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Church Teachings
 
 

 
「Spiritual Talk」Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 15:21-28, which describes the exorcism of the Canaanite woman's daughter. The woman begged Jesus to heal her daughter and at first, Jesus was silent and said He was sent to save the Jews, but after the woman persisted, He agreed and freed her daughter from demonic control. The Canaanite woman is a model of prayer, not doubting whether Jesus was able to help her daughter but remained faithful, three times calling Jesus Lord, and persisting until she had reached her goal. She was also humble and not afraid to be called a dog, replying that even dogs eat of the scraps that fall from the master's table. The PATH of prayer has four important elements: (P)ersistence, which enables us to deepen our relationship with God daily like eating and exercising; (A)ttention, which makes us focus on what we are saying to whom; (T)rust, which opens our hearts to accept the graces of God even when we do not obtain what we would like; and (H)umility, which teaches us how much we helpless humans rely on the aid of almighty God.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 15


 
「Spiritual Talk」Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 14:22-33, which describes the Miracle of Walking on Water. Jesus had dismissed the crowds and ascended a mountain to pray to His Father when the disciples encountered a storm. Their ship could make no progress and they were stuck in the middle of the sea. Suddenly, they saw Jesus walking on the water. At first thinking He was a ghost, they were afraid but Jesus said, "Do not be afraid, it is I!", reminding us of the words God used to reveal Himself to Moses: "I am who am." Peter asked Jesus to make him walk on the water too and at first all was well while he looked at Jesus, but once he saw the wind and waves around him, he became scared and began to sink. He cried out and Jesus reached out to grab him, criticizing his little faith in order to strengthen him. Afterwards, the wind and waves subsided, showing how Jesus was the Son of God who controlled even the natural realm. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is recognized as the Son of God three times: (1) after Jesus walks on water, (2) before Peter is chosen to be His "rock", and (3) after the centurion sees Jesus die. Controlling the wind and waves is the work of God in the Old Testament, so this shows that Jesus is not only the Son of God, but has a divine nature as well. In our lives, we will encounter storms just like St. Peter and begin to doubt, but we only need to keep our gaze on Jesus and ask for His help to obtain it.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 8


 
Pope Francis: Jesus heals the entire person and renews lives

(Vatican News) In a catechesis live-streamed from the Apostolic Library on Wednesday morning, Pope Francis assures Christians that despite the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to infect and kill people, with many, especially the poor, going through uncertain times because of socio-economic problems, God’s Kingdom of healing and of salvation is present, as Jesus assures us in Luke’s Gospel.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 5


 
「Spiritual Talk」Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time and in the Gospel reading, it is dusk and Jesus has finished teaching the crowds, so the disciples tell them to leave and buy food to eat. But even though the disciples have only five loaves and two fish, Jesus says it is enough to feed the crowds, so He tells them all to sit and like the host of a feast, blesses the bread, breaks it, and gives it to His disciples to feed the crowds. Shockingly, the bread and fish do not run out. God throughout history uses various ways to care for His people, such as the manna in the desert, the miraculous food that the Prophet Elijah fed the widow, and the twelve loaves with which the Prophet Elisha fed one hundred people. Jesus worked this miracle to not only show that He was greater than all the Old Testament prophets, but also to foreshadow the coming Holy Eucharist. Just as Jesus fed the crowds at dusk, He also fed His disciples during the Last Supper at dusk. And after all were fed, twelve baskets were left, symbolizing how Jesus would use His twelve Apostles to save the twelve Tribes of Israel. Only when the Apostles gave what little food they had to Jesus did He work the miracle to feed the crowds. We must also accommodate God's saving grace and whole-heartedly give all our prayers, works, and sacrifices to God in order to help many souls.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 1


 
Pope Francis: Become healthily restless seekers of the Kingdom of Heaven

(Vatican News) At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on two of the parables told by Jesus in the day’s Gospel: that of the treasure hidden in the field, and that of the pearl of great value.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 28


 
「Spiritual Talk」Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time and the Gospel reading from Matthew chapter 13 contains the Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Parable of the Pearl. A man accidentally finds a treasure sells all he has to obtain it. The Church must likewise give up everything in order to catch all humanity under her nets, regardless of whether the men she catches are good or evil. Many people are called by God to enter His Church but only the good will be chosen to enter Heaven. The Apostles understood Jesus' parable and that they were to link the Law of the Old Testament with His teaching in the New Testament. They were to be God's fishermen and not judges, for judgment belongs to God alone. Each soul has the potential to be saved by God so the Apostles were not to waste time judging them, but laboured at proclaiming the Gospel to all peoples. St. Teresa of Calcutta once said, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." In our everyday lives, we might have many conflicts with people but at the end of the day, we must remember that God wishes for them all to be saved and will only separate the good from the evil on the last day.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 25


 
How to Ask for the Best Gifts

"At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, 'Ask what I should give you'" (1 Kg 3:5).—This is what God is saying to us today.: He wants to know what we want. What a beautiful offer!
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 26


