Spiritual Talk
 
 

 
「Spiritual Talk」Palm Sunday – Fr. Anthony Ho

This Sunday is Palm Sunday and traditionally, palm branches are blessed before Mass, and the Gospel reading is longer than usual, since it narrates Jesus' Passion story. This year's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 27. Pilate washed his hands in attempt to shift responsibility for condemning Jesus to death, but it was all useless, as we confess everytime we pray the Creed in Mass, Jesus "suffered under Pontius Pilate" - his cowardly compromise will never be forgotten. So whenever Christians try to avoid witnessing to the truth out of fear of suffering, they are just like Pilate. We cannot wash away the judgments of our consciences but must treat our neighbours responsibly. If Christians do not build up a culture of life, the world's culture of death will reign, and there will be more children murdered, poor people exploited, and families ruined. Jesus not only suffers for us, but He also suffers with us. We can unite our sufferings with Christ and offer them up to the Father, helping us atone for our own sins and beg God to show mercy on others.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 4


 
「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


 
「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


 
「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


 
【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


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

This week, the Church celebrates the beginning of Lent, the forty days of preparation for Easter. In fact, there are 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday, but since fasting is not kept on Sundays, the Sundays are not included in the calculation. This Sunday, the Gospel reading is about Jesus spending forty days in the desert praying and fasting, which reminds us of the forty days Moses spent in the desert, praying and fasting to prepare to receive the Ten Commandments from God. When the Devil tempts Jesus, He quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy that Moses wrote, using the Word of God as His weapon. When the Devil tempts Jesus to turn stones into bread, He quotes Deuteronomy 8:3, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." When the Devil tells Jesus to jump from a height to display His power as the Son of God, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16, "You must not put the Lord your God to the test." Finally, the Devil tells Jesus to worship him in return for the world's wealth and honour, but Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13, "You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone." We often rely on our selfish desires to make decisions when we encounter temptation and often make mistakes and distance ourselves from God. When we frequently read Scripture, meditate, and pray the Rosary, we immerse ourselves in the grand scheme of the Gospel, training us to naturally use the Word of God to resist temptation when it comes our way.
Publish date: 2020 - 2 - 29


 
【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


 
【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


 
【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


 
【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


 
【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


 
【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


 
【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


 
【Spiritual Talk】Feast of the Epiphany – Fr. Anthony Ho

This Sunday, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany, which commemorates the coming of three wise men from the East who followed a star to worship Jesus and give Him gifts, as recorded in the reading from the Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12. Normally, this feast is celebrated on January 6th, but in some countries such as Canada, this day is not a public holiday, so it is celebrated on the nearest Sunday instead. Some people have attempted to explain the star's appearance with natural means, but the star stopped above Jesus, so this is very difficult. More people use the Jewish tradition to explain the star as an angel, just as an angel lead the Jewish people to the Promised Land. When the three wise men arrived at the house of the baby and His mother, they did not merely kneel but also prostrated themselves, a sign of worship. In Jerusalem, the chief priests and the scribes did not worship Jesus, but only foreigners did. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which were the first fruits of the Gentiles and showed Jesus as true God and true man. The early Church fathers admired the wise men's faith: although their physical eyes saw a baby, their eyes of faith saw God, and that is why they prostrated themselves and offered gifts. As faithful Catholics, our physical eyes see the Blessed Sacrament as bread, but our eyes of faith see God, hence why we kneel and offer up spiritual gifts.
Publish date: 2020 - 1 - 4


