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Faith Formation
 
 

 
「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


 
The Shepherd and the King

Jesus is no ordinary king. Like David, his Old Testament type, he is a Shepherd-King.
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 22


 
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


 
Is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?

In God's kingdom of eternal joy, there is no shortage of resources nor discrimination of treatment.
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 15


 
Pope Francis: We need to pray always, even when everything seems vain

(Vatican News) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on prayer on Wednesday, focusing on the quality of perseverance in prayer. Jesus Himself, the Pope said, “has given an example of continual prayer, practiced perseveringly.”
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 12


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Thirty Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, and begins the final three weeks before Advent. The Gospel readings all come from Matthew 25, and week's reading uses verses 1-13. It is the Parable of the Ten Virgins: the five wise ones brought oil, while the five foolish ones did not. When the bridegroom arrived, the wise virgins lit their lamps to greet him but the foolish ones could not enter the celebration. They thought that since the bridegroom was delayed, he would not come after all, or that they could borrow oil from the wise virgins. But they were rejected when they asked. The wise virgins, on the other hand, prepared enough oil, even when the bridegroom was late, so they did not have to worry when he would arrive. To the Church Fathers, the oil represented our own good works, which we cannot borrow from others before God. The foolish virgins cried out, "Lord! Lord!" but were rejected, just as Jesus in Matthew 7 described God rejecting those who called His name but lacked good works. If we possess true faith but do not live it out, it is useless. Mother Teresa is a good model of using our time wisely. Whenever she was delayed in transportation, she would often pray with her fellow nuns or talk with the people around her and explain the Good News. Maybe we are too well-off and are used to wasting our time on our phones whenever we have free time. We must remember: time is a gift from God and we must use it wisely to live out our faith.
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 7


 
Preparing for the Royal Visit

If we do not live like we “know” Christ every single day, how do we expect Christ to “know” us when He comes again?
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 8


 
Pope Francis: Prayer is an art that must be practiced with insistence

(Vatican News) At the weekly General Audience, Pope Francis says Jesus shows us that we must pray early, often, and in silence, and urges everyone to pray for those who are ill with Covid-19 and the medical personnel working to treat them.
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 4


 
「Spiritual Talk」All Saint’s Day – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates all the saints together and asks their intercession on All Saint's Day. Today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 5:1-12, where Jesus reveals the Beatitudes, which form our sanctifying path to resist the ways of the world and follow the spirit of the Gospel. "Blessed are the poor in spirit": our daily challenges remind us that cannot simply rely on our own abilities but must humbly rely on the aid of God and our neighbours. "Blessed are the pure of heart": in the Old Testament, whenever people encountered difficulties, their hearts would be divided and worship false gods. In modern times, we often draw a clear boundary between our faith and the other parts of our life, such as our family, our work, and our political views. We must be of one heart and not be obstructed by other things, in order to do all things for God. Nowadays, the Internet and our phones can easily tempt us to impure thoughts, so thankfully purityispossible.com teaches us to build good character and resist evil thoughts.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 31


 
「Ask Fr. Francis」

Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 31


 
Experiencing the Mystical Body of Christ

The doors of the Church that I knocked on 43 years ago are opening up to an abyss of mysteries far deeper than any human mind can fathom!
Publish date: 2020 - 11 - 1


 
Pope Francis: Jesus came for all of humanity

(Vatican News) Pope Francis continues his catechesis on prayer inviting the faithful to persevere in prayer in every moment of their lives, even in the most difficult, and in those in which we feel the burden of our sins.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 28


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 22:34-40. A scholar of the law questioned Jesus which commandment was the most important and Jesus responded: first, to love God with all your heart, strength, and will; and secondly, to love your neighbour as yourself. At that time, Jewish scholars constantly debated the precedence of the hundreds of commandments, so Jesus had just resolved the age-old debate: love. Jesus had taken the commandment to love God from Deuteronomy 6, which all Jews had memorized and yet which the Pharisees failed to live out. In fact, we can sometimes be like the Pharisees and think that we must completely understand God through our intellect, but God wants us to love whole-heartedly even more. For lower things like eating and drinking, we should choose with our intellect. But for higher things like religion, we should choose with our will. In recent years, numerous mystics have constantly reminded us that without love, the amount of money or time we give is worth nothing. There was once a priest who passed by a tombstone that read: this person died at age 90, but only lived three years. On asking what this meant, he was told that the deceased person began loving God at age 87 and wanted others to know after their death that only their final three years could be considered as truly living.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 24


 
Religious Life and Social Life Become One in Love

Love is what brings our religious life (love of God) and social life (love of neighbor) into unity.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 25


