January 1: Mary, Mother of God and New Year

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to today’s Celebration

This is a great day of joy the world over: a new year has just begun and with it is the hope of new relationships of peace, new endeavours to make life better for the human family, and resolutions to start afresh in many areas of our individual lives. We as Christians share this joy for our good news is that the Father of mercies is always extending his love and care so that we can return to him and start over afresh. In sending us his Son as a human being born of Mary in Bethlehem he showed the depth of that love: he offered a new era to the whole human race, and now we are celebrating the beginning of the two thousandth and twelfth year of that era. Now let us reflect on all that we want to start afresh in the coming year, let us ask the Father to help us overcome the old ways of sin and death, and to give us his help in our new endeavours.

Holy Family 2014

A little boy greets his father as he returns from work with a question: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?” The father is surprised and says: “Look, son, not even your mother knows. Don’t bother me now, I’m tired.” “But Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour?” the boy insists. The father finally gives up and replies: “Twenty dollars.” “Okay, Daddy,” the boy continues, “Could you loan me ten dollars?” The father yells at him: “So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right? Now, go to sleep and don’t bother me anymore!” At night the father thinks over what he said and starts feeling guilty. Maybe his son needed to buy something. Finally, he goes to his son's room. “Are you asleep, son?” asks the father. “No, Daddy. Why?” replies the boy. “Here's the money you asked for earlier,” the father said. “Thanks, Daddy!” replies the boy and receives the money. The he reaches under his pillow and brings out some more money. “Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!” says the boy to his father, “Daddy, could you sell me one hour of your time?” Today’s gospel has a message for this man and for all of us, and the message is that we need to invest more of our time in our family life.

Christmas 2014

Michel DeVerteuil
General Comments

This well-known story is very rich so we will focus on some aspects only, staying with Mary’s perspective, especially in verses 6 to 7, and 16 to 20.

In verses 6 and 7 Luke tells us that Mary gave birth “when the time came for her to have her child.” Contrary to the popular interpretation, he indicates no regret that there was no room in the inn. All happened as was foretold.

To understand the significance of verse 19, it is important to note that the Greek word which we translate as “things” is rhema, means both “word” and “event”. Mary, through her interior attitude of respectful listening, turns the event into a sacred word.

Christmas - Homilies and Stories

 Socrates taught for forty years, Plato for fifty, Aristotle for forty, and Jesus for only three. Yet the influence of Christ's three-year ministry infinitely transcends the im­pact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity. Jesus painted no pictures; yet, some of the finest paintings of Raphel, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their in­spiration from Him. Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world's greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfec­tion of melody in the hymns, symphonies, and oratorios they composed in His praise. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble carpenter of Nazareth. 
"His unique contribution to the human race  is the salvation of the soul. Philosophy could not accomplish that. Nor art. Nor literature. Nor music. Only Jesus Christ can break the enslaving chains of sin and Satan. He alone can speak peace to the human heart, strengthen the weak, and give life to those who are spiritually dead." 

Does God Exist?

Malice of Absence

Claim:   While a college student, Albert Einstein humiliated an atheist professor by using the "Evil is the absence of God" argument on him.

Does evil exist?

The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, "Yes, he did!"

"God created everything? The professor asked.

"Yes sir", the student replied.

Christmas Eve Sermons

From Only Partly; the rest when you sign up
1. Christmas Eve: What Was Seen At Bethlehem - Luke 2:8-20
2. Candle Lighting Service & Sermon: A Great Light - Matthew 4:16
3. Christmas Sermon: No Room In The Inn - Luke 2:1-7
4. Advent Sermon: Surprise, It's Christmas  -  Luke 1:26-38
5. First Person Skit: "A Personal Testimony" - Luke 2:1-7 


    1st SERMON FOR LUKE 2:8-20

Sermon Opener 

Mary: Immaculate conception - Dec 8

Popular imagination has added an interesting slant to the story of the woman taken in adultery. You know the story: The Pharisees bring the woman before Jesus for judgment and Jesus says, "Let the person who is without sin cast the first stone." They fell silent, and then, all of a sudden a stone came flying from the crowd. Jesus looks up, surprised and amused, and then says, "Hold it, mother? I am trying to make a point, here." This joke likens the sinlessness of Mary to the sinlessness of good women and men we have known. For we have known many good men and women who think that their holiness of life is their personal achievement. As a result they develop a certain holier-than-thou attitude toward others who have not attained their level of holiness. They become intolerant, angry and judgmental toward those they regard as sinners. People like that would not hesitate to throw the first stone at a sinner caught red-handed, like the woman in our story.

Mary: Immaculate Conception Through Images - Video

Advent 3 B - Rejoice - Homilies

Rejoice Sunday in Advent

TK: Notes

Prepare the Way of the Lord:

1) The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey (Aesop)

A man and his son were once going with their donkey to market. As they were walking along by his side a countryman passed them and said, "You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?" So the man put the boy on the donkey, and they went on their way. 
But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said, "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides." So the man ordered his boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other, "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along." Well, the man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his boy up before him on the donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passersby began to jeer and point at them. The man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said, "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours -- you and your hulking son?" The man and boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, until at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them until they came to a bridge, when the donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the donkey fell over the bridge, and his forefeet being tied together, he was drowned.

