Church Teachings
 
 

 
【Ask Fr. Francis】December 7, 2019

Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 7


 
【Spiritual Talk】Second Sunday of Advent (Year A) – Fr. Anthony Ho

Apart from Jesus and Mary, Advent has a third important character: St. John the Baptist. In this Sunday's Gospel reading, the Gospel of Matthew 3:1-12, the Baptist proclaims the Kingdom of God is near and calls the people to repent. The term "Kingdom of God" is very important in Matthew's Gospel and appears 51 times. The Baptist wears a shirt of camel's hair and a leather belt, just like the Old Testament prophet Elijah. Apart from their similarity in clothing, the two men also opposed an evil king and were persecuted for it. They also prepared the way for another prophet: Elijah for Elisha, the Baptist for Jesus. And both Elisha and Jesus would heal lepers and raise the dead. Also, both men transmitted their missions at the Jordan River: Elijah was received into Heaven and passed his mission to Elisha; St. John baptized Jesus and made way for His greater mission. The baptism of John prepared the way for the baptism of Christ, which remits sins and makes people into temples of God and members of the Church.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 7


 
【Spiritual Talk】First Sunday of Advent (Year A) – Fr. Anthony Ho

The season of Advent is just before Christmas and reminds us of Jesus's Second Coming in glory. Today's Sunday reading is from Matthew 24:36-44. In the days of Noah, the people did not know God was about to punish them with a flood, so they continued conducting business, eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. But when the rains came, all but Noah's family perished in the flood. Noah was not resigned to his fate, but was obedient to God and avoided the floods. The coming of the Son of God will also be sudden and many will be frightened, just as a thief comes in the night. And when the master of the house awakens the next morning to find his treasured possessions stolen, how pitiful will that scene be! So we must be vigilant and prepare instead of wasting our time trying to predict when Jesus will come.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 30


 
Fr. Ho talks about the Sixth to Tenth Commandment

The Sixth Commandment is "Thou shalt not commit adultery"; it calls us to purity in word and action. The Seventh Commandment is "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife"; it calls us to purity in thought. Sex is sacred, because it creates life, which is sacred - sex has no place outside the marital covenant. We often treat others as objects to use and fulfill our own desires. A saint once said that it is impossible to dialogue with someone with impure thoughts, for one would lose internal peace. We mustn't only avoid sinning, but also the occasions of sin. Positively, we can receive help from the Sacraments, especially Holy Communion and Confession. Negatively, we should avoid idleness, which can lead us to temptation. The Seventh Commandment is "Thou shalt not steal", the Eight Commandment is "Thou shalt not bear false witness", and the Tenth Commandment is "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods". All three concern justice towards our neighbour's reputation and property. We mustn't gossip or speak carelessly, or else we will steal others' reputations. Lying is usually a venial sin, but becomes a mortal sin once it severely harms another's reputation or leads them to sin.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 23


 
【Ask Fr. Francis 】 Some people will not be saved?

The question is about a bible passage from the Gospel of Matthew and Mark: "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.” Didn’t Jesus say that His coming is for the salvation of sinners? How come this bible verse seems to be contradictory?
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 9


 
【Spiritual Talk】 Fr. Ho talks about the Fourth Commandment

The first Three Commandments concern loving God above all, while the Fourth through Tenth Commandments concern loving one's neighbours as oneself. The Fourth Commandment is "honour your father and mother" - we must love, respect, obey, and help our parents; we must avoid despising, disrespecting, disobeying, and not caring about them. Just as the Church calls us to respect other legitimate authorities placed over us, our parents are representatives of God in the family and He blesses us through them. There are some exceptions to this Commandment, such as when our parents ask us to commit a sin - in these cases, we must not obey for to do so would place them above God. We ought also to help our parents materially and spiritually, such as ensuring they receive the Sacraments before death and praying for them after they have died. Children have a special duty to obedience when they have not become adults yet. But as one becomes an adult, one takes up complete responsibility for their actions and is no longer bound to obey their parents but should still listen to their advice and respect them. Jesus too obeyed His parents for His first thirty years on earth, and then obeyed God the Father in His final three years.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 9


