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Spiritual Talk
 
 

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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 20:1-16. Here, Jesus uses the analogy of a vineyard to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. The master of the vineyard hired workers at different times of the day and gathered them to distribute wages at dusk. The workers who had arrived earliest and latest received the same wages alike. Those who arrived earliest were indignant and thought they should receive more wages for working longer. But the master reminded them that they had all agreed to work for a denarius and if he chose to award those who worked less the same wages, that was his personal decision. He even criticized them for being jealous of his generosity. This parable reminds us that the Jews were the people first called by God and the Gentiles afterwards, so Jesus was telling the Jews not to be jealous of the Gentile newcomers. It also reminds us that God can call us at different points in life, whether we were born into a Catholic family, converted in middle age or as a student, or during old age or on our death bed. God rewards us not based on how long we have been His followers, but on how much charity we possess at the moment of our death. We must act wisely and persevere to the end. The master in the parable also met some people standing idle in the marketplace who had not found work because no one had yet called them. In the world, many people have not entered the Church, not because they intentionally chose to be atheist but because no one has yet invited them to be Catholic. The website "Catholics Come Home" works to bring lapsed Catholics back to the Church and they found that many people leave after Confirmation. They are unwilling to call themselves atheists and Christians alike, so they settle on being "without religious belief". One youth left the Church and then befriended a Catholic who invited him to help at a senior's home, go to Mass, and Confession. He agreed each time because he felt he finally had a friend to do religious activities with. Maybe we have friends who have not yet entered the Church, not because they reject Jesus, but because no one has invited them yet. September is the month many parishes start RCIA classes. Do not be afraid to invite your friends to know our Lord Jesus.
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 19


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 18:21-35. Previously, the chapter discussed how to deal with sinners in the Church. Now, Peter asks Jesus how many times to forgive and receives this reply, "Not seven times, but seventy seven times." Jesus spoke a parable of a servant who owed his master 60 million days of wages and was told to sell his family to repay his debt. The servant begged his master who was moved enough to forgive his entire debt. But the servant then saw another servant who owed him a hundred days of wages and proceeded to demand it repaid. The second servant begged him for forgiveness, but the first servant would not forgive him and threw him into prison until he could repay his debt. The other servants were angry and told the master who imprisoned the first servant. When we sin, our debt against God is enormous, because we have offended the infinite God, and only the Precious Blood of Jesus can eliminate the debt of sin. Our neighbours are like the second servant: if even God has already forgiven our massive debts, how can we refuse to forgive those who owe us much less? When we do not forgive others, the angels and saints in Heaven will accuse us before God. In the Lord's Prayer, we pray "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." This clearly reminds us that those who are unwilling to forgive others have closed themselves to the possibility of receiving forgiveness from God. Sometimes we are gravely hurt by others, but forgiveness consists not in feelings but in the will. If we are willing to wish the good of the sinner and pray for their repentance and conversion, then that is already the first step to forgiveness.
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 12


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Third Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 18:15-20. This passage concerns how to deal with disciples who have sinned: first, they are to be reprimanded in private, then with one or two witnesses present, and then by the Church, and if they will not listen even to the Church they are to be treated like Gentiles. We cannot let our brothers and sisters continue to sin and by pointing out the areas they should fix under the authority of the Church, the sinner gets the opportunity to repent. When Jesus called Peter His "Rock", the Church He mentioned was the universal Church, but the Church He mentions here is the local Church. Sometimes, the local church must excommunicate its members to prevent the poison of sin from infecting its other members. It also gives the excommunicated member a chance to repent and begin anew. Jesus gave the power to forgive sins to His Apostles, who in turn passed this power to their successors: the bishops and the priests they ordain. During Confession, the priest must decide whether the believer is truly contrite and intends to not sin again and avoid occasions of sin. Jesus once said that where two or three people are gathered to pray, He is among them. The teachers in His time said that God was present among two people who discuss the Law together, so Jesus was revealing His divine nature here. Jesus is not only present in the person of the priest, but even more in the liturgical prayers of the Church, such as at Mass, during Baptism, in Confession, and in the communal prayers. The liturgy makes our prayers more efficacious.
Publish date: 2020 - 9 - 5