Try to please everyone, and you will please no one.

12 Purposes for Pain in the Midst of Grief and Suffering

Time and time again he was swallowed up by sorrow … his life experiences resulted in the full expression of this rawest of emotions. When Ryan was a young boy, his mother died and then he was held back in school. Later on, Ryan noticed a lump in his chest and became increasingly troubled when it just wouldn't go away. A doctor soon delivered a devastating diagnosis: lymphoma.
Ryan's weekly routine included two trips to the hospital for chemotherapy, but even cancer couldn't squelch a common teenage thrill – driving. Late one evening, Ryan had gotten permission from his dad to move the family SUV off the street and into the driveway of their home. No sooner had Ryan slid behind the wheel … when the deafening sound of gunfire riddled the nighttime air.
Ryan's older brother bolted outside and discovered Ryan on the ground with a bullet wound to the back, shouting, "They were trying to steal the truck. They were trying to steal the truck!" The criminals sped off in their compact sedan, having arrived as would-be thieves but leaving as cold-blooded killers. Ryan Lara died a few moments later on the front porch of his home.
In the most grievous of ironies, Ryan was expected to fully recover from cancer. Everyone anticipated Ryan turning 16, getting that prized driver's license, going on dates and driving himself to football practice. No one could have imagined that he'd experience a fatal bullet wound in his very own front yard.

Advent Daily Reflections

First Monday of Advent
December 1, 2014

Isaiah 2: 1-5, Matthew 8: 5-11
Carol Gaeke, OP – Director of Personnel

“Lord, my servant is paralyzed.” The centurion’s words often parallel our feelings in the face of the world’s ills. We experience the paralysis of fear and hopelessness in the inability to stop war in Iraq or in the horrendous growth of trafficking of women and children. But Isaiah gives us hope. He says: “stream towards God’s mountain.” Climb that mountain and see as God sees. From the mountaintop a hazy veil is often cast over the vista beyond and one only sees indistinctly the view below. But God sees through that haze to what can be. Isaiah proclaims it loudly: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares.” Weapons of war will become tools of peaceful, living. There shall be no more training for war. Military academics shall become schools of peace. This is what God sees that we cannot.

Advent 1 B - Reflections

From Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection: 


First Reading: Isaiah 63: 16-17, 19; 64: 2-7
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 3-9
Gospel: Mark 13: 33-37 


The common theme of today’s readings is that vigilant service prepares us for the coming of Christ as our savior during Christmas and as our judge and Lord at the end of the world.  The reason why the liturgical year ends and begins with the same theme is clear: if we have already embraced Jesus in his first coming, we will have no fear of his second coming.  Advent is the season of special preparation and expectation for the coming of Christ.  It encourages us to examine our lives, to reflect on our need for God to enter our lives and to prepare earnestly for, and eagerly await the coming of Christ. He will come to us in the celebration of the Incarnation, in His continual coming in our daily living and in His final coming as our Lord to judge us all and to renew the Father’s creation.  Using apocalyptic images, the gospel urges the elect to be alert for the return of Christ because no one except the Father knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s return. Jesus summarizes the complexities of Christian living in two imperatives: "Take heed!" (Be on guard) and "Watch!" (Be alert, stay awake, and don’t grow careless). Our life on earth is to be one of productive service uninfluenced by a supervisor's presence or seeming absence. 

To Find Lost Mobile

Simple to find Lost Mobile

After reading this mail please preserve the IMEI number in a notepad and send to your Email so that it will be permanetly with u

An IMEI number-
The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is an international identity number used to uniquely identify a mobile phone. The 15-digit IMEI number is an electronic fingerprint transmitted every time a phone is used, which reveals the identity of the mobile handset.

ADVENT 1 B Homilies

Key to a fulfilling life
Do a little more than
you're paid to do
Give a little more
than you have to;
Try a little harder
than you want to;
Aim a little higher
than you think possible

Art Linkletter

 Jan Gies, 87, dies in the Netherlands

Jan Gies was a member
of the Dutch underground
in World War II. He and his
wife Miep achieved fame
through the diary of
14-year-old Anne Frank.

For 2 years he and his
wife Miep smuggled
food to Anne's family and
other Jews  in hiding.
Someone said of Jan.
He was not a person to
stand in the limelight.
"He was a man of few
words, but many deeds."

Christ the King 2014 - Homilies

1) Who's king in today's world? Size of the car, house, iPhone, number of likes in social media, position, title, pay packet, employees under....?
2) Who's the King of the Kingdom of God? Each one 1 denarius, look after the vineyard, talents to invest and  multiply, come to the wedding feast, beloved son...., shepherd and servant leadership....
3) King who is a judge and our accountability. Reckoning day. We are forgiven by mercy and condemned by judgment. Health, wealth, responsibility, talents, wedding garment, shepherd, vineyard responsibility ......
4) Our baptism, confirmation, Eucharist does not matter at the end of the day, we wonder...? Mt 25 means these are foundations to look after the children of God. These give us the strength, inspiration, direction to do that.  They are not titles, positions or entitlements for salvation...