 
Radio broadcast – Full episode (Nov 9, 2019)

【Ask Fr. Francis 】 Some people will not be saved? 【Spiritual Talk】 Fr. Ho talks about the Fourth Commandment 【Edwin’s blog】November 9, 2019
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 9


 
Pope Francis: Ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to build bridges with those who do not believe or with a creed different from ours

(CNA) St. Paul announced Jesus Christ to “idol worshippers” in Athens without attacking them, but by building bridges, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 7


 
To Jesus through Mary: Fr. Denis Kong

Many Catholics have a deep devotion to Our Lady. Marian shrines such as Fatima, Lourdes, and Medjugorje also attract thousands of pilgrims year after year. Fountain of Grace invited Fr. Denis Kong to share with us how Our Lady leads us to Jesus.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 26


 
Pope Francis: Ask the Holy Spirit for an open heart, sensitive to God and hospitable to our brothers

(CNA) In his message for the audience, the pope reflected on the Acts of the Apostles chapter 16, when St. Paul experiences a vision in which a Macedonian begs him to “come over to Macedonia and help us.”
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 30


 
【Spiritual Talk】 Fr. Ho talks about the Second Commandment

The Second Commandment is "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain" - we can only use the name of God with veneration and good reason, not for cursing or making false oaths. Usually, using His name while swearing constitutes venial sin, but it can be a mortal sin if one blasphemes God. Likewise, it is venial sin to wish little misfortune on someone, but mortal sin to wish big misfortune. In certain circumstances, we must make oaths to affirm that we are speaking the truth, such as in court. To ensure we make good oaths, three conditions must be met: the oath must be necessary, one cannot lie during the oath, and one cannot make an oath to do evil. Oaths are our medicine for our lost trust in each other - they compensate for this defect in human nature and we only make them if necessary. Traditionally, making oaths unnecessarily is considered a venial sin but lying during an oath is a mortal sin. Vows are not merely promises to God, but constitute major duties to God, such as those professed by those in the religious life. Moreoever, because we must honour the name of God, we must also honour the names of His beloved saints. Neither is swearing acceptable, for just as we use the local language when travelling abroad, we must also use heavenly language if we wish to enter Heaven.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 26


 
Pope Francis: The ecclesial method for conflict resolution is based on dialogue and on discernment carried out in the light of the Holy Spirit

(CNA) - Pope Francis said Wednesday that the first Christian evangelization of the pagans opened up “a very lively controversy” as the early Church discerned how to absorb new members from outside the people of Israel.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 23


 
God’s Paintbrush

Jackie Lau, a religious artist from Hong Kong, has hosted several exhibitions over the past decade. Prior to each exhibition, she has to draw a vast amount of paintings in a short time. What is it that motivates her to see drawing as her mission, to a point that she is willing to sacrifice for it?
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 12


 
【Spiritual Talk】 Fr. Ho talks about the virtue of love

In Heaven, faith ends and becomes sight, hope ends and becomes possession, but love is eternal. We have faith in God for His truth and hope in Him for His goodness, but we love God simply because He is God. When we sin, we betray that love. Venial sin causes spiritual sickness and can be forgiven without Confession, but mortal sin causes spiritual death and can only be forgiven through Confession. St. Bonaventure once described venial sin as inordinate attachment to a creature though not to the point of placing it above God, whereas mortal sin places a creature above the Creator. On the first Easter Sunday, Jesus breathed on His apostles and gave them the power to forgive sins. Through Confession, we can have our sins forgiven. In the Second World War, the Polish priest St. Maximilian Kolbe was imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis. Although he was not permitted to, he continued his priestly duties and listened to Confessions late into the night. Once, a prisoner escaped and the authorities selected ten prisoners to be starved to death as a warning. A married man with children was chosen, but the unmarried and childless St. Maximilian volunteered to go in his stead and was martyred. He taught that the opposite of love was not hatred but indifference and that indifference was the worse of the two because one cannot both love and be indifferent to someone.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 12


 
【Ask Fr. Francis】Why does God say whoever sees His face will die?

