Oct 17-22 weekday homilies

Click on http://frtonyshomilies.com for missed homilies

Oct 17 Monday: (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop, Martyr) For a short biography, click here:https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-ignatius-of-antioch ) Jn 12: 24-26: 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.

The context: Jesus tells us a short parable followed by two amazing paradoxes. The parable is that of a grain of wheat sown into the muddy field, growing up and yielding a good crop. The parable followed by the paradoxes teaches us three lessons for Christian life. The first lesson is that life comes only through death. Only when the grain of wheat dies in the muddy soil of the field does it become a seedling. In the same way, the Church would grow up and flourish in the death of its martyrs: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” When we die to our personal ambitions and desires, we are born as useful instruments in the hands of God. The second lesson is that only by spending life we can retain it. The world owes a lot to saintly people like St. Don Bosco, St. Vincent De Paul, St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), St. Jeanne Jugan, and St. Damien of Molokai, among others, who spent their energy in service of the poor and the down-trodden and gave themselves to God. The third lesson is that greatness comes through selfless and committed service. This explains why the world still honors and cherishes the memory of great souls mentioned above.

Life message: Let us surrender our lives to God in the service of others with agápe love in all humility, seeing the face of Jesus in each of them. (https://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/22

Additional reflections: Click on https://bible.usccb.org/podcasts/video; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/; https://www.epriest.com/reflections.

Oct 18 Tuesday: (St. Luke, Evangelist): For a short biography, click here:(https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-luke) Lk 10: 1-9: 1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 heal the sick in it and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Resume: St. Luke was a Syrian by race, born in Antioch as a Gentile. He became a Christian and follower of St. Paul. He had a Greek background and education. He knew Greek, spoke Aramaic in Antioch and became a scholar in Hebrew. He was a physician by profession (Col 4:14), and was considered an artist, probably from his graphic descriptions of the nativity scenes with shepherds and magi, from the parable of the lost sheep and from a sixth century copy of the portrait of Mary (kept at Maria Maggiore church in Rome), the original of which was believed to have been drawn by Luke.

A prolific writer: Luke could read and understand the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament and the Hebrew originals. He is the only non-Jewish Evangelist. He wrote the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, between 70 and 85 AD. They were originally one book, and, when taken together, are longer than the fourteen epistles of St. Paul. Luke is represented in art by an ox or calf, for he saw Jesus as a sacrifice for all mankind and began his Gospel describing Zechariah and the Temple worship. It is believed that Luke wrote the Gospel when he was 74 and died at Boeotia when he was 84 years old. Luke presents Jesus as giving importance and recognition to women and Gentiles. Contacts: Luke had close contacts with Mary and all the Apostles, and he would have been able to interview all of them to collect details for his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. He was a constant companion and doctor of St. Paul during Paul’s Jerusalem and Malta mission trips and during Paul’s imprisonment at Caesarea and Rome. Probably he was with Paul till Paul’s martyrdom.

Life messages: 1) We are to be apostles of prayer: Luke presents Jesus as a man of prayer spending much of his time in listening to God his Father to learn His will and in talking to Him in solitude. 2) We are to be merciful and compassionate, becoming the voice of the voiceless: Luke describes Jesus, siding with the poor and marginalized in the society (option for the poor) and trying to give a special status to women and Gentiles. (Fr. Tony) L/22

For additional reflections, Click on : https://bible.usccb.org/podcasts/video; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/; https://www.epriest.com/reflections

Oct 19 Wednesday: (Saints John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests and companions,(U. S. A.) Martyrs) For a short biography, click here:(https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saints-isaac-jogues-jean-de-brebeuf-and-companions) Lk 12: 39-48: 39 But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour.” 41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating…..48

The context: Today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel is the second of three eschatological discourses in the Gospel. After Jesus’ exhortation to vigilance, Peter asks a question (v. 41). Responding to Peter, Jesus tells the second “Master – Servant” parable and the parable of the treasure and the thief. These stories emphasize the necessity for Faith and vigilant preparedness in the lives of Christ’s followers. Jesus wants his disciples to be ready to do God’s will at every moment, rendering humble and sacrificial service to others.