33 Sunday A - Talents

It's not only what you have got, but it's how we use what we have got - with love- that matters!

We have nothing to do with how much ability we've got, or how little, but with what we do with what we have. The man with great talent is apt to be puffed up, and the man with little (talent) to belittle the little. Poor fools! God gives it, much or little. Our part is to be faithful, doing the level best with every bit and scrap. And we will be if Jesus' spirit controls. 
S.D. Gordon, The Bent-knee Time.

Jack complains to God in prayer about his finances. "It's getting worse, Lord, after all my prayers to you. Give me a break. Let me at least win a lottery." Then he hears a voice from heaven, "Give me a break yourself. Buy at least a lottery ticket!"

32 Sunday A and Dedication of Lateran Basilica

Reflections on Both the Themes. - TK

3 Readings talk about God's presence in three areas: Nature (water & Herb) or creation. This is first temple. Second human persons, second temple. Third: social, civil and ecclesial structures. God first created time, space and context. Then created human beings. Sin and grace take place at a particular, location and context. Paradise had everything for grace and growth. Also the apple tree that caused sin.
During the plague in France, those who sought refuge in the churches were saved. This was because of the candle lights and incense that kept the rats away. context and time and place in God's plan! - TK

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

Sisters and brothers, each week when we assemble for the Eucharist we enter into the presence of the Father, and offer him the sacrifice of praise in union with Christ Jesus. We enter into the presence of Christ, and through him into the presence of the Father. Today we reflect that as the people of the Lord Jesus we are called to be always awake and ready to bring his wisdom to our world and to be his presence among all the people we encounter.

31 Sunday A - Preaching without Practising

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

One of the great gaps in each of our lives is between intentions and actions; we often have only the best intentions but what we actually do is a lot less wholesome. We have noble words and ig­noble deeds. We make professions of faith with our lips, but not with our deeds or our wallets; we say we are willing to be disci­ples of the master, but we often find easier paths and other guides. We claim the enlightenment of the gospel and to be the people of love and peace, yet our behaviour often brings the very name of Christ into disrepute. It is this gap that is the focus of our thoughts and prayers in this assembly. Let us reflect now on this chasm that opens up between our public religious identity and our ways of living. 

Nov 2 - All Souls

Fr. John Speekman

In the eyes of many purgatory is a bit of a ‘nuisance’ teaching belonging in the same category as angels and indulgences and even hell. It’s not easy to explain because not many understand it deeply and so it’s always making us run up not only against our own ignorance but the disbelief of our modern world as well – and that’s a real nuisance. 

The word purgatory comes from the Latin "purgare" to make clean or to purify. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines it as: a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions. 

30 Sunday A - Prayers for the Liturgy


Commentary: The year grows short and the questions more direct. Once again they are going at Jesus. He has just silenced the stupid arguments of the Sadducees who did not believe in resurrection or judgment. Now the Pharisees will have another go at Jesus and one approaches with the age-old Jewish question: "Which is the most important commandment in the Law?" Jesus answers with the Shema -which is both a prayer to the holiness of God and the foundational call to the covenant and basis of all the law-to love God with all your mind, heart, soul, and resources. But Jesus adds in the second (like both sides of your hand) to love your neighbor with the same passion and wholeheartedness. Everything in the law, the prophets, the history of faithfulness in the Jewish covenant is based on putting these words into practice and obeying the intent of God that all who are made in his image, live in his image as truthfully as we can. And there is no getting around it-no hedging, no rationalizing. And we-who are we like: the Sadducees playing games with theology; the Pharisees and those using the law to test, trick and make others stumble-or are we with Jesus, intent on the worship of God and the care of human beings?

30 Sunday A - Foundations of the Kingdom: The 2 Commandments


Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

Why have we gathered here? One answer is to assemble together to show our love for God and for one another – because the whole of the Christian way can be summed up in these two commandments. But let us pause and recall that we do not always love God with our whole hearts nor our neighbors as ourselves.

29 Sunday A - Taxes to Caesar and to God

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

The Holy Spirit has gathered us here to offer thanks and praise to the Father through our union with Jesus. But in discovering our relationship with God, we also discover our relationship with other human beings, and our place within God’s creation. So we are called to love and serve God and we are called to love and serve others. We often think that it is enough to serve either God or humanity: serve one and ignore the other. But life just isn’t that simple: we have to give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give back to God what belongs to God. Part of our mission as Christians is to negotiate and balance these responsibilities. It is this mission we are going to reflect on today.

