16th August 2015 – 20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Theme: WE EAT THE BODY OF THE RISEN LORD

  • Proverbs 9:1-6;
  • Psalm 33 (34): 2-3. 10-15. R/ v. 9;
  • Ephesians 5:15-20
  • John 6:51-58

 Today is the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us about the bread of life. In fact, for the past four Sundays, inclusive of today, the gospel is from John chapter 6 and it tells us about the bread of life.

Jesus is the bread of life, that is, Jesus is the revelation of God the Father. Jesus is the revelation of God the Father in his person and life, in his words and actions, and especially in his death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world! And this is what we celebrate in the Eucharist!

With the gospel today the Eucharistic theme emerges! The gospel today tells us that Jesus is the living bread come down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread shall live forever and the bread that Jesus gives is his flesh for the life of the world! This is the first time that the word “flesh” is used for the “bread of life”! And not only “flesh”, but also “blood”! Thus the Eucharistic theme!

The gospel today tells us that whoever does not eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood will not have life, but whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood has eternal life and Jesus will raise him up on the last day! For the flesh of Jesus is real food and the blood of Jesus is real drink. He who eats the flesh of Jesus and drinks his blood lives in Jesus and Jesus lives in him. And as Jesus draws life from the Father, he who eats Jesus draws life from Jesus. Jesus is the bread come down from heaven. The Jews ate bread in the desert and they are dead. Whoever eats Jesus will live for ever!

We Catholics believe in the real and effective presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. We Catholics believe that the Eucharist makes real, present and effective what Jesus did two thousands years ago, that is, his death, resurrection and outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world!

That is why we cannot separate the Holy Spirit from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! That is why we cannot separate the Holy Spirit from the Eucharist! That is why we cannot separate the Holy Spirit from the Church. And that is why we cannot separate the Holy Spirit from God the Father and God the Son! The Holy Spirit is the love of God the Father given to us in God the Son. The love of God the Father revealed in God the Son is given to us in God the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God’s love! “The Holy Spirit is Holy Love”! (Fr. John Reilly, SJ)

At “the Communion Rite” at Mass, the priest breaks the body of Christ and puts a piece into the blood of Christ. This symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ! (GIRM 83.2) When body and blood are separated death occurs, but when body and blood are together life occurs! In Holy Communion we eat the body of the Risen Lord! The Risen Body that can enter locked doors and be at any place at an instance! A Risen Body not limited by time and space! (Jn 20) The Risen Body that can enter the bread and change it into His Body! The Risen Body that can destroy sin and death and give us new and eternal life! It is this Risen Body that we receive in Holy Communion! And we receive it in faith! Thus the priest says “the Body of Christ” and we respond “Amen”! “Amen” is a faith response!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that Wisdom invites the foolish to eat and drink at the banquet of life. Wisdom symbolizes Jesus Christ, the foolish symbolizes sinners and the banquet of life symbolizes the banquet of life of the Eucharist! In other words, Jesus invites us sinners to the banquet of life of the Eucharist to eat his body and to drink his blood so that we may have eternal life!

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm: “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. (Ps 33 (34): 9; SM) The responsorial psalm is a thanksgiving for deliverance. (CSB) In the context of today’s readings and liturgy, it is a thanksgiving for deliverance from death by eating the body of Christ and drinking the blood of Christ in the Eucharist! Thus again, the response: “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. This psalm was used in the early Church during the time of Holy Communion. (Fuller; Previous Sunday)

The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but again, the second reading has something important to tell us! The second reading tells us three important things: (i) Do not be foolish, but be wise. (ii) Do not be ignorant, but know the will of God. (iii) Do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit by singing psalms and hymns and by giving thanks to God the Father every time and everywhere through Jesus Christ. (Vat. II SM)