 
Pope Francis: The disciples of Jesus are called to focus on saving the wicked

(Vatican News) With the parable of the wheat and the weeds, said Pope Francis said at the Sunday Angelus, Jesus “helps us understand God’s patience, opening our hearts to hope.”
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 22


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time and the Gospel reading contains the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, in which evil men sow bad seeds among the good. St. Isidore once said that God permits the good and the evil to live amongst each other until the Last Day so that the evil would have time to repent, just as Saints Matthew and Peter received second chances from Jesus after repenting of their sins. Good and evil are intricately linked in this world and uprooting evil will often uproot good as well. Good things are also linked to suffering and pain. Just as parents will bring their children to the dentist, so God permits us to suffer in order to obtain the greater good of spiritual healing. If we give up because we fear suffering, then love will die in us. Pope Benedict XVI once said that the temptation for many people is to expect speedy progress in the spiritual life and they then become disappointed once their progress is slower than expected. Our spiritual journey is often more like the slow and steady growth of a seed and cannot be hastened. Those of us with a mission to evangelize for God must remember to offer up the speed of their missions' growth to God and let them develop under His guidance.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 18


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Fifteeth Sunday of Ordinary Time and the Gospel reading from Matthew 13 contains the Parable of the Sower. After being baptized, our hearts become soil for God's grace but once we encounter difficulties, our hearts harden and are unable to receive God's Word, prevent it from taking root, or suffocate the seedlings. We ought to both listen and obey the Gospel; Jesus knew that no parable, no matter how good, could open the hardened hearts of men, but only God's grace could open them to receive His Word. Sin hardens our hearts so God gives us sufferings in this life as a medicine for our spiritual illnesses. If we want to prepare our hearts to receive His Word, we must first set aside time to pray, keep the commandments, do good, and avoid evil. As every good farmer knows, a bountiful harvest needs not only good seeds, but also good soil. We take care of our physical hearts through exercise and healthy eating, so why should we not prepare our spiritual hearts through mentally preparing ourselves before prayer to listen and obey? Kimberley Hahn, the wife of Biblical scholar Scott Hahn, knew that God wanted her to become a Catholic but her heart was resistant. One day, her father asked her whether she had prayed the prayer he asked her to pray: "O Lord, I will go where you want me to go, do what you want me to do, say what you want me to say, let go of whatever you want me to let go." Kimberley was afraid to pray this prayer because she was afraid that God was calling her to become a Catholic, but her father told her that the prayer was not an opportunity for her to tell God what she wanted, but to change heart to accept God's plan for her, until she could shout out every word sincerely. Kimberley asked the Holy Spirit for the strength to pray it, and three to four days later she was finally able to pray it. She was still afraid but had the freedom and joy of being able to fully explore the faith, and she understood that God's plan was indeed the best for her. Eventually, she converted to the Catholic faith. When we have internal struggles in our heart, we must ask for God's grace to prepare the spiritual soil of our hearts to accept His Word.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 11


 
Three Ways to Receive Blessings

Why does it seem that Jesus blesses some people more than others? A similar question is asked in the Gospel by the disciples, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" Jesus speaks to the crowds using metaphors but only gives the explanation to the disciples—why?
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 12


 
Pope Francis: Jesus’ meekness and humility is a result of living in full transparency to the love of the Father

(Vatican News) Pope Francis addressed a scattering of well-distanced faithful in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday with a reflection on the Gospel reading of the day (Mt 11:25-30), which he explained, is divided into three parts.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 8


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. In the time of Christ, the Jews believed that careful study of the Law was the best way to obtain wisdom and understand God. But this way of thinking made ordinary people believe that wisdom was far above them and an inaccessible academic field - unless they learned the original language and dedicated the time to studying the Scriptures. But in today's Gospel, Jesus clarifies that we need not become scholars in order to know God: it is more important to become like children. So when Jesus walked on this earth, He drew in those on the margins of society: the poor, the sick, and the sinners. Because they were humble, they were able to listen to Jesus, whereas the educated only saw how different Jesus' message was from their complicated understanding of the Law and thus rejected Him. The yoke that Jesus gives us is light and easy because it gives us solace to face life's difficulties and allows us to experience the love of the Father. Jesus has always known the Father and by grace, we may be adopted as His sons and daughters and thus know the Father. Jesus wants us to learn His mercy and goodness and for this reason, He uses the analogy of the yoke. We cannot be lazy, just as farmers must still exert themselves while using a good yoke, but at least we need not waste ourselves to exhaustion.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 4


 
Freedom in Accepting Our Bodies

Let’s talk about the challenge of not accepting our bodies. All of us have experiences of not being satisfied with the way we look. We’re self-conscious about our size, shape, or appearance. Perhaps people have made fun of the way we look. Sometimes, even if people don’t say anything, we have imperfections that we don’t want others to see. Priests have this problem too, believe me! I just don’t talk about it.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 5


