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25 Sunday B: Who's the Greatest?

From Fr. Jude Botelho

Dear Friend,

Mohamed Ali, the one-time heavy weight champion would often boast, "I am the greatest!", and people believed he was. We may not openly claim to be the greatest in any particular field but deep down we like to feel that we are on the top, we belong to the elite, second to none. We all play the power game in one way or another and much of our behaviour is aimed at asserting: "I am No.1!" For that matter, who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God? Is my life running on man-power or God's power? May His word challenge us to be powerless in His Kingdom. 


24 Sunday B - You are the Christ

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

If your non Catholic friend /colleague asked you a blunt question: “Who or what does Jesus mean to you?” What would your answer be? A prophet? An inspiring person? A miracle worker? A great personality? Is that it? Or is Jesus more than that for you? It is easy to give book answers, or second-hand answers. Is my life in any way dependent on Jesus or influenced by Jesus?? Have a quiet weekend reflecting on whether Jesus makes any difference in my daily Life.

23 Sunday B: Ephphatha - Be Opened

1. FR. JUDE BOTELHO

We have come to associate the good news of salvation with something that is going to take place in the distant future, as something purely spiritual. But Scripture pictures salvation in more realistic and physical terms. In today's first reading Isaiah reminds the people that God will save them and they will experience tangible signs of his power and loving care for them. The message of the prophet is loud and clear to all who believe in God. We may be living in difficult times, we may be faced with uncertainty. What is God saying to us? His promise is not something for the distant future but will be realized right now. He is coming to save us and He will give us signs of his presence. Are we open to His touch? Can we believe that His hand is there in all that is happening to us today? "Be open!"

22 Sunday B: Holiness - Outside and Inside Purification

A. Fr Jude Botelho:

In the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses exhorts the people to heed the statutes and ordinances of God so that they might inherit the land promised by Yahweh. While advising them to follow the laws and commandments of God, at the same time he warns them against adding or taking away anything from what they have received from God. Today's reading reminds the people that they have to be faithful to the written Law and not add their own interpretations and customs to the Law. In our own experience, we know that often in interpreting the law we apply it as we think best rather than as God wants us to live. We can be observing the letter of the law while missing its spirit. 

21 Sunday B: Submission and Service

From Fr. Jude Botelho:
In the first reading from the Book of Joshua, we meet Joshua who had led the people into the Promised Land. Joshua asks them to choose whom they wish to serve: the God of their ancestors or the false gods of the land they now inhabit. He is more concerned with the inner battle of faith rather than his military campaigns. Joshua knows that all choices have to be renewed, that people do not stay dedicated to a cause just by continuing to exist. Israel Zangwill observed about the Jewish tradition: "We are not the chosen people but the choosing people." Joshua himself makes clear his own choice and leaves them free to make their own. The people too renew their choice: "We too will serve the Lord, for he is our God."

20 Sunday B: Bread of Life for the Life of the World

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

Today's reading is a small portion of the Book of Proverbs which tries to give us words of God's wisdom to live by. The reading imagines Wisdom as a woman who has provided a plentiful table of meat and wine. All who lack wisdom are invited to leave their folly behind them and come to the banquet where something wonderful awaits them. The point the reading is making is that we have a choice to make: living according to the wisdom of God or living out our own foolish ways. It surprises us that God offers us his wisdom free of cost, we only have to come to him and it is ours for the asking. Will we live our life in partnership with God or do we think that we can manage on our own?

Assumption of Mary - Aug 15

Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading from the Book of the Apocalypse conveys its message through the medium of extraordinary visions and dreams. The description of a ‘woman clothed with the sun’ is imagery linked to a goddess in classical antiquity. Traditional commentaries identify her as Mary the new Eve, but she could also stand for Wisdom personified, the heavenly Jerusalem, or the Church. She also stands for Israel, whose pangs of birth represent the trials to be endured before the coming of the Messiah. The dragon, God’s traditional opponent in the Hebrew Scriptures, is an ancient symbol of chaos and all the forces of evil opposed to God.
In the second reading from the letter to the Corinthians, St Paul, in line with Mary’s representation as the new Eve, refers to Jesus as the new Adam: “just as all men die in Adam, so all are brought to life in Christ.” If the first reading referred to the troubled beginning, the birth pangs, so ‘the end’ will see a responsible son, Jesus, handing over ‘the kingdom’, the world renewed and freed from every oppression, to the Father. Christ is the first fruit of God’s saving action, and after him salvation is assured to all who follow him. On the feast of the assumption, if Mary is seen as the new Eve, then she shares intimately in the fruit of the redemption and so is assumed body and soul into heaven.