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Faith Formation

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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 20:1-16. Here, Jesus uses the analogy of a vineyard to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. The master of the vineyard hired workers at different times of the day and gathered them to distribute wages at dusk. The workers who had arrived earliest and latest received the same wages alike. Those who arrived earliest were indignant and thought they should receive more wages for working longer. But the master reminded them that they had all agreed to work for a denarius and if he chose to award those who worked less the same wages, that was his personal decision. He even criticized them for being jealous of his generosity. This parable reminds us that the Jews were the people first called by God and the Gentiles afterwards, so Jesus was telling the Jews not to be jealous of the Gentile newcomers. It also reminds us that God can call us at different points in life, whether we were born into a Catholic family, converted in middle age or as a student, or during old age or on our death bed. God rewards us not based on how long we have been His followers, but on how much charity we possess at the moment of our death. We must act wisely and persevere to the end. The master in the parable also met some people standing idle in the marketplace who had not found work because no one had yet called them. In the world, many people have not entered the Church, not because they intentionally chose to be atheist but because no one has yet invited them to be Catholic. The website "Catholics Come Home" works to bring lapsed Catholics back to the Church and they found that many people leave after Confirmation. They are unwilling to call themselves atheists and Christians alike, so they settle on being "without religious belief". One youth left the Church and then befriended a Catholic who invited him to help at a senior's home, go to Mass, and Confession. He agreed each time because he felt he finally had a friend to do religious activities with. Maybe we have friends who have not yet entered the Church, not because they reject Jesus, but because no one has invited them yet. September is the month many parishes start RCIA classes. Do not be afraid to invite your friends to know our Lord Jesus.
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 19

“[A]re you envious because I am generous?” (Mt 20:15)

Let us free ourselves from our presumptions, so that God’s big picture, beyond the limited reality we can perceive with our eyes, can be made visible to our heart.
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 20

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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 18:21-35. Previously, the chapter discussed how to deal with sinners in the Church. Now, Peter asks Jesus how many times to forgive and receives this reply, "Not seven times, but seventy seven times." Jesus spoke a parable of a servant who owed his master 60 million days of wages and was told to sell his family to repay his debt. The servant begged his master who was moved enough to forgive his entire debt. But the servant then saw another servant who owed him a hundred days of wages and proceeded to demand it repaid. The second servant begged him for forgiveness, but the first servant would not forgive him and threw him into prison until he could repay his debt. The other servants were angry and told the master who imprisoned the first servant. When we sin, our debt against God is enormous, because we have offended the infinite God, and only the Precious Blood of Jesus can eliminate the debt of sin. Our neighbours are like the second servant: if even God has already forgiven our massive debts, how can we refuse to forgive those who owe us much less? When we do not forgive others, the angels and saints in Heaven will accuse us before God. In the Lord's Prayer, we pray "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." This clearly reminds us that those who are unwilling to forgive others have closed themselves to the possibility of receiving forgiveness from God. Sometimes we are gravely hurt by others, but forgiveness consists not in feelings but in the will. If we are willing to wish the good of the sinner and pray for their repentance and conversion, then that is already the first step to forgiveness.
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 12

Forgive and You Shall Be Forgiven

We continue to go about our business in God’s presence, acting nonchalant and pretending our unforgiving hearts somehow don’t really matter to God.
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 13

Think of Our Sins Before the Sins of Others

You may remember these two simple ideas from a year and a half ago about forgiveness: A seminary professor once told us about a woman whose husband committed adultery. She went for counselling, shared her story and pain, but the healing only started when the doctor lovingly asked her, “Are you going to stay angry […]
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 13

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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Third Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 18:15-20. This passage concerns how to deal with disciples who have sinned: first, they are to be reprimanded in private, then with one or two witnesses present, and then by the Church, and if they will not listen even to the Church they are to be treated like Gentiles. We cannot let our brothers and sisters continue to sin and by pointing out the areas they should fix under the authority of the Church, the sinner gets the opportunity to repent. When Jesus called Peter His "Rock", the Church He mentioned was the universal Church, but the Church He mentions here is the local Church. Sometimes, the local church must excommunicate its members to prevent the poison of sin from infecting its other members. It also gives the excommunicated member a chance to repent and begin anew. Jesus gave the power to forgive sins to His Apostles, who in turn passed this power to their successors: the bishops and the priests they ordain. During Confession, the priest must decide whether the believer is truly contrite and intends to not sin again and avoid occasions of sin. Jesus once said that where two or three people are gathered to pray, He is among them. The teachers in His time said that God was present among two people who discuss the Law together, so Jesus was revealing His divine nature here. Jesus is not only present in the person of the priest, but even more in the liturgical prayers of the Church, such as at Mass, during Baptism, in Confession, and in the communal prayers. The liturgy makes our prayers more efficacious.
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 5

Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gn 4:9)

“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rm 13:10)
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 6

