Faith Formation
 
 

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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the third Sunday of Advent; the liturgical colour is the colour of joy, rose pink, unlike the colour of penance, purple. Advent has already passed the midway point and Christmas is fast approaching. Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 11:2-11; St. John the Baptist needs more evidence to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, so he asks Him directly and Jesus responds that the blind can see, the crippled can walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf can hear, the dead are risen, and men have received the good news. He also says blessed is the one who does not stumble because of me. St. John was familiar with Scripture, so he understood that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. Jesus then illustrated the Baptist's role and asked the crowds why they had come: was it to see a prophet? Jesus explained that John was the greatest of all men born to women, but even the smallest in the Kingdom of Heaven was greater than him. Through baptism, we become children of God and temples of the Holy Spirit.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 14


 
“Rejoice in the Lord always; … the Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4-5)

Let us take a moment from our busy Christmas preparations to contemplate on what “the Lord is near” means for us (Philippians 4:5)
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 15


 
Prep for Christmas: The Last Judgment

During Advent, we prepare our hearts in anticipation of the birth of Baby Jesus, but also for the second coming of Christ in glory. "Prep for Christmas" takes you to an orthodox monastery in Greece for a close look at a painting of the General Judgment, which prompts us to reflect on the causal relationship between every decision of ours and our eternal destiny.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 7


 
【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


 
A Shoot from the Stump of Jesse and a Voice in the Desert

Two takeaways from this Sunday’s readings. Both are powerful prophecies of Isaiah.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 8


 
Welcoming Others as Christ Welcomed Us

Three weeks ago, we gathered donations for the seven people who lost their belongings in a fire that burned their three-storey apartment building in our neighbourhood. Two of them, Fernanda and Curtis, are part of our parish family, so, an e-mail blast about the fire went out to the whole Alpha team, of which Fernanda’s a part. If you got that e-mail, how would you respond? Who here would offer them sympathy in the e-mail? What about prayer? What about a place to stay for the next week?
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 8


 
【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


 
Stay awake, be prepared! Watch and be ready!

Eagerness and patience are the paradoxical qualities of this waiting.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 1


 
Ruins of St. Paul’s, Macau, City of the Name of God

The Ruins of St. Paul's, a landmark of Macau, is a must-go for tourists. The sculptured motifs on this façade incorporate symbols of creation, redemption and salvation. The oriental characteristic is unique among Catholic churches all over the world.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 23


 
The Gift of the Wake-up Call

God allows us to grow old to wake us up and get us ready for death. We’re called to eternal life, but get distracted by the good life we have here. So, in His goodness, He allows us to get stiff, put on weight, have wrinkly skin, and lose hair. Anyone here losing their hair? No one. God bless you.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 1


 
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


 
Christ The King – Is it a Divine Joke?

What is the meaning of a true King? It all begins with a joke.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 24


 
The Essence of Christianity

God is calling us to understand the big story of our faith, today. In other words, what’s the essence of Christianity? We’re going to answer this using a very practical scenario which builds upon years of talking about our relationship with God, the reality of free will, and consequences.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 24


 
“A time of waiting and watching” (CCC 672)

Let us join the psalmist to sing praises to the Lord, who on a day unbeknownst to us, “will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 98:9)
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 17


 
A Call to Service

You know how we all say we’re busy? Can we be honest and admit that, despite our busy schedules, we still waste time? One survey found that seven in ten people admit to wasting time at work, mostly on social media, then online shopping, browsing travel, sports, and entertainment, and just scrolling down pages with no purpose (Michael Hyatt, Free to Focus, 212).
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 17


 
【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


 
“Cherish the hope God gives of being raised by him” (2 Macc 7:14)

As we journey on over hills and valleys, let us turn our gaze away from our own darkness to the light of Christ.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 10


 
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


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

The Third Commandment is to keep the Sabbath day holy. It calls us to attend Mass and avoid unnecessary work on Sunday in honour of the day Jesus rose from the dead and the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles during Pentecost. Fr. Chu once told a story during a homily, saying that someone gave a beggar six of the seven coins in their pocket. The beggar hit the person, stole the seventh coin, and left. Oftentimes, Fr. Chu explained, we are like the ungrateful beggar. God gave us six days to do our work but we often ignore Him and even that seventh day we steal from Him. If we do our work, studies, and chores for God, then we can temporarily pause them to focus on God on Sunday. If we cannot even let go of these duties temporarily, then we have placed them above God and made them into idols. In certain circumstances, if there is no priest nearby or if one cannot step away from caring for someone, for example, it is impossible to attend Mass on Sunday. In these cases, one must increase personal worship of God. We have four reasons to attend Mass: adoration, reparation, thanksgiving, and supplication. Sunday is a foretaste of Heaven, prevents us from being enamoured of the present life, and reminds us to place God first.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 2


 
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save” (Luke 19:10)

We like to think that we can have God in our own pocket. But we’ve got it all wrong. It’s God who finds us and reveals Himself to us; it’s Him who saves us.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 3


 
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