13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – 30th June 2019

Theme: WE ARE TO LEAVE EVERYTHING TO FOLLOW JESUS

  • 1 Kings 19:16. 19-21;
  • Psalm 15:1-2. 5. 7-11. R/ cf. v. 5;
  • Galatians 5:1. 13-18
  • Luke 9:51-62 

Today is the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. The gospel today tells us that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, to suffer, to die, to rise from the dead, to ascend into heaven and to send down the Holy Spirit to save the word!

The gospel tells us that when Jesus and his disciples were rejected by a Samaritan village, James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven to burn them up, but Jesus rebuked them and told them that he “came not to destroy souls but to save them”! (NJB) Indeed, Jesus came to save souls, and not only the souls of the Jews, but also the souls of the Samaritans, the enemies of the Jews!

The gospel also tells us that we are to leave everything, including our families, in order to follow Jesus! That is why to the first man who wanted to follow him, Jesus told him that foxes have holes and birds of the air have nest, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head!

And to the second man who wanted to follow him, but wanted to bury his father first, Jesus told him to let the dead bury the dead, that is, to let the spiritually dead to bury the physically dead, and that his duty was to preach the good news of the kingdom!

And to the third man who wanted to follow him, but wanted to say good-bye to his family first, Jesus told him that anyone who puts his hand on the plough and looks back is not worthy of the kingdom of God!

Again, we are to leave everything, including our families, in order to follow Jesus!

Indeed the first reading tells us that the prophet Elisha left everything, including his family, in order to follow the prophet Elijah and to succeed him! Thus we read in the first reading:

“Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother, then I will follow you’ he said. …. Elisha turned away, took the pair of oxen and slaughtered them. He used the plough for cooking the oxen, then gave to his men, who ate. He then rose, and followed Elijah and became his servant.” (1 K 19:20-21; SM) 

The responsorial psalm tells us that God is the supreme good! (CSB) In fact Jesus tells us that God is the only good! (Mk 10:18) That is why we leave everything, including our families, in order to follow him!

The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first stanza (vv. 1-2. 5; SM) tells us that the psalmist prefers the God of Israel to all the false gods! Thus the response which is taken from the first stanza:

“O Lord, it is you who are my portion.” (Ps 15:5; SM)

That is, O Lord, it is you who are my portion, my heritage, my inheritance!

The second, third, and fourth stanzas (vv. 7-11) tell us of the wise and life-giving presence of God, that is, God and God alone gives wisdom and life. That is why he is the supreme good and the only good! And that is why we give up everything, including our families, in order to follow him!

The second reading tells us that besides loving and serving God, we must also love and serve our neighbor! In fact we cannot love and serve God without also loving and serving our neighbor! Thus we read in the second reading:

“Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarized in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Ga 5: 13-14; SM) 

Today we thank God for his Son Jesus Christ, who suffered, died, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world. And we ask God to help us to leave everything, including our families, in order to follow Jesus to love and serve God and to love and serve our neighbor!

Indeed, this is the meaning of life, this is the secret to happiness, and this is what God created us for, that is, to know him, to love him, to serve him and to be happy with him forever; and to know our neighbor, to love our neighbor, to serve our neighbor, and to be happy with our neighbor forever!

A blessed Sunday to all of you!  Amen!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A) – 30th July 2017

Theme: SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS SALVATION AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS WILL BE GIVEN TO US AS WELL

  • 1 Kings 3:5. 7-12;
  • Psalm 118:57. 72. 76-77. 127-130. R/ v. 97;
  • Romans 8:28-30
  • Matthew 13:44-52 (Shorter Form, 13:44-46)