Since God is invisible, why do the bible says that when people see God, they will die?
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 5


 
【Spiritual Talk】 Fr. Ho talks about the First Commandments

The First Commandment includes having faith, hope, and worship in God. Hope is a supernatural virtue; it is the anticipation of attaining the glory of Heaven and the help of the grace of God. Against hope are two extremes: despair and presumption. When we despair, we abandon the possibility of forgiveness and when we are presumptuous, we claim to love God but do not follow up with actions. We can either do evil actions in the expectation that we have already been saved, or because we haven't done any egregiously evil actions claim that we are already saved. Presumption can fester in one's heart: either we grow complacent in living our faith over time or think we have no need to enter the Church because we are already good people. St. Thomas Aquinas taught us how to pray to be ensured of being saved by God: we must pray for (1) ourselves and (2) the things necessary for salvation, and to do so both (3) fervently and (4) diligently.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 5


 
Radio broadcast – Full episode (Oct 5, 2019)

【Ask Fr. Francis】 Why does God say whoever sees His face will die? 【Spiritual Talk】 Fr. Ho talks about the First Commandments 【Edwin’s blog】October 5, 2019
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 5


 
Pope Francis: If there is no Holy Spirit, there is no evangelization

(CNA) Guidance by the Holy Spirit is integral to sharing the Gospel with others and bringing them to Christ, Pope Francis said during the general audience Wednesday.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 3


 
【Spiritual Talk】 Fr. Ho talks about the Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments teach us how to get to Heaven. Simply believing in Jesus is not enough, we must have a living faith. When we meditate on each Commandment, we can ponder the things they prescribe and forbid. The First Commandment is to love God above all, and it prescribes four things: to believe in, hope in, love, and worship God; and it forbids their opposites, namely: disbelief, despair, hate, and superstition. Faith requires that we learn God's revealed Truth to the best of our ability, firmly believe it, and openly proclaim it. If we lack understanding in anything, we must seek the help of others. Once, there was a monk who read a passage of the Bible for a long time but even after praying for understanding, still could not understand its meaning. He had just decided to ask a neighbouring monk for help when an angel appeared, praised his humility, and rewarded him by revealing the meaning of the passage to him. God sometimes reveals the truths of the faith through others; some saints have revealed that God makes His will known to lesser angels through greater angels. If faith is weak, it is often because we are proud and seek to control all knowledge in our heads. In our modern society, faith suffers innumerable attacks. We must increase our faith through prayer.
Publish date: 2019 - 9 - 28


 
Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about purgatory

Purgatory is the destination of saved souls who did not have any unforgiven serious sins at the time of death but did not enter Heaven immediately. Before entering Heaven, they must undergo purifying suffering in reparation for their unforgiven small sins and forgiven serious sins. Some saints experienced Purgatory through private revelations and reported that it was as painful as Hell because they could not see God. But unlike the hateful and cursing souls in Hell, the souls in Purgatory were joyful and peaceful, because they knew their suffering would purify them to be with God forever. The amount of charity that we have at the time of death determines our eternal destination. Hence, the souls in Purgatory cannot increase their charity as the living still can. We can help the souls in Purgatory to reach Heaven by praying for them and offering up our works and sufferings so God can reduce their suffering. We can pray for their souls and they can pray for us in return.
Publish date: 2019 - 9 - 14


 
【Ask Fr. Francis】Test of Job

Why do God test Job? Why would God let family of Job die in order to test Job? Is it not God is against “killing”?
Publish date: 2019 - 9 - 7


 
Radio broadcast – Full episode (Sept 7, 2019)

【Ask Fr. Francis】 Test of Job 【Spiritual Talk】 Fr. Ho talks about souls of human 【Edwin’s blog】September 7, 2019
Publish date: 2019 - 9 - 7


 
Pope Francis: What is the true wealth? A relationship with Jesus Christ

(CNA) Pope Francis Wednesday criticized those who give more consideration to money than the sacraments or helping others find true wealth – a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Publish date: 2019 - 8 - 8


 
【Ask Fr. Francis】Hypocrisy

Fr. Francis will address questions about hypocrisy. Do we fall under the trap of hypocrisy when we are helping other people?
Publish date: 2019 - 8 - 3