Easter 3 Sunday C: Do you Love me?

Introduction to the Celebration 

Apr 29-May 4: Weekday Reflections

April 29 Monday (St. Catherine of Siena): John 3:1-8: 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born anew.’ 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The context: Today’s Gospel describes the night visit of Nicodemus with Jesus. Nicodemus was a rich Jewish rabbi and one of the seventy members of Sanhedrin. Later in his Gospel, John shows us how Nicodemus argued for a fair trial for Jesus (7:51) and how he cooperated with Joseph of Arimathea to bury Jesus (19:38). Nicodemus came to Jesus convinced that obeying the Mosaic Law and offering the prescribed sacrifices were enough for one’s eternal salvation.
Hence, Jesus plainly tells him that in order to be saved he has to be born again of water and the Holy Spirit (through Baptism). Jesus further explains that his disciples have two lives, namely natural and supernatural, and two births, namely a physical birth from one’s mother as her son or daughter and a supernatural birth from God through Baptism as God’s child, a member of His family in the Church and an heir of Heaven. The supernatural birth is possible only when one is baptized into Christ and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Life message: 1) We need to remember that rebirth by water and the Holy Spirit is a continuous process for Christians. For that process of rebirth to take place, we need, every day, to repent of our sins and try, with His grace, to renew our lives through prayer, our sacramental life and meditative reading of the Bible, accompanied by corporal and spiritual works of mercy. In addition, we need to ask for God’s guidance. (

April 30 Tuesday (St. Pius V, Pope): Jn 3:7-15: 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born anew.’ 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can this be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life
The context: Today’s Gospel is the continuation of the visit of Nicodemus with Jesus. Nicodemus was a rich Jewish rabbi and one of the seventy members of Sanhedrin. He wanted to clarify whether the obeying of the Mosaic Law and the offering of prescribed sacrifices were enough for one’s eternal salvation. But Jesus used the occasion as a teachable moment, showing Nicodemus the necessity for a spiritual rebirth through the action of the Holy Spirit by means of the water of Baptism as an essential condition for one’s salvation.
Jesus teaches Nicodemus the effects the Holy Spirit produces in the souls of the baptized. We know the presence, force and direction of wind by its effects. It is so with the Holy Spirit, the Divine “Breath” (pneuma), given us in Baptism. In Hebrew and Aramaic, the scholars tell us, the same word pneuma means ‘spirit’, ‘breath’, and ‘wind’. We do not know how the Holy Spirit comes to penetrate our heart.  But He makes His presence felt by the change in the conduct of the person who receives Him. Jesus further explains that he himself comes from Heaven, and, hence, his teaching is credible. Then, by comparing how God saved the snake-bitten Israelites through the symbol of bronze serpent, Jesus tells Nicodemus that ”the Son of Man is going to save mankind by death on the cross.

Life message:   We need to adjust our lives, recognizing and making full use of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives: 1) We need to begin every day by asking for His Divine strength and guidance and end every day by asking His pardon and forgiveness for our sins. 2) We need, as well, to pray for His daily anointing and for His gifts, fruits and charisms so that we may live as children of God. 3) We also need to throw open the shutters and let the Spirit enter the narrow caves in which we bury ourselves.  (