The interpretation: In the parable, the chief characters are a master (representing the risen Jesus), and his servants (Jesus’ followers). Jesus’ words in this passage, understood in the narrower sense, refer to the Second Coming of Jesus. Taken in a broader sense, they refer to the time of our own death, when God will call us to meet Him and to give Him an account of our life on earth. In the first part of today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us what our real treasure should be and how we are to keep it safe. That treasure is our relationship with him (the state of sanctifying grace), which the Lord offers us in his promise of eternal life. But this treasure can be stolen by the devil or lost by our lack of vigilance in the midst of temptations. Jesus warns that we should be vigilant, like dutiful servants. What Jesus teaches us through this comparison is that our relationship with God the Father and Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit must constantly be strengthened and deepened by our prayers, our Sacramental life, and the reading of Holy Scripture. It is God Who dailygives us the grace and strength to remain faithful, and He will reward our faithfulness.

Life message: 1) We need to remain vigilant and ready to face the Lord, mainly through prayer (listening and talking to Him). Daily prayer will help us to wait for the Lord in our daily lives 2) Prayer will also give us the Heavenly strength to serve Jesus whenever and in whatever form he appears. What we frequently rediscover as we serve, love and help other people is that God comes to us through them (Fr. Tony) (https://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/22

For additional reflections, Click on :: https://bible.usccb.org/podcasts/video; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/; https://www.epriest.com/reflections

Oct 20 Thursday: (St. Paul of the Cross, Priest (U. S. A.) For a short biography, click here:((https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-paul-of-the-cross) : Luke 12: 49-53: 49“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!50* There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?v No, I tell you, but rather division.w52From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

In today’s gospel we have some apparently strange statements by Jesus: 1) I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing. In Jewish thought fire is almost always the symbol of judgment. So, then, Jesus regarded the coming of his kingdom as a time of judgment. Besides, Jesus asserts that his word burns things up, reduces things to cinders, and clears things out so that new things can grow. The Gospel is the Fire that gives both light and heat, warms the hearts of God’s people, and causes them to burn within them. By teaching the Gospel in the power of the Spirit Jesus cleanses the minds and hearts of those who believe in Him. “Baptism” and “fire” were used together when John declares that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (3:16b). 2) .” There is a baptism with which I must be baptized.” The Greek verb baptizein (GSN0907) means to dip. In the passive it means to be submerged. Often it is used metaphorically. For instance, it is used of a ship sunk beneath the waves. That is the way in which Jesus uses it here, meaning that he must have a terrible experience through which he must pass; and his life is full of tension until he passes through it and emerge triumphantly from it. The cross is ever before his eyes as is his death to give a ransom for many. 3) Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?v No, I tell you, but rather division. How can it be? Jesus is the prince of peace. The multitude of Heavenly hosts sang on the night of his birth, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Lk 2:14). The Prophet Isaiah (Is 9:5) referred to the Messiah as the “Prince of Peace. But Jesus’ coming would inevitably mean division; in point of fact it did. That was one of the great reasons why the Romans hated Christianity–it tore families in two: those who accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and others who hated Jesus and his teachings. The essence of Christianity is that loyalty to Christ has to take precedence over the dearest loyalties of this earth and it caused division in families.

Life messages: 1) We need to have the courage of our Christian convictions in what we believe based on the word of God in the Holy Bible as taught by the Church Jesus founded, and in what what we practice.(https://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/22

For additional reflections, Click on : https://bible.usccb.org/podcasts/video; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/; https://www.epriest.com/reflections

Oct 21 Friday: Luke 12: 54-59: 54 Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, west, you say at once, `A shower is coming’; and so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? 57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.”

