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Church Teachings
 
 

 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Second Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time. Today's Gospel comes from John 1:35-42, where Jesus calls the first disciples. Originally, John and Andrew were disciples of John the Baptist but they followed Jesus after the Baptist told them to. On approaching Jesus, He asked them, "What are you looking for?" Some approach Jesus out of habit, curiosity, or family tradition, but the proper reason is this: only He can give us true love and eternal life. St. Augustine lived a life of debauchery in his youth but later realized that our hearts are made for God, and unless they rest in Him, they cannot find rest. The disciples asked Jesus where He lived, only to be told to follow Him. Perhaps they had other plans that day but they decided to stay with Jesus until sunset. If we want to truly follow Jesus, we mustn't force Him into our schedules but must break them to give Him control over our time and lives. Before we follow Jesus, our lives are like sitting in the driver's seat but once we follow Him, we must switch places and let Him decide where to go. Although Andrew had yet to learn that Jesus was the Son of God, he still shared what had happened with his brother Peter. When we share the Gospel, we do not need a theology degree. Oftentimes, people are converted not by theological arguments, but by the good example and words of their friends and family. We ought to ask ourselves whether we are following Jesus for the right reasons and taking the time to grow closer to God in prayer every day.
Publish date: 2021 - 1 - 16


 
“Sunday Homily: Fr. Justin Huang” Begin Again With Equilibrium

Many of us struggle with highs and lows in our lives: When we’re high, we’re very high, but unfortunately unprepared for problems and sufferings that eventually come. If you’re the kind of person who gets surprised at suffering, such as when COVID-19 struck the world, this may apply to you. On the other hand, once we’re low, we’re distraught, forgetful that God’s still with us.
Publish date: 2021 - 1 - 10


 
“Sunday Homily – Fr. Justin Huang” Evangelization Helps Us Begin Again

There’s a popular YouTube channel about exercise and one of the videos is entitled, “Can you touch your fingers behind your back? (Big Problem!).” An athlete should be able to put one hand behind their head and one behind their back and then touch their fingers—this flexibility will help them exercise properly.
Publish date: 2021 - 1 - 3


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Feast of Epiphany – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of Epiphany to commemorate Jesus revealing Himself to three groups of people: firstly, to the Gentiles when He accepted the gifts of the Three Magi from the East; secondly, to the Jews when He was baptized by John the Baptist; and thirdly, to His Apostles when He turned water into wine in the wedding at Cana. The first reading from the Book of Isaiah speaks of the glory of God while the second reading from the Letter to the Ephesians teaches that the Gentiles have also been called. The gifts of the three Magi have significance: gold represents Christ's kingship, frankincense represents His divinity, while myrrh represents His humanity. We can also offer up our meritorious works as spiritual gold, our prayers as frankincense, and our mortifications as myrrh. The Church has a tradition of inviting the laity to offer up the bread and wine at the Offertory. The bread can represent all we have in our lives, while the wine can represent the needs of others. The perfect sacrifice of the Mass not only benefits Catholics, but also blesses the entire world, for the fruits of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross are distributed to all lands and times through the Mass. During this pandemic, the faithful will certainly receive the graces of the Mass if they sincerely thirst to receive the Eucharist and unite themselves spiritually to the Mass.
Publish date: 2021 - 1 - 2




 
Begin Again, Because God Begins Again

If we’re suffer from any discouragement, God doesn’t want this. Discouragement is a normal part of life, but it’s not from God. In the past three weeks, I’ve observed these types of discouragement: 1) People getting frustrated with themselves, their mistakes and failures; 2) Someone admitted, looking back on this year, “I wondered if God would accept me, after what I’ve done”—that’s the voice of doubt; 3) “I’m sick of being at home. I can’t go anywhere”—that’s an exaggeration, but the feeling of helplessness points to a deprivation of meaningful human contact.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 25


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Feast of the Holy Family – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family, honouring Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph. Pope Francis declared this year to be the Year of St. Joseph, the 150th anniversary of his declaration as the Patron of the Universal Church and also of Workers and the Protector of the Saviour in later years. Pope Francis reminds us that during the pandemic, frontline workers toil behind the scenes like Joseph to offer up their work and sacrifices for the needs of the world. He also suggests that those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic should ask St. Joseph for help in finding work. Joseph is a good example, for not only is he faithful in prayer and work, but also truly loves Jesus and Mary. He does not seek to control them but selflessly seeks their good. He is also deeply needed by our modern society as a model of chastity and fatherhood. In today's Gospel, Joseph and Mary dedicate Jesus in the Temple. This fourth Joyful Mystery shows that Joseph and Mary recognize the sovereignty of God over Jesus. Hence, we should not see other people as goods to be possessed, for all are children of God, entrusted to us in order to help them live good and holy lives. When children are baptized, they are consecrated to God, so they are merely entrusted to their parents, who must constantly discern the will of God for their children.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 26


 
Christmas Special (3): Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land: St. Joseph’s Church of Nazareth, Bethlehem, Shepherds’ Fields / A Journey from Head to Heart

On Christmas cards, the scene of the birth of Jesus is depicted in a peaceful way. What does Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, look like today?