Today is the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year A. The readings today tell us to seek first the kingdom of God/heaven and his righteousness/salvation and all the other things will be given to us as well!
The gospel today tells us that the kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field which someone has found, he buries it again, goes off happy and sells all that he owns and buys the field! The gospel also tells us that the kingdom of God is like a merchant looking for fine pearls and when he finds one of great value, he sells all that he owns and he buys the pearl!
The gospel today tells us to sell all that we own and buy the kingdom of God! The gospel today tells us to sell all our houses, cars, business, property, land, etc. in order to buy the kingdom of God! In other words the gospel today tells us to seek first the kingdom of God/heaven and his righteousness/salvation (CSB) and all the other things will be given to us as well! (Mt 6:33)
The pagans seek first the kingdom of the world and its damnation and all they get is sin and death! The pagans seek wealth, power and fame, that is, the three temptations of the Devil (Mt 4:1-11) and all they get is sin and death!
We Christians seek first the kingdom of heaven/God and his righteousness/salvation and all the other things will be given to us as well! We seek first the love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation of God! We seek first the love, joy and peace of God and all the other things, including wealth, power and fame will be given to us as well!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that Solomon asked God for wisdom to discern between good and evil so that he can govern God’s people! Solomon did not ask for wealth and long life!
More importantly, the first reading tells us that God was happy with the request of Solomon and God granted Solomon wisdom and more than that, God also gave Solomon riches and long life which Solomon did not ask for! (1Kgs 3:13-14)
Again, seek first the kingdom of God and his salvation and all the other things will be given to us as well!

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us to look for God’s law and love and not to look for silver and gold! That is why we responded four times:
“Lord how I love your law!” (Ps 118:97; SM)
The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first stanza tells us to look for God’s law and not to look for silver and gold:
“My part, I have resolved, O Lord, is to obey your word. The law from your mouth means more to me than silver and gold.” (Ps 118:57. 72; SM)

The second stanza tells us that the law of God gives us love:
“Let your love be ready to console me, by your promise to your servant. Let your love come to me and I shall live, for your law is my delight.” (Ps 118:76-77; SM)

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 tells us that everything works for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose! Everything, good as well as evil, because God can draw good out of evil! That is what Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 50:20:
“The evil you planned to do me has by God’s design been turned to good, to bring about the present result: the survival of a numerous people.” (NJB)
Joseph prefigures Jesus Christ in the New Testament! The Jewish leaders put Jesus Christ to death on the cross, but God raised him from the dead and through him gave the Holy Spirit and saved the whole world! And according to Saint Paul even the Jews who put Jesus Christ to death on the cross will also be saved at the end of the world! (Romans, Chapter 11)

Today, we thank God our Father for his Son Jesus Christ who established his kingdom here on earth, and we ask God our Father to give us the Holy Spirit, so that we will seek first the kingdom of God and his salvation, and all the other things will be given to us as well! Amen!

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) – 9th July 2017

Theme: ADAM SINNED BECAUSE OF PRIDE; JESUS THE NEW ADAM SAVED THE WORLD BECAUSE OF HUMILITY 

  • Zechariah 9:9-10;
  • Psalm 144:1-2. 8-11. 13-14. R/ v. 1;
  • Romans 8:9. 11-13
  • Matthew 11:25-30

Today is the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year A. The readings today tell us about humility! Humility is the greatest virtue, because pride is the greatest sin! Adam sinned because of pride, but Jesus the New Adam saved the world because of humility! Thus we read in Philippians 2:6-8:

“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (CSB)

That is why when Saint Augustine was asked, as to which are the three greatest virtues, he answered, “humility, humility, humility”! And that is why Saint Teresa of Avila tells us that humility must be busy like a bee, it must never stop working! If humility stops, all the other virtues also stop, including the virtue of love! Thus the three theological virtues are named in this order, “faith, hope and love”! The humility of faith must come first!

The gospel today tells us that God our Father reveals the “mysteries of the kingdom” (Gospel Acclamation), not to the learned and clever; but to mere children!

The gospel also tells us that God our Father has entrusted everything to his Son, Jesus, and no one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him!

Finally, the gospel tells us that if we labor and are overburdened we must come to Jesus and Jesus will give us rest. We must shoulder the yoke of Jesus and learn from Jesus for he is gentle and humble of heart and we will find rest for our souls. Yes, the yoke of Jesus is easy and his burden light!