Michel DeVerteuil
General Comments

28 Sunday A - Wedding Feast and Invitees

Starter Stories:

Post-World War II Banquet:

At the end of World War II, the Russian head-of-state gave an elaborate banquet to honor the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  The Russians arrived in their best formal wear -- military dress uniforms -- but their honored guest did not.  Churchill arrived wearing his famous zipper coveralls that he had worn during the German bomb attack in London.  He thought it would provide a nostalgic touch the Russians would appreciate.  They didn’t.  They were humiliated and insulted that their prominent guest-of-honor had not considered their banquet worthy of his best clothes.  Wearing the right clothing to a formal dinner honors the host and the occasion; neglecting to wear the right clothing is an insult.  Weddings were such an important occasion in Palestine in Christ’s days that people were expected to wear the proper clothing to show appreciation and respect for the invitation.  In today’s Gospel, Jesus demands the wedding garment of righteousness from his followers. (Fr. Tony Kadavil)

Rare Images and Quotes of Mahatma Gandhi

27 Sunday A - Vineyard and Stewardship

Story Starters: From Fr. Tony Kadavil’s Collection 

1) Wild Vines in the Lord’s Vineyard

In his book From Scandal to Hope, Fr. Benedict Groeschel (EWTN), examines the roots of the clergy sex-abuse scandal. He details how disloyalty spread through seminaries, universities, chanceries and parishes. The most notorious case was that of Fr. Paul Shanley who helped found the North American Man-Boy Love Association in 1979. He lectured in seminaries, once with a bishop in attendance, maintaining that “homosexuality is a gift of God and should be celebrated,” and that there was no sexual activity that could cause psychic damage-- “not even incest or bestiality.” No wonder Fr. Charles Curran had little trouble getting seventy-seven theologians to sign a protest against Humanae Vitae, an encyclical which reaffirmed marital chastity! A few years later the Catholic Theological Society (CTS), published Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought, a study which accepted cohabitation, adultery and homosexuality. Now, however, all these chickens have come home to roost. We are paying the price – in lawsuits, public humiliation and loss of credibility. The media gave us a glimpse of the enormous destruction in the Lord’s vineyard done by those wicked tenants. They did so with great relish because the scandals discredit a teaching authority they, by and large, find annoying. But this attention by the media has had consequences the media probably did not intend. It has alerted Catholics to the widespread pillaging of the vineyard, which ultimately means the damnation of souls. Fr. Groeschel asks, “Does all this scandal shake your faith in the Church?” He answers, “I hope so, because ultimately your faith should not be in the Church. Ultimately your faith is in Jesus Christ. It is because of him that we accept and support the Church. We believe in and belong to the Church because Christ established it on his apostles." We see in today’s Gospel that the owner of the vineyard is God. He will care for his Church, not by committees or document, but by raising up saints who will properly tend the vineyard.  

Marriage Secret: How the wife of a severely brain injured man can say she's in Love

Happy and Every year is more Fun
Two college sweethearts, who learned the meaning of unconditional love after one of them suffered a brain injury, which left him subsequently mentally and physically disabled, are set to celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary this week in conjunction with the release of their book, Eight Twenty Eight, which chronicles the journey of their special marriage.

Ian and Larissa Murphy have experienced life's lowest lows since the day Ian got into a car accident in 2006 on his way to work. He had been saving up for an engagement ring after having dated Larissa for 10 months when that tragic accident occurred. Larissa could have moved on with her life, but instead she moved in with his family to help care for him during a time when he could not walk, talk or eat.

26 Sunday A - Words and Deeds

Opening Story:
“A companion of Francis of Assisi, Brother Juniper is remembered as a “fool for Christ” and there are all sorts of wild stories about his antics. He was notorious for constantly giving his possessions away and living with a winsomeness that sometimes got him in trouble. At one point he was ordered by a superior not to give away his outer garment to the beggars anymore. But it wasn’t long before he met someone in need who asked him for some clothing. He said, “My superior has told me under obedience not to give my clothing to anyone. But if you pull it off my back, I certainly will not prevent you.” (Another version: "I can't give, but you can take.") Francis is said to have joked about how he wished for a forest of Junipers.”
“Lord, you did not withhold even your life for our benefit. If nothing is too much to offer you, remind us that nothing is too much to sacrifice for our brothers and sisters. Amen.”

Many Pairs: Jesus presents us with many parables of pairs to show how God's mercy works far beyond the rules of justice.
a. Pharisee and Publican praying in the temple
b. Prodigal son and elder brother
c. Simon (Lk 7) and the sinner woman
d. Woman caught in adultery (Jn 8) and the Pharisees with stones
e. Two thieves hanging on the cross
f. Samaritan woman and the disciples
g. Priests and the good Samaritan

An associate pastor, new to the parish, saw the need to start a Bible study group where people could learn to read the word of God and deepen their faith. After service one morning, he presented the idea to the people and received a unanimous and enthusiastic feedback. "It is a wonderful idea," they all said. Then the young associate pastor went and told the pastor that the people were happy with the idea of starting a Bible class. The older and more experienced pastor told the associate to rephrase the question and consult the people again. The following day the young priest asked the same congregation, "Who would like to sign up for the Bible study group? Only four hands went up. Then it dawned on the young man that saying yes to an idea is one thing and doing what is required is another. (Fr. Munachi, cssp)

25 Sunday A - Workers at the Vineyard

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

When we assemble around the Lord’s table we bless God for his forgiveness, mercy, generosity and love: he has sent us his Son to bring us pardon, to transform us from being isolated individuals into the community of his love, and he gives us the hope of everlasting life. So, as God’s holy people, we recall that God is merciful and forgiving; God is life-giving and generous; and that God is love.