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. In the Gospel, Jesus teaches His disciples to prioritize different kinds of love by placing God in the first place, above family members and their own lives. Love and sacrifice are inseparable and Jesus' disciples tasted what true love means from the Cross. They saw how the world treated Jesus with suffering and insults and they themselves were treated in the same way, having to bear their own crosses. The Cross reminds us to patiently bear with the inconveniences of daily life and to not be afraid of sacrifice or suffering. In order to find true happiness, we must first find true life, and this comes from accepting Jesus. People often look down on missionaries, but this betrays a rebellious heart towards God, a heart that is far from sincerely accepting God's instruction. Being a disciple is not easy, but it is certainly possible, because God has given His grace to help us.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 27


 
Seeking the Truth

Last week, we talked about overcoming the fear of speaking the truth. Today, the theme is seeking the truth. Many of you have asked me to address the topic of racism, so let’s seek the truth as best we can regarding racism. Let’s try to find out what’s morally true, what are the facts, and how we can contribute to its eradication.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 28


 
Pope Francis: David teaches us to bring everything into dialogue with God

(CNA) King David is an example of being consistent in prayer no matter what life throws at you or what good or bad you do, Pope Francis said during his general audience Wednesday.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 24


 
「Spiritual Talk」Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Gospel reading is from Matthew 10, where Jesus is teaching His disciples to bravely spread the Gospel. When we suffer persecution because of spreading the Gospel, there is a temptation to stop or water down the message. But Jesus gave the duty to evangelize to His disciples, and we cannot hear the message of God unless it is through their work. Jesus taught openly and was nailed to the Cross as a result. When we spread the Gospel like He did, we will also be martyred. The world can only harm our mortal bodies and not our souls. We ought to be afraid, therefore, only of the God who can send our souls into Hell. God will acknowledge those who acknowledged Him before other humans, but those who denied God in order to save their earthly lives will also be denied by God at the Judgment. St. Matthew's writings are not meant only for Jesus' disciples, but for all believers, so that we might learn to not compromise to the world and reject Christ. Jesus' evangelizing had two approaches: firstly, to openly proclaim the Gospel; and secondly, to move on in the face of rejection. The Church also first spreads the light of the Gospel throughout the world in order to see who will accept the Gospel and who will reject it; then, having seen their reactions, she decides on further action.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 20


 
Losing the Fear of Speaking the Truth

Let's talk about speaking the truth, and, at the end, do it in relation to the scandals in the Church. In the future, I hope to apply this to racism and transgenderism, and everything else where there's debate.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 21


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi, commemorating the Real Presence of God in the Holy Eucharist, through which Christ fulfills His title of Emmanuel. The Mass is truly the perfect sacrifice given us by God and is the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross to the Father re-presented on the altar. The sacrifice of the altar and the sacrifice on the Cross are one and the same--just as there is one priest and one victim in Christ, so also there is one goal: to worship, thank, and entreat God; and to make reparation for sin. The Body and Blood of Christ are our food. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the faithful are unable to receive the Eucharist, but the Mass is still offered and even livestreamed in many parishes. For example, St. John the Apostle Parish in Vancouver offers Cantonese Mass every Saturday at 4pm and English Mass at 5:30pm. Watching the Mass online is a good way to connect the Church, allowing the faithful a way to pray and celebrate the Sacraments together. When the priest offers the Body and Blood to God, the faithful ought also to offer their entire selves to God.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 13


 
How Real is the Real Presence

There was once a Catholic CIA agent assigned as a courier of intelligence between Baghdad and Jordan. He would be driven at night in a truck, 145 kilometers per hour and without headlights, so as not to attract attention.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 14


 
Pope Francis: God will surprise us when we do not expect it, when we find ourselves truly alone

(CNA) In our darkest moments God awaits us and is ready to transform us, Pope Francis said at his general audience Wednesday.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 10


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Trinity, commemorating God the Trinity in whose "Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" we are baptized. Whenever we pray we make the Trinitarian Sign of the Cross, whenever we bless ourselves with holy water upon entering and exiting the church we make the Sing of the Cross. The founder of the Legion of Mary, Frank Duff, promoted meditating on the mystery of the Holy Trinity in the Glory Be prayer at the end of every decade of the Rosary, since each decade's mystery is a masterpiece of the Holy Spirit. God the Father created heaven and earth, and sent the Son to save us. God the Father and the Son together sent the Holy Spirit to lead the Apostles whom Jesus left behind, to prevent them from being orphaned. Today, the Holy Spirit is still present in the Church and gives us the strength to do great deeds, and gives us wisdom. But those who desire the help of the Holy Spirit must first prepare themselves and open their hearts to receive Him.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 6


 
Another Antidote to Taking Ourselves Too Seriously

Do you see the common thread in taking ourselves too seriously?The focus is too much on us. God wants us to love and take care of ourselves, but we're not the centre of the universe.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 7