The third exhortation reminds us of “AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)” and the “Twelve Steps”, where alcoholics gather together anonymously to share and pray on the “twelve steps” to be freed from their addiction by the Holy Spirit! This spiritual programme is effective not only for alcoholics, but also for gamblers, over-eaters, drug addicts, sex addicts, emotions addicts, etc. Thus besides AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), we also have GA (Gamblers Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), SA (Sex Addict Anonymous), EA (Emotions Anonymous), OA (Over-Eaters Anonymous), etc. (HERALD, The Catholic Weekly, July 16, 2000)

Today in this Mass, we thank God for his Son Jesus Christ, the food of eternal life; and we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit, so that we will speak no evil and do no evil, and so that we will do good and seek after peace/shalom! (Responsorial Psalm; Fourth Stanza) And so that we will be freed from all forms of addictions! (Second Reading) A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you!

9th August 2015 – 19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Theme: JESUS THE BREAD OF LIFE

Today is the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that Jesus is the bread of life! For the past three Sundays, inclusive of today, and for the next two Sundays, the gospel is on the bread of life. The gospel is taken from John chapter 6!

The bread of life is the revelation of God in Jesus Christ! Jesus is the bread of life, that is, Jesus is the revelation of God! (CSB) But with the gospel today, the Eucharistic theme emerges! Thus the last verse of today’s gospel:

“I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.” (Jn 6:51; SM)

This is the first time that the “bread” is spoken of as “flesh”! Thus the Eucharistic theme! Next Sunday the Eucharistic theme will be developed in all its fullness! (Jn 6: 51-58; CSB)

The gospel today tells us that Jesus is the bread of life and that the Jews ate bread in the desert and they are dead. But Jesus is the bread that comes down from heaven so that a man may eat it and not die! More importantly, the gospel today tells us that Jesus is the bread come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever. And the bread that Jesus gives is his flesh for the life of the world! Thus we read in the gospel today:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead; but this is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world”. (Jn 6: 48-51)

We may think that material bread is for this life and spiritual bread is for the next life. Material bread is not good enough for this life, or for the next life. Material bread is not good enough for the next life or for this life. Only spiritual bread is good enough for this life and for the next life. Only spiritual bread is good enough for the next life and for this life. This is because we are created in the image of God! And God is Spirit! We are spiritual beings! We are to love as God loves and we are to forgive as God forgives!

Thus the second reading tells us not to make the Holy Spirit sad by committing sins. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit in Baptism for our final redemption on the last day! We have to love as Jesus Christ loved us, even to the point of sacrificing himself for us; and we have to forgive as God has forgiven us in Jesus Christ.

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the prophet Elijah after defeating the false prophets of Baal was pursued by the wicked queen Jezebel who wanted to kill him.

Elijah escaped into the desert and wanted to die. In fact, he asked God to take away his life. He was suicidal. But God gave him bread (GNB) and water. God gave him bread and water twice and Elijah was strengthened and walked for forty days and forty nights to mount Horeb/Sinai to meet God!

The bread that God gave to Elijah symbolizes the bread of life that Jesus gives to us on our pilgrimage to heaven to meet God our Father!

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

“Taste and see that the Lord is good”. (Ps 33 (34): 9; SM)

The responsorial psalm is a thanksgiving for deliverance (CSB) and in the context of today’s liturgy and readings; it is a thanksgiving for deliverance from death by the gift of the bread of life! Thus again, the response: “Taste and see that the Lord is good”.

“This psalm was used in the early Church during the time of communion.” (Fuller)

Today in this Mass we thank God for his Son Jesus Christ the food of eternal life and we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit so that we can love as Jesus Christ loved us and so that we can forgive as God has forgiven us in Jesus Christ and so that there will be unity and peace (shalom) in the world! A happy and holy Sunday to all of you!

2nd August 2015 – 18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Theme: “WORK FOR FOOD THAT ENDURES TO ETERNAL LIFE.”

  • Exodus 16:2-4. 12-15;
  • Psalm 77 (78): 3-4. 23-25. 54. R/ v. 24;
  • Ephesians 4:17. 20-24
  • John 6:24-35

Today is the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us not to “work for food that cannot last”, but to “work for food that endures to eternal life”!

