So there is nothing to boast about in anything human: Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life and death, the present and the future, are all your servants; but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.” (1 Co 3:21-23; SM)

The readings today tell us about love and unity! These are the two most important themes of the Church. The Church is a community of communities of love and unity and a sign and sacrament of salvation for the world!

That is why in the renewal of our Church we build small Christian communities of love and unity, like the BECs (Basic Ecclesial Communities), the Neo-Catechumenal Communities, the Prayer-Groups, the Bible-Sharing Groups, and the Support-Groups, like the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), the NA (Narcotics Anonymous), the GA (Gamblers Anonymous), OA (Over-Eaters Anonymous), SA (Sex Addicts Anonymous), EA (Emotions Anonymous), etc., where we share and pray personally and spiritually on the Bible, the Sunday Mass readings, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and our personal and spiritual experiences, etc.! God bless you!    Amen!

 

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) – 16th Feb 2020

Theme: THE LAW IS LOVE, LIFE AND HAPPINESS!

  • Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 15:15-20;
  • Psalm 118:1-2. 4-5. 17-18. 33-34. R/ v. 1;
  • 1 Corinthians 2:6-10
  • Matthew 5:17-22. 27-28. 33-34. 37. (Shorter Form)

Today is the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year A. The readings today tell us that the Law is love, life and happiness! God is love, life and happiness. God gives us the law to give us his love, life and happiness! In heaven there is only love, life and happiness! Love, life and happiness are the three most important things and they are eternal!

The gospel today tells us that the Law is love, that is, the spirit of the law is love, and the fulfillment of the law is love. That is why we have to go beyond the law to love! (CSB; NJB)

That is why the gospel today tells us that it is not enough not to kill, but we must also not get angry with our brother! We must love our brother! The gospel also tells us that it is not enough not to commit adultery, but we must also not look at a woman lustfully! We must look at a woman lovingly! Finally, the gospel tells us that it is not enough not to take false oaths, but we must not swear at all! (CSB) We must just tell the truth! Thus we read in the gospel today:

“You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court.” (Mt 5:21-22; SM)

“You have learnt how it was said: You must not commit adultery. But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt 5:27-28; SM)

“Again, you have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not break your oath, but must fulfill your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you: do not swear at all.” (Mt 5:33-35; SM) 

Again, the spirit of the Law is love and the fulfillment of the Law is love! Love is the only law and the only law is love! Love is the greatest commandment of the Law! (Mt 22:34-40) Jesus fulfilled the Law in love and through his death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he fulfilled the law in us! Let us then fulfill the law in love by loving God and by loving our neighbor as we love ourselves! (Mt 22:34-40)

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the law is life! The first reading tells us that we can choose between keeping the law and not keeping the law. If we choose to keep the law, we choose life (water), but if we choose not to keep the law, we choose destruction (fire) and death! Thus we read in the first reading:

“If you wish, you can keep the commandments, to behave faithfully is within your power. He has set fire and water before you; put out your hand to whichever you prefer. Man has life and death before him; whichever a man likes better will be given him.” (Si 15:15-17; SM)         

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that the law is happiness! Thus we responded four times:

“They are happy who follow God’s law!” (Ps 118:1; SM)

And thus the first stanza of the responsorial psalm:

“They are happy whose life is blameless, who follow God’s law! They are happy those who do his will, seeking him with all their hearts.” (Ps 118:1-2; SM)

The opposite is also true, that is, they are unhappy who do not follow God’s law! If we are unhappy, we are not following God’s law!

The second reading is a continuation of the second reading of last Sunday. The second reading of last Sunday (1 Co 2:1-5) tells us not to preach human wisdom, but to preach the crucified Christ! Human wisdom cannot save us, only the crucified Christ can save us!

The second reading this Sunday tells us not to preach human wisdom, but to preach the wisdom of God! The wisdom of God is “God’s plan for our salvation”! (CSB) Again, human wisdom cannot save us, only the wisdom of God can save us!

God bless you!    Amen!