Two groups of teenagers and young adults went to volunteer in Ukraine and Tanzania respectively. What did they experience while volunteering abroad?
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 19


 
Pope Francis: Jesus, in the crib, shows us the way of tenderness to be close to each other, to be human

(Vatican News) During his general audience of Wednesday, Pope Francis urges Christians to make the celebration of the birth of Jesus rich in faith, not merely a sentimental or consumerist event.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 24


我們屬於一個自然和超自然的家庭

 
We belong to a natural and a supernatural family

Leading a life of holiness as that of the Holy Family of Nazareth
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 27


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the Gospel reading comes from Luke 1:26-38. Before the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel appeared to announce the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah while he was conducting his priestly duties at the Temple. Meanwhile, Mary--humble and unknown--received the angel at the small village of Nazareth. Mary's circumstances may have been humbler but the foretold reality was far greater. God often chooses the humble to carry out His will in order to show that truly great deeds are only done through His grace. By responding to God's will with obedience, Mary saved us from the disobedience of Eve. A Church Father once taught that while death came through Eve, life came through Mary. God entered humanity through the free choice of Mary, showing how much He values our free choice. Meanwhile, Mary freely accepted the consequences of being the Mother of God, including suffering at the foot of the Cross with her Son. Mary's humility is the good foundation of the spiritual life and we can pray the Angelus and the Hail Mary to imitate her in listening to God's will.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 19


"Sunday Homily" - Begin Again: More Blessings Are Coming

 
Begin Again: More Blessings Are Coming

There are two things you can do to see God’s blessings in your life: 1) Perspective. Our life is probably better than we think. One time, the wife of author Michael Hyatt asked, “How was your day?” “Man, it was terrible.” “Really, what was so bad about it?” When he finished telling her, she said, “It sounds to me like you had a really bad 20 minutes, not a bad day.” He said, “That’s pretty much right, because the rest of the day was pretty great”
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 20


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Third Sunday of Advent – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Third Sunday of Advent and some churches are using rose-coloured vestments to represent the joy of Christmas, since the first half of Advent is already over. Today's Gospel reading comes from John 1 and although John the Baptist was suspected by many to be the Messiah, he did not claim to be so in order to increase his followers. Instead, he openly told people to follow Jesus. Oftentimes, we are tempted to seek the praise of others, perhaps through wealth, appearance, or position in order to affirm ourselves. And people often misunderstand their relationship with Jesus as only with a friend, teacher, or worker of miracles. But John the Baptist proclaimed Him as Lord and did not seek to control Him. If we are to establish an authentic relationship with Christ, every corner of our lives will be transformed, especially our interactions with our coworkers, our friends, family, and even strangers. If we use our possessions, work, position, and friends to measure our self-worth, we are worshipping idols. We can only use our relationship with God to measure our self-worth. Only in understanding our own frailty can we cultivate the humble heart of St. John the Baptist.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 12


 
Christmas Special (1): Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land: Basilica of the Annunciation / Giving Tree / Distant Neighbours: Dr. Paul Au

Nazareth, a small village in Israel, has become a notable destination of Christian pilgrimage due to the fact that Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. How does the place where Mary accepted the invitation of God look like today? In our busy lives, do we pay attention to those who need help? A group of lay faithful warm the hearts of the needy during the Christmas season through the Giving Tree project. Hong Kong-based Dr. Paul Au has participated in numerous medical missions organized by the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders. In order to serve poor patients in need of medical help, he even had to risk his life. What is the driving force that motivates him to serve?
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 5


 
Begin Again: Go Out of Yourself

In 1965 Archbishop Sheen quoted Carl Jung, the famous psychiatrist, that about a third of people who saw him didn’t have a “clinically definable neurosis,” but were suffering from “senselessness and aimlessness” in their lives ! It’s an existential crisis, a lack of meaning and purpose, an anxiety, and a problem of living. This reminds me of our culture, which is spiritually empty: We don’t seriously reflect on why we exist, the meaning of life, and what comes after death. Our emptiness has deepened now that we’re more anxious about our physical health and are more isolated.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 13