The gospel today tells us that after being fed at “the miracle of the loaves” (Jn 6: 1-15; NJB), the people followed Jesus, but Jesus told them not to work for food that do not last, but to work for food that endures to eternal life.

More importantly, the gospel tells us that to work for food that endures to eternal life means to believe in Jesus! And when we believe in Jesus, God our Father will give us “bread from heaven”. And the bread from heaven will give life to the world!

Most importantly, the gospel tells us that Jesus is the “bread from heaven” who gives life to the world! Thus we read in the gospel today:

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never hunger; he who believes in me will never thirst”. (Jn 6:35; SM)

Indeed Jesus is the “bread of life” both in word and in sacrament! Thus the “Gospel Acclamation” today:

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:4; SM)

And thus verse 54 of chapter 6 of today’s gospel:

“Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day”. (NJB)

That is why our Sunday Mass consists of two parts, namely, “the Liturgy of the Word” and “the Liturgy of the Eucharist”. The “Liturgy of the Word” gives us faith. (Rm 10:17) And when we celebrate “the Liturgy of the Eucharist” with faith and eat the body of Christ and drink his blood, the Holy Spirit will transform us into the Body of Christ!

That is why it is important that we come early for Sunday Mass to read the readings before Mass to prepare ourselves for the Mass. And that is why it is important that we listen attentively to the readings and homily during Mass and not talk or use our hand phones during Mass! And that is why it is important that after Mass we share and pray spiritually and personally on the Sunday Mass readings in our Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs)!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the people of Israel had nothing to eat in the desert, so they grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and against God. They wanted to return to Egypt to eat meat and bread.

And more importantly, the first reading tells us that God gave them “bread from heaven”! The first reading prefigures the “bread from heaven” that Jesus gives in today’s gospel!

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

“The Lord gave them bread from heaven”. (Ps 77 (78): 24; SM)

And thus verses 23 to 25 of the responsorial psalm:

“He commanded the clouds above and opened the gates of heaven. He rained down manna for their food, and gave them bread from heaven. Mere men ate the bread of angels. He sent them abundance of food”. (SM)

Again, the responsorial psalm prefigures the “bread from heaven” given by Jesus in today’s gospel!

The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but again, the second reading has something very important to tell us! The second reading tells about “Renewal in Christ” (CSB), that is, to put off “the old self” and to put on “the new self”! This we did in baptism and we continue to do every Sunday in the Eucharist!

But we are happy to note that in our parish there are so many renewal movements that help us to renew ourselves in Jesus Christ! We have the Charismatic Renewal, the Prayer Meetings, the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs), the Neo-Catechumenal Communities, the Bible-Sharing Groups, the Alpha Course, the Divine Mercy, etc.! All these renewal movements help us renew ourselves in Jesus Christ!

Today in this Mass, we thank God our Father for his Son Jesus Christ, the food of eternal life! And we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit, so that we may be renewed in his Son Jesus Christ! A happy and holy Sunday to all of you!

26th July 2015 – 17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Theme: THE LORD FEEDS US WITH MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL FOOD

 

  • 2 Kings 4:42-44;
  • Psalm 144 (145): 10-11. 15-18. R/ v. 16;
  • Ephesians 4:1-6
  • John 6:1-15

 

Today is the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that the Lord feeds us with material and spiritual food!

The gospel today tells us that Jesus did three most important things that can solve the three biggest problems in our world today!

Jesus thanked God for the bread! Today the world does not believe in God and does not pray. Jesus did not only believe in God, but he believed that God was his Father; and Jesus did not only pray, but he prayed the most important prayer of all, that is, the prayer of thanksgiving! The word “Eucharist” means thanksgiving!