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) -9th Feb 2020

Theme: WE CHRISTIANS ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

  • Isaiah 58:7-10
  • Psalm 111:4-9
  • 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
  • Matthew 5:13-16 

The Church has chosen the readings of today to tell us that we are the light of the world! The gospel tells us that we are the light of the world and that like the light we are to shine so that others seeing our good works will give praise to God our Father.

This short sentence from the gospel also tells us that we are not to be proud and arrogant and take credit for what we have done, but credit and praise are to go to God the Father!

In the first place we are all sinners before God, incapable of doing good works! But God our Father is merciful! He has sent us his Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and has given us the Holy Spirit so that we can do good works!

The Christian is not a social worker! He does not only do good works, but he does God’s work!  His works are not only good for society, but his works are salvific and redemptive!

The good works of the Christian do not come from himself, but they come from God! The good works of the Christian is filled with God’s love and mercy and salvation!

The Christian may fail and feel frustrated and disappointed and may even suffer and die, but like Jesus Christ he will rise again from the dead and pour out his Spirit for the salvation of the world!

The gospel tells us that we are the light of the world, but the gospel does not tell us how we are to be the light of the world. The Church has therefore chosen the first reading from the prophet Isaiah to tell us how we are to be the light of the world!

The first reading taken from the prophet Isaiah was addressing a situation in Israel in about the year 500 B.C. when the Jews have just returned from their exile in Babylon. There were social injustices where the rich and powerful exploited the poor and the weak, etc.. The poor and the weak had no power, no food, no shelter, no clothing, etc..

The prophet Isaiah tells them to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and clothe the naked. These are the three basic necessities of a human being: food, housing and clothing. By feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and clothing the naked they will become the light of the world! They will shine like the sun at dawn!

As Christians we often do charitable works, but sometimes we forget that social justice is equally important if not more important. In charity we give to others what belongs to us, but in justice we give to others what belongs to them by right, e.g. a just and fair wage, holidays, health benefits, working hours that are not too long, sick leaves, bonuses, etc..

That is why Isaiah ends this first reading by telling the Jews to take away the yoke of oppression from their fellow Jews and no clenched fist, i.e. no oppression. Isaiah also tells them to give their bread to the hungry and to free the oppressed! Isaiah tells them that in this way they will become light shining in the darkness! They will shine like the noonday sun!

The Responsorial Psalm also tells us how we can be light of the world! The Responsorial Psalm tells us to be generous, merciful and just; to take pity and lend to those in need and to practice justice. In these ways we can become light for the world!

But more than that the Responsorial Psalm tells us that we can also be light to the world not only by our good works, but also by our faith! In the second stanza, the Responsorial Psalm tells us that the just man will never waver! He will never be shaken! He has no fear of evil news; with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord!

The Responsorial Psalm ends by telling us that the just man has no fear. With open hands he gives to the poor. He is just and glorious!

The second reading taken from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians does not strictly follow the theme of the other readings, but it has something very important to tell us! As I have mentioned at the very beginning, our good works are not from us! They are from God! They are not merely good works, but they are God’s works!

St. Paul tells us in this second reading that he proclaimed the good news not on his own, nor on the power of man, but he proclaimed the good news relying on the power of God! He preached Jesus Christ crucified, a dead man, but it is the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of God!

And St. Paul tells us that he did that so that our faith will not depend on the power of men, but on the power of God!

Our good works too have to depend not on the power of men, but on the power of God!

That is why we have to pray, we have to have faith, and that is why today we celebrate this Eucharist! Today we come here in our human weaknesses like St. Paul and we celebrate the crucified Christ, a dead man, but it is the power of God! It is the power of the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit will make us shine, so that seeing our good works, men will give praise to God our Father in heaven!                                                                                                              Amen!

The Presentation of the Lord (4th Sunday of Ordinary Time) – 2nd Feb 2020

Theme: JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF SALVATION FOR ALL PEOPLES!

