Theme: Food and eternity

After toiling long hours, in a brutal climate, on rough terrain, with only the simplest implements, Israelites considered themselves fortunate to be able to provide a simple meal for their families; only to begin the whole laborious process all over again the next day. Thus the idea of a lavish free banquet at which every hunger could be treated was equivalent to paradise.

Read more: 28th Sunday in ordinary time ‘year A’

Theme: Believe and be responsible

The ability to change one’s mind is a necessary aspect of Christian living. It is my responsibility as a believer to have my attitude aligned to the mind of God. This attitude is revealed throughout the Bible. The process of changing one’s mind results in a life-changing experience called conversion that is so deep to be termed a metanoia in Greek and shubh in Hebrew which means an about turn, seemlier to change of direction.

Read more: 26th Sunday of ordinary time year ‘A’

Theme: As you forgive you will be forgiven

Like any good educator, Joshua ben Sira was a great motivator. Scholars believe that this second century 180 B.C sage had an academy in Jerusalem where he instructed young people from wealthy families. The book attributed to him called Sirach/Ecclesiasticus defies any attempt at an orderly outline because it is actually a compilation of class notes accumulated over years of teaching. Sirach’s topics vary from practical advice regarding table etiquette to more serious instructions concerning prayer, faith and caring for the poor. The basis of all of his teaching was a concern to preserve the traditions and heritage of Judaism against the influences of foreign cultures. His efforts became beneficial for his fellow Jews when his grandson translated his work into Greek 130 B.C in order to make its wisdom accessible to Greek- speaking Jews in the Diaspora.

Read more: 24th Sunday ordinary time year A

Theme: God’s Justice

The major theme running through the Bible is ‘justice’. God is wholly just and we are invited to be instruments of justice. Yet the question is; what do we mean by justice? Some straight answers to these questions can be found in today’s liturgy. To comprehend God’s justice we are called to do some adjustments in our normal ways of thinking. When we cool down and start to trust in the grace of God, we shall realize that He is very near to us than we can imagine. What we have to take caution about is the acceptance that God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are far beyond ours. In the words of the ancient psalmists, we have reason to celebrate because: “the Lord is gracious and merciful; the Lord is near to all who call... the Lord never treats us as our guilt and our sins deserve... so great is his love” Psalms. 145. Indeed, it is true that God is not fair because God is love!

Read more: 25th Sunday ordinary time year ‘A’

Theme: Only true love matters

Once in a while, the gloomy reporting of the world’s violence and hatred is pierced by an account of selfless courage and sacrifice. One such account featured the heroism of St. Maximilian Kolbe. He was a priest prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp between 1939 and 1945 when the Jews were being executed by Hitler. Fr. Kolbe surprised his executioners when he spontaneously offered himself to replace a randomly chosen prisoner who was to be killed in place of a prisoner who had escaped. This priest of courage, without hesitation, jumped into the line and asked to substitute one victim because he had family to take care of even if it meant a few days.

Read more: 23rd Sunday ordinary time year A

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