Indeed, an American Creation theologian said that if the only prayer we know is “thank you”, that is more than enough! We thank God for creation, salvation and sanctification! Indeed, if we begin by thanking God for creation; for the sun, moon and stars; for the sky, the land and the sea; for the food, the drink and the air, etc.; we will not be able to finish thanking Him even until the end of time!

Jesus fed five thousand men with five loaves and two fish! Today, one of the biggest problems in the world is poverty, hunger, sickness and injustices. Today the gospel exhorts the rich nations of the first world to share with the poor nations of the third world! There is enough for everyone’s need, but there is not enough for everyone’s greed! (M. Gandhi)

After the people had eaten enough, Jesus instructed his disciples to pick up the pieces left over so that nothing gets “wasted”! (NJB; CSB) “Waste not, want not”! Today our wasteful and greedy lifestyles have destroyed the environment: Global warming, melting of ice, rising seas, floods, drought, fire, and extreme climate change, etc. We need to live a simple lifestyle; we need to distinguish between our needs and our wants! We need to distinguish between our need and our greed! Again, there is enough for everyone’s need, but there is not enough for everyone’s greed!

I am happy to note that in our parish we have begun recycling our newspapers, reusing our plastic bottles and Christmas decorations and we have begun our garage sale! This is not only to raise funds for building our Catechetical Centre, but more importantly, this is also to protect the environment! Indeed, we need to reduce, reuse and recycle! The 3 Rs!

But most importantly, the gospel today tells us that after having eaten enough and having leftovers, the people wanted to make Jesus king, but Jesus escaped back to the hills by himself! Jesus was not only a king who feeds the people with material food, but Jesus was also a Savior who feeds the people with spiritual food, the spiritual food of his body and blood in the Eucharist! Indeed the actions of Jesus in the feeding of the five thousand men symbolize the actions of Jesus in the Eucharist: take, thank, break and give! And indeed, chapter 6 of today’s gospel ends with a discourse on the Eucharist! (Jn 6: 51-58)

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” (Jn 6:54; CSB)

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the prophet Elisha fed one hundred men with twenty loaves! Jesus fed five thousand men with five loaves! Elisha prefigured Jesus Christ! Again, as in the feeding of the five thousand, there were leftovers! Indeed, God provides and He provides abundantly; not only was there enough to eat, but there were leftovers!

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that God provides not only for human beings, but God provides for all His creatures! Thus we read in the second stanza:

“The eyes of all creatures look to you and you give them their food in due time. You open wide your hand, grant the desires of all who live.” (Ps 144 (145): 15-16; SM)

And thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“You open wide your hand, O Lord, and grant our desires.” (Ps 144 (145): 16; SM)

The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but again, the second reading has something very important to tell us! The second reading tells us to live in unity. This is because of the “seven unities” (CSB), that is, we are united in one Body (church), one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all! That is why we have to live in unity! Become what we are!

Today in this Mass, we thank God the Father for his Son Jesus Christ and we ask God to give us His Holy Spirit, so that like his Son Jesus Christ we may thank Him for all things, we may share our resources with others and we may protect the environment. And so that like his Son Jesus Christ we may give our lives to others and live in unity. A happy and holy Sunday to all of you!

Amen!

19th July 2015 – 16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Theme: JESUS CHRIST THE GOOD SHEPHERD

  • Jeremiah 23:1-6;
  • Psalm 22. R/ v. 1;
  • Ephesians 2:13-18
  • Mark 6:30-34

Today is the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us about Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd!

The gospel today tells us that Jesus and the “apostles” went to a lonely place in order to rest and to eat, but the people followed them. More importantly, the gospel tells us that although Jesus was tired and hungry, he had pity on the people; for they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he went on to teach them at some length! (Faley; Gilhooley) Jesus is the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep! (Jn 10:11-18)

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading also tells us about the good shepherd! (CCB) But the first reading begins by telling us about the bad shepherds of Israel, that is, the bad kings of Israel. The bad shepherd-kings of Israel were unfaithful to God and were unjust to the people of God. As shepherds they did not pasture the sheep. They did not provide for the sheep, but they provided for themselves. They did not take care of the sheep. The sheep were scattered. As a result, God will punish the bad shepherd-kings of Israel.

