Daily Archives: June 28, 2008

Saturday, 28 June – How Would You Like to Find Out the Truth?

28 June – Memorial of St Ireneaus, bishop and martyr

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Acts 3:1-10

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Galatians 1:11-20

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John 21:15-19

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Feed my sheep.

When we attend Mass at our parish every weekend, we noticed that it is usually not the same priest who preaches the homily. There is usually a roster for most parishes (unless it is a very small parish), where parishioners will get to hear homilies from different priests who often preach in very different styles. Most of us have a preference for a certain style. Perhaps we like priests who are entertaining and tell lots of stories. Perhaps we like priests who go deep into Scripture and expounds on the meaning behind it. Some of us, because of circumstances, like priests to remind us of what a wonderful God we have. Others, again because of circumstances, like priests to challenge us spiritually.

In today’s first and second readings, we see two very different styles of two of the pillars of the Catholic Church – Peter and Paul. In the first reading, Peter offers no lengthy explanation, but simply heals the crippled man with faith. In the second reading (and in many other parts of the New Testament), Paul explains his call to preach the truth, and judging from his background as a Pharisee, was very much an intellectual, compared to Peter’s background as a fisherman. Despite the variety of styles used, both apostles, and indeed all our priests today, have the same aim in mind – to feed the sheep that belong to Jesus.

Today, we are blessed with a church that is truly Catholic. There is something for everyone – charismatic renewal for those who are easily moved by the Holy Spirit, theological and scripture studies for those who need to be intellectually stimulated, canon law and liturgy for those who must have the security of something firm and by-the-book, apologetics for those who enjoy discussion and debate, etc. All these are different aspects of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, and all have the same goal of feeding us with the Truth.

(Today’s reflection by Daniel Tay)
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Prayer: We pray for the grace to explore different aspects of our deep and rich Catholic faith, so that we can come to better know the Truth, who is Jesus Christ, and to be fed by Him. Amen.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord for the variety of ways of coming to know Jesus in the Catholic Church.

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Upcoming readings:
29 June, Sun – Acts 12:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:6-8. 17-18; Matthew 16:13-19 – Soleminty of Peter and Paul, Apostles
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Saturday, 28 June – Do not Drop the Bell

28 June – Memorial of St Ireneaus, bishop and martyr

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Lamentations 2:2. 10-14

The Lord has pitilessly destroyed
all the homes of Jacob;
in his displeasure he has shattered
the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
he has thrown to the ground,
he has left accursed the kingdom and its rulers.

Mutely they sit on the ground,
the elders of the daughter of Zion;
they have put dust on their heads,
and wrapped themselves in sackcloth.
The virgins of Jerusalem hang their heads
down to the ground.

My eyes wasted away with weeping,
my entrails shuddered,
my liver spilled on the ground
at the ruin of the daughters of my people,
as children, mere infants, fainted
in the squares of the Citadel.

They kept saying to their mothers,
‘Where is the bread?’
as they fainted like wounded men
in the squares of the City,
as they poured out their souls
on their mothers’ breasts.

How can I describe you, to what compare you,
daughter of Jerusalem?
Who can rescue and comfort you,
virgin daughter of Zion?
For huge as the sea is your affliction;
who can possibly cure you?

The visions your prophets had on your behalf
were delusive, tinsel things,
they never pointed out your sin,
to ward off your exile.
The visions they proffered you were false,
fallacious, misleading.

Cry aloud, then, to the Lord,
groan, daughter of Zion;
let your tears flow like a torrent,
day and night;
give yourself no relief,
grant your eyes no rest.

Up, cry out in the night-time,
in the early hours of darkness;
pour your heart out like water
before the Lord.
Stretch out your hands to him
for the lives of your children.

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Matthew 8:5-17

When he went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven; but the subjects of the kingdom will be turned out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’ And to the centurion Jesus said, ‘Go back, then; you have believed, so let this be done for you.’ And the servant was cured at that moment.
This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah:
He took our sicknesses away and carried our diseases for us.

And going into Peter’s house Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. That evening they brought him many who were possessed by devils. He cast out the spirits with a word and cured all who were sick.

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Many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.

I used to shop a lot on eBay. A strategy I used to employ when bidding for items was waiting till the last minute before bidding. I could hide my interest in the item and with seconds remaining till the auction ended, there was a decreased chance of me being outbid. Most of what I bought was from the U.S. or U.K. and I often found myself having to wake up at 4am to bid. There was many times when I could not get up and lost the item. Often my loss was to someone who had bid near the start of the auction and did not return to check. It was my fault for not registering my interest early on.

In today’s Gospel passage, Christ is approached by a centurion to heal his servant. This Roman soldier understood what power was, being a commander of a hundred men. He also recognized that Christ had even greater power. His faith was greater than that displayed by Christ’s own people. For this he was accorded the proper reward. Jesus used the centurion as an example of how those who really desire God and show that desire will gain it.

As for those who did not live we have the first reading. The Book of Lamentations is a song written for the fall of Judah. It records the bitterness at the loss of country, home, family and God. But the great sins of the people leading up to the destruction showed just how little they appreciated these things before.

We too often regret something once it is gone. But did we appreciate it when it was not? I, for one, did not appreciate the opportunity to bid earlier. Others who did, won, and their win was a deserved one. My sisters and brothers, will we be like the centurion who declared his great desire for God or like the Israelites who did not and only appreciated what they had lost after it was gone?

(Today’s reflection by Aloysius Ting)
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Prayer: We pray for that we will always show appreciation and desire for those who matter to us.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord for people who love and care for us.

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Upcoming readings:
28 June, Sat – Vigil of Sts Peter and Paul – Acts 3:1-10; Galatians 1:11-20; John 21:15-19
29 June, Sun – Acts 12:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:6-8. 17-18; Matthew 16:13-19 – Soleminty of Peter and Paul, Apostles
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