  • Malachi 3:1-4;
  • Psalm 23:7-10. R/ v. 8;
  • Hebrews 2:14-18
  • Luke 2:22-40 (Shorter form, Luke 2:22-32)

Today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord! Forty days ago we celebrated Christmas, today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord! The gospel today tells us about the presentation of the Lord in the Temple. More importantly, the gospel tells us that the Lord is the light of salvation for all peoples, pagans and Jews! Thus we read in the gospel today:

“My eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.” (Lk 2:30-32; SM)
The second reading tells us that Jesus is the high priest who saves us from the devil and from sin and death! The first reading tells us that he will enter his Temple and burn away our sins with his fire! The fire of the Holy Spirit! The fire of God’s love! Finally the responsorial psalm tells us to welcome him into the Temple as the king of glory! Thus we responded four times:
“Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord.” (Ps 23:8; SM)

Today we welcome the Lord with lighted candles, because the Lord is the light of salvation for all peoples! Again, light in the New Testament symbolizes 3 things (NJB; Jn 8:12b):

(1) Light symbolizes faith in God as opposed to unbelief which is darkness.
(2) Light symbolizes life, happiness and contentment as opposed to death, misery and unhappiness which is darkness.
(3) Light symbolizes good as opposed to evil which is darkness.
More importantly, the 3 themes are related, that is, with faith in God we receive life from God and the life from God is good, because God is good. In fact Jesus tells us that only God is good!

Most importantly, in the end, light will overcome darkness, faith will overcome unbelief, life will overcome death, and good will overcome evil; because God has overcome the devil in Jesus Christ and God continues to overcome the devil in the Holy Spirit until the end of time when God will overcome the devil completely, totally and finally! Then will come the end of the world, that is, the end of the evil world, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in glory and the salvation of the whole world!

Today in the Eucharist the Lord enters our Church! He enters our Church as high priest and Lamb of God, to save us from the devil and from sin and death! He purifies us from our sins with the fire of the Holy Spirit, the fire of God’s love! Today we welcome the Lord into our Church and into our hearts in Holy Communion! We welcome the Lord with lighted candles because the Lord is the light of salvation for all peoples! Today we bless the candles for use for the whole Liturgical Year! Candles are symbols of Christ who is the light of the world (Jn 8:12)! God bless you! Amen!

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) – 26th Jan 2020

Theme: JESUS, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (John 8:12)

  • Isaiah 8:23-9:3;
  • Psalm 26:1. 4. 13-14. R/ v. 1;
  • Corinthians 1:10-13. 17
  • Matthew 4:12-23 (Shorter Form, verses 12-17.)

Today is the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year A. The readings today tell us that Jesus is the light of the world! Thus we read in the gospel today:
“The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light; on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Mt 4:16; SM)
Light in the New Testament symbolizes 3 things (Jn 8:12b; NJB):
(1) Light symbolizes faith as opposed to unbelief which is darkness.
(2) Light symbolizes life, happiness and contentment as opposed to death, misery and unhappiness which is darkness.
(3) Light symbolizes good as opposed to evil which is darkness.
More importantly, the 3 themes are related, that is, faith in God gives us life and the
life from God is good, because God is good. In fact, only God is good!
Most importantly, in the end, light will overcome darkness, faith will overcome unbelief, life will overcome death, and good will overcome evil; because God has overcome the Devil in Jesus Christ and God continues to overcome the Devil in the Holy Spirit until the end of time when God will overcome the Devil completely, finally and totally! Then will come the end of the world, that is, the end of the evil world, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Salvation of the world!
The gospel today also tells us to repent, because the kingdom of heaven/God is close at hand! To repent does not only mean turning away from sin and turning to God, but to repent also means turning away from the world and turning to the God of love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation, that is, turning to the God of Jesus Christ, because only the God of Jesus Christ can save us from sin and death!
The gospel today tells us that the first disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John did not only turn away from sin and to God, but they also turned away from the world and to the God of Jesus Christ! And they did it immediately and totally! They left everything at once and followed Jesus!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading also tells us that Jesus is the light of the world! The first reading is fulfilled in the gospel. That is why the first reading is quoted in the gospel. Thus we read again:
“The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.” (Is 9:1; SM)
The first reading also tells us that Jesus, the light of the world brings us great joy and happiness! Thus we read:
“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 9:2; SM)
Finally, the first reading tells us that Jesus the light of the world saves us! Thus we read:
“For the yoke that was weighing on him, the bar across his shoulders, the rod of his oppressor, these you break as on the day of Midian.” (Is 9:3; SM)