May 1 Wednesday: Feast of St. Joseph the Worker: Mt 13:54-58: (alt=Jn 15:1-8):Introduction: Today we celebrate the liturgical feast of St. Joseph the Worker to honor St. Joseph, to highlight the dignity and importance of labor and to honor the workers who are dignified by their labor and who bring Christ to their workplace.  This is the second feast of St. Joseph; the first was the feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary and the patron of the universal Church which we celebrated on the 19th of March.
History: In response to the May Day Celebrations of workers in the Communist countries where workers were considered mere “cogs in the machine,” Pope Pius XII (declared Venerable December 19, 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI; Wikipedia), instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955 to Christianize the concept of labor, to acknowledge the dignity of labor and to give all workers a role-model and heavenly patron.
Theology of work: The Bible presents God as a worker (Gen 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”) Who is engaged in the work of creation and of providing for His creatures. God the Father assigns His Son Jesus the work of human redemption and gives the Holy Spirit the work of our sanctification. That is why Jesus said: “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work (John 5: 17). Further, it was God’s command that man should work: “You have to earn your bread by the sweat of your brow” (Genesis 3: 19). Jesus showed us the necessity and nobility of work by working in Joseph’s carpentry shop until he started his public life — a preaching and healing Messianic ministry. The workers are important and their work noble, not only because they obey God’s command to work, but also because they sustain and promote social welfare and the progress of societies.
Joseph as an exemplary worker: Joseph worked to support his family by helping his neighbors, using his skill in carpentry. He was a just worker, honest in his trade of buying wood, selling his finished products and charging for his services. He was a working parent laboring hard to support his family. He was a praying worker who prayed in all his needs, got answers from God in dreams on important occasions, and kept God’s presence in his workshop. He was an obedient worker who kept the Mosaic Law of Sabbath rest and spent the day of rest to take Jesus to the local synagogue and to teach Jesus God’s Law given through Moses.
 Life messages: 1) Let us appreciate the dignity of all forms of work and all types of laborers as they glorify God and promote the welfare of society. 2) Let us be sincere and committed to our work as St. Joseph was, working in the constant awareness of the presence of God. 3) Let us love our work and convert it into prayer by offering it for God’s glory. (

May 2 Thursday (St. Athanasius, Bishop, Doctor of the Church): Jn 3:31-36: 31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony; 33 he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit; 35 the Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.
The context: In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus explains his Divinity to Nicodemus and his relationship with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. It is Jesus’ Divinity which gives authority and veracity to his teachings and credibility to his promise of eternal life for his followers.
Jesus’ claims: 1) Jesus claims that, as Son of God, he “comes from Heaven.” Hence, he can speak of God and Heaven from his own experience, just as the native of a town can speak authoritatively about his town. That also means his teachings are reliable. 2) While the Jews believed that prophets were given only a small share in God’s Spirit, Jesus, as God’s only Son, shares the fullness of God’s Spirit and, hence, his teachings and promises are always reliable. 3) He gives eternal life to his followers. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.”
Life messages: 1) We need to seek the daily guidance and strengthening of the Holy Spirit living within us because it is He Who reveals Divine truths to us and Who gives us a better and clearer understanding of Scriptural truths taught by the Church.
2) Since our destiny depends on our own free daily choices, we need to choose Christ and his teachings and stand for Christ’s ideas and ideals.
3) We need to choose Jesus in order to choose Life. Before his death, Moses challenged Israel: “See I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil…. Therefore, choose life that you may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice, and cleaving to him” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20). Joshua repeated the challenge in Joshua 24:14-15. We face that challenge every day. (

May 3 Friday: St. Philip & James, the Apostles) Jn 14:6-14: If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. 12 …14
James, son of Alphaeus, called James the Lesser, wrote the epistle that bears his name to the whole Church and served as the bishop of Jerusalem.  He is different from James the Greater, the son of Zebedee, the brother of John and the cousin of Jesus. James, son of Alphaeus, is also known by the title of James the Just on account of his eminent sanctity. James and his brother Jude were called to be Apostles in the second year of Christ’s preaching, soon after the Pasch, probably in the year 31. In addition to his epistle and his actions as Bishop of Jerusalem, James, son of Alphaeus, only appears four other times in the New Testament, each time in a list of the Twelve Apostles. In Christian art, he is depicted holding a fuller’s club because he was believed to have been martyred by being beaten to death with a fuller’s club at Ostrakine in Lower Egypt where he was preaching the Gospel.
Philip: John describes Philip as being from Bethsaida in Galilee, the same town as Andrew and Peter. It is possible that Philip was originally a follower or disciple of John the Baptist. He was in Galilee when Jesus called him. Immediately after his call as an Apostle by Jesus, Philip introduced Jesus to his friend Nathaniel as the “one about whom Moses wrote” (John 1:45).  On one occasion, when Jesus saw the great multitude following him and wanted to give them food, he asked Philip where they should buy bread for the people to eat. Philip expressed his surprise declaring, “two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little bit” (John 6:7). It was in answer to Philip’s plea, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8) that Jesus answered, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Since Philip had a Greek name, some Greek Gentile proselytes once approached him with a request to introduce them to Jesus. Eusebius records that Polycrates, 2nd century Bishop of Ephesus, wrote that Philip was crucified in Phrygia and later buried in Hierapolis, in Turkey.  Tradition has it that his death was around AD 54. We celebrate his feast day on May 3rd along with the feast of St. James.
Life message: Let us ask the intercession of Sts. James and Philip so that we too may bear witness of Jesus by our lives to those around us. (

