Faith Formation
 
 

 
Are we ready to accompany Jesus into Jerusalem and point out His true identity to others?

It is not until after Jesus' death does His true identity is revealed.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 5


 
Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land: Mount of Temptation, Sea of Galilee, On the way to Jericho

A sparsely vegetated mountain, a monastery built along a cliff, reminds us what is truly important in our lives. The area surrounding the Sea of Galilee offers incredible scenery, and that is where Jesus chose to start his ministry. In western countries, Good Samaritan has become the synonym for a kind-hearted person. This parable of Jesus has been around for 2000 years. What does it mean for us today? Little-Known Facts about the Holy Land takes you to the Holy Land.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 28


 
Pope Francis: The purified heart is thus the result of a process that implies liberation and renunciation

(CNA) It is the Holy Spirit who leads us away from our sins and towards purity of heart, Pope Francis said at the general audience Wednesday.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 1


 
「Spiritual Talk」Fifth Sunday of Lent – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is the Fifth Sunday of Lent; the Gospel comes from John 11:1-45 and talks about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in Bethany. Lazarus was the brother of Martha (who busily served Jesus) and Mary (who silently listened to Jesus teach), and was also a good friend of Jesus. He was severely ill one day and when Jesus heard this, He waited two days before departing for Bethany, allowing His friend to suffer first before He raised him from the dead, revealing the mystery of the resurrection before their eyes and proving His identity as the resurrection and the life. We might be surprised to learn that God permitted His good friend to suffer, but God works good from evil, and even permitted His own Son to die so that we might be saved. In the Apostles Creed, we profess "I believe in the resurrection of the body" along with Martha to recognize Christ as the resurrection every Mass. According to St. Thomas, the resurrection strengthens our faith in four ways: (1) it relieves our grief upon the death of our loved ones, because we have hope in their resurrection; (2) it removes our fear of death, because we know a greater life exists afterward; (3) it encourages us to do good in this life, because we know there is an eternal reward after; and (4) it makes us avoid evil, because we know there is an eternal punishment after.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 28


 
We are spiritually dead. Who can help?

In this 5th Sunday of Lent, we continue our Lenten journey with a magnificent meditation from the Gospel of John, the story of raising Lazarus from the dead. The details of John’s Gospel are meant to capture a deeper purpose. In this story, we hear about a man named Lazarus, which means “God helps”. He […]
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 29


 
Something Dying Leads to Something Coming to Life

Most of us are experiencing unusual suffering right now, and the human person needs to understand what's going on! On a human level, once we have clarity about how long this crisis will last and how to respond, we can go forward! On the deeper spiritual level, each of us needs to understand what's going on with me and my problems.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 29


 
「Spiritual Talk」Fourth Sunday of Lent – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is the Fourth Sunday of Lent; the Gospel comes from John 9:1-41 and talks about Jesus healing a man blind from birth, which divides the witnesses present. During Pharisees' unceasing questioning of the man, he first calls Jesus a "man", then a "prophet", then "Son of Man", and finally "Lord". This miracle already led him to approach God, one step at a time, and the Pharisees' questioning increased his courage and led him to be unafraid of being expelled from the synagogue or being insulted. The Pharisees did not question him to discover the truth, but to find a reason to claim Jesus did not come from God. This division also extended to his family too, when the Pharisees questioned his parents and they adamantly told them to ask their son directly, clearly afraid of being expelled from the synagogue. Jesus later asked the healed man, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" The man answered yes, showing that not only were his physical eyes opened, but also his spiritual eyes. On the other hand, the Pharisees' physical eyes were able to see, but they were spiritually blind and refused to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, even plotting to kill Him. So the teachings of Christ often divide society because we must make a decision to receive His light or not. We should receive the spiritual light He brings, to drive out the inner darkness from our hearts.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 21


 
We Can Only See What We Are Willing to See

This week's readings remind us of our blind spots: areas that we may have willfully chosen to ignore.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 22


 
「Spiritual Talk」Third Sunday of Lent – Fr. Anthony Ho

This Sunday is the Third Sunday of Lent and the Gospel reading comes from John 4:5-42, where Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman. In ancient times, the Kingdom of Israel was split in two: the remnant Kingdom of Israel to the north and the Kingdom of Judah to the south. The King of Assyria brought five foreign peoples into the Kingdom of Israel, who also brought their own gods, and slowly the inhabitants of Israel began to incorporate these foreign religions into the true faith. Thus, the southern Kingdom of Judah, which remained faithful to the Temple, began to look down on the northern Kingdom of Israel (later known as Samaria) as traitors and refused to deal with them. In this situation, Jesus told the Samaritan woman to fetch her husband. But when she responded truthfully that she had no husband, Jesus told her that she had five and the current one wasn't her husband. Jesus was alluding to the foreign gods introduced by the foreign peoples brought in by the King of Assyria and how the Kingdom of Israel had abandoned the true God. Through this woman, Jesus was searching for the Samaritan people, who had lost their faith, and was bringing them back through Baptism. When He promised her living water, He was referring to the Sacrament of Baptism, which could purify our idol worship. God's relationship with His People is like that between a husband and his wife. Jesus emphasizes this theme many times in the Gospels - He heals the son of a Gentile official and works a miracle at the wedding in Cana - to show us that the Gentiles are now adopted into the marital covenant with the Chosen People.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 14


 
Conversion of a city

“Many Samaritans from that city believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I have ever done’” (John 4:39)
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 15


 
【Ask Fr. Francis】For those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away

"For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” (Mark 4:25) Fr Francis will answer why God would take away those who have nothing already.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 7