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. Thus we responded three times:
“The Lord is my light and my help.” (Ps 26:1; SM)
That is, the Lord is my light and my salvation! (CSB; NJB)
The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza (v. 1) from which the response is taken tells us that the Lord is our light and our salvation! The second stanza (v. 4) tells us that the salvation of the Lord is in the temple! The third stanza (vv. 13-14) tells us that the salvation of the Lord is in heaven! (NJB; IBC)

In the second reading, Saint Paul tells the Corinthians to be united! The Corinthians were divided into factions; with one faction for Paul, one faction for Apollos, one faction for Peter (Cephas), and one faction for Christ. Paul tells the Corinthians that they were all baptized in the name of Christ, not in the name of Paul or Peter or Apollos; and as such they are all to be united in Christ!
Today we build small Christian communities of love and unity, so that our Church may be a community of communities of love and unity and so that our Church may be a sign and sacrament of salvation for the whole world; and so that our Church may be a light of salvation for the whole world; and so that the world seeing love and unity in our Church will believe in Jesus Christ and will be saved! A blessed Sunday to all of you! Amen!

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) – 19th Jan 2020

Theme: JESUS CHRIST THE REAL BRIDEGROOM

  • Isaiah 62:1-5;
  • Psalm 95 (96): 1-3. 7-10. R/ v. 3;
  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
  • John 2:1-11

Today is the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings today tell us that Jesus Christ is the real bridegroom! (IBC) The gospel today tells us that Jesus, his mother Mary, and Jesus’ disciples were at a wedding feast! The wedding feast ran out of wine and Jesus changed water into wine! And the wine that Jesus made was even better than the first and best wine, so much so that the steward complained to the bridegroom that normally people serve the best wine first and the cheaper wine later, but the bridegroom had kept the best wine to the end!

Marriages begin with “honey moon”, full of love, life and happiness, but as the years pass, the love, life and happiness diminish and finally we run out of wine! But Jesus can change water into wine and the wine that Jesus gives is even better than the first and best wine! In other words, as we get older the love increases, the life increases, and the happiness increases! The late Bishop Fulton Sheen said that it takes three to get married, that is, a man, a woman and Jesus Christ. That is why we get married not in court, but in the Church. The court can only give us a certificate of marriage/divorce, but it cannot give us the Holy Spirit of love, life and happiness! Only Jesus Christ can give us the Holy Spirit of love, life and happiness!

When a man and a woman gets married they do the most important and the most holy thing, that is, they do what God the Father does, that is, they love, they create life (procreation), and they are happy as God the Father is happy in heaven! But today, especially in Europe, people do not want to be married! They only want sex, they do not want children, and they are not happy. And even if they are married, they divorce and they remarry, etc., and the vicious circle goes on and on, and they become more and more unhappy.

But those who “invite” Jesus Christ to their “wedding” do not divorce, they remain married, and their love, life and happiness grow stronger and stronger as they get older and older! I stayed with an Italian family, where the husband and wife had decided to marry for only six months, and they did not want any children, and they were not happy; but after entering the “Neo-Catechumenal Way” they had three children and was expecting a fourth child, and they were happy, loving and full of life, that is, they had many children! Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has given the final approval to the “Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way” on the 11th of May 2008, the Solemnity of Pentecost!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that God will be the bridegroom and Israel/Jerusalem will be the bride! Thus we read in the first reading:

“No more will you be known as “Forsaken” or your country be known as ‘Desolation’; instead, you will be called ‘My Delight is in her’ and your country ‘The Wedded’; for Yahweh will take delight in you and your country will have its wedding. Like a young man marrying a virgin, your rebuilder will wed you, and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you.” (Is 62:4-5/NJB)

Today this prophesy of Isaiah is fulfilled in Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church is His Bride! Jesus Christ is the real Bridegroom, because he is “love” and “faithfulness”, the attributes of God in the Old Testament (Ex 34:6/NJB), perfected by Jesus Christ in the New Testament!