Michel DeVerteuil
General Comments

We have another parable this Sunday, one that many people find particularly difficult to interpret.

As I said in last week’s meditation guidelines, method is always the root problem with interpreting
parables, and to adopt the right method we must have a right understanding of what a parable is. It is not the kind of story where we identify “good guys” and “bad guys” and then draw the conclusion that we must imitate the good and avoid being like the bad.

25 Sunday A - Job Security - NCR

From the NCR:

What the parable of the vineyard workers really says

Father's gently modulated homily followed, as best I can remember it:

24 Sunday A - Forgiveness - Seven Times

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

We often describe ourselves as ‘the People of God’ and as ‘a people set apart’; and very often such names have been misinterpreted by Christians to mean that we are somehow ‘God’s elite’ or that he has some special friendship for us and our doing that he does not show to others. Today’s gospel confronts us with the reality of what it means to be ‘a people set apart’. We are the ones who must reject the desires for vengeance and retaliation, and in the face of those who offend us must work for reconciliation. To start afresh, working for what is good, after one has been hurt is never easy; it goes against a deeply embedded instinct in our humanity that calls for retribution. But to be the group who seek to continue the reconciliation of the world that was accomplished in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus is what we are about. Now, as we begin to celebrate this mystery, let us remind ourselves that as ‘a people set apart’ we must be willing to be those who bring forgiveness and new hope into the world. Let us ask ourselves whether we are willing to be reconcilers.

Exaltation of the Cross

1.     Fr. John Speekman:

 The Triumph of the Cross - Year A
Numbers 21:4-9; Philippians 2:6-11; John 3:13-17 

The Cross in our lives usually occupies the same space we put all the other unpleasant, unwanted things – disappointments, hurts, humiliations, failures - all the burdensome things we don't want to remember, all the broken relationships and sufferings of our lives. Needless to say it's not a pleasant spot to go; it's a dark, uncomfortable place, to be avoided at all costs. 

23 Sunday A - Prayer and Reconciliation

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

We have just declared that we have gathered here as the people who in the Spirit’s power follow the way of the Son to the Father. However, we all know that following the way of the Lord is much easier said than done. Our own shortcomings lead us to stumble again and again, while the shortcomings of other Christians both hurt us directly and embarrass us. Yet we must continue our task of being disciples, we must be prepared to take the risk of pointing out the failings of others, and, what is even more difficult, we have to have the humility to hear and learn from those who point out our blind spots, weaknesses, and failings. Let us reflect on our need for forgiveness, our need to grow as disciples, and our need to have greater self-knowledge.

22 Sunday A - Take up your Cross

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

In today’s gospel we hear the call of Jesus to become his followers. This is no easy invitation: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ We enter into the cross of Jesus, and begin our following of him, when we are baptised. It is at that moment that we become members of this body that can gather at the Lord’s table, and it is the grace of baptism that sustains us on the difficult road of following the Lord of life, and goodness, and truth. So now let us recall the fact that we are a baptised people, and ask God to bless us and strengthen us to continue following his Son. 

Karickal's Golden Jubilee of Religious Profession-Homily

As part of Brother Joseph Karickal's Golden Jubilee Celebrations in his home parish in Kerala, the homily was given by T.Kayala. Watch it here:

21 Sunday A - Who do you say I am?


1.     Who Do People Say He Is?
2.     Who Do You Say He Is?
3.     What Are We Called to Do?
1.     Feedback – Communication
2.     Recognition – Messiah: Title & Sacrifice
3.     Authority –Dependability – Rock

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

We have gathered here as the disciples of Jesus, we declare that he is present among us, we are about to share his table. But who is the One we follow? That is the question that is posed in today’s gospel, and we hear Peter’s resounding answer: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Let us spend a moment in prayer and reflection, asking the Father to reveal to us now a deeper awareness of who it is in whose name we have assembled and into whose presence we have come.

20 Sunday A - Canaanite Woman: Faith and Healing

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

When we gather each Sunday to celebrate being the People of God, we address Jesus as ‘ our Saviour’. But we often forget that the basic image of ‘saviour’ is that Jesus came to bring healing. We are addressing Jesus as the one we look to for healing, health, and wholeness. This aspect of the ministry of the Christ is brought out in today’s gospel when a woman calls on him as ‘Lord’ and ‘Son of David’ asking him to heal her daughter.