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty Second Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 16:21-27. After Peter recognizes Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus tells His Apostles that He must journey to Jerusalem, where He will be killed by the religious leaders and rise on the third day. The Apostles expected a conquering Messiah, not a suffering Messiah, so they refused to listen. Peter said he would not let such a thing happen, so Jesus immediately said, "Get behind me, Satan!" Peter wanted to prevent Christ's suffering not out of his spiritual discernment, but out of his human fear of suffering. Satan was using him to tempt Jesus to walk the road to worldly success and bypass the road to Calvary. Peter, who was just previously called the "Rock" for proclaiming the truth under the inspiration of the Father, was now called a "stumbling block" for using his human thinking to obstruct Jesus. When we do not listen to God's voice by His grace, we naturally listen to our own voices. Perhaps our human natures do not like God's will, but it will always be best for us. The cross was an instrument of execution used by the Romans, so it was not easy to accept as a symbol by Christians. Christ had only one reason to use it: to teach that His followers had to be willing to accept persecution and suffering for the love of God. Those who wish to find themselves must first give of themselves.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 29


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twenty First Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 16:13-20. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that the early Church had three models of governance to choose from: (1) a democracy where decisions are made through voting, (2) an aristocracy where decisions are made by an exclusive group of individuals, or (3) a theocracy where decisions are made by God. In the Gospel reading, Jesus asked the crowds their opinion, "Who do you say that I am?" They respond that He is one of the Old Testament prophets, showing how often human opinions can contradict one another and still miss Jesus' true identity. The Church cannot be built on the shaky foundation of democracy. Jesus chose twelve Apostles and some think He favoured an aristocracy but when He asked them, "Who do you say that I am?", they stayed silent, perhaps still thinking He would be a worldly conqueror Messiah. Only Peter stepped out and gave the correct answer, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God." Jesus revealed that no man could arrive at such a divine truth on his own abilities and it was God Himself who had revealed this to Peter. He named Peter, or "Rock", and established His Church on this Rock. God continues to protect His Church through Peter's successors, especially during times of faithlessness and moral problems, when the Pope can pronounce infallible teachings. Thus, the Church is governed through theocracy and God Himself guides His people to the Truth and the Life through the Pope and the Church.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 22


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 15:21-28, which describes the exorcism of the Canaanite woman's daughter. The woman begged Jesus to heal her daughter and at first, Jesus was silent and said He was sent to save the Jews, but after the woman persisted, He agreed and freed her daughter from demonic control. The Canaanite woman is a model of prayer, not doubting whether Jesus was able to help her daughter but remained faithful, three times calling Jesus Lord, and persisting until she had reached her goal. She was also humble and not afraid to be called a dog, replying that even dogs eat of the scraps that fall from the master's table. The PATH of prayer has four important elements: (P)ersistence, which enables us to deepen our relationship with God daily like eating and exercising; (A)ttention, which makes us focus on what we are saying to whom; (T)rust, which opens our hearts to accept the graces of God even when we do not obtain what we would like; and (H)umility, which teaches us how much we helpless humans rely on the aid of almighty God.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 15


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today's Gospel reading comes from Matthew 14:22-33, which describes the Miracle of Walking on Water. Jesus had dismissed the crowds and ascended a mountain to pray to His Father when the disciples encountered a storm. Their ship could make no progress and they were stuck in the middle of the sea. Suddenly, they saw Jesus walking on the water. At first thinking He was a ghost, they were afraid but Jesus said, "Do not be afraid, it is I!", reminding us of the words God used to reveal Himself to Moses: "I am who am." Peter asked Jesus to make him walk on the water too and at first all was well while he looked at Jesus, but once he saw the wind and waves around him, he became scared and began to sink. He cried out and Jesus reached out to grab him, criticizing his little faith in order to strengthen him. Afterwards, the wind and waves subsided, showing how Jesus was the Son of God who controlled even the natural realm. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is recognized as the Son of God three times: (1) after Jesus walks on water, (2) before Peter is chosen to be His "rock", and (3) after the centurion sees Jesus die. Controlling the wind and waves is the work of God in the Old Testament, so this shows that Jesus is not only the Son of God, but has a divine nature as well. In our lives, we will encounter storms just like St. Peter and begin to doubt, but we only need to keep our gaze on Jesus and ask for His help to obtain it.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 8


