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Church Teachings
 
 

 
「Spiritual Talk」The Feast of the Pentecost – Fr. Anthony Ho

This week, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Pentecost, which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Blessed Virgin, the Apostles, and disciples in the form of wind and tongues of fire after the Ascension of Our Lord. After receiving the Holy Spirit, they went out to proclaim the Gospel, receiving three thousand people into the Church. Pentecost is also the birthday of the Church, the mystical Body of Christ whose body is God's grace and whose soul is the Holy Spirit Who gives her the impetus to continue Christ's work on earth. One of her missions is to forgive humanity's sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which Christ gave her Apostles after His Resurrection through breathing on them, and through the Sacrament of Baptism which remits the sins of the newly baptized and opens the baptized to forgiveness in Confession. When priests are consecrated, there is a prayer asking God to send His Holy Spirit onto the newly consecrated priest. From this, we see that priests' authority to forgive sins comes from the Holy Spirit.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 30


 
Four Steps to Explosive Celebrations

When was the last time you had a really good celebration, where you forgot about the difficulties of life and focused on the goodness God the Father gives? I myself can't remember one recently.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 31


 
Taking Our Faith to the Streets: Mother of Mercy Procession

For four years, Our Lady of Carmel Church in Chinatown, Toronto has been holding a Marian Procession in May, providing the faithful a wonderful opportunity to bear witness to their faith in public. Overcoming adversities and bracing all kinds of weather conditions, the parishioners were dedicated to making this event a success. Fountain of Grace takes you to Chinatown to uncover the driving force behind their enthusiasm and determination.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 23


 
「Spiritual Talk」Feast of the Ascension – Fr. Anthony Ho

This week, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension. For forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus remained on earth to complete the instruction of the Apostles and strengthen their faith in His Resurrection. After the forty days, He led them to a mountain and said, "All power in heaven and earth has been given to me, so baptize all peoples and make them my disciples, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, commanding them to keep all that I have taught you." Jesus gave His Apostles three missions: (1) a prophet's duty to teach, (2) a priest's duty to sanctify, and (3) a king's duty to rule. Jesus commanded them to instruct all peoples through spreading the Gospel, to administer the Sacraments like Baptism, and to rule them by teaching them to follow God's commandments. Jesus did not leave them to fight alone but promised to be with them, "until the end of the age." Wherever the Blessed Sacrament is, there is Jesus present also, and through the Eucharist, Jesus is with us. In the Creed, we profess that Jesus rose to the right hand of the Father, showing us that Jesus is equal to God and both our king and judge. When we meditate on the mystery of the Ascension, we deepen our thirst for heaven and desire to help others attain heaven as well.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 23


 
Life is a Test and Temporary Assignment

"The way you see your life shapes your life" (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, 41). Some people may see life as a journey, or a roller coaster (up and down), or a question mark (we don't know what it is). Some of us may remember what G.K. Chesterton said: "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered".
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 24


 
「Spiritual Talk」Sixth Sunday of Easter – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is the Sixth Sunday of Easter and the Gospel reading comes from John 14:15-21. Before His final farewell to His disciples, Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Loving and obeying Jesus are inseparable and His most basic commandment is to love: "Just as I have loved you, so you ought to love one another." Just as the Son loves and obeys the Father, so the disciples love and obey Jesus. And as the will of the Father and the Son are one, the disciples can approach the Father through the Son. God first sent an Advocate to be present with the disciples, Jesus. Now, He would send another Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of truth. Many people do not accept the Holy Spirit because they have not accepted Christ first. Jesus was going back to the Father, but He promised to return to the disciples again. Jesus only appeared to some people after His Resurrection but through the Church, He meets each of us, especially in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In obeying and keeping the commandments of Jesus, we witness to our love of Christ, thereby gaining the love of the Father.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 16


 
Overcoming the Fear of Evangelization

Brett Powell, a Catholic leader in North America and someone I greatly respect, wrote recently, "After 28 years of full-time ministry, I still get nervous when sharing the faith with others. My liver quivers and I'm tempted to remain silent or just let the moment pass by." When I read that, I remembered how many fears I still have about evangelization, proclaiming Jesus to people.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 17


