Thursday, September 23, 2010

TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY - Year C

THE MAN WHO NEVER NOTICED “And lying at his door was a poor man…”



“If you cannot have everything, make the best of everything you have” (Anon)



1st reading: Amos 6:1, 4-7

2nd reading 1Tim 6:11-16

Gospel Luke 16:19-31



“When you give something to the poor, you are not giving back to him what is his, since the goods of this earth belong to all, not just the rich” (St. Ambrose- a Bishop of the early Church).



Jesus wants to tell us that the existence of the classes of people, the rich and the poor, is against God’s plan. The goods of this world are for all and must be shared. Whoever has more must give it to the one who has less or nothing, so as to reach equality as much as possible. All must be able to live lives worthy of human beings.

The best definition of poverty which I have heard is this “The poor man is someone in whose home everyone feels at ease”. The poor man knows how to receive. Woe to the rich man: he cuts himself off from God… And he cuts himself off from his brothers because he ignores them. In the parable of Lazarus, what is the rich reproached for? What wrong did the rich man do? He did not see Lazarus! That was all.

“Voltaire said that there are four ways of wasting time: doing nothing, not doing what one ought to do, doing it badly and doing it at the wrong time”. Making music means playing each note at the right moment. There is not life without repression. We cannot be generous without repressing our egoism.

Many people I visit or whom I have the opportunity to meet in my pastoral keep on saying “we Africans are poor, but I keep asking them so what can we do?” Start to steal and be violent with the rich? No, never make the mistake of using violence: this will not solve problems; it will only cause new and worse ones.

The politicians and Christian communities must stand up and denounce to all the world, the injustices committed in their countries and the sufferings imposed on the poor of their country; protest with force, though avoiding violence. Each one of us has to undertake to change his “rich man’s heart” that he carries with him.

If we have a selfish heart, if we don’t have courage to share the little we have with the poorer ones, if we deprive our wife and children of the essential goods in order to satisfy our whims, if we hope one day to be powerful owners and have servants to order around, can we ever build a new world founded on the justice and equality wanted by God. The only source of a firm and sound faith is the world of God, the word that the rich of all times have always failed to understand. Is this word enough for our faith?

PSALM 145

Praise the Lord my soul; while life lasts, I will praise the Lord; of him, my God, shall my songs be while I am here to sing them.

Man made monotony

NOW WHAT could be more monotonous than that? Asks the modern listener- if he’s at all listening;

The real fear is not the fear of boredom or of a sugary mentality. Quite the contrary! He fears the very vigor of God’s demands, the pains of the Christian’s endless battle, and the strain of developing a Christ-like will power. He is like a boy who says he does not like football because it requires no skill, when really he inwardly fears getting hurt, or being humiliated by stronger and more skilful players.



People who are charitable, generous, patient, thoughtful of others, eager to work for Christ, such people have no time for sins. Nor do they have the selfishness that causes sin. To praise the Lord while life lasts, to make Him the subject of all their hopes this is a constant joy to them. They find endless work to be done in praise of God; every creature leads them to Him; every talent is spent for Him; they have no time for boredom.



“When money speaks, the truth is silent” – Russian proverb

Monday, September 13, 2010

Welcome To Understanding Your Faith
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time C
September ,19, 2010
Homilies for Sundays, Feast Days and Special Occasions Year C. HIS WORD LIVES ON IN OUR LIFE
1st reading: Amos 8:4-7
4.Listen to this, you that trample on the needy and try to destroy the poor of the country. 5 you say to yourselves, “we can hardly wait for the holy days to be over so that we can sell our grain. When will the Sabbath end, so that we can start selling again? Then we can overcharge, use false measures, and fix scales to cheat our customers. 6. We can sell worthless wheat at high price. We’ll find a poor man who can’t pay his debts, not even the price of a pair of sandals, and we’ll buy him as a slave”. 7. The LORD, the God of Israel, has sworn “I will never forget their evil deeds.”
2nd reading: 1 Tim 2:1-8


