Wednesday, 20 February 2013 : 1st Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Luke 11 : 29-32

As the crowd increased, Jesus began to speak in this way, “People of the present time are troubled people. They ask for a sign, but no sign will be given to them except the sign of Jonah. As Jonah became a sign for the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be a sign for this generation.”

“The Queen of the South will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and here there is greater than Solomon.”

“The people of Nineveh will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for Jonah’s preaching made them turn from their sins, and here there is greater than Jonah.”

Wednesday, 20 February 2013 : 1st Week of Lent (Psalm)

Psalm 50 : 3-4, 12-13, 18-19

Have mercy on me, o God, in Your love. In Your great compassion blot out my sin. Wash me thoroughly of my guilt; cleanse me of evil.

Create in me, o God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not cast me out of Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me.

You take no pleasure in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, You would not delight in it. O God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart You will not despise.

Passing of Deacon William Steltemeier : Solemn Holy Mass of Christian Funeral / Burial

I have received the news of the passing of Deacon William Steltemeier, who was the founding president and chairman of the well known Catholic media network, EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), whose work with Mother Angelica who founded EWTN, had made EWTN what it is today, reaching out to many with their daily broadcasts and programs.

http://www.rapidtvnews.com/index.php/2013021926435/ewtn-remembers-deacon-bill-dead-at-83.html

 

May God receive him back in His embrace, and open the gates of heaven for him to enter. Requiescat in Pace, Rest in Peace, Deacon William, and pray for all of us!

 

The full Mass of the Funeral of Deacon William Steltemeier can be viewed in the above YouTube video link, by EWTN. A very beautiful Mass and angelic hymns. Parts of the Mass in Latin, and overall a very emotional tribute to Deacon William. Let us keep him always in our prayers.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Jonah 3 : 1-10

The word of YHVH came to Jonah a second time : “Go to Nineveh, the great city, and announce to them the message I give you.”

In obedience to the word of YHVH, Jonah went to Nineveh. It was a very large city, and it took three days just to cross it. So Jonah walked a single day’s journey and began proclaiming, “Forty days more and Nineveh will be destroyed.”

The people of the city believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

Upon hearing the news, the king of Nineveh got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. He issued a proclamation throughout Nineveh : “By the decree of the king and his nobles, no people or beasts, herd or flock, will taste anything; neither will they eat nor drink. But let people and beasts be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call aloud to God, turn from his evil ways and violence. Who knows? God may yet relent, turn from His fierce anger and spare us.”

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not carry out the destruction He had threatened upon them.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 : 1st Week of Lent (Scripture Reflection)

Jesus, who is the Word of God made flesh, as mentioned in the beginning of the Gospel of John, has indeed come forth from the Lord who is our Father, God the Father, and down to us, on earth, as one of us, the mankind, save without sins unlike us. The Word of God was with the Father before creation, and before all ages, and is part and indivisible with the Father in the unity of the Holy Trinity with the Holy Spirit, one God, the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who saved the people of Israel and brought them out of the land of Egypt into the promised land, and promised salvation to them through the being of the Messiah.

Prophets had risen and announced the future coming of Christ, who is the Messiah. Who can guess that this Messiah is none other than that Word of God Himself, as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah in the first reading today. Through Him, indeed, that He accomplished much for the Lord, His Father, and the purpose for which He has been sent into this world, He obediently followed unto His own death on the cross for our own redemption for sin and death.

Remember that in Creation, the Lord spoke, and the Word of God made the creation manifest, from light, to the skies, to the sun, the moon, and the stars, to all the animals, and finally to all of us, His beloved children. This Word of God is Christ who is one with the Father and indivisible in Holy Trinity, with the Holy Spirit whom gave us life, just as God breathed life into the dust that was Adam, this life-giving breath is the Holy Spirit, one with the Father in the sacred and indivisible Holy Trinity. Three equal and distinct part of the one, true God, but at the same time indivisible and perfect in unity.

Then, finally, through Jesus, that Word of God, and the Son of God, who came down through Mary to become humble man like us, we too, have been made the children of God, for Jesus is our Brother, and just as He call God the Father, His Father, we too call God our Father.

This is the centre of the very prayer, the perfect prayer that Christ taught His disciples, and through them, this prayer, descended to us, who know the prayer as the Pater Noster, or the Lord’s Prayer, or ‘Our Father’, whom we all should know by heart, since we always pray it during every Mass that we celebrate. This prayer is not a prayer of selfishness, and not a prayer of incessant requests, but it is a pure prayer coming out of the very Word of God, Christ, the Messiah, that begins by glorifying God, His Holy Name and His magnificence in heaven and earth, as Lord over all creations, over angels and mankind alike, and in humility asks the Lord for just what is enough, our daily bread, that we can be satisfied enough, and have enough, but not excessively.

Then, what is even more important, as this is tied with the message of Love, the commandments of Love that Christ brought, to perfect the Laws and the commandments given to Moses, is the prayer for forgiveness, but which requires us, to first take the action to forgive others, out of love. For it is indeed very difficult to forgive, and it is our very human nature that tempted us to hate, and to attack others who had hurt us, either physically or mentally. However, this hatred and violence merely lead to even more hatred and violence, and even death, through an endless cycle of hate, suffering, sin, and death. Christ taught us to take the courageous first step to reject Satan and his temptations for us to enter this cycle of death, and be courageous to forgive those who has done bad things to us.

For this creates a new cycle, a cycle of love, in which, we counter not the assaults others made with hatred, and even more assaults on our own, but we surrender ourselves entirely to God’s love, and let God’s love take over all our being, and make us an instrument of His love, through forgiving others, even those who had hurt us the most. This is why we pray that we will not fall into temptation, and ask the Lord to help us from the evil one, Satan, who always tries to pit one man against another.

Let us today reflect on the words of the Word of God, who is Christ, the Word of God made flesh through Mary, and through whose ministry, He returned to the Lord not empty-handed, but brought with Him the entire human race, saved from the slavery of Satan and sin. Let us be brave and fill ourselves with God’s love, and faith in God, that we are able to take the courageous step to start forgiving those who are our enemies, those who had hurt us, those who had persecuted, or neglected us. That in doing so, we know that not only that our sins, the sins of those who hated and persecuted us, are forgiven, but that we know that we have a part in the Messianic mission of the Word of God, whom since creation has loved us with the Father, and will always love us, through His death, and until His second coming, when all creations will be made good once again.

May God, our Father, bless us with grace this day, and forever after. May God be with all of us always, especially at the time of our greatest need. Amen.