Epiphany: Manifestation of the Lord

Story: A husband asked his wife, "Why would God give the wise men a star to guide them?" She replied, "Because God knows men are too proud to ask directions."

Jan 1: Mary, Mother of God

 Thomas O’Loughlin
General Notes
The most basic fact about today is that it is New Year’s Day, the public holiday that marks the end of the holiday season, and the beginning of any number of other things from diaries to keeping accounts of various sorts. In everyone’s eyes it is a special day. If we think of time as made up of ‘stressed’ (= special days; special time) and ‘unstressed'(= ordinary days; everyday time) periods, then this is a ‘stressed’ day par excellence.

New Year

A New Year Prayer
Holy Father,
God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.
We praise You for Your unequalled greatness.

Pope Francis: homily for Feast of Holy Family

Pope Francis at Mass, Dec 27, 2015 - AP                        
Pope Francis at Mass, Dec 27, 2015 - AP
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily at Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday morning - the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Jubilee for Families in the context of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy currently underway in Rome and around the world. Below, please find the official English translation of the Holy Father's remarks, including his extemporaneous additions
Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
27 December 2015
The biblical readings which we just heard presented us with the image of two families on pilgrimage to the house of God.  Elkanah and Hannah bring their son Samuel to the Temple of Shiloh and consecrate him to the Lord (cf. 1 Sam 1:20-22, 24-28).  In the same way, Joseph and Mary, in the company of Jesus, go as pilgrims to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover (cf. Lk 2:41-52).

Holy Family - C

 Introduction by the Celebrant
(Liturgical Prayers of the day are included at the end)

A. In The House Of The Father

It may come as a real surprise to us to hear Jesus ask Mary and Joseph: "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be where my Father is?" Even Joseph and Mary had still to learn and to grow in their faith. Like the Holy Family, our families and each of us have also to grow in the faith. Perhaps it is through painful trials like the one of Mary and Joseph that our faith may become mature. We too are asked: Did you not know...?

Christmas: Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Year C - 2

At the outset let me express my sincere and prayerful wishes of the Nativity of the Lord. May the promises of hope, joy, peace, love of his birth be fulfilled in each of us now and always.

John Littleton
Gospel Reflection
Christmas has finally Come. We rejoice that the Word has become flesh, that God the Son has become human while remaining divine. There is no more waiting because the Messiah has arrived and now is the time liberation from our enslavement to sin. But this is n surprising since, in the Hebrew Scriptures ( Christians call the Old Testament), this arrival had b prophesied for many centuries before the birth of Christ.

Christmas: The Nativity of Our Lord - C -1

Xday candles

Michel de Verteuil
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

The Visitation Revisited

The days following the angel’s announcement had been the most exciting, most disorienting days of Mary’s life. With only one fresh water spring, the village of Nazareth was small. Rumors flew. By all appearances, she had fallen into disgrace. She was avoided, even slandered by her own kindred, homeless in her own hometown. The silence between her and Joseph was a yawning chasm. Yet even as whispers turned into open slander among the townsfolk, Mary’s heart beat with purpose. She remembered God’s promises. And she remembered her promise, I am the Lord’s handmaiden.

Advent 4 C: Mary and Elizabeth

Michel de Verteuil
General comments
Each year the gospel passage for this Sunday is a story of Mary’s pregnancy, and for this year it is the visitation. We meditate on this story as the second joyful mystery of the rosary, so that this could be an opportunity to go into it deeper than we usually can in saying the rosary, and this would give depth to the way we say that prayer which plays an important part in the lives of many people.

Heart of a Caregiver - Video

People are Awesome - must see

Weekend Humor on our Current Intolerance

A man at the Mumbai zoo sees a tiger getting loose and attacking a
woman! He fights the tiger and kills it with his knife and it dies!


Later the man was interviewed, he says "I'm not an Indian"
Report changed "Foreign Hero Saves lady from tiger" .

When further questioned the man says: . "Actually I'm a Pakistani ."

Breaking News: .  "Terrorist killed Innocent tiger which was playing with a Girl.."

Advent 3 C - Gaudate

Michel de Verteuil
General Comments

On the third Sunday of Advent St Luke gives us a glimpse into the personality of that wonderful person, John the Baptist. In your meditation, let him remind you of great people you have known.