May 4 Saturday: Jn 6:16-21 16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, 20 but he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
The context: The event presented by today’s Gospel is the scene immediately following Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand with five small loaves of bread and two fish.  Sensing the danger of having the people make him leader of a revolt, Jesus promptly instructed his apostles to leave the place by boat and went by himself to the mountain to pray after dispersing the crowd.
A double miracle in the sea:  When the apostles in the boat were several furlongs away from the shore, they faced an unexpected storm, caused by the hot wind of the desert rushing into the Sea of Galilee through the gaps in the Golan Heights. Recognizing the danger, Jesus went to the boat, walking on the stormy sea. Jesus calmed the frightened disciples as he approached the boat, and as soon as he got into the boat it “reached land they were heading for.”
Life messages: 1) We need to approach Jesus with strong Faith in his ability and availability to calm the storms in our lives and in the life of the Church. Church history shows us how Jesus saved his Church from the storms of persecution in the first three centuries, from the storms of heresies in the 5th and 6thcenturies, from the storms of moral degradation and the Protestant reformation movement in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the storms of sex abuse scandals of the clergy in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 2) We need to ask Jesus to protect us when we face storms of strong temptations, storms of doubts about our religious beliefs, and storms of fear, anxiety and worries in our personal lives. 3) Experiencing Jesus’ presence in our lives, we need to confess our Faith in him and call out for his help and protection. (

Easter 2 Sunday C - Liturgical Prayers

Greetings (See Second Reading)
We are gathered in the name of Jesus,
the First and the Last,
the Living One who lives for ever,
our Lord and our God.
May his peace and joy be always with you.
R/ And also with you.

Easter 2 Sunday C - Divine Mercy

Gospel reading: John 20:19-31

Holy Week - Reflections

April 22-27: April 22 Monday: Mt 28: 8-15: 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” 11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, `His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.


Clever Signages!!

A sign in a shoe repair store: "We will heel you,  We will save your sole,
We will even dye for you!"

Easter 2019

You probably do not remember the name Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin. During his day he was as powerful a man as there was on earth. A Russian Communist leader he took part in the Bolshevik Revolution 1917, was editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda (which by the way means truth), and was a full member of the Politburo. His works on economics and political science are still read today. There is a story told about a journey he took from Moscow to Kiev in 1930 to address a huge

Holy Saturday Night - Liturgy

Introduction by the Celebrant
When there was sin, the world was in the grip of darkness. We celebrate tonight how Jesus came in that darkness to bring us the light of God's love by his death and resurrection. Now a new era could begin for the world and for all of us. This is why we light the fire, for Jesus came to light in us the fire of his love and hope. Let its flames leap up high in us and make us fervent. We kindle the light and profess that Jesus Christ is our light and the light of the world. We follow him and ask him to make us lights on the path of others. What a joy for us!
                            PART II: SERVICE OF THE WORD