 
【Spiritual Talk】The Second Sunday of Lent – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is the Second Sunday of Lent, which focuses on the Transfiguration of Our Lord. One of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, Jesus prepares for His Passion, Death, and Resurrection with the Transfiguration. He brings Peter, James, and John to the top of a mountain when His face shines like the Sun, his clothes become dazzlingly white, and two Old Testament figures appear - Moses and Elijah. Peter is shocked and suggests to build three tents for them but before he can finish, a voice announces, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him." A cloud appears and covers them, reminding us of how God's Presence on Earth was indicated by a cloud in the Old Testament. When the Chosen People were in the desert, God's pillar of cloud guided them from the Tabernacle. Furthermore, the setting of the Transfiguration on top of a mountain reminds us of Moses' face shining after he meets God on Mount Sinai. Jesus' Transfiguration shows us that He succeeds the old law represented by Moses and the old prophets represented by Elijah. Jesus showed His glory to the Apostles before His Passion to teach them that suffering is temporary, but those who suffer for God will be rewarded with glory, and that glory will never end.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 7


 
Radio broadcast – Full episode (March 7, 2020)

【Ask Fr. Francis】For those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away 【Spiritual Talk】The Second Sunday of Lent 【Edwin’s blog】March 7, 2020
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 7


 
Experience the Power of the Word of God

Enable us to feel the power of your word - a word that is incarnate and living; a word that must be proclaimed, received and experienced; a word that commands our worship and veneration.
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 8


 
Experiencing Transcendence

The Gospel today is centered on a mountain experience, and Pope Benedict says that, “The mountain is the place of ascent—not only outward, but also inward ascent; it is a liberation from the burden of everyday life, a breathing in of the pure air of creation; it offers a view of the broad expanse of creation and its beauty; it gives one an inner peak to stand on and an intuitive sense of the Creator” (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 1, 309).
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 8


 
What is temptation? Why does God allow us to be tempted?

God does not preclude us from temptations but He sustains us in the midst of them
Publish date: 2020 - 3 - 1


 
Sister Maria Ko 2: Words of Wit and Wonder

Sr. Maria Ko has published a number of books with the word "wonderful" in their names. Fountain of Grace invited her to share with us how these books came about, as well as how she sees the role of women in the Catholic Church.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 22


 
【Spiritual Talk】The Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

This weekend is the Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time; the Gospel Reading is Matthew 5:38-48. The ancient peoples thought it normal to love one's friends and hate one's enemies. But Jesus challenged that thought and taught people to love their enemies, even Gentiles, and pray for them. To the Jews of His day, this would have been very difficult to accept, since the Romans were persecuting Israel and imposing heavy taxes. But just as the sun shines on both the good and the evil, Jesus wanted us to be like God and bless both the good and the evil. Earlier, He demanded that His disciples' righteousness exceed that of the Pharisees, whose virtue often consisted of separating themselves from unclean things and people, such as corpses, lepers, and unclean foods. Jesus wanted our virtue to come from within and us to love all people, and not let our passions or anger polute our vows. We even need to hope that our enemies receive the very best and the most important way is through prayer, through which we rely on God's grace and listen to Him.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 22


 
To Love Outside of the Box

We are called to be imitators of Christ; to be holy and “perfect” as our Heavenly Father is perfect.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 23


 
Sister Maria Ko 1: God Is Amazing

Sr. Maria Ko, FMA, is a knowledgeable scholar who had studied in Italy and Germany. In order to study abroad, she had to leave her family at a young age for a long time. For her, not only are sacrifices necessary in our lives, they also enrich our lives.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 15


 
【Spiritual Talk】The Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday's Gospel reading comes from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5, which is about Jesus fulfilling the Law. The Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD; afterwards, the laws pertaining to it were made obselete and the Church did not mandate that non-Jewish Christians keep certain laws such as circumcision but still mandated that they keep the moral laws such as the Ten Commandments given to Moses. Jesus told His disciples to have greater righteousness than the scribes and Pharisees, so that they would be not only righteous in outward actions, but also in the heart. It like a husband and wife who have never hit each other, stoles from each other, or done other evil deeds to each other, but lack communication and love. Who would consider this a good married life? So as Christians, we ought not to merely avoid doing evil, but even more to vigorously pursue virtue and love, and do good to others.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 15


 
The mysteries of the Kingdom

“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth; you have revealed to the little ones the mysteries of the kingdom” (Gospel Acclamation Ma 11:25).
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 16


Choosing a Better Way

 
Choosing a Better Way

Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs. He was teased and bullied as a child, and first thought about killing himself when he was eight. He didn’t know if he would get married, be independent, or if he had a purpose, so, at age ten, he tried to drown himself but stopped for his parents’ sake.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 16


 
【Spiritual Talk】The Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday is the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time. The Gospel reading is from Matthew 5:13-16; Jesus tells His apostles to be the salt of the earth, light of the world. Salt is useful for preserving food, so Jesus says that whoever lives out the Beatitudes will preserve the goodness of the world, or else they will be like salt that has lost its taste and is useless. In the Jewish tradition, Israel is to be the light of the nations. When Jesus tells His apostles to live out the Beatitudes, He is telling them to make Israel glorify God. Whenever Christians intentionally give witness to Christ, the whole world benefits. St. John Chrysostom once said that if all men acted as Christians ought, then even if they did not become saints, then the world would still be changed for the better. There would be morality, happiness, and peace. Christians not only have a duty to sanctify themselves, but to help others become holy and bring out their goodness and grow closer to God. In the Mass, we not only pray for ourselves and our families, but also for the world. We should lift up our colleagues, classmates, and friends to God with our prayers. We are called to care for the needs of others, not only their bodily needs, but also spiritual needs.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 8