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time and in the Gospel reading, it is dusk and Jesus has finished teaching the crowds, so the disciples tell them to leave and buy food to eat. But even though the disciples have only five loaves and two fish, Jesus says it is enough to feed the crowds, so He tells them all to sit and like the host of a feast, blesses the bread, breaks it, and gives it to His disciples to feed the crowds. Shockingly, the bread and fish do not run out. God throughout history uses various ways to care for His people, such as the manna in the desert, the miraculous food that the Prophet Elijah fed the widow, and the twelve loaves with which the Prophet Elisha fed one hundred people. Jesus worked this miracle to not only show that He was greater than all the Old Testament prophets, but also to foreshadow the coming Holy Eucharist. Just as Jesus fed the crowds at dusk, He also fed His disciples during the Last Supper at dusk. And after all were fed, twelve baskets were left, symbolizing how Jesus would use His twelve Apostles to save the twelve Tribes of Israel. Only when the Apostles gave what little food they had to Jesus did He work the miracle to feed the crowds. We must also accommodate God's saving grace and whole-heartedly give all our prayers, works, and sacrifices to God in order to help many souls.
Publish date: 2020 - 8 - 1


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time and the Gospel reading from Matthew chapter 13 contains the Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Parable of the Pearl. A man accidentally finds a treasure sells all he has to obtain it. The Church must likewise give up everything in order to catch all humanity under her nets, regardless of whether the men she catches are good or evil. Many people are called by God to enter His Church but only the good will be chosen to enter Heaven. The Apostles understood Jesus' parable and that they were to link the Law of the Old Testament with His teaching in the New Testament. They were to be God's fishermen and not judges, for judgment belongs to God alone. Each soul has the potential to be saved by God so the Apostles were not to waste time judging them, but laboured at proclaiming the Gospel to all peoples. St. Teresa of Calcutta once said, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." In our everyday lives, we might have many conflicts with people but at the end of the day, we must remember that God wishes for them all to be saved and will only separate the good from the evil on the last day.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 25


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time and the Gospel reading contains the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, in which evil men sow bad seeds among the good. St. Isidore once said that God permits the good and the evil to live amongst each other until the Last Day so that the evil would have time to repent, just as Saints Matthew and Peter received second chances from Jesus after repenting of their sins. Good and evil are intricately linked in this world and uprooting evil will often uproot good as well. Good things are also linked to suffering and pain. Just as parents will bring their children to the dentist, so God permits us to suffer in order to obtain the greater good of spiritual healing. If we give up because we fear suffering, then love will die in us. Pope Benedict XVI once said that the temptation for many people is to expect speedy progress in the spiritual life and they then become disappointed once their progress is slower than expected. Our spiritual journey is often more like the slow and steady growth of a seed and cannot be hastened. Those of us with a mission to evangelize for God must remember to offer up the speed of their missions' growth to God and let them develop under His guidance.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 18


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Fifteeth Sunday of Ordinary Time and the Gospel reading from Matthew 13 contains the Parable of the Sower. After being baptized, our hearts become soil for God's grace but once we encounter difficulties, our hearts harden and are unable to receive God's Word, prevent it from taking root, or suffocate the seedlings. We ought to both listen and obey the Gospel; Jesus knew that no parable, no matter how good, could open the hardened hearts of men, but only God's grace could open them to receive His Word. Sin hardens our hearts so God gives us sufferings in this life as a medicine for our spiritual illnesses. If we want to prepare our hearts to receive His Word, we must first set aside time to pray, keep the commandments, do good, and avoid evil. As every good farmer knows, a bountiful harvest needs not only good seeds, but also good soil. We take care of our physical hearts through exercise and healthy eating, so why should we not prepare our spiritual hearts through mentally preparing ourselves before prayer to listen and obey? Kimberley Hahn, the wife of Biblical scholar Scott Hahn, knew that God wanted her to become a Catholic but her heart was resistant. One day, her father asked her whether she had prayed the prayer he asked her to pray: "O Lord, I will go where you want me to go, do what you want me to do, say what you want me to say, let go of whatever you want me to let go." Kimberley was afraid to pray this prayer because she was afraid that God was calling her to become a Catholic, but her father told her that the prayer was not an opportunity for her to tell God what she wanted, but to change heart to accept God's plan for her, until she could shout out every word sincerely. Kimberley asked the Holy Spirit for the strength to pray it, and three to four days later she was finally able to pray it. She was still afraid but had the freedom and joy of being able to fully explore the faith, and she understood that God's plan was indeed the best for her. Eventually, she converted to the Catholic faith. When we have internal struggles in our heart, we must ask for God's grace to prepare the spiritual soil of our hearts to accept His Word.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 11


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

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. In the time of Christ, the Jews believed that careful study of the Law was the best way to obtain wisdom and understand God