Faith Formation
 
 

 
【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


 
Following Jesus’ Descending Path to Lowliness

My heart is at peace in following Jesus’ descending path to lowliness, which is really the ascending path to see God face-to-face. 
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 9


 
【Ask Fr. Francis】Can our prayers change the plan of God?

Fr. Francis will be answering two questions. One of them is about how to pray, and another question about whether prayer can change the plan of God.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 1


 
【Spiritual Talk】The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – Fr. Anthony Ho

This Sunday is the fortieth day after Christmas, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. In the past, Jewish women were considered by the Law to be unclean after giving birth and forty days later had to be cleansed and present their child to God. Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, so she was ritually pure and in fact needed no cleansing. Jesus was the Son of God, so He needed not to be presented to God either. But both mother and son humbly submitted to the Law, reminding us to have a spirit of humble obedience. Mary offered the offering of a poor person: two doves or pigeons, instead of the usual lamb, reminding us that Jesus became a humble man. At that time, a man named Simeon was at the Temple awaiting the Messiah's arrival. When he saw the baby Jesus, he predicted that He would be a light to the nations and a sign to be contradicted. Jesus bore the sins of humanity: are our hearts illuminated with light and ready to accept Him, or are they filled with darkness and closed off to Him? On this Sunday, it is traditional to have candlelight processions to remind us that Jesus is the true light of the world. May we ask God to open our hearts and welcome Him in.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 1


 
Radio broadcast – Full episode (Feb 1, 2020)

【Ask Fr. Francis】Can our prayers change the plan of God? 【Spiritual Talk】The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord - Fr. Anthony Ho 【Edwin’s blog】February 1, 2020
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 1


 
We are called to become light for all peoples

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. It is also known as Candlemas since traditionally, blessings and procession of candles are included in the liturgy to signify that Christ is the light of all nations. It is another “epiphany” celebration as it echoes the Solemnity of Christmas […]
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 2


 
Why Euthanasia is Wrong

The 2016 film Arrival asks the question if we would accept life knowing that it will involve suffering. Here’s the one-and-a-half-minute opening scene which shows the birth of Louise’s daughter time-lapsed to her early death. The great Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson asks why women would bring children into the world knowing they’re going to suffer (12 Rules for Life, 167. See also this video). Other questions of life include: “Why do you have so many children when you’re short on money?” “Why not choose a dignified death (euthanasia), rather than let someone suffer?”
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 2


 
【Spiritual Talk】Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

This Sunday is the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time; the Gospel reading is Matthew 4:12-23 and Jesus is announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God and preaching repentance to be delivered from sin and return to the ways of God. Matthew uses the word "Kingdom of Heaven", unlike Mark and Luke who use "Kingdom of God". In verse 18, Jesus calls four fishermen to become his disciples: Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Unlike other rabbis of the time, Jesus searches for disciples instead of having disciples search for Him. Also, He not only requires that they learn His teaching, but that they hunt for more disciples too. Once James and John hear Jesus, they not only leave behind their fishing equipment but also their father, showing us they loved Jesus more than material thing or family. We also should worship God above all else.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 25


 
What is the Core of Our Mission?

Our Sunday Gospel reports the Lord’s calling of his first disciples. What is it about this scene that is so peaceful and right, and why is it related to our mission?
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 26


 
Preventing Divisions in the Parish

Here are some things that may be dividing us at St. Anthony’s: A few people don’t think we should be using Alpha; a few didn’t want us to give 10% of our annual collection to those in need; some don’t like the one hour, 20-minute Masses; some disagree with our stance on moral issues like abortion, talking about mortal sin, getting drunk, etc.; some have even complained about my homilies (gasp!).
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 26


 
【Spiritual Talk】Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

The liturgical colour for this Sunday's Mass is green. Now that the Christmas season has ended and Lent has yet to come, it is Ordinary Time and green represents growth and hope. The Gospel reading is John 1:29-34 - after baptizing Jesus, John the Baptist calls Him the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. The Baptist came from a priestly family, so his words have a priestly tone. During the Passover, the lamb commemorated the rescuing of the Jewish people from slavery; Jesus was the lamb of the new Passover who would rescue humanity from slavery to sin. The Old Testament lamb was slaughtered every morning and evening in the Temple to enable the repentance and forgiveness of the people. But Jesus alone is able to forgive sins through His Precious Blood and the Prophet Isaiah describes the suffering servant as a lamb offered to death. During Mass, we also call Jesus the Lamb of God before Communion, reminding us of His Presence in the Eucharist.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 18


 
What do I want to be when I grow up?

We are “formed” by God; “called to be saints” and chosen to bring the Good News to all; to testify for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 19


 
Spiritual Friendships

Let’s deal with two problems regarding friendships. First, what’s called being “unequally yoked,” a term from St. Paul (2 Cor 6:14), which now refers to a marriage or a couple dating where one spouse or person is spiritually stronger than the other. When two animals with a yoke over their shoulders are of different strength and speed, there can be injuries.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 19


 
【Spiritual Talk】Baptism of the Lord – Fr. Anthony Ho

This Sunday, the Church celebrates the Baptism of the Lord, which commemorates Jesus' revelation to the Jews, as opposed to His revelation to the Gentile Magi at the Epiphany and to His apostles at the Marriage at Cana. Jesus' baptism appears in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but only Matthew records the dialogue between John the Baptist and Jesus before the baptism. Originally, John was not willing to baptize Jesus and said Jesus ought to baptize him since he knew his lowliness before Jesus. But Jesus permitted it anyways to fulfill all things. Matthew's Gospel mentions the word "fulfill" many times, meaning to fulfill the Old Testament. He describes angels, magi, John, even God the Father testifying to Jesus' identity and mission. The Holy Spirit descends as a dove on Jesus' head, while God the Father says, "This is my son in whom I am well pleased." The descent of the Holy Spirit reminds us of the Spirit of God moving above the waters in Genesis and of the dove sent above the floods by Noah - both times representing the new beginning of the world. Jesus' baptism is a new beginning and the end of the Christmas season. Our baptism is also a new beginning and gives us a new birth.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 11


 
“I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:14)

"Let it be so for now, for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15)
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 12


 
Pope Francis: Christ can bring good out of any circumstance – even an apparent failure

(CNA) Love for God is always fruitful, Pope Francis said Wednesday, stressing that Christ can bring good out of any circumstance -- even an apparent failure.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 9


 
Prep for Christmas: Encountering Mary in Ephesus

The Church designates January 1 as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. "Prep for Christmas" takes you to Ephesus, Turkey to reflect on the role the Blessed Virgin Mary plays in the Christian faith.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 4


 
How to Realize You’re Special

Bob was only 13 when his father left the family. Being the second oldest of seven children, Bob felt he had to become the man of the home. Weeks later, he was also devastated when his basketball coach tried to molest him. The pain continued a year later when his father eventually started a second family and when his family moved to Florida.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 12