19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) – 7th August 2016

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

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

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

The gospel today tells us that Jesus will come a second time, but we do not know when. 

That is why we must always be ready for his Second Coming! Thus the “Gospel Acclamation” today: 

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

And thus the gospel today ends: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Incidentally, the second reading also follows the theme of the Sunday. The second reading tells us that we have to hold on to our faith until the end of our lives and until the end of the world, even and especially in the face of persecutions and the Lord will save us! 

The second reading was addressed to the Jewish Christians who were persecuted and who were losing their faith! (NJB; CCB) 

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

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

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

Coming of Jesus Christ by prayer, by doing the will of God and by detaching ourselves from the world! God bless you!

30 November 2014 – 1st Sunday of Advent

Theme: ADVENT IS A TIME TO PRAY FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD AT CHRISTMAS

  • Isaiah 63:16-17; 64:1. 3-8
  • Psalm 79:2-3. 15-16. 18-19. R. v. 4
  • 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
  • Mark 13:33-37

 

 1. Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. The word Advent means “coming” — the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas! Jesus Christ came the first time 2000 years ago and Jesus Christ will come a second time at the end of the world! Jesus Christ came the first time to give us his Holy Spirit, his grace, his love, joy and peace, and when his love, joy and peace become complete and perfect in us, Jesus Christ will come a second time to take us to heaven with him! But in the meantime, Jesus Christ will not abandon us to ourselves for two thousand years and perhaps for another two thousand years! We celebrate Christmas every year because every year, every month and everyday Jesus Christ continues to come and strengthen us in the Holy Spirit that he has given us in his first coming! Every year beginning with Christmas — every month and every day Jesus

Christ continues to help us grow in his grace, in his love, in his joy, in his peace and in his mercy until the end of time when his grace, love, peace and joy become complete and perfect in us and he will come a second time to take us all to heaven with him!

This is the good news and it makes a lot of sense! It is very meaningful even to the young. Young people do not like abstract ideas, nor are they fearful of the end of the world, nor are ethics and morals appealing to them! They want meaning, inspiration and something real! They want something that can help them make sense of life and give them a vision and a mission in life! In other words young people are very very good people! They are even better than old people! The law of Evolution?

 

2. The gospel today tells us to “stay awake”! To stay awake to pray! There are certain communities in our Sacred Heart Cathedral who take this gospel literally! Every day of Advent until Christmas they will wake up very early in the morning to pray! And even before the sun rises, and even before the priest wakes up for the 6 am mass, they will already be in church watching and praying! In this first week of Advent they will also wake up at 2 am or 3 am in the morning to pray! I am not asking you do it because I myself am not dong it!

 

3. The first reading tells us to pray for the coming of the Lord! In the first reading the prophet Isaiah prays for the coming of the Lord. There is urgency and immediacy in his prayer: ‘Tear open the heavens and come down Lord! Why let your servants go astray! Return to us Lord here and now! Yes, we have sinned and you were angry with us. We have been unclean. Like dead leaves we are blown away. But Lord, you are our Father. We are clay in your hands. You are the potter who can shape us and reshape us!

This text of Isaiah was written in the 6th century B.C. when the Israelites returned from exile from Babylon. The temple was still in ruins and everything was still in a mess and the people were still committing sin and suffering and dying!

 

The Church has chosen this reading today to tell us to pray with the same urgency and immediacy as Isaiah! To begin with, some people think that only holy people pray or that we pray because we are holy. This is not true! The truth is that we pray because we are miserable, suffering and dying because of our sins! That is why there is an urgency and immediacy in our prayers! We cannot wait another two thousand years for the second coming of Jesus Christ! We are unhappy, we cannot love, we cannot forgive, we cannot even accept ourselves, we are suffering, and we cannot wait for another two thousand years! Jesus Christ has to come here and now this Christmas!

 

4. The responsorial psalm takes up this same theme of prayer and again there is urgency and immediacy in the psalm: ‘Oh Lord, come to our help. Let your face shine upon us and we shall be saved. Look down from heaven and see us. Visit this vine (Israel like the vine needs care and protection) of yours. Put your hand on the man (the king who represents the people) you have chosen’.

 

5. In the second reading today, from the first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul thanks God our Father for giving us his graces and his Spirit through his Son Jesus Christ as we wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ! His graces and his Spirit will protect us, make us strong and help us grow in his graces and in his Spirit until the end of time and the second coming of Jesus Christ, when we will be taken to heaven with him!

This is what I said at the beginning, i.e. Jesus Christ will not abandon us to ourselves after his first coming, but will continue to grace us and help us grow in his Spirit until the end of time when we will be perfected and completed in him and we will be taken up into heaven with him! This is the good news!

 

6. That is why during these four weeks of Advent as we prepare for Christmas, the Church asks us to pray, to go for confession, to attend Sunday and daily masses, to do penance, to do good works, to practice charity, and to be Santa Claus to the poor, the children, the aged, the weak, the sick, the handicapped, etc., so that when Jesus Christ comes at Christmas we may be able to welcome him and receive his Spirit, his grace, his love, his peace and his joy, and so that we may grow in him until the end of time when we will be taken up into heaven with him!

In this mass let us thank the Father for giving us his Son Jesus Christ and let us ask the Father to help us in this time of Advent to prepare ourselves for the coming of his Son Jesus Christ at Christmas! A happy Advent to all of you! Amen!