So just like that woman long ago who asked Jesus for healing, during our gathering today we shall keep our need for healing in mind in our prayer.

We all need, in one way or another, healing for our bodies when afflicted with pain, we need healing for our minds when they are distressed or embittered, and we need healing for our spirits which become damaged by sin. To encounter Jesus is to encounter the Father’s gift of wholeness. Let us pray now that we shall share in it through this Eucharist.

Assumption of Mary and Independence Day


O God, our creator, you have made this world out of love and gathered us together as one family. Today we wish to thank you for Mary whom you freed from earthly bondage into your heavenly glory. Today 67 years ago you freed our Mother Land from foreign occupation. We thank you for all that is beautiful in India that we are proud of. Bless every citizen of our country that s/he may work for peace, prosperity and true freedom. Strengthen our hands that we may truly build and not destroy hearts and hopes, homes and future for your children.

19 Sunday A - Storms and Faith

From Fr. Donald Planty:

The world’s attention is unfortunately, but understandably, regularly focused on the destructive force of natural events like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, as well as on the violent human forces contending in conflicts in Central Europe, in the Middle East, in Africa, and in Latin America.  In addition, we cannot help but be disturbed by so many forces intimately at odds with us:  the aggression of temptation and sin, the debilitation of illness, the pain of emotional wounds, the intensity of the passions, and the assaults of demons.  Indeed, the three enemies of our human nature–the world, the flesh, and the devil–are forces at war with us, striving to turn us away from Jesus and his saving Gospel.  Yet, these negative forces are no match for the positive power–the Good News of Jesus.  Yes, his grace, his presence with us, his provident love for us, is the greatest power in the universe–and no evil force can overcome him.  That is the consoling message of the readings our Mother the Church offers for our meditation this Sunday:  “Take courage, do not be afraid!”  The power of God’s gentle mercy is greater than any opposing force.
We see this in the experience of the prophet Elijah:  God’s presence is not revealed to him in the forceful wind, earthquake or fire, but in the power of his gently whispered word.  In contrast to natural, worldly, damaging forces, God’s power is supernatural, otherworldly, life-giving, and so is manifested in tenderness, in calm, in peace. (more down below)

18 Sunday A - Multiplication

5 Sundays: Summary

1) Preparing the soil: Meek and humble of heart. The word humility comes from the Latin, humus which means earth. Be earthy, natural, without put on. That's the sort of soil.
2) Types of soil: Defiant (rocky/stony), distracted (thorny) and defeated (birds picking or people trampling). Ignatius of Loyola had a defiant and distracted heart in the beginning but never defeated.
3) Wheat and weeds: The good and the bad in our lives, in the world. Peace and war, violence and charity..... There will be a day of judgment, reconciliation... Ignatius spent much time in discernment - the lady or the Lord for whom I am going to be heroic. 10 months at the cave by the river at Manresa eight miles from the place of his conversation at the Benedictine monastery in Monserrat.
4) Treasure in the field:  So much hidden in each of us. In every seed. Being discovered. But there is a selling my ways and plans, styles and attitudes to get that. Not what was lost and but with what is left in us. But we must discern good and bad choices like selecting the fish. Don't take anything that comes on our way. Ignatius finally with his companions finds the treasure in the Society of Jesus at Montmartre in France - they founded the society on August 15, 1534.
5) Multiplication: This is the completion of the fruit of the earth. From humility, from surrender, with what was left and not about lost out there. Thanksgiving means giving. When the fruits are brought to the Lord for sharing,, when we sit together at the banquet of the Lord, when we relax with the Lord with our families -- away from our work and activities. A good vacation becomes our vocation. Relax with the Lord can be a good prayer. Those who are labored and burdened, come to me. Jesuits spread to 112 countries in 6 continents, now numbering over 17,000.

17 Sunday A - Treasure

There is a price for relationship - Treasure Hidden
Rabindra Nath Tagore, the mystic poet of India, tells a memorable story from his own life which illustrates the truth of what Jesus teaches in today’s gospel, namely, that there is a price we have to pay in order to be in his kingdom, to keep a relationship with him.  Tagor’s cook and housekeeper did not come to work on time one morning. Like so many professional men of his mind-set, Tagore was utterly helpless when it came to the routine details of the day, getting his clothes together, making his breakfast, tidying up his place. An hour went by, and Tagore was getting angrier by the minute. He thought of all kinds of punishment. Three hours later he no longer thought of punishment. He would discharge the man without any further consideration, get rid of him, turn him out. Finally the man showed up. It was mid-day. Without a word, the servant proceeded with his duties as though nothing had happened. He picked up Tagore’s clothes and set to making breakfast. Then he started cleaning. Tagore watched all of this with mounting rage. Finally he said, “Drop everything! Get out! I can’t stand the sight of you. You are dismissed…fired!” The man, however, continued sweeping, and after another, few minutes, with quiet dignity he said, “My little girl died last night.” (From Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection)

16 Sunday A: Wheat and Weeds

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration 

Sisters and brothers, today’s gospel reminds us that we, because we are Christians, have to be like a leaven in our society and our world. So let us begin our assembly as the Body of Christ by re-affirming our identity as those who have died in Christ in baptism, and have risen with him to new life and so stand here today. 