 
Pope Francis: psalms lead to adore God and love His children

Pope Francis then began the second and final catechesis on the Psalms in his series on prayer. The Psalms, he says, “help us not to fall into the temptation of the 'wicked', that is, of living, and perhaps also of praying, as if God does not exist, and as if the poor do not exist”.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 21


 
「Spiritual Talk」Twenty-ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 22:15-22. The Pharisees, Herodians, and other religious leaders were trying to ensnare Jesus with questions and they asked Him whether it was lawful to pay tax to Caesar. If Jesus responded yes, the Jews would see Him as a traitor to the Romans; if He responded no, then He could be accused of sedition before the Romans. Jesus instead accused His questioners of hypocrisy for asking Him questions out of a desire to test Him instead of a desire to discover the truth - they were doing the work of the devil. He told them to bring out a Roman coin - it had the image of a pagan god or king and was seen as idolatrous by the Jews. The religious leaders immediately brought such a coin, showing how they were just as worldly as the tax collectors they so despised. Jesus asked them whose image was on the coin and they responded, "Caesar's." He then said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's." In those days, there were two taxes: a national tax to support the administration and a temple tax to support the liturgy and charitable works. Coins bearing pagan gods or kings had to be exchanged before paying the temple tax, so at the most basic level, Jesus was simply pointing out which coin could be used to pay tax. But at a deeper level, He was saying that we have a duty to the state. In the end, however, countries will end and what they can give us is limited, while we all have the image of God and belong to the everlasting Kingdom of God. History is filled with Caesars who sought to appropriate God's majesty, such as the state worship demanded by Communism. Christians ought to strongly resist such tendencies.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 17


 
“Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21)

May our earthly commitments be guided by a beacon of light from the divine
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 18


 
Pope Francis: Read the Psalms to learn the language of prayer

(Vatican News) In his catechesis at the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis reflects on the witness of prayer as laid out in the Book of Psalms, saying the door to God’s heart is always open in our moments of pain.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 14


 
「Spiritual Talk」Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Eighty Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 22:1-14. Jesus tells the Parable of the Wedding Feast: a king was holding a wedding feast for his son and sent his servants to invite his guests. But the guests not only made excuses and rejected the invitations, they also insulted and killed the servants. The king then sent his servants to invite people from the street and one of the new guests entered without a wedding garment, so the king drove him out. In this parable, the wedding feast of course represents the Heaven that God has already prepared for us and the wedding garment is sanctifying grace. In those days, wedding hosts would provide the wedding garments for his guests, so that travelling guests would not have them dirtied by the dust from the road. Thus, a guest who did not wear a wedding garment could only be insulting the host. Our souls are the life of our bodies and only with grace can we attain eternal life. Once we have received grace, we can only lose it through mortal sin, and fortunately we have the Sacraments of Baptism and Confession to restore us to grace. God has already prepared the eternal wedding banquet for us and paid the greatest price: the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, which is the source of all seven Sacraments. We ought to beseech God to open our hearts and make us worthy to enter into the eternal Heavenly banquet.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 10


 
The Bible is in a Nutshell Just God’s Wedding Invitation

The theme of marriage and family runs through the Bible like a thread, weaving its way intricately and skillfully from the first chapter to the last.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 11


 
Pope Francis: Prayer is a confrontation with God and letting oneself be sent to serve one's brothers and sisters

(Vatican News) Pope Francis, during Wednesday’s General Audience resumes his catechesis on prayer following the cycle on the Healing the World wounded by the pandemic. This week he tells the faithful. “We need the spirit of Elijah.”
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 8


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 21:33-46. Jesus tells two parables to accuse the religious authorities of injustice: the first tells of ungrateful vineyard tenants who refuse to give their produce to their master and kill the servants and son who are sent; and the second tells of the stone that the builders rejected that became the cornerstone. In the first parable, the master is clearly God, the vineyard is Israel, the fence is the Law, the tenants are the religious leaders, the servants are the prophets, and the son is Jesus. Jesus knew that the religious leaders planned to kill Him, so He prophesied what would happen to the vineyard once He was killed: the tenants would be evicted and the vineyard given over to new tenants. This predicted the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans, which rendered the priestly profession obselete and left only the perfect sacrifice of Christ. The tenants did not recognize the master as their master, just as we often do not see God as our Lord, because we twist His Commandments and set ourselves as our own masters. Frequently, misfortune befalls us before we sin and we question where God was when in fact this was an opportunity given by God to repent. We ought to take full advantage of these opportunities and recognize God as our true master, offering up all the fruits of our life's work to Him.
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 3


 
What kind of tenants are we?

Christ is the true vine who gives life and the power to bear abundant fruit to the branches
Publish date: 2020 - 10 - 4