A real bridegroom and a real husband loves his wife even if his wife does not love him, and a real husband is faithful to his wife even if his wife is not faithful to him! And in the end the unloving and unfaithful wife will go to heaven, because of the “faithful love” of the husband!

The responsorial psalm has “a strong missionary note”! (NJBC/Fuller) Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

   “Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.” (Ps 95 (96): 3/SM)

The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first and second stanzas tell us to proclaim the glory of the Lord to all the nations. (Ps 95 (96): 1-3) The third and fourth stanzas tell all the nations to worship God! (Ps 95 (96): 7-10)

In the context of Christian Marriage: “Proclaim the good news of Christian Marriage to all the nations”!

The second reading tells us about “unity in diversity”, not unity in uniformity! The second reading tells us that all the different gifts ((1) wisdom and (2) knowledge; (3) faith, (4) healing, and (5) miracle-working; (6) prophecy, (7) discernment of spirits, (8) tongues, and (9) interpretation of tongues / Fuller) are from the same Spirit, all the different services are to serve the same Lord, and it is the same God who works in all the different people in all their different works! And above all, all the gifts are given for the good of the whole community! Thus we read in the second reading:

   “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Co 12:4-7/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 make our marriages loving, fruitful (procreation) and happy! The Holy Spirit will help us proclaim the good news of Christian Marriage! And the Holy Spirit will help us live in unity in diversity! Amen!

THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD (A) – 12th Jan 2020

Theme: THE REVELATION OF THE LORD AS SON OF GOD AND SERVANT OF GOD

  • Isaiah 42:1-4. 6-7;
  • Psalm 28 (29): 1-4. 9-10. R/ v. 11;
  • Acts 10:34-38
  • Matthew 3:13-17

Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Today is the last day of the Christmas season. Like Christmas and Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord is about the revelation of the Lord; the revelation of the Lord as Son of God and Servant of God.

The gospel today tells us that after Jesus was baptized and when he came out of the water, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him and a voice from heaven said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17; Is 42:1; CSB)

These words of God the Father correspond to the first verse of the first reading on the Suffering Servant of God: This is my chosen servant in whom my soul delights! The gospel tells us that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Servant of God.

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that Jesus Christ is the Suffering Servant of God who gives suffering service. He is to serve, to suffer, and to sacrifice, in order to sanctify and save the world!

Indeed, the first reading is the first of four Suffering Servant Songs of Isaiah! (Is 49:1-7; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12) The first reading tells us that the Suffering Servant will be endowed with the Holy Spirit. He will bring justice to the nations, he will be merciful, and he will save the whole world! Thus we read in the first reading:

    “I have endowed him with my spirit that he may bring true justice to the nations. (Is. 42:2) …. He does not break the crushed reed, nor quench the wavering flame. (v 3) …. I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.” (vv 6-7; SM) 

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

    “The Lord will bless his people with peace.” (Ps 28 (29): 11; SM)

That is, the Lord will bless his people with peace, shalom, salvation!

The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza gives glory and power to God. The second stanza tells us that the glory and power of God can be seen in the thunderstorm. And the third stanza gives glory to God as the eternal King of heaven and earth. (CSB) And it is this Lord of glory and power that blesses his people with peace, shalom, salvation!

The second reading follows the theme of the gospel. The second reading tells us that after his baptism (Fuller), Jesus received the Holy Spirit and became the servant of God to save the world! Thus we read in the second reading:

“God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.” (Ac 10:38; SM)       

The second reading also tells us that salvation is not only for the Jews, but salvation is also for the Gentiles (the impure, IBC; the unclean, CCB)! Thus we read in the second reading:

  “It is true, God sent his word to the people of Israel, and it was to them that the good news of peace was brought by Jesus Christ – but Jesus Christ is Lord of all men.” (Ac 10:36; SM)    

The Baptism of the Lord is also our baptism. When we were baptized we also received the Holy Spirit and we also became the sons and servants of God. And when we receive the Eucharist we grow as sons and servants of God.

Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his Risen Body and drink his Risen Blood, and our Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us grow as sons and suffering servants of God, to give suffering service, that is, to serve, to suffer, and to sacrifice, in order to sanctify and save the whole world! Amen!