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August 19, 2018

ADVENT: An Opportune Moment for Healing Meditation

  Etymologically the term Advent comes from the Latin word Adentus, meaning A COMING.This coming actually translates the Greek word’ parousia. Considering ad­vent as a season in the Church’s ritualistic history implies that someone or something is coming or will come. It is a period that commemorates the great expectation and longing of mankind over years for the coming of the Saviour. The liturgical time of Advent is a period of waiting for divine action or divine intervention in human history. It is a waiting for God’s gesture culminating in the liberation of mankind from bondage. Sincere Christians wait with…

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

  ENTRANCE ANTIPHON CF. IS 30:19.30 O people of Sion, behold, the Lord will come to save the nations, and the Lord will make the glory of his voice heard in the joy of your heart.   COLLECT Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company. Who lives and reigns with you.   FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Isaiah 40:1-5.9-11 “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Comfort, comfort my people, says your God….

Prepare to meet the Messiah

Prepare to meet the Messiah

    It is Advent and soon, it will be Christmas, the most popular Christian festivity and, undoubtedly, the most abused. We say so because the world of commerce tries yearly to reduce Christmas to an annual party with little or no spiritual significance. But whether or not they succeed, depends on what cooperation we Christians, the very owners of Christmas, give them. For Christmas to be meaningful we must heed the call to prepare for it and that is the message of Advent. Simply put, Advent is the season before Christmas. It is a period of expectation and waiting…

ADVENT AGAIN?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Why does the Church take us through the same advent ritual every year? Well, it is a period to contemplate the three comings of Christ in: a) History, 2000 years ago, when God stepped out of eternity to become one like us in everything but sin. b) Mystery –through his abiding presence in Word and Sacrament, grace and communion. c) Glory, when he comes at the end of time to pronounce the Last Judgment. Ours in the closing age of human history, which will culminate in Christ’s splendid Parousia, the overthrow of the present world order, and the inauguration…

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

  ENTRANCE ANTIPHON    Cf. Ps 25: l-3 To you, I lift up my soul, O my God. In you, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame. Nor let my enemies exult over me; and let none who hope in you be put to shame.   COLLECT Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom. Through our Lord..   FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Isaiah…

God’s got you covered!

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

American theologian and author, Scott Hahn tells an interesting story about covenantal love. It was about an earthquake in Armenia which killed 25,000 people in 1998. And there was an anxious father rushing to his son’s school and being traumatized by though of the promise he always made to his little boy: “No matter what happens, my son, I will never abandon you.” Reaching there the school had been reduced to a pile of rubble, and the poor man just stood there at first fighting back tears. Then he ran over to where his son’s classroom had been and, with…

Sunday Reading 4th Sunday of Advent Year A

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON CF. IS 45:8 Drop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Saviour.   COLLECT Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you…   FIRST READING “Behold, a virgin shall conceive.” A reading from the Book of Isaiah 7:10-l4…

Sunday Readings: THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT (GAUDETE)

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON PHIL 4:4-5 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.   COLLECT O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing. Through our Lord…   FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Isaiah 35:1-6a.10 Theme: “God himself will come and save you.” The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the lily it…

Don’t whitewash your sins – Pope Francis

As Christmas approaches, don’t downplay your sins, Pope Francis said. Instead, name them honestly in the Sacrament of Confession, open your heart, and ask the Lord to heal you from within. If we merely say: “yes, yes, I have some sins; I go, I confess…and then I go on as before,” we don’t allow ourselves to be recreated by the Lord, the Pope said Dec. 5. It’s as if we’ve applied “two coats of paint” on our heart, believing that is good enough. “No!” he said. What we should do instead is name our sins carefully, saying: “I’ve done this,…

CELEBRATING ADVENT: The Joyful Mystery of Waiting (2)

Read the CELEBRATING ADVENT: The Joyful Mystery of Waiting (1) here.   REPARATION FOR ADVENT: The sacred text of the Book of Apocalypse “… behold I will make all things new” (Rev 21:5), serves as a thriving ground for this season of waiting, which the entire church mark as a new dawn for Christian pilgrimage. This is to be renewed with grace and the spirit. Here Matthew reporting these words and describing the ministry of the desert preacher – John the Baptist,(cf. Mtt 3:3) which is the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophetic utterance, a voice cries, “Prepare in the wilderness a…