 
【Spiritual Talk】- The Feast of the Holy Family

This Sunday, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. The Gospel reading is from Matthew 2:13-23, which describes the Holy Family's flight into Egypt to escape King Herod the Great's proclamation that all male children under the age of two be killed. This was foretold by the Pharoah's proclamation in the Book of Exodus that all male Jewish children be killed. At that time, only Moses was saved by the princess who rescued him from the water; now, only Jesus was saved by Joseph who brought Him into Egypt. Moses and Jesus both played the role of saviour: Moses saved his people from slavery, while Jesus saved both His people and the entire world from slavery to sin. When Herod died, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him to return to the Holy Land. In fact, the Joseph of the New Testament shares many similarities with the Joseph of the Old Testament: both were dreamers, both had fathers named Jacob, and both were persecuted by a king and his brothers respectively. The Holy Family later moved to Nazareth, a small town whose population numbered no more than 480 people at the time. Joseph led a humble life there as a carpenter, teaching us the road to sanctity: to perform well our duty to pray and work in front of the Child Jesus, and in doing so grow with Him.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 28


 
【Spiritual Talk】Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)

This Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the Gospel reading is from the Gospel of Matthew 1:18-25, which talks about Mary's betrothal to Joseph. To the Jews, betrothal was different from our modern-day engagement: the betrothed were already considered husband and wife, but the wife would continue living with her parents for another year before fulfilling the marital oath and moving in with her husband. When Mary was found to be pregnant, she had not yet lived with Joseph. Under the Mosaic law, married persons discovered to have committed adultery were to be stoned to death but the Jews were under Roman rule, so they were unable to execute death sentences and oftentimes just enacted divorces instead. There are two ways to explain Joseph's motivations for wanting to divorce Mary: (1) he knew that he was not the child's father and suspected that Mary was unfaithful yet he did not want to expose Mary to shame, so he decided to divorce her quietly; (2) he had always known that the Messiah would be born of a virgin and never suspected Mary of infidelity but felt himself unworthy to be adoptive father of the Messiah and hence wanted to divorce her. Regardless, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him that he was a descendant of David and that the child came from God, so he ought not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. The angel also told Joseph to name the child Jesus, indicating that the child would inherit the line of David. Since the name Jesus means "God saves" and Jesus would save men from sin, it also indicated that Jesus was God. At the time, many Jews expected a political Messiah to free them from Roman rule, unlike Jesus, who came to free people from sin.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 21


 
【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


 
【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


 
【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


 
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


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

The Fifth Commandment is "Thou shalt not kill": we must not needlessly cause or risk the harm or death of ourselves or other people, both physically and spiritually. When we cause another to commit a venial sin or a mortal sin, we cause them spiritual harm and death respectively. Oftentimes, we use people as tools for personal benefit instead of using tools to benefit people. We have no right to destroy human life, because God created us each with an eternal soul - we reflect the glory of God which gives us dignity no matter how weak we are. But when humans are extremely old or young, they are especially vulnerable to abuse - euthanasia in old age and abortion in young age. Western society is losing its respect for human life and becoming a culture of death, but pagan Mexico used to sacrifice humans to their gods and was eventually converted to Catholicism by Mary's apparition at Guadalupe as a pregnant woman.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 16


 
【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


 
【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


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

The Second Commandment is "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain" - we can only use the name of God with veneration and good reason, not for cursing or making false oaths. Usually, using His name while swearing constitutes venial sin, but it can be a mortal sin if one blasphemes God. Likewise, it is venial sin to wish little misfortune on someone, but mortal sin to wish big misfortune. In certain circumstances, we must make oaths to affirm that we are speaking the truth, such as in court. To ensure we make good oaths, three conditions must be met: the oath must be necessary, one cannot lie during the oath, and one cannot make an oath to do evil. Oaths are our medicine for our lost trust in each other - they compensate for this defect in human nature and we only make them if necessary. Traditionally, making oaths unnecessarily is considered a venial sin but lying during an oath is a mortal sin. Vows are not merely promises to God, but constitute major duties to God, such as those professed by those in the religious life. Moreoever, because we must honour the name of God, we must also honour the names of His beloved saints. Neither is swearing acceptable, for just as we use the local language when travelling abroad, we must also use heavenly language if we wish to enter Heaven.
Publish date: 2019 - 10 - 26