Monday of Holy Week, 15-04-19

Isaiah 42:1-7 / John 12:1-11

Judas criticizes Mary

 “Why was this oil not sold?”
William Barclay says of Judas’ reaction to Mary’s anointing of the feet of Jesus: “Judas had just seen an action of surpassing loveliness; and he called it extravagant waste. He was an embittered man
who took an embittered view of things.” Judas’ reaction illustrates an important fact: “We see things not as they are, but as we are.” H. M. Tomlinson

Tuesday of Holy Week, 16-04-19

Isaiah 49:1-6 / John 13:21-33, 36-38

Jesus talks about betrayal

The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ words.
The surprising thing about Judas’ plan to betray Jesus
is that the other disciples had no idea of it. How could they have lived so close to Judas and been so blind to what was going on in his mind? There are two lessons here.

Good Friday - Liturgical Prayers

Introduction by the Commentator
A. The Suffering Servant Wins
We are here to remember the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. He stands before us as the Man of Sorrows, insulted, tortured, disfigured, crushed, finally dying on a cross the death of a criminal. Yet, at the foot of the cross we are not lamenting a man whose life was a failure, for to us the cross is the sign of victory over sin and death. We believe that he is God’s own Son risen from the dead and alive in our midst. This is not merely a story about the past, for the passion and death of Jesus is still going on in the people and the nations that suffer, in the poor, the hungry, in the victims of war, in all those crucified in any way. But we also believe that Christ rises today in Christians who struggle against sin and evil, in those who bring hope and joy to others. This is how we are one with our Lord today.

Holy Thursday - Liturgical Prayers

A. This Is I for You
“This is my body, which is for you,”
says the Lord.
“Do this as a memorial of me.”
May the Lord Jesus be always with you.

5th Week of Lent, Saturday, 13-04-19

Ezekiel 37:21-28 / John 11:45-56

Jesus does remarkable things

Many people put their trust in him.
There’s a scene in My Fair Lady in which Eliza Doolittle grows weary of Freddy’s daily letters, telling her how much he loves her. In a burst of frustration, she begins to sing the song “Show Me.”
In the song she says she’s sick of words. She’s sick of all this talk of stars “burning above.”

Holy Thursday - Stole and Towel

Tony Kayala, c.s.c. 

1. Jesus was humiliated in the very heart of his own teaching by his own disciples when they were fighting for position. This is the last night. He was teaching them with his life example and stories for three years.

5th Week of Lent, Friday, 12-04-19

Jeremiah 20:10-13 / John 10:31-42

The Jews rebuke Jesus

 “You, a man, are making yourself God. ”
One night the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of Leopold Stokowski, was performing a Beethoven overture.

Economics and Health Hazards!

Sanjay Thakrar, CEO at Euro Axim Bank Ltd got economists thinking when he said :

A cyclist is a disaster for the country's economy

April 8-13: 5th Week of Lent: Weekday Homilies

April 8:Monday: Jn 8: 12-20: 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 The Pharisees then said to him, “You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know whence I have come and whither I am going, but you do not know whence I come or whither I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me. 17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true; 18 I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

5th Week of Lent, Wednesday, 10-04-19

Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28 / John 8:31-42

Jesus talks about his teaching

“Keep my word and you will know the truth.”
It has been said that some truths can be verified as being truthful only by living them out. Jesus has something like this in mind when he says in today’s reading: “If you live according to my teaching ... then you will know the truth.” In other words, the truth of what Jesus says will be discovered in the process of living it out. For example, by forgiving your enemy, you discover this is the right thing to do. By praying for those who wrong you, you discover this is the right thing to do.

Palm Sunday - Liturgical Prayers

Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Jerusalem: Place of Suffering and of Triumph
We know from the school of life that not every day is a day of joy and bliss: there are also gloomy days of suffering, of disappointments and failure. But today, on Palm Sunday "of the Lord's Passion," we are told in no uncertain terms that this was the freely accepted lot of no less than Jesus himself. First, we see him acclaimed in a small triumph, but then we hear how he is led to his death. One week from now, on Easter Sunday, we will hear it clearly and emphatically stated that his death led to the triumph of his own resurrection; we will also hear of the forgiveness and life he brings us. We unite ourselves with Our Lord in his triumph and in his suffering and death and we pray that he will make our life and death as acceptable and meaningful as his.