Miracle baby survives abortion pill, twin’s miscarriage

Miracle Baby MeganIreland, July 10, 2014: Michelle Hui was thrilled to learn she and husband Ross were pregnant again after having two other children. But that joy soon turned to grief when she had a miscarriage six weeks into her pregnancy; amazingly, doctors did not realize that she was actually pregnant with twins and that one had survived the miscarriage. Now the family is rejoicing in their daughter’s miraculous birth and health.

The Suitcase

A man died, when he realized it, he saw God coming closer with a suitcase in his hand.
God said: Alright son it’s time to go.
Surprised the man responded: Now? So soon? I had a lot of plans……….
I’m sorry but it’s time to go.
What do you have in that suitcase? The man asked.
God answered: Your belongings.
My belongings? You mean my things, my clothes, my money?

15 Sunday A - Sower and the Seeds

Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

Today our thoughts during this celebration are guided by the Parable of the Sower: seeds fell along the path, on rocks, among thorns, and into rich soil. Only the seeds which fell into the rich soil bore fruit. Christ is the sower, and while we desire to be good soil, we know there are times when we are pretty shallow like the depth of soil along the path. There are areas of rock in our lives where God’s word has not taken root, and there are areas where God’s word finds difficulty in taking root. So as we prepare to celebrate the mystery of Christ’s love, let us acknowledge our failures and ask the Lord for pardon and strength. 

14 Sunday A: Come to me all who are laboured:

“Do you have any idea who I am?" 

The Los Angeles Times published the story of a commercial airline flight cancellation which resulted in a long line of travelers trying to get bookings on another flight. One man in the line grew increasingly impatient with the slow-moving line.  At last, he pushed his way to the front and angrily demanded a first-class ticket on the next available flight. "I’m sorry," said the ticket agent, “First I’ll have to take care of the people who were ahead of you in the line." The irate man then pounded his fist on the ticket counter, saying, "Do you have any idea who I am?" Whereupon, the ticket agent picked up the public address microphone and said, "Attention, please! There is a gentleman at the ticket counter who does not know who he is. If there is anyone in the airport who can identify him, please come to the counter." Hearing this, the man retreated, and the people waiting in line burst into applause.   We are like this man. We have forgotten how to wait patiently. In today’s gospel, Jesus invites us to learn his meekness and humility. (Tony Kadavil)

Whose Hands .... it is?

 Courtesy: ICAN
Whose Hands!
A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.
 A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about $33 million.
 It depends on whose hands it's in.

Jesus was a Pastor, not a Moralist - Pope Francis

Quote for June 26th

'A most powerful and efficacious remedy for all evils, a means of correcting all imperfections, of triumphing over temptation, and preserving our hearts in an undisturbed peace, is conformity with the will of God.'

St. Vincent de Paul


13 Sunday A - Radicality of Discipleship

Matthew 10:40-42 - "Never Underestimate the Power of a Cold Cup of Water"
Matthew 10:40-42 -  "Second Nature through Spirit Nurture"

From Connections:

Today’s Gospel is the conclusion of Matthew’s collection of Jesus’ missionary discourses, in which Jesus speaks of the sacrifice demanded of his disciples and the suffering they will endure for their faith.  In today’s pericope, Jesus clearly is not attacking family life; he is warning his disciples of the conflict and misunderstanding they will experience for their proclaiming the word.  To be an authentic disciple of Jesus means embracing the suffering, humility, pain and selflessness of the cross; to be an authentic disciple of Jesus means taking on the often unpopular role of prophet for the sake of the kingdom; to be an authentic disciple of Jesus means welcoming and supporting other disciples who do the work of the Gospel.

God and his faithfulness

Sermon: God and his faithfulness


The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word faithfulness as “deserving trust, keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do.” We say God is faithful because we can trust him to keep his promises and do what he is supposed to do.
The passage I have selected for my sermon today speaks about a man named Isaac and how his whole life is a retelling of what happened to his father Abraham to whom God had promised to make him into a great nation. The lesson conveyed is of God’s continuing faithfulness.

Text: Genesis 26:1-32

(1) Not changed by our situations

Read Genesis 26:1-6
(I) Isaac occupied the same land that his father Abraham did and famines were common in that land. Both had faced them.
(II) In Abraham’s time when the famine came he fled to Egypt. Isaac wanted to do the same but God stopped him and restated the blessing to his father.
(III) Just like his father Isaac assessed God’s faithfulness based on the severity of the famine. He did not know that God is not challenged by man’s situations.

Fasting can ward off diabetes: Study

WASHINGTON (PTI): Fasting can reduce cholesterol levels in pre-diabetic people over extended period of time, according to a new research.
Fasting can ward off diabetes: Study
 The research on periodic fasting has identified a biological process in the body that converts bad cholesterol in fat cells to energy, thus combating diabetes risk factors.