 
「Spiritual Talk」Fifth Sunday of Easter – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is the Fifth Sunday of Easter and the Gospels retell Jesus telling His disciples at the Last Supper, "Do not be troubled." Although Jesus was about to die, He still desired them to trust in Him, the absolutely trustworthy Son of God. Jesus also told them He would go to the Father's home to prepare rooms for them and one day bring them to the glory of the Father. All earthly temples are merely reflections of the Presence of God, but Jesus transformed His Body into the new Temple after His Resurrection, the only path to God. His disciples originally did not understand this, so Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Unless we live by Jesus' teachings, we cannot reach the Father; unless we enter into the Word made flesh, we cannot understand the teachings of God; and unless we are led to the Kingdom of Heaven by Jesus, we cannot attain new life. Jesus is the narrow gate, the only intercessor between God and man. The Gospel of John 14:1-7 is often used in funeral Masses because it reassures us that Jesus will return to Earth and is even now preparing rooms for us in Heaven, our true home. Moses and Philip yearned to see the Father, but Jesus says that whoever sees Him has already seen the Father. He said that if the apostles followed Him, they would perform even greater deeds than He performed on earth, because He would send them the Holy Spirit and together with His glorified humanity, they would work miracles together to save the world.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 9


 
How to Stop Getting Pulled in Different Directions

Author Greg McKeown tells the story of the day after his daughter was born. His wife was exhausted yet radiant and happy. Greg, however, was filled with tension: He was on the phone and e-mail regarding work, and was also invited to attend a meeting. He felt pressure to go, but wanted to be with his family, so he said… "Yes."
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 10


 
Pope Francis: Prayer is the breath of faith because man is a beggar before God

(Vatican News) Taking inspiration from the Gospel episode of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar from Jericho who is able to see again after making a profession of faith in Jesus, Pope Francis invited Christians to reach out to God with prayer and to persevere in their journey of faith.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 6


 
「Spiritual Talk」Fourth Sunday of Easter – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. The Gospel reading comes from chapter 10 of the Gospel of John, describing Jesus as the good shepherd who enters the sheepfold through the gate, as opposed to the thief and robber who eneter through other ways. The thief and robber enter through violence to benefit from the sheep's misfortune, but the shepherd takes care of the sheep. When Jesus endured His Passion, the people released a robber instead of Him and Jesus hung on the Cross between two robbers, showing how far His way is from the way of violence. Some biblical commentators have explained that the gatekeeper who lets the sheep into the sheepfold is God the Father, who leads the apostles to Christ. Just as the gatekeeper lets the shepherd lead the sheep to the pastures, God the Father sent Jesus to lead all peoples to the pastures of everlasting life. In the previous chapter, chapter 9, Jesus healed a blind man persecuted and driven from the synagogue by the Pharisees. The Pharisees sought to scatter the sheep, whereas Jesus sought to gather them. The good shepherd calls each sheep by its name, just as Jesus called His followers by name, like Peter, Lazarus, and Mary Magdalene. The sheep do not follow strangers, but follow their shepherd faithfully. Jesus is our Good Shepherd and He understands our every need and problem, so we must not only listen to Him by studying the Scriptures and the Church's teachings, but also respond to His voice by imitating His example.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 2


 
Three Clues to Hear Jesus’ Voice

All day long our thoughts can waver between being hopeful and depressed, feeling loved and lonely, encouraged and discouraged—how do we know which thoughts come from Jesus? Is He pushing us or are we just being too hard on ourselves? We know from the Gospel that Jesus can be extremely gentle, but He also criticized His disciples for not understanding ("How foolish you are, and slow of heart to believe") (Lk 24:25).
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 3


 
Pope Francis: The beatitudes reveal the path from selfishness to holiness

(CNA) The eight beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount reveal the path from selfishness to holiness, Pope Francis said at his general audience Wednesday.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 29


 
「Spiritual Talk」Third Sunday of Easter – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is the Third Sunday of Easter and the Gospel reading describes the resurrected Jesus appearing to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus explained the Scriptures to them and as night approached, He took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, just as He did at the miracle of the five loaves and two fish. That earlier miracle foresaw the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday and now, after Jesus' Resurrection, He again appeared to His disciples in the breaking of the bread to signify the end of His earthly ministry. The two disciples' eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus, just as Adam and Eve's eyes were opened to recognize the evil brought by sin after they ate the forbidden fruit. However, whereas Adam and Eve's sin corrupted our human nature, Jesus the New Adam has elevated our human nature. The liturgy of the Mass has two parts: an initial Liturgy of the Word to listen to the Scriptures and a later Liturgy of the Eucharist to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ. The Mass has many similarities with the appearance of Christ on the road to Emmaus: He first revealed the Scriptures then blessed and broke the bread. The Liturgies of the Word and the Eucharist mutually aid each other: by listening to the Word of God, we are prepared to receive the Body and Blood of Christ; and by receiving the Eucharist, we are given the grace to understand and live out the Word of God. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot go to church or attend Mass, which causes us much suffering. But we cannot neglect the Word of God--by studying it, we can prepare ourselves to participate once again in the Mass
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 25


 
Ways in Which Jesus Acts in Our Lives

If you were a priest, what would you say to someone in the following situation? Someone comes for Confession, confesses something of which they're very ashamed and about which they're embarrassed. They can't believe they did it or keep on doing it. Let's say they're crying, too. And they say, "I feel so guilty. I feel awful." What would you say?
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 26


 
Apostles Are Alive!