But more importantly, the first reading tells us that God will bring back the remnants of Israel from the foreign countries where they were dispersed. And God will give them shepherds that will care for them and pasture them. The sheep will increase in numbers and none of them will be lost.

But most importantly, the first reading tells us that God will give them a good shepherd/king who will be a descendent of David! He will be called “Yahweh-is-our-Saving-Justice”. (Jr 23:6; NJB) Or “The Lord Our Salvation”. (Jr 23:6; GNB)

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us about the good shepherd. (NJB) The responsorial psalm tells us that the good shepherd is the Lord himself! And if the Lord himself is the good shepherd; we will not need or even want anything! Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” (Ps 22 (23):1; SM)

The responsorial psalm has four stanzas:

The first stanza tells us that the good shepherd will provide us with food and drink:

“Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit.” (vv. 2-3a; SM)

The second stanza tells us that the good shepherd will guide (staff) and protect (rod) us. (HCSB):

“He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.” (vv. 3b-4; SM)

The third stanza on the host of the “messianic banquet” (NJB) tells us that the good shepherd will provide us with spiritual food and drink in the Eucharist (Fuller):

“You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.” (v. 5; SM)

And the fourth stanza tells us that the Lord’s goodness and love (CSB; GNB) will follow us all the days of our lives and that we will praise God in his temple forever (Faley; Craghan):

“Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.” (v. 6; SM)!

The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but again, the second reading has something very important to tell us! The second reading tells us that both Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles) are united in Jesus Christ! The Law of Moses divided the Jews from the non-Jews with the Jews having the privileges and the non-Jews disadvantaged, but Jesus Christ through his death abolished the Law of Moses and replaced it with the Love of God the Father, thus uniting the Jews with the non-Jews and uniting both Jews and non-Jews with God the Father!

Even today the Law of Moses cannot unite the Jews with the non-Jews; only the Love of God in Jesus Christ can unite the Jews with the non-Jews! Even today the Law of Moses cannot unite the peoples of the world; only the Love of God in Jesus Christ can unite the peoples of the world and unite the peoples of the world with God!

 Today we thank God for his Son Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd, and we ask God to give us good shepherds in the persons of priests, religious, catechists, lay leaders, prayer leaders, community leaders, etc. We ask God to give us good shepherds that teach the word of God, that pastures the sheep, that provides material and spiritual food and drink for the sheep, that guides and protects the sheep, that unites the sheep, etc.! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you! Amen!

5th July 2015 – 14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Theme: JESUS THE PROPHET OF GOD

  • Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalm 122 (123). R/ v. 2;
  • 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
  • Luke 4:18 (Gospel Acclamation)
  • Mark 6:1-6

 

Today we celebrate the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that Jesus is the prophet of God. A prophet is one who speaks on behalf of God. He is the mouthpiece of God. He speaks the word of God. Jesus is the Word of God. He is the prophet of God par excellence!

The Gospel Acclamation today tells us that as the Prophet of God Jesus brings good news to the poor and proclaims liberty to the captives! St. Luke may have the economically and socially poor in mind, but in the context of today’s liturgy and readings, we may also include the spiritually poor and those held captives by sin!

More importantly, the gospel today tells us that we must have faith and believe in the good news in order to be saved!

The gospel today tells us that the people of Jesus’ home town did not believe in him. They saw him to be a carpenter. They knew his mother and brothers and sisters. (Brothers and sisters in Hebrew and Greek can also mean cousins, nephews, nieces, etc.; CSB; Faley) As a result Jesus could not work any miracles there. Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that whether the people listen or not, obey or disobey, the Lord will send them a prophet and the prophet will preach the word of God, whether the people listen or not, obey or disobey. Thus we read in verse 7:

“You are to deliver my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are a tribe of rebels.” (Ezk 2:7; NJB)

The first reading is in fact the call of the prophet Ezekiel. (NJBC) Ezekiel prefigures Jesus Christ, the prophet par excellence! Jesus Christ will preach the word of God in season and out of season; whether the people listen or not, Jesus will preach the word of God. He will preach the word of God until his death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world!      