The gospel today tells us that we have to be like little children, we have to be like Jesus, the child and Son of God! We have to be humble! We have to depend on God our Father, we have to put our faith in God our Father and our yoke will become easy and our burden light, including the yoke and burden of the cross of love and service!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us about Jesus the humble King of kings! The first reading tells us that Jesus the humble King of kings will come to us humble and riding on a donkey, but he will be victorious and triumphant over all the other kings who ride on horses and chariots and fight wars; because he will bring peace to the whole world! His kingdom will reach from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth! Thus we read in the first reading:

    “See now, your king comes to you; he is victorious, he is triumphant, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will banish chariots from Ephraim and horses from Jerusalem; the bow of war will be banished. He will proclaim peace for the nations. His empire shall stretch from sea to sea, from the River to the ends of the earth.” (Zc 9:9b-10; SM) 

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm gives praise to Jesus our Divine King! Thus we respond:

“I will bless your name for ever, O God my King.” (Ps 144:1; SM)

The responsorial psalm also tells us about Jesus our Divine King in stanzas two and four. Thus we read:

“The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love. How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures”. (Ps 144:8-9; SM)

“The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. The Lord supports all who fall and raises all who are bowed down.” (Ps 144:13-14; SM) 

The second reading tells us that we must be interested in spiritual things because the Spirit of God is in us. The second reading also tells us that the Spirit in us will give life to our mortal bodies. Finally, the second reading tells us that with the help of the Spirit we must therefore stop sinning and live!

But how do we receive the Holy Spirit? Again, we receive the Holy Spirit by becoming humble, by becoming like little children, by becoming like Jesus the child and Son of God, by becoming dependent on God our Father, by putting our faith in God our Father; and our yoke will become easy and our burden light, even the yoke and burden of the cross of love and service, suffering and sacrifice, sanctification and salvation will become easy and light! Amen!

12th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A) – 25th June 2017

Theme: PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST’S GRACE AND LIFE 

  • Jeremiah 20:10-13
  • Psalm 68:8-10. 14. 17. 33-35. R. v. 14.
  • Romans 5:12-15
  • Matthew 10:26-33

Today is the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time and the readings today (1st reading, psalm, and gospel) tell us 3 things: (i) Proclaim the Good News. (ii) Proclaim the Good News even in times of suffering and persecution. (iii) When we proclaim the good news even in times of suffering and persecution the Lord will be with us!

But first let us look at the good news itself! The second reading from the letter to the Romans tells us the good news that “Adam prefigured the One to come, but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift”! (Rm 5:15)

The caption of the second reading today tells us “The gift considerably outweighed the fall”! The grace was more abundant than the sin, so much so that we may say that the life that Jesus Christ gives is even better than the life before the fall, so much so that we may say that God loves us even more after the fall!

Yes, God loved us and created us out of nothing, but when Adam sinned, God loved us even more by sending us his Son Jesus Christ, the New Adam, the Second Adam, to save us, and today this salvation continues in the sanctification of the Holy Spirit!

We live in the faith and hope that the world is getting better and better because God continues to love us more and more in spite of our sins if not because of our sins!

To appreciate the second reading better, we have to read the second section of Romans Chapter Five (Rm 5:12-21), especially verses 20 and 21: “But however much sin increased, grace was always greater; so that as sin’s reign brought death, so grace was to rule through saving justice that leads to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”! (NJB)

As I have said earlier, the readings today tell us 3 things, namely, that we have to proclaim the good news, we have to proclaim the good news even in times of suffering and persecution, and when we proclaim the good news even in times of suffering and persecution, the Lord will be with us!

The first reading from the prophet Jeremiah tells us that Jeremiah was persecuted because he prophesied the Word of God! Jeremiah was a prophet in Judah between the 7th and 6th century BC (Before Christ). In today’s second reading he was persecuted because he prophesied the fall of Jerusalem!