Advent Hope: The fearless nun inside ‘hell on earth’

 Story By:
Neyda Rojas
For more than 17 years, a Catholic nun named Neyda Rojas has been serving God in a place that many describe as hell on earth – a Venezuelan prison.
For decades, penitentiaries here have been criticised by human rights organisations for allowing serious human rights violations to take place behind their walls.
Although the government has introduced reforms to improve living conditions, some Venezuelan prisons are still among the most violent and overcrowded in Latin America.

Advent 2 C

Michel de VerteuilGeneral Comments
John the BOn the second and third Sundays of Advent, the church gives us John the Baptist as a model of someone who knows how to wait. In this first passage we have Luke’s summary of the mission of John the Baptist. It is none other than the mission of Jesus himself and of all preachers of the gospel.
In verses 1 and 2 St Luke invites us to meditate on God’s word which comes to John in the wilderness, bypassing the powerful ones of the world.
Verse 3 is a concise summary of John’s (and Jesus’) preaching.
There are two aspects to verses 4 and 5: the fact that John lived out the vocation of Isaiah, and then the content of his preaching expressed in poetic language. We are invited to identify with both aspects.

Daily Advent reflections - 1

You need to find the corresponding dates for this year
2011 Advent Reflections for the Jesse Tree
Sunday, November 27
“But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.”                                                                                                                 Isaiah 11:1
The first Jesse Tree symbol is a dove, reminding us of the peace and harmony of creation as God intended. You can read the full story of Jesse in Isaiah 11:110 and David in 1 Samuel 16:113. Jesse is the father of David, beginning a line of descendants that will lead to Jesus, the Messiah.

Advent - Daily Reflections - 2

Daily Advent Reflections

Longing for Peace

Advent is when peace becomes something visible. All year, of course, we long for peace, but Christians spend these four weeks preparing for the coming of the Messiah, the Prince of Peace. We long not solely for peace on earth, the absence of conflict, but also, more deeply, for the peace of Christ, “peace that surpasses all understanding” (see Phil 4:7). When we celebrate Mass each Sunday, we pray for this peace and even exchange a sign of it before we approach the table of the Eucharist.

Advent - Meaning and Symbols

The Season of Advent
Anticipation and Hope

The Colors of Advent 
The Spirit of Advent  Evergreens and The Advent Wreath Celebrating Advent An Advent Reflection Music for Advent

Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown.

Historically, the primary sanctuary color of Advent is Purple. This is the color of penitence and fasting as well as the color of royalty to welcome the Advent of the King.  Purple is still used in some traditions (for example Roman Catholic).  The purple of Advent is also the color of suffering used during Lent and Holy Week.  This points to an important connection between Jesus’ birth and death. The nativity, the Incarnation, cannot be separated from the crucifixion. The purpose of Jesus’ coming into the world, of the "Word made flesh" and dwelling among us, is to reveal God and His grace to the world through Jesus’ life and teaching, but also through his suffering, death, and resurrection. To reflect this emphasis, originally Advent was a time of penitence and fasting, much as the Season of Lent and so shared the color of Lent.

In the four weeks of Advent the third Sunday came to be a time of rejoicing that the fasting was almost over (in some traditions it is called Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin word for "rejoice"). The shift from the purple of the Season to pink or rose for the third Sunday Advent candles reflected this lessening emphasis on penitence as attention turned more to celebration of the season.

In recent times, however, Advent has undergone a shift in emphasis, reflected in a change of colors used in many churches.  Except in the Eastern churches, the penitential aspect of the Season has been almost totally replaced by an emphasis on hope and anticipation.

Advent - Weekday Reflections -3

First Sunday of Advent

Time to wake up

Today’s Gospel calls us to enter into a time of watchful waiting, of preparation or keen awareness. Let us resolve to hold off the holidays for a bit, to tune in to the gospel, to prepare our hearts for the mystery of the Incarnation, the coming of the Prince of Peace.
See! The ruler of the earth shall come; the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile The Lord will come soon, will not delay. The Lord will make the darkest places bright. We must capture that urgency today in the small flame of our candle. We light the candle because we know that the coming of Christ is tied to our building of the kingdom. Lighting the flame, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, reconciling the divided, praying for the repentant, greeting the lonely and forgotten – doing all these works hastens His coming. 