Holy Trinity - Liturgy Prayers

Introduction by the Celebrant

A. An Inexhaustibly Great God With joy and gratitude we celebrate today the solemnity of the Blessed Trinity. When we think of the mystery we honor today, the question is not so much: who is God, but, as Scripture itself puts it: who is God for us? And the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, answers, in a variety of ways: God is a mystery of love. God loves us. With Psalm 8 we say: what are human beings that you spare a thought for them? Thank you, Lord, thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All praise to you through Jesus!

Holy Trinity A 2014

Links to earlier posts:
Some Stories: (More Stories at the bottom or at:

The story is told of a priest sitting in an airport waiting for his flight. A fellow killing time struck up a conversation. Said he, "Father, I believe only what I can understand. So, I can't buy your Trinity. Perhaps you can explain it to me." The priest reluctantly put down The New York Times. "Do you see the sun out there?" "Yup." "OK, it's 80 million miles away from us right now. The rays coming through the window," said the priest, "are coming from the sun. The delightful heat we are enjoying on our bodies right now come from a combination of the sun and its rays. Do you understand that?" The fellow answered, "Sure,  padre." "The Trinity," the priest went on, "is like that. God the Father is that blazing sun. The Son is the rays He sends down to us. Then both combine to send us the Holy Spirit who is the heat. If you understand the workings of the sun, its rays, and heat, why do you have difficulty believing the Trinity?" The man said something about catching a flight and was off.  

He recalled the husband, who said when he became a father, he better understood the Trinity. When he and his wife had their son, they had evidence of their love for each other. There was the lover, the beloved, and the love, each distinct and yet one. 

Pentecost A

Back Posts:
Pentecost 2013:
Water, Fire, Wind Symbols:
Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection:
The Church on Fire 

Two persons were talking together before a large church which was being destroyed by fire. The first man spoke in a voice which could be heard above the voice of the firemen: "This is the first time I ever saw you at church." To this the second responded: "This is the first time I ever saw the church on fire." There are many prophets of doom saying that the age of the Christian Church is over - that it has lost its zeal! We're taking a beating right now in this country and around the world. Our theology is being questioned. Everyone is writing a critical book against the organized church. We have had to take some unpopular stands on social issues. Magazines are attacking the ministry, and it isn't the thing to do anymore to join the church. John Kelman said, however, "God pity the nation or city whose factory smokestacks rise higher than her church spires."  

Why Belong To The Church?, anthology, CSS Publishing Company, Inc.

Ascension 2012


Today’s readings describe the ascension of the Lord Jesus into his heavenly glory after he had promised his disciples his Holy Spirit as their source of heavenly power, and commanded them to bear witness to him throughout the world by their lives and preaching.  But the ascended Jesus is still with us through his indwelling Holy Spirit as he has promised, "I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.”   Today’s feast celebrates Jesus final glorification after his suffering, death   and resurrection    a glory in which we hope to share. 

Scripture Lessons 

The first reading  gives an account of the event of Jesus ascension as recorded in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. First, Jesus instructed his apostles to remain in Jerusalem and wait for the baptism by the Holy Spirit so that they might become his “witnesses to the ends of the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then a cloud took Jesus from the sight of the disciples and two heavenly messengers in white garments gave them the assurance of Jesus second coming” or return in glory.  Today's psalm suggests that, by his Ascension, the risen Lord "mounts his throne" in glory.  In the second reading,  Paul explains the theological meaning of Jesus exaltation, giving us the assurance that one day, we, too, will be ascending to heavenly glory, provided we carry out the mission entrusted to us by the ascending Lord. Today's gospel describes  how  Jesus  ascended  to  heaven  after  giving  his  final  blessing  and missionary command to his disciples. The command was toproclaim the good news to every creature(Mark 16:15), to be his witnesses"(Acts 1: 8), and to make disciples of all  n ation s.”  (Matthew 8:19). 

Life Messages 

1)  We  need  to  be  proclaimers  and  evangelizers:  To  be  a  Christian  is  to  be  a proclaimer and an evangelizer.   There is a difference between preaching and proclaiming.  We preach with words but we proclaim with our lives.  Let us ask the guidance of the Spirit of God to bear witness to Jesus by our transparent Christian lives. 2)  We need to transmit his teachings to the world:  Jesus taught us lessons of faith, hope, love, forgiveness, mercy and salvation by his life and preaching and gave us the mission to teach these to others.    Hence, let us learn about Jesus and his teachings by our daily study of the Bible and the teachings of the Church, experience him in personal prayer, reception of the sacraments and works of charity, and convey to others Jesus whom we have experienced with the help of his Holy Spirit. 

3) We need seek our help in this mission from the ascended Jesus who is our strength and encouragement: We will be able to overcome doubts about our faith and baseless fears,  anxieties and worries by meditating on Jesus Ascension and the lesson it teaches, that we, too, are called to share his glory in heaven. L/12