First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgiving be offered to God for all people; 2. for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence towards God and proper conduct. 3. This is good and it pleases God our Saviour, 4. who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth. 5. For there is one God and mankind together, the man Christ Jesus. 6. Who gave himself to redeem all mankind. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved, 7. and that is why I was sent as an as an apostle and teacher to the gentiles, proclaim the message of faith and truth. I am not lying; I am telling the truth! 8. In every church service I want the men to pray, men who are dedicated to God and can lift up their hands in prayer without anger or argument
1st reading: Amos 8:4-7
The question
Who can know God’s justice, or who can conceive what our LORD wants in our dealings?
The answer
4. For those who think that they can escape .
5. For the corruptible body burdens the soul, cheating can’t take you far.
6. And scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty; but once we raise our hands to him, he will be able help us.
The question
Who ever knew Justice of the lord is never forgotten, except you who is called to be an ambassador of justice and peace.
1st reading: Amos 8:4-7
4 Who can know God's justice, or who can conceive what our LORD wants from us?
5 plotting for evil everyday in our deliberations, unsure are our plans.
6 commerce without morality, corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.
7 what will kill us once we are in this state of life is our conscience. It will become smooth and we become immoral and loose our minds to the power of the devil.

. CALL: INTERIOR RENEWAL
REFLECTION





The accumulation of vast wealth while so many are languishing in misery is a grave transgression of God’s law, with the consequence that the greedy, avaricious man is never at ease in his mind; he is in fact a most unhappy creature.
Pope John XXII
JESUS, FRIEND OF OUTCASTS
“If Jesus had been indicted in a modern court, he would have been examined by two doctors, found to be obsessed by delusion, declared to be incapable of pleading, and sent to an asylum…”
George Bernard Shaw



“He who suffers much will know much” – Greek proverb
Responsorial. Ps 112

R. (1) Laudate Dominum, qui erigit pauperem

Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.

Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! May the name of the Lord be blessed both now for evermore! (R)

High above all nations is the Lord, above the heavens his glory. Who is like the Lord, our God, who has risen on high to look down, to look down, to look down upon heaven and earth? (R)

From the dust he lifts up the lowly, from the dungheap he raises the poor to set him in the company of princes, yes, with the princes of his people (R)


Resp. Ps 112







R. (1) Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
Reflections on the Psalm

He has gone out of himself entirely, has not merely stooped down to lift us from dust we lay in, but has been born and raised a poor child among the poor. Even after his public life, when after thirty hidden years of poverty, he had to tell the world who he was, he accepted no rewards, took no offers of glory, made no display of greatness. Like a vagabond he simply said I have not a place to lay my head. His home was the universe
2nd reading 1 Tim 2:1-8

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people; 2. for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence towards God and with proper conduct. 3. This is good and it pleases God our Saviour, 4. who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth. 5. For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and mankind together, the man Christ Jesus. 6. who gave himself to redeem all mankind. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved, 7. and that is why I was sent as an apostle and teacher of the Gentiles, to proclaim the message of faith and truth! In every church service I want the men to pray, men who are dedicated to God and can lift up their hands in prayer without anger or argument.
REFLECTION on the 2nd Reading

A GOOD VISITOR TO AN OFFICE STARTS WITH A POINT, STICKS TO THE POINT, KNOWS THAT AN OFFICE IS A PLACE OF WORK, WASTES NO TIME AND KNOWS WHEN TO LIVE.
Reflections on the 2nd reading
When we become Christians, we are to possess discipline in our prayer life. We should not be reporters or news TV anchors in our petitions
Christians are called to reflect, to be patient, to be humble, to be a sign, to others.
You cannot be a Christian if you consider your brother as a nobody, and, if you are not willing to be reconciled with him, don’t backbite.
Gospel reading: Luke 16:1-13,
Luke 16:1-13 RSV Luke 16:1 He also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 And he called him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.' 3 And the steward said to himself, `What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.' 5 So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, `How much do you owe my master?' 6 He said, `A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, `Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' 7 Then he said to another, `And how much do you owe?' He said, `A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill, and write eighty.' 8 The master commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness; for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations. 10 "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
Gospel reading: Luke 16:1-13

In times like ours more so in most of our African countries. There is always the satanic temptation to identify holiness with prosperity. It has become an old habit of our rich nation to turn to the beatitudes inside out to assume that we must indeed be meek because we have inherited the land. Especially somebody else’s land. Yet we have assumed that because we are richest people in the world we are also the most righteous.
How to develop your sharing / homily

Share a person whom you consider a great teacher / master.
Why do you consider him/her your idol? (has qualities I can’t find in myself, in my family, etc. Has a lot of good ideas to share; has a pleasing personality, etc.)
How do you respond to him / her? (I read his/her books. I compile his/her works. I attend his conferences and seminars. I take notes, etc.)