 We light a candle today, a small dim light against a world that often seems forbidding and dark. But we light it because we are a people of hope, a people whose faith is marked by an expectation that we should always be ready for the coming of the Master. The joy and anticipation of this season is captured beautifully in the antiphons of hope from the monastic liturgies:

Advent 1 C

Michel DeVerteuil

Textual Comments

The gospel readings for Advent each year invite us to meditate on the mystery of waiting, and they do it by presenting us with stories of great people who knew how to wait. On the first Sunday, Jesus himself is the model as he taught his followers the spirituality of “waiting in joyful hope”.

Christ the King 2015

Introduction: It was Pope Pius XI who brought the Feast of Christ the King into the liturgy in 1925, to bring Christ, his rule and Christian values back into lives of Christians, into society and into politics. The Feast was also a reminder to the totalitarian governments of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin that Jesus Christ is the only Sovereign King. Although Emperors and Kings now exist mostly in history books, we still honor Christ as the King of the Universe by enthroning Him in our hearts and allowing Him to take control of our lives. This feast challenges us to see Christ the King in everyone, especially those whom our society considers the least important, and to treat each person with love, mercy and compassion as Jesus did.

33 Sunday B - End Times

by Fr. Tommy Lane
After the Gulf War in 1991 black snow fell in parts of the Middle East caused by the smoke from all the burning oil in Kuwait. With nuclear weapons humanity possesses the power now to create a nuclear winter where the sun’s light would be blotted out due to so much smoke in the atmosphere. It is sobering to think that we now have the power to fulfill Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel when he said the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, stars will fall and the powers in the heavens will be shaken (Mark 13:24-25). Jesus made that statement not to frighten us but to remind us that there is nothing permanent in this world and to live with an eye on the End because when he comes again the world and the cosmos will be dissolved. Jesus said those words to give us a second chance, a second chance at living as he asks, a second chance at preparing for judgment, a second chance at preparing for our death.

A Little on the Lighter Side - Quotes

Johnny's Copper Coins

They called this deaf man an 'idiot'and look what he went on to build

They called this deaf man an 'idiot'and look what he went on to build 


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The neighbourhood kids in Saji Thomas's remote Idukki village used to call him 'potten' (idiot) and not just because, as children often cruelly do, he was born deaf and mute but because he was also constantly trying to piece together junk into something new.

Sudha's Copper Coins: True Story

Sudha Murthy, chairperson, Infosys Foundation is known for her ability to glean interesting stories from the lives of ordinary people. The following is extracted from her latest collection, 'Bombay to Bangalore':
It was the beginning of summer. As I boarded the Udyan Express at Gulbarga, I saw that the 2nd class reserved compartment was jam-packed with people. I sat down and was pushed to the corner of the berth. The ticket collector came in and started checking people's tickets. Suddenly, he looked in my direction and asked, what about your ticket? 'I have already shown my ticket to you', I said.

32 Sunday B: Poor Widow's Copper Coins

Treating the 10 Most Common Home Accidents

 Everyone knows that most accidents happen at home, which is not surprising. Our home is where we spend most of our time. We cook our meals there, we spend time with our family, and we lay down our weary heads after a long day. All of these activities increase the likeliness of getting hurt, which is why it is important to know how to deal with each of these injuries. The tips below will introduce you to the most common injuries and the proper way to treat them. Remember: acting quickly and correctly can greatly reduce the chances of complications.

God in My Life

The story of a courageous woman, an Army wife, Deepa Malik

If you think the Soldiers fighting for the Nation are the toughest, think again !!

The WOMEN behind them are equally strong. Of all the numerous tales of courageous women who are with Men in Uniform here is the life journey of one of a kind dare devil Deepa Malik.

The proud & most deserving recipient of the Aravali Samman by Maharana Mewad Foundation 31st Annual Recognition Award on 26th February 2012, Deepa Malik, 42 yrs, a mother of two who has been paralysed for the past 12 years after 3 major spinal surgeries is no less than a super woman.

Make a Rotten Banana Fresh Again!

Golden Words for Your Golden Day...

The best way to start off your day is to say a prayer. Praying means coming to terms with life's challenges, making realizations, and appreciating the little things, both positive and negative. You will feel lighter today if you start your golden day with this golden prayer...