Fr. Justin Huang Sunday Homily : Warning

[Watch Fr. Justin’s homily delivery here.] https://youtu.be/qooNkt2Eftk A while back, I called a 30-year old man who had been a young adult leader in a youth group at another parish. I said, “I want some advice because I’m starting to love the youth at St. Anthony’s the way I loved all of you, and I […]
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 6

Fr. Francisco Lau, Ambassador of Our Lady

Fr. Francisco Lau is well-known for his devotion to Our Lady. In both his words and actions, he always relies on his heavenly mother. What fosters such a strong bond between him and Our Lady? Would the Blessed Virgin Mary really help her children? Fountain of Grace takes a look at evidences he left behind in Hong Kong and around the world.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 29

Pope Francis: Solidarity is the road to take towards the healing of our interpersonal and social sicknesses

(Vatican News) Pope Francis continued his catechesis series on the topic “Healing the world”, at the weekly General Audience.
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 2

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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Second Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 16:21-27. After Peter recognizes Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus tells His Apostles that He must journey to Jerusalem, where He will be killed by the religious leaders and rise on the third day. The Apostles expected a conquering Messiah, not a suffering Messiah, so they refused to listen. Peter said he would not let such a thing happen, so Jesus immediately said, "Get behind me, Satan!" Peter wanted to prevent Christ's suffering not out of his spiritual discernment, but out of his human fear of suffering. Satan was using him to tempt Jesus to walk the road to worldly success and bypass the road to Calvary. Peter, who was just previously called the "Rock" for proclaiming the truth under the inspiration of the Father, was now called a "stumbling block" for using his human thinking to obstruct Jesus. When we do not listen to God's voice by His grace, we naturally listen to our own voices. Perhaps our human natures do not like God's will, but it will always be best for us. The cross was an instrument of execution used by the Romans, so it was not easy to accept as a symbol by Christians. Christ had only one reason to use it: to teach that His followers had to be willing to accept persecution and suffering for the love of God. Those who wish to find themselves must first give of themselves.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 29

Finding Yourself Requires a Sincere Gift of Self

Jesus’ stern rebuke of Peter in this Sunday’s gospel – “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me” (Mt 16:23) – is quite remarkable, considering that he has just given Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven and the power to bind and loose only a few verses earlier (cf. Mt 16:19). […]
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 30

Five Ways God Expands Our Horizons

The strictest order of monks in the Church is the Carthusians, semi-hermits who live in independent cells joined to a larger motherhouse. They pray together three times a day but only talk once a week. Each man cooks for himself, cuts wood for his furnace to keep warm, and has a perpetual, that is, lifelong abstinence from meat.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 30

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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty First Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 16:13-20. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that the early Church had three models of governance to choose from: (1) a democracy where decisions are made through voting, (2) an aristocracy where decisions are made by an exclusive group of individuals, or (3) a theocracy where decisions are made by God. In the Gospel reading, Jesus asked the crowds their opinion, "Who do you say that I am?" They respond that He is one of the Old Testament prophets, showing how often human opinions can contradict one another and still miss Jesus' true identity. The Church cannot be built on the shaky foundation of democracy. Jesus chose twelve Apostles and some think He favoured an aristocracy but when He asked them, "Who do you say that I am?", they stayed silent, perhaps still thinking He would be a worldly conqueror Messiah. Only Peter stepped out and gave the correct answer, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God." Jesus revealed that no man could arrive at such a divine truth on his own abilities and it was God Himself who had revealed this to Peter. He named Peter, or "Rock", and established His Church on this Rock. God continues to protect His Church through Peter's successors, especially during times of faithlessness and moral problems, when the Pope can pronounce infallible teachings. Thus, the Church is governed through theocracy and God Himself guides His people to the Truth and the Life through the Pope and the Church.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 22

Who am I to you?

Knowing Jesus from our heart and from the way we live
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 23

Fr. Francisco Lau: A Father and Master

Fr. Francisco Lau had served in Aberdeen Technical School for over ten years. Besides teaching, managing and taking care of students, he also experienced a miracle which saved him from death. Fountain of Grace takes you down the memory lane to discover the days he spent at the school, and to discover the story behind the miracle.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 15

「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

Are We Worthy of God’s Mercy?

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done” (Bryan Stevenson)
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 16

Where’s Your Best Place to Pray?

[Watch Fr. Justin’s homily delivery here.] https://youtu.be/y2dzRVrYfPE Would you spend 30 days here at this retreat centre in South Dakota (https://broom-tree.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/RetreatCenterFeaturedImage.jpg) or in Assisi, Italy (https://www.planetware.com/wpimages/2018/11/italy-assisi-attractions-town-overview-sunny-day.jpg)? This is a question for me in the future, when I make a 30-day retreat in silence and prayer. The decisive factor is not which would I like more, […]
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 16

「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

God’s Epiphanies in our life

Today’s readings are about God’s epiphanies in our life, but we need patience, focused listening, and faith before we can hear or see them.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 9

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

How to turn our littleness into greatness?

"Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live"(Is 55:3)
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 2