January 28, 2017

4th Sunday - A (January 29, 2017)


Beatitudes = Jesus’ Qualities

“[Jesus’] disciples came to him.  He began to teach them, saying …”

By this introduction, Matthew seems to indicate, “If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, these are the qualifications….”

Moreover, Jesus does not simply teach by words.  This is truly the list of his own qualities, what he lives by.

By teaching them to the disciples, Jesus offers his own qualities to be the qualities or guidelines for those who are his followers (disciples).

If I want to be his follower, these are the qualities I must strive for.   

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January 21, 2017

3rd Sunday - A (January 22, 2017)


Single Purpose

Matthew introduces the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee pointing out that Jesus is fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy.  In other words, by preaching in “Galilee of the Gentiles,” Jesus is fulfilling God’s plan of salvation for all people.

Jesus’ life has a single purpose – doing the Father’s will.  His ministry in Galilee is the beginning of this mission [1].  And everything he does serves that purpose.

When he called the first disciples, they followed him “at once” (in the case of Simon and Andrew) or “immediately” (in the case of James and John).  In fact, it is the same adverb in the Greek text.

Was it because they felt drawn by Jesus who was so clear about the mission of his life?  And they became a part of that mission. 

That attitude was the desire the Apostle Paul wanted for the Christian community of Corinth, “that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose” (2nd Reading). 

All of us should desire for that same attitude – living life with a single purpose – being the instruments of God’s salvation to all people.  

[1]  The translation reads “withdrew.”  It does not mean Jesus retreated or ran away in face of danger when he learned that John had been arrested.  It simply means he “returned” to Galilee. (Rev. John Petty, http://www.progressiveinvolvement.com)

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January 15, 2017

2nd Sunday - A (January 15, 2017)


Jesus 101 – Christians 101

The Scripture readings for this Sunday give us at least 5 titles or identities of Jesus.

As you read, try substituting your name for Jesus in each of the five sentences.

From the Gospel:
1.    At the baptism at the Jordan, Jesus is identified as “the Son of God.”
2.    Jesus is the Anointed One (meaning, the Christ).
3.    The Holy Spirit is with Jesus. (“The Holy Spirit comes down and remains with him.”)

From the Second Reading:
4.    Jesus is holy.

From the First Reading:
5.    Jesus is the light, through whom God shows God’s glory to the nations.

What is true about Jesus is true about us.
With Baptism, all of us Christians have been baptized into Christ, and become members of Christ’s Body.

Then, let us reflect or ask ourselves, “How am I living these identities?”

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January 7, 2017

Epiphany of the Lord


Matthew 2:1-12


The magi ask and receive guidance on their search for the Divine Child.

Some of those who help them are religious people, such as the chief priests and the scribes.

But not all.  Herod definitely is not.

God indeed works through all kinds of people and events, in this case the appearance of the star, to guide us to our Savior.   

We simply need to ask and be open.  

Image source:  www.agnusday.org