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that the prophet depends and relies on God, especially in times of persecution. (Faley) The responsorial psalm is a prayer of reliance and dependence on God. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“Our eyes are on the Lord till he shows us his mercy.” (Ps 122 (123): 2; SM)

The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first and second stanzas are a prayer of reliance on God. The third stanza asks God to save the psalmist from the contempt of the proud. (CSB)

Incidentally, the second reading also tells us that Paul relies on God and depends on God’s grace, especially in times of weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and agonies! And by relying on God in times of weakness, Paul becomes strong in God! Thus we read in the second reading:

“So I shall be happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me, and that is why I am quite content with my weaknesses, and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and the agonies I go through for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.” (2 Co 12: 9b-10; SM)

Today in this Mass, we thank God for his Son Jesus Christ, the prophet of God par excellence! And we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit so that we may become his prophets as a Church and as individuals to proclaim the good news of salvation so that all may believe and be saved! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you!

Amen!

 

 

28th June 2015 – 13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Theme: THE LORD SAVES US FROM SIN AND DEATH 

  • Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24;
  • Psalm 29 (30): 2. 4-6. 11-13. R/ v. 2;
  • 2 Corinthians 8:7. 9. 13-15.
  • Mark 5: 21-24. 35-43. (Shorter Form)

Today we celebrate the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that the Lord saves us from sin and death! 

The first reading tells us that God created us in his own image to live an eternal life of love and happiness! But it was the devils envy that brought sin and death into the world!

Sin is not only breaking the law, or doing something bad, or doing something wrong, or doing something immoral or unethical; but sin is death! Thus Paul writes:

“For the wage paid by sin is death.” (Rm 6:23; NJB)

Thus we read in the first reading:

“Yet God did make man imperishable, he made him in the image of his own nature; it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world, as those who are his partners will discover.” (Ws 2: 23-24; SM)

 

But more importantly, the gospel today tells us that the Lord raises us from the dead! The gospel today tells us that the Lord raised the dead daughter of Jairus the synagogue official from the dead!

More importantly, the raising of Jairus daughter to life points to the death and resurrection of the Lord himself, and most importantly, to our own death and resurrection with the Lord in Baptism!

And most importantly, again, the new life of the resurrection is even better than the old life before sin! Thus we sing in the Easter Proclamation on Easter Vigil Night:

“O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer”! (SM)

Paul tells us that where sin increased, grace increased all the more! (Rm 5:20) The grace of Jesus Christ far outweighed our sins! The grace of Jesus Christ more than compensated for our sins! So much so that the new life of the resurrection is even better than the old life before sin! Again, the Easter Proclamation in the New Translation of The Roman Missal:

“O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!”

 

The responsorial psalm is a thanksgiving for salvation! (CSB) Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.” (Ps 29 (30): 2; SM)

The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza thanks God for salvation! (vv. 2 & 4; SM) The second stanza invites the whole community to thank God. (vv. 5-6; SM) The third stanza again thanks God for salvation! (vv. 11-13; SM)

 

The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but again, the second reading has something important to tell us! In the second reading Paul tells the Gentile Corinthian church to make a collection for the Jewish Jerusalem church. The collection is not only to help the mother church in Jerusalem economically, but the collection is also an expression of the unity of the church!

 

 

Today in this Mass, we thank God for creating us in his own image to live, to love and to be happy; more importantly, we also thank God for saving us from sin and death in his Son Jesus Christ; and most importantly, we ask God to continue to sanctify us in the Holy Spirit! We also ask God to continue to help us help the poor and the needy! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you!