Nov 2: All Souls Day

From Fr. Tony Kadavil:

All Souls’ Day is a day specially set apart that we may remember and pray for our dear ones who have gone for their eternal reward and who are currently in a state of ongoing purification.

Ancient belief: 1) People of all religions have believed in the immortality of the soul, and have prayed for the dead.

Nov 1: All Saints

Fr. Tony Kadavil:

Synopsis: All Saints Day: The feast and its objectives: All baptized Christians who have died and are now with God in glory are considered saints. All Saints Day is intended to honor the memory of countless unknown and uncanonized saints who have no feast days. Today we thank God for giving ordinary men and women a share in His holiness and Heavenly glory as a reward for their Faith. This feast is observed to teach us to honor the saints, both by imitating their lives and by seeking their intercession for us before Christ, the only mediator between God and man (I Tim. 2:5). The Church reminds us today that God's call for holiness is universal, that all of us are called to live in His love and to make His love real in the lives of those around us. Holiness is related to the word wholesomeness. We grow in holiness when we live wholesome lives of integrity truth, justice, charity, mercy and compassion sharing our blessings with others.

31 Sunday B - Foundation of our Faith: Shema-2 Commandments


‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.’ Was this simply the setting of an impossible ideal? For it would seem that much of the history of the People of God is merely a demonstration of how much they failed to live up to their calling. It is as though the priests offering sacrifices in the temple were busy trying in vain to keep open the lines of communication between heaven and earth. Jesus, however, lived out the Shema to the very point of laying down his life and in so doing he unblocked the path between God and humanity. This is how he became our way to the Father and changed what seemed like an impossible ideal into a wonderful opportunity. We really can love God because he has loved us first.

30 Sunday B - Blind Man - That I may see

Today’s Gospel is a classic example of Mark’s use of miracle stories.  He uses them to make a catechetical point, not to overwhelm the reader with Jesus’s power.

 Mark does not deny the power, but emphasizes rather our desire to understand, to grasp, to find meaning.

29 Sunday B: Not where you sit, but how you serve

Last Sunday, we heard about discipleship. Today its about being a missionary.

1. In a world of stars and stripes, titles and accolades, we have been told what matters is not where you sit, but how you serve. Not what you know but how much you impart; not what you teach, but how much you tithe.
2. The breakfast you make early in the morning so the children and your spouse can go to work or school is a more sacred and admirable mission than that of the missionaries who go out into other lands.
3. Your example, your practice of faith and your presence is as much a witness and missionary activity as the preaching of the gospel to the gentiles.
4. The daily cup of sacrifice and hardship, thankless chores, patient endurance, silent tears and unspoken grief are all part of the price of being a disciple.
5. Today, we must make a choice from "working long and hard hours at jobs we hate in order to make money to buy things we don't need to please people we don't like" to balance work and life, faith and wellness and achievement and enjoyment.

28 Sunday B: Sell, Give and Come

28th Sunday B from Padir Neylu
Radicality of the call:

a. Sell=detachment; Vows and other ways
b. Give=Availability; ministries and other services
c. Come=Discipleship; Following in the footsteps of Jesus

The habits/cassocks, the medals and congregational symbols are more ecclesial and social symbols than discipleship. We can easily be caught up in them and be fooled into believing that we are following the Lord as disciples.

Discipleship, I believe, lies simply in living those three words.

Prayer of Thomas Merton:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Refined as Silver - From WhatsApp Community

Malachi 3:3 says: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

27 Sunday B: God made them male and female -They shall become one

 Current Scenario:

The grim picture presented by divorce statistics. We are told that during the last three years the divorce rate in the U.S has gone above 43%, although it is still less than that in Russia (65%), Sweden (63%), U.K (49%) and Australia (49%).   In 1998 there were 19.4 million divorced adults in the U.S.A.  Each year 2.5 million more couples get divorced.  A greater number of   divorces   occur   within   the   Christian   churches   than   in marriages made outside the church.  An ABC broadcast reports that the divorce rate in the "Bible Belt" is 50% higher than in other areas of the country.  This affects the lives of one million new children every year, 84% of whom live in single parent homes. Statistics for the U.S. predict the possibility of 40% to 50% of marriages ending in divorce if current trends continue.  People between the ages of 25 and 39 account for 60% of all divorces. More people are in their 2nd marriage than 1st (www.    With  divorce  being  so  common  today, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.