Did you realize that last week, when you encountered a very difficult situation, that you were probably sent there by God? Is it possible that, last week, you were sent to a chaotic situation at work to bring Jesus' peace? Or you were sent home where there was an argument between your parents so that you could pray for them? Or you were sent an impatient e-mail so you could ask the person what's bothering them?
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 19


 
「Spiritual Talk」 Divine Mercy Sunday – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter. In the 1930s, Jesus appeared to St. Faustina and asked the Church to dedicate this day to His Divine Mercy. The Divine Mercy image is very beautiful, with Jesus wearing a white robe and two rays of light--one red and one white--emanating from His heart, representing the blood and water that poured from His side on the Cross, and at the bottom are written these words: "Jesus, I trust in you." After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples, but St. Thomas was not present so he refused to believe in Jesus' Resurrection until he could see Jesus, thus receiving Jesus' disapproval. From this, we can see that the Apostles were human too and had human weaknesses despite representing God. Our superiors in the Church are also human and have human weaknesses, but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they represent God. Whenever the Church promulgates infallible teachings, it is not merely the decision of fallible humans, but also done under the guidance of God. After Jesus appeared to the Apostles, He breathed on them and gave them the power to forgive sins, instituting the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After St. Thomas saw Jesus, he believed in His Resurrection and cried, "My Lord and my God!" In the Mass, when the Blessed Eucharist is raised after consecration, there is a tradition for the faithful to pray silently, "My Lord and my God!", and when the Chalice is raised after the consecration of the Blood, "My Jesus, mercy." We believe in the mercy of God through faith, and then participate in the Mass.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 18


 
Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land: Cenacle – The Upper Room, Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Jesus had the last Passover dinner with the apostles and instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist. What was it like at the Last Supper? After Jesus got arrested, how did he spend the night before his crucifixion on Good Friday? What does Mount Calvary and the tomb of Jesus look like today after some 2000 years? Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land takes you to Israel to find out more.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 11


 
Capacity to Suffer = Capacity to Love

Happy Easter, everyone! And again a special welcome to all of our guests! The question we're going to start with is difficult but will direct us towards Easter joy: Why does some of what we're going through hurt so much? Some of us have been struggling in relationships and it hurts intensely. Some of us are hurting in our loneliness. Some of us continue to make the same mistakes and can't fix our lives. In prayer, we ask, "Jesus, what do You want to say through this suffering?"
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 12


 
Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land: Tabgha – Church of the Multiplication, Capernaum, Eucharistic Miracles

Among Jesus' miracles, feeding of the 5000 with five loaves and two fish is the most well-known. What does the site where this miracle took place looks like today? Capernaum was just an ordinary fishing village, but Jesus chose it to be the base of his public ministry and this was where he gave the Bread of Life discourse. Catholics believe that bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ after being blessed by the priest in mass. Various eucharistic miracles had taken place over the years. Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land takes you to the Holy Land and sites of Eucharistic miracles.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 4


 
Pope Francis: To free ourselves from prejudices about God, let us look at the Crucified One

(CNA) Meditating on Christ's Passion can help us as we struggle with questions about God and suffering during the coronavirus crisis, Pope Francis said at his general audience Wednesday.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 8


 
Doing What We Should Do

There are certain things that we should be doing right now but maybe don’t feel like doing. Like what? Forgiving, smiling, doing our duty, being agreeable. Some of us are getting sick of social distancing and staying at home. It’s the loving thing to do, but very sacrificial; it’s particularly hard for social people, like […]
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 5


 
Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land: Mount of Temptation, Sea of Galilee, On the way to Jericho

A sparsely vegetated mountain, a monastery built along a cliff, reminds us what is truly important in our lives. The area surrounding the Sea of Galilee offers incredible scenery, and that is where Jesus chose to start his ministry. In western countries, Good Samaritan has become the synonym for a kind-hearted person. This parable of Jesus has been around for 2000 years. What does it mean for us today? Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land takes you to the Holy Land.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 28


 
Pope Francis: The purified heart is thus the result of a process that implies liberation and renunciation

(CNA) It is the Holy Spirit who leads us away from our sins and towards purity of heart, Pope Francis said at the general audience Wednesday.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 1