Jesus is a great teacher and master. He has a lot of great things (wisdom, food for thought) to share with us.
Many are attracted to him because of his consoling words. He touches a lot of people. He heals all their wounds. He gives hope to the hopeless.
Now, to those who would like to follow him more, to get to know him more, he demands abandonment of families and friends and total dedication of themselves to him.

DISCIPLESHIP
Discipleship is not just learning some of Jesus’ teachings, but all of his teachings.
Discipleship is a life-time process and commitment.
Discipleship is journeying with Jesus up to the finish.
It finishes by undergoing the passion, death and resurrection with him.
Christ demands a total conversion and overhaul of our value system.
We should not withhold anything from him. Jesus wants a total commitment to him. We must be 100% sold out to him, otherwise, our being disciples is half-baked.




Christian discipleship is identification with Christ
who walked around teaching, healing and forgiving people.
who went around without relatives and friends, who can bog him down in his mission.
who appeared to people without baggage and paraphernalia.
who was totally free to do God’s will and not follow his own itinerary.


We translate the theme of discipleship in our parishes and communities
by allowing ourselves to be put into our proper places.
by sharing our particular charisma and God-given talents.
by willingly allowing ourselves to be hurt in the process.
Christian discipleship is not dictating what others should do, but discerning what Jesus wants us to do.

What kind of disciples are you?
Do you agree with Jesus’ radicalism?
Your discipleship depends how much you know and love Jesus.

THE EUCHARIST
The eucharist is a sacrament of perfect discipleship.
In the eucharist, we acknowledge that Christ is our Lord and master. We are just his followers.
In the eucharist, we affirm our commitment to journey with him, to share in his mission.

ANGER
“FOR EVERY MINUTE YOU ARE ANGRY YOU LOSE SIXTY SEONDS OF HAPPINESS”.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


GRACE COMBATING SIN

No commitment
Lazy to study
No wisdom (doesn’t learn from experience)
Imbecile
Faith without catechism
Too attached to material things and loved ones
Quits in the middle of work (or project)
Always seeking for comfort
Spoiled brat
Can’t make important decisions
Can’t follow anyone, anything

CHRISTIAN MATURITY
Making wise decisions
Good judgment
Prudent
Mature
Has word of honor
Ability to sacrifice
Radical discipleship
Makes calculated risks
Does not go away when the going gets rough
Finishes what he/she begins


THE POWER OF ATTRACTION
WE ARE ALL LIKE MAGNETS AND WE ATTRACT PEOPLE ACCORDING TO OUR ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.
WE HAVE TO LIVE IN ABUNDANCE THAT WHICH EMANATES FROM WITHIN AND THEN THROW IT OUT TO THE UNIVERSE AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF FOR HEALTHY WEALTH.
DON’T THINK WHAT YOU DON’T WANT
LIFE CAN BE VERY PHENOMENON ONCE YOU HAVE AN INNER FORCE OF ATTRACTION

COMPLAINING ABOUT WHAT YOU DON’T LIKE WILL ALWAYS COME BACK TO YOU. CHOOSE YOUR THOUGHTS VERY CAREFULLY. EVEN THINGS YOU ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT, YOU HAVE ATTRACTED THEM.
LISTENING TO PRAYER

“THE CORE OF ALL PRAYER IS INDEED LISTENING” Making All Things New
Praying is the first and foremost listening to Jesus who dwells in the very depth of your heart.
Life of prayer requires discipline
Listening, life of obedience, means listening obediently standing in the presence of God

LISTENING HEART
Discipline of the heart, we present to God only those parts of ourselves with which we feel relatively comfortable and which we think all evoke a positive response.
The still small voice- trust God
Discipline of community helps us to be silent together attentive to Jesus.

There are THREE sides of every argument or disagreement
YOUR SIDE
THEIR SIDE
And the TRUTH
LIFE OF A RIVER
ORIGIN
TRIBUTARIES
PEACEFUL FLOW
HIDDEN FLOW
DETOURS
OBSTACLES
DRY SPELL
STAGNATION
RAPIDS
DEEPENING AND WIDENING
DESTINATION
DEEPEST DESIRE
OCEAN
Suggested Songs
Follow Christ
Come Build My Church
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZugkzkgjDk
You are so Good
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spj_5sTiF5Y

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