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Spiritual Talk
 
 

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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. In the Gospel, Jesus teaches His disciples to prioritize different kinds of love by placing God in the first place, above family members and their own lives. Love and sacrifice are inseparable and Jesus' disciples tasted what true love means from the Cross. They saw how the world treated Jesus with suffering and insults and they themselves were treated in the same way, having to bear their own crosses. The Cross reminds us to patiently bear with the inconveniences of daily life and to not be afraid of sacrifice or suffering. In order to find true happiness, we must first find true life, and this comes from accepting Jesus. People often look down on missionaries, but this betrays a rebellious heart towards God, a heart that is far from sincerely accepting God's instruction. Being a disciple is not easy, but it is certainly possible, because God has given His grace to help us.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 27


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

This weekend, the Gospel reading is from Matthew 10, where Jesus is teaching His disciples to bravely spread the Gospel. When we suffer persecution because of spreading the Gospel, there is a temptation to stop or water down the message. But Jesus gave the duty to evangelize to His disciples, and we cannot hear the message of God unless it is through their work. Jesus taught openly and was nailed to the Cross as a result. When we spread the Gospel like He did, we will also be martyred. The world can only harm our mortal bodies and not our souls. We ought to be afraid, therefore, only of the God who can send our souls into Hell. God will acknowledge those who acknowledged Him before other humans, but those who denied God in order to save their earthly lives will also be denied by God at the Judgment. St. Matthew's writings are not meant only for Jesus' disciples, but for all believers, so that we might learn to not compromise to the world and reject Christ. Jesus' evangelizing had two approaches: firstly, to openly proclaim the Gospel; and secondly, to move on in the face of rejection. The Church also first spreads the light of the Gospel throughout the world in order to see who will accept the Gospel and who will reject it; then, having seen their reactions, she decides on further action.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 20


 
「Spiritual Talk」the Feast of Corpus Christi – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi, commemorating the Real Presence of God in the Holy Eucharist, through which Christ fulfills His title of Emmanuel. The Mass is truly the perfect sacrifice given us by God and is the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross to the Father re-presented on the altar. The sacrifice of the altar and the sacrifice on the Cross are one and the same--just as there is one priest and one victim in Christ, so also there is one goal: to worship, thank, and entreat God; and to make reparation for sin. The Body and Blood of Christ are our food. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the faithful are unable to receive the Eucharist, but the Mass is still offered and even livestreamed in many parishes. For example, St. John the Apostle Parish in Vancouver offers Cantonese Mass every Saturday at 4pm and English Mass at 5:30pm. Watching the Mass online is a good way to connect the Church, allowing the faithful a way to pray and celebrate the Sacraments together. When the priest offers the Body and Blood to God, the faithful ought also to offer their entire selves to God.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 13


 
「Spiritual Talk」the Feast of the Holy Trinity – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Trinity, commemorating God the Trinity in whose "Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" we are baptized. Whenever we pray we make the Trinitarian Sign of the Cross, whenever we bless ourselves with holy water upon entering and exiting the church we make the Sing of the Cross. The founder of the Legion of Mary, Frank Duff, promoted meditating on the mystery of the Holy Trinity in the Glory Be prayer at the end of every decade of the Rosary, since each decade's mystery is a masterpiece of the Holy Spirit. God the Father created heaven and earth, and sent the Son to save us. God the Father and the Son together sent the Holy Spirit to lead the Apostles whom Jesus left behind, to prevent them from being orphaned. Today, the Holy Spirit is still present in the Church and gives us the strength to do great deeds, and gives us wisdom. But those who desire the help of the Holy Spirit must first prepare themselves and open their hearts to receive Him.
Publish date: 2020 - 6 - 6


 
「Spiritual Talk」The Feast of the Pentecost – Fr. Anthony Ho

This week, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Pentecost, which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Blessed Virgin, the Apostles, and disciples in the form of wind and tongues of fire after the Ascension of Our Lord. After receiving the Holy Spirit, they went out to proclaim the Gospel, receiving three thousand people into the Church. Pentecost is also the birthday of the Church, the mystical Body of Christ whose body is God's grace and whose soul is the Holy Spirit Who gives her the impetus to continue Christ's work on earth. One of her missions is to forgive humanity's sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which Christ gave her Apostles after His Resurrection through breathing on them, and through the Sacrament of Baptism which remits the sins of the newly baptized and opens the baptized to forgiveness in Confession. When priests are consecrated, there is a prayer asking God to send His Holy Spirit onto the newly consecrated priest. From this, we see that priests' authority to forgive sins comes from the Holy Spirit.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 30