But more importantly, the second reading tells us in Jeremiah’s own words “But the Lord is at my side, a mighty hero; …. Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has delivered the soul of the needy from the hands of evil men”! (Jr 20:11&13)

Again, the responsorial psalm echoes the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us of an innocent man who is being persecuted for his commitment to the Lord, but more importantly, the responsorial psalm tells us that the Lord listens to his prayer for help!

The first stanza of the responsorial psalm tells us that the innocent man is being persecuted because he was committed to the cause of the Lord. The second stanza tells us that the innocent man prays to the Lord for help! Thus the response of the responsorial psalm: “In your great love, answer me, O God”! (Ps 68:14)  The third stanza tells us that the Lord listens to his prayer for help: “For the Lord listens to the needy and does not spurn his servants in their chains”! (Ps 68:34)

Again, the gospel tells us to proclaim the good news: “What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the house-tops”! (Mt 10:27) And to proclaim it even in times of suffering and persecution and the Lord will be with us: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; …. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows”! (Mt 10:28-31)

Today in this Mass let us pray for the Holy Spirit so that we may proclaim the good news, and proclaim it even in times of suffering and persecution, and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ’s grace and life which is more abundant than the sin and death of Adam!

 

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) – 26th February 2017

Theme: SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS SALVATION AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS WILL BE GIVEN TO US AS WELL

  • Isaiah 49:14-15;
  • Psalm 61:2-3. 6-9. R/ v. 6;
  • 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
  • Matthew 6:24-34

1. Today is the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year A. The gospel today tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the other things will be given to us as well! That is, to seek first the kingdom of God and his love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation and all the other things will be given to us as well! (CSB)
The gospel today also tells us that we cannot be the slave of two masters; we will either hate the first and love the second or we will treat the first with respect and the second with scorn; we cannot serve both God and money. We must serve God alone and we must not serve money; and God will provide us with food and drink and clothing and money!
That is why our religious priests, brothers and sisters take the vow of poverty; not because poverty is good, not even because to identify with the poor to work for social justice, but because to trust in God, to trust in his providence, to trust that God will provide!
We who are not religious, who do not take the vow of poverty, should also practice voluntary poverty, that is, to trust in God, to trust in providence, to trust that God will provide!
Again, seek first the kingdom of God and his love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation and all the other things will be given to us as well!
2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that a mother will not forget her baby at her breast or forget the son of her womb. In the same way God will not forget us!

More importantly, the first reading tells us that even if a mother forgets her baby at her breast and forgets the son of her womb, God will not forget us! That is, God loves us with an “everlasting love”, not with a human love! (NJB)
That is why we trust in him, trust in his providence, trust that he will provide!
Again, seek first the kingdom of God and his salvation and all the other things will be given to us as well!
3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm is a “Song of Trust in God Alone”! (HCSB; CSB) That is why we responded three times:
“In God alone is my soul at rest.” (Ps 61:6; SM)
The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. All three stanzas are an expression of trust in God by the psalmist! The last verse of the third stanza instructs the community to also trust in God! (HCSB) Thus we read in the responsorial psalm:
“In God alone is my soul at rest; my help comes from him. He alone is my rock, my stronghold, my fortress: I stand firm.
In God is my safety and glory, the rock of my strength. Take refuge in God all you people. Trust him at all times. Pour out your hearts before him.” (Ps 61:2-3. 6-9; SM)
4. The second reading is a continuation of the second reading of last Sunday. In the second reading of last Sunday (1 Co 3:16-23; SM) Paul tells the Corinthians that he is their servant to serve them. (NJB) In the second reading of this Sunday Paul tells the Corinthians that although he is their servant, they are not his judge. They are not to judge his worthiness in the ministry. Only God and Christ can judge him at the Parousia, that is, at the second coming of Christ. (CSB)
So, do not judge your priests and bishop, but support them and pray for them!
5. Today we thank God for the gift of his creation and especially for the gift of his salvation and we ask God to help us to seek first his kingdom and his salvation and all the other things will be given to us as well! God bless you! Amen!

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) – 19th February 2017

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

1. 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)

2. 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)

3. 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)

4. 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)
5. 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!