The context: Some of Jesus’ Jewish listeners, particularly among the leadership, lacked the necessary good will and upright intention to listen and believe. Hence, they just closed their eyes to the light of the Gospel preached by Jesus. They knew the signs of the Messiah’s coming as announced by the prophets. In fact, they had heard Jesus’ preaching and witnessed his miracles. But their pride and prejudice prevented them from arriving at the logical conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah. Hence, in today’s Gospel, using a vivid illustration from first century Palestinian weather forecasting, Jesus points out the urgency of getting right with God before it is too late.

Palestinian farmers and fishermen studied the sky, observing the color and shape of the clouds, the direction and strength of the wind, and so on, to forecast the weather. The wind from the west came from the Mediterranean Sea and so brought rain. The south wind blew in from the desert and so brought hot weather. The “signs of the times” are the earliest appearances of events. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that God is in all things, “by essence, presence, and power” and that God providentially cares for every aspect of His creation. Therefore, we should expect to see signs of His presence and activity in nature, in history, and in human affairs. So, Jesus challenges his hearers to read the signs of the Messianic time in his preaching and healing ministry, and then to act accordingly. It is urgent that we get reconciled with God while His grace, love and mercy are available for complete transformation. Next, Jesus asks them to judge for themselves what is right, urging them to solve issues here and now by getting reconciled also with their fellow men every day, instead of incurring God’s punishment at the end of our lives.

Life messages: 1) It is time for us to read the clear signs of God’s call for repentance and renewal of life coming through Jesus and to respond by a change of heart and behavior. 2) In the same way, forgiveness and reconciliation should be a high priority for us. There should be no place in our lives for vindictive litigations in this litigation-crazy period, because each of us stands in constant need of God’s help, mercy and forgiveness. (Fr. (Fr. Tony) (https://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/22

For additional reflections, Click on : https://bible.usccb.org/podcasts/video; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/; https://www.epriest.com/reflections

Oct 22: Saturday: (St. John Paul, II, Pope) For a short biography, click here:(https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-john-paul-ii) Lk 13: 1-9: 1 There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? 3 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” 6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, `Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, `Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. 9 And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

The context: Today’s Gospel passage explains how God, our merciful and compassionate Father, disciplines His children, giving them painful experiences in life so that they may repent of their sins, renew their lives and produce the fruits of love, mercy, forgiveness, and service. Citing two tragic events, Jesus exhorts the Jews of his time to repent and reform their lives. Repentance is turning from sin to God. With the parable of the barren fig tree, he also warns them that the merciful God will not put up with them indefinitely. Although God patiently waits for sinners to repent, giving them grace to do so, He will not wait forever. Time will run out; therefore, timely repentance is necessary.

The teaching: Jesus uses two local tragedies to teach us about our need for repentance and a renewal of life. On one occasion, Pilate killed many Galilean Jews who had protested when he appropriated money from the Temple treasury to build an aqueduct in Jerusalem in order to obtain a better water supply for the pilgrims. Jesus then connects his warning to another episode, namely, what appears to have been an accident, related to renovation work on the control tower of the water supply scheme at Siloam, in which eighteen people died. The Jews interpreted this tragedy as God’s punishment of the workers who were co-operating with Pilate in his sacrilegious aqueduct project. Jesus denies that the Galileans suffered because of their sins but calls his listeners to repent lest they suffer for theirs. In fact, he presents both these incidents as timely reminders of the need for all to repent. He says, “… unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Life Messages: 1) We need to live lives of repentance, because (a) we never know when we will meet a tragedy of our own; (b) repentance helps us in life and in death. Repentance helps us to live with peace of mind as forgiven people and helps us to face death without fear. 2) Scripture says repentance results in forgiveness, renewal, and redirection, whereas failure to repent results in a guilty conscience which destroys our peace of mind and thus punishes us with a miserable life. (Fr. Tony) (https://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/22

For additional reflections, Click on : https://bible.usccb.org/podcasts/video; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/; https://www.epriest.com/reflections