Palm Sunday - 2019

Palm Sunday - Reflection

As we have come to accompany Jesus in this week when we enter into his paschal mystery which is the suffering, death, resurrection of our Lord, we also reflect his humanity that took upon himself the human sufferings, rejection, betrayals and sin so that we be freed from them all. 

5th Week of Lent, Tuesday, 09-04-19

Numbers 21:4-9 / John 8:21-30

Jesus warns the Pharisees

“Where I am going you cannot come. ” When Jesus said, “Where I am going you cannot come,” the Pharisees wondered if he was planning to take his own life. Rabbis held that people who took their life went to the deepest part of the nether world.

Internet Genesis - Any Biblical Connection?

In ancient Israel , it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a healthy young wife by the name of Dorothy (Dot for short). Dot Com was a comely woman, large of breast, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

5th Week of Lent, Monday, 08-04-19

Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 / John 8:12-20 (Year C)

People bring a sinner to Jesus

Jesus forgave the sinner. 

These lines by an unknown poet strike a universal cord: “How I wish that there was some wonderful place Called the Land of Beginning Again, Where all our mistakes and all our headaches ... Could be dropped like a shaggy coat at the door,

5th Sunday of Lent, Year C - II

Isaiah 48:16-21 / Philippians 3:8-14 / John 8:1-11

Can you name one gadget that has gone through more evolution than the other gadgets? We may think it’s the mobile phone. Yes, that might be one of the contenders. Hint: this gadget has even crept into the mobile phones.

4th Week of Lent, Thursday, 04-04-19

Exodus 32:7-14 / John 5:31-47

Jesus speaks to the Jews

 “My works testify on my behalf.”

Seventy-nine-year-old Clara Hale has served as the foster mother to over 500 babies. “Mama Hale” takes care of babies of drug-addicted mothers until the mothers are able to take care of their babies themselves. Babies of drug-addicted mothers enter life with a drug dependency themselves. That’s what makes Mama Hale’s job so hard. “When a baby is crying for a drug,” she says, “all you can do is hold it close and say to it,

4th Week of Lent, Wednesday, 03-04-19

Isaiah 49:8-15 / John 5:17-30

Jesus speaks to the people

“I seek not my will but God’s.”
Hikers and mountain climbers sometimes experience incredible highs. A Swiss hiker describes such a high. It took place on the sixth day of a hike with a group of friends. All of a sudden, she had the feeling of being raised out of herself. She says: “I felt the presence of God ... as if his goodness and power were penetrating me.”

Lent 5 Sunday C - Liturgical Prayers

Greetings (See Second Reading)
With St Paul we say today:
"I forget the past
and I strain ahead for what is still to come,
for the prize to which God calls us."
May the strength of the Lord Jesus
be always with you.
R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant

4th Week of Lent, Tuesday, 02-04-19

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 / John 5:1-3, 5-16

Jesus cures a man
The man never gave up hope.
Two frogs accidentally tumbled into a bucket of cream. They thrashed about for an hour, trying to make it up the side of the metal bucket. Exhausted, one of the frogs gasped,
“It’s no use!” With that, he gave up and drowned in the cream.

5th Sunday of Lent C - Woman Caught in Adultery

fifth Sun Lent
Gospel reading: John 8:1-11

Michel de Verteuil
General Comments
There are three people in today’s passage:
•  the woman;
•  the group called “scribes and Pharisees”;
•  Jesus.
As always, in your meditation you must let yourself enter the story from the viewpoint of one of the three.
•The woman was guilty of a sexual sin, but her story evokes any experience of having done something shameful in a moment of great vulnerability.