Sunday Readings: SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Sunday readings

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON Cf. Is 30:19.30 O people of Zion, behold, the Lord will come to save the nations, and the Lord will make the glory of his voice heard in the joy of your heart. The Gloria in excelsis (Glory to God in the highest) is not said.   COLLECT Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company. Who lives and reigns with you…   FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Isaiah 11:1-10 “With…

World AIDS Day: Pope calls for solidarity and treatment for all

Pope Francis has appealed to all persons to act in a responsible manner to prevent the spread of HIV-Aids. Speaking during the weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall,  to mark this year’s World AIDS Day, Thursday December 1, the  Pope said: “Millions of people live with this illness and only half of them have access to life-saving therapies.” The Pope invited all to pray for them and for their families and promote solidarity so that “also the poor can benefit from adequate diagnosis and treatment. “I appeal to all to act in a responsible way in order to…

Advent: Don’t be dominated by material things – Pope Francis

The season of Advent is a reminder to us to open our horizons and have concern for more than just material things, the Pope said last Sunday during his Angelus address. Advent is an invitation “to sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world, to material reality, but rather to govern them,” Pope Francis said Nov. 27 in St. Peter’s Square. “If, on the contrary, we are conditioned and overpowered by them, it is not possible to perceive that which is much more important: our final encounter with the Lord: and this is important. He pointed to…

SERIOUS AND PERSONAL

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Christian discipleship is a serious and personal enterprise! It is much more than a cultural heritage, or social convention. Rather, it is special, fundamental, all-encompassing, and all-important. Following Christ is more than just what our parents or ancestors handed down to us; it transcends the realm of peer influence, and it goes beyond what we learn at school or on social media. Christianity is a sublime experience and a personal encounter with the eternal Word of God. It is a personal invitation to “what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind conceived” (I Cor. 2:9)….

CELEBRATING ADVENT: The Joyful Mystery of Waiting (1)

INTRODUCTION: The Church opens the door of liturgical year with a four week season of great waiting of joy, hope, peace and love called “Advent.” Advent is a term derived from Latin usage “Adventus” meaning “coming.” In the Christian Church Calendar, it stands for the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas and also of preparation for the second coming of Christ. It begins on the Sunday following the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle. This mysterious season of waiting is associated with the ancient exclamation of “Maranatha” which is transliterated from the…

Time for Refreshing

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

It’s Advent again!  It’s that season of expectation when we prepare the way for the nativity of our Lord. It isa time for the renewal of faith and hope while watching and praying.But why do we have to go through the same rituals every year? Why Advent? It is certainly not for a lack of imagination or creativity on the part of the Church. Rather, it is a perennial reminder of the three comings of Christ our Lord. The first was in history (2000 years ago); the second is his ongoing coming in mystery through his grace, Word and sacraments;…

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Entrance Antiphon To you, I lift up my soul, O my God. In you, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame. Nor let my enemies exult over me; and let none who hope in you be put to shame.   Collect Grant your faithful, we pray, Almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom. Through our Lord …   FIRST READING                             Isaiah 2:1-5 The Lord will gather all nations in the eternal…

Acting on our Faith

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

On this last Sunday of Advent, we are invited to learn from the spiritual bond between Mary and Elizabeth. We are called to believe in divine promises, and to act on that faith by becoming channels of the joy flowing from it. In the First Reading, the Lord promises Bethlehem that out of it will come the Messiah. And in the Gospel, as soon as Mary learns that the promise would materialize through her, she hurries off to share the joy with Elizabeth. Authentic faith always leads to action! Mary is “the one who believed that the promise made her…

SUNDAY READING: FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR C

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON Cf. Is 45:8 Drop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Saviour. COLLECT Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you…… FIRST READING A reading from the Book of the Prophet Micah 5:2-5a “From you shall come forth…

Advent: An Opportune Moment for Self Examination

The term Advent came from the Latin word Adentus meaning A COMING which is the actual translation of the Greek word’ parousia. To talk about ad­vent implies that someone or something is coming or will come. It is a period that commemorates the great expectation and longing of mankind over years for the coming of the Saviour. The liturgical time of Advent is a period of waiting for divine action, a divine intervention, a waiting for God’s gesture towards us. We wait with the Old Testa­ment St. John the Baptist and the Blessed Virgin Mary in prepara­tion for the arrival…