 
Pope Francis: Do not feel ashamed when we feel the need to pray in our moments of darkness

(Vatican News) In his catechesis at the weekly General Audience, Pope Francis urges everyone to listen to the cry that wells up within us especially in moments of difficulty, which he says is the prayer of supplication.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 9


 
“Spiritual Talk” – The Second Sunday of Advent – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Advent and the Gospel reading comes from Mark 1:1-8. Mark's Gospel begins with the words "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ". In those days, a "Gospel" typically referred to celebrating the victory or birth of an emperor, who claimed to be a son of god. In saying this, Mark pointed out that true peace and victory come not from worldly princes, but from the true Son of God. In today's Gospel, John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus by teaching through words and actions. He was so humble that he said he was not worthy to untie the sandals of the Messiah, a job deemed too demeaning for even a Jewish slave to perform. When we are baptized, our original sin, personal sin, and the temporal punishment of sin are all erased; we also receive an indelible mark which allows us to receive the other Sacraments. Although John's baptism had no actual authority to forgive sins, he used a liturgy to prepare people's hearts to receive Jesus. The Sacrament of Reconciliation has much greater spiritual graces than John's confessions, and form the pillars of salvation with Baptism. We ought to sincerely repent this Advent, in order to welcome Jesus' coming.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 5


 
Begin Again

Because of the First Reading and because we’re now in Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year, I’ve discerned a theme that we’re going to be talking about during Advent and Christmas, and that theme is: Begin Again.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 6


 
Pope Francis: God is like a good parent who never stops loving us despite our sins

(Vatican News) Reflecting on blessing as an essential dimension of prayer, Pope Francis in his General Audience says that our response to the God who blesses is also by blessing. We do it through the prayer of praise, adoration and thanksgiving.
Publish date: 2020 - 12 - 2


 
「Spiritual Talk」The First Sunday of Advent – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the First Sunday of Advent and the Gospel reading comes from Mark 13:33-37. Advent is the season to anticipate the coming of Christ and commemorates both His first coming on Christmas Day and His second coming at the Final Judgment. Jesus tells us today to be vigilant and awake because no one knows when He will return nor when they will die. Hence, God does not want us to calculate the time but for us to be constantly vigilant. A saint once said that those who constantly meditate on death find it easy to overcome disorderly thoughts, but those who think they will live long lives will be enslaved by worldly pleasures. For us who await Christ's coming, we ought to fulfill our responsibilities, respond to God's will, and dutifully keep the faith.
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 28


 
Pope Francis: The exchange of love is the mystical root of the believer’s entire life

(Vatican News) At the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis turned his gaze to the prayer life of the early Church, as he continued his catechesis on prayer.
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 25


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the liturgical year and the beginning of the four weeks of Advent. Christ is King, and He asks us to serve Him in our neighbours so that we might learn that no one is completely self-sufficient. When we love our neighbours, we simultaneously increase our love for God and outwardly express our welcome to him. Mother Teresa and the Sisters of Mercy which she founded spent time each day praying before the Lord in the Eucharist and to receive Him at Mass. Through this, they established a deep relationship with Jesus and derived the strength to recognize Him in the poor. Chrsit the King does not use violence to achieve victory but uses love, proven by works, to conquer the world. We must live likewise to expand the Kingdom of God.
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 21


 
Pope Francis: It was God's voice that guided Mary's heart and her steps where her presence was needed

(Vatican News) Pope Francis reflects on prayer and on how the Virgin Mary, who entrusted herself to God with docility, is a model for our own lives.
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 18


 
「Spiritual Talk」Thirty Third Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Thirty Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, and the Gospel reading comes from Matthew's Parable of the Talents. There was a master who entrusted his servants with talents before leaving--clearly, the master represents Christ, the servants represent His disciples, and the talents represent His graces. The departure of the master parallels the departure of Christ from His Ascension until His glorious return and general judgment. A saint once said that the servant who buried the talent represents those who bury their abilities in seeking only worldly things and not searching for spiritual truths. The other servants, on the other hand, worked diligently to earn more money for their master. The servant who buried the talent blamed the master for being harsh and painted himself as a victim, showing that he possibly envied the other servants for receiving more talents. But the master revealed that laziness was the real reason and although he did not lose any money, he could not bear the servant's laziness. We must also treasure the opportunities God gives to us and improve the world starting with ourselves. When Christians waste time, they might also waste their salvation. During the pandemic, we must not only watch television but should use the additional time to pray and care for our neighbours.
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 14