 
「Spiritual Talk」Feast of the Ascension – Fr. Anthony Ho

This week, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension. For forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus remained on earth to complete the instruction of the Apostles and strengthen their faith in His Resurrection. After the forty days, He led them to a mountain and said, "All power in heaven and earth has been given to me, so baptize all peoples and make them my disciples, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, commanding them to keep all that I have taught you." Jesus gave His Apostles three missions: (1) a prophet's duty to teach, (2) a priest's duty to sanctify, and (3) a king's duty to rule. Jesus commanded them to instruct all peoples through spreading the Gospel, to administer the Sacraments like Baptism, and to rule them by teaching them to follow God's commandments. Jesus did not leave them to fight alone but promised to be with them, "until the end of the age." Wherever the Blessed Sacrament is, there is Jesus present also, and through the Eucharist, Jesus is with us. In the Creed, we profess that Jesus rose to the right hand of the Father, showing us that Jesus is equal to God and both our king and judge. When we meditate on the mystery of the Ascension, we deepen our thirst for heaven and desire to help others attain heaven as well.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 23


 
「Spiritual Talk」Sixth Sunday of Easter – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is the Sixth Sunday of Easter and the Gospel reading comes from John 14:15-21. Before His final farewell to His disciples, Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Loving and obeying Jesus are inseparable and His most basic commandment is to love: "Just as I have loved you, so you ought to love one another." Just as the Son loves and obeys the Father, so the disciples love and obey Jesus. And as the will of the Father and the Son are one, the disciples can approach the Father through the Son. God first sent an Advocate to be present with the disciples, Jesus. Now, He would send another Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of truth. Many people do not accept the Holy Spirit because they have not accepted Christ first. Jesus was going back to the Father, but He promised to return to the disciples again. Jesus only appeared to some people after His Resurrection but through the Church, He meets each of us, especially in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In obeying and keeping the commandments of Jesus, we witness to our love of Christ, thereby gaining the love of the Father.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 16


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

This weekend is the Fifth Sunday of Easter and the Gospels retell Jesus telling His disciples at the Last Supper, "Do not be troubled." Although Jesus was about to die, He still desired them to trust in Him, the absolutely trustworthy Son of God. Jesus also told them He would go to the Father's home to prepare rooms for them and one day bring them to the glory of the Father. All earthly temples are merely reflections of the Presence of God, but Jesus transformed His Body into the new Temple after His Resurrection, the only path to God. His disciples originally did not understand this, so Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Unless we live by Jesus' teachings, we cannot reach the Father; unless we enter into the Word made flesh, we cannot understand the teachings of God; and unless we are led to the Kingdom of Heaven by Jesus, we cannot attain new life. Jesus is the narrow gate, the only intercessor between God and man. The Gospel of John 14:1-7 is often used in funeral Masses because it reassures us that Jesus will return to Earth and is even now preparing rooms for us in Heaven, our true home. Moses and Philip yearned to see the Father, but Jesus says that whoever sees Him has already seen the Father. He said that if the apostles followed Him, they would perform even greater deeds than He performed on earth, because He would send them the Holy Spirit and together with His glorified humanity, they would work miracles together to save the world.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 9


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

This weekend is the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. The Gospel reading comes from chapter 10 of the Gospel of John, describing Jesus as the good shepherd who enters the sheepfold through the gate, as opposed to the thief and robber who eneter through other ways. The thief and robber enter through violence to benefit from the sheep's misfortune, but the shepherd takes care of the sheep. When Jesus endured His Passion, the people released a robber instead of Him and Jesus hung on the Cross between two robbers, showing how far His way is from the way of violence. Some biblical commentators have explained that the gatekeeper who lets the sheep into the sheepfold is God the Father, who leads the apostles to Christ. Just as the gatekeeper lets the shepherd lead the sheep to the pastures, God the Father sent Jesus to lead all peoples to the pastures of everlasting life. In the previous chapter, chapter 9, Jesus healed a blind man persecuted and driven from the synagogue by the Pharisees. The Pharisees sought to scatter the sheep, whereas Jesus sought to gather them. The good shepherd calls each sheep by its name, just as Jesus called His followers by name, like Peter, Lazarus, and Mary Magdalene. The sheep do not follow strangers, but follow their shepherd faithfully. Jesus is our Good Shepherd and He understands our every need and problem, so we must not only listen to Him by studying the Scriptures and the Church's teachings, but also respond to His voice by imitating His example.
Publish date: 2020 - 5 - 2


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

This weekend is the Third Sunday of Easter and the Gospel reading describes the resurrected Jesus appearing to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus explained the Scriptures to them and as night approached, He took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, just as He did at the miracle of the five loaves and two fish. That earlier miracle foresaw the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday and now, after Jesus' Resurrection, He again appeared to His disciples in the breaking of the bread to signify the end of His earthly ministry. The two disciples' eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus, just as Adam and Eve's eyes were opened to recognize the evil brought by sin after they ate the forbidden fruit. However, whereas Adam and Eve's sin corrupted our human nature, Jesus the New Adam has elevated our human nature. The liturgy of the Mass has two parts: an initial Liturgy of the Word to listen to the Scriptures and a later Liturgy of the Eucharist to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ. The Mass has many similarities with the appearance of Christ on the road to Emmaus: He first revealed the Scriptures then blessed and broke the bread. The Liturgies of the Word and the Eucharist mutually aid each other: by listening to the Word of God, we are prepared to receive the Body and Blood of Christ; and by receiving the Eucharist, we are given the grace to understand and live out the Word of God. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot go to church or attend Mass, which causes us much suffering. But we cannot neglect the Word of God--by studying it, we can prepare ourselves to participate once again in the Mass
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 25


 
「Spiritual Talk」 Divine Mercy Sunday – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend is Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter. In the 1930s, Jesus appeared to St. Faustina and asked the Church to dedicate this day to His Divine Mercy. The Divine Mercy image is very beautiful, with Jesus wearing a white robe and two rays of light--one red and one white--emanating from His heart, representing the blood and water that poured from His side on the Cross, and at the bottom are written these words: "Jesus, I trust in you." After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples, but St. Thomas was not present so he refused to believe in Jesus' Resurrection until he could see Jesus, thus receiving Jesus' disapproval. From this, we can see that the Apostles were human too and had human weaknesses despite representing God. Our superiors in the Church are also human and have human weaknesses, but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they represent God. Whenever the Church promulgates infallible teachings, it is not merely the decision of fallible humans, but also done under the guidance of God. After Jesus appeared to the Apostles, He breathed on them and gave them the power to forgive sins, instituting the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After St. Thomas saw Jesus, he believed in His Resurrection and cried, "My Lord and my God!" In the Mass, when the Blessed Eucharist is raised after consecration, there is a tradition for the faithful to pray silently, "My Lord and my God!", and when the Chalice is raised after the consecration of the Blood, "My Jesus, mercy." We believe in the mercy of God through faith, and then participate in the Mass.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 18


 
「Spiritual Talk」Easter Sunday – Fr. Anthony Ho

This weekend, the Church solemnly celebrates the Resurrection of Christ, Easter. At the Saturday Vigil, catechumens will be baptized and join the Catholic Church. Unless Jesus truly rose from the dead, the Gospel would have no meaning. This is why the author of the Gospel of Matthew takes pains to show the reader that Jesus truly rose from the dead. The teachings of Jesus derive their meaning from the Resurrection and because of this, Easter is the most important day of the liturgical year. Jesus's Resurrection is not merely a raising from the dead like that experienced by Lazarus, the son of the widow, and Jairus' daughter, because they still died after being raised but Jesus' body was transformed until His glorified body and will never die. This gives us hope that our bodies will one day be glorified like Jesus'. When Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection, he asked her to tell the Apostles that He would meet them in Galilee. Jesus began His ministry in Capernaum in the north of Israel, where the Assyrians exiled the Israelites long ago. Now Jesus wants to meet His disciples there, representing that His Gospel is not merely for the former Kingdom of Judah in the south, but also for the former Kingdom of Israel in the north, and even the Gentile foreigners across the world. One important theme of Easter is light and in the Easter Vigil Mass, there is a custom to light candles in the darkness and to keep an Eastern candle burning throughout the Easter season. Christ gives the light of Easter to all who place their faith in Him.
Publish date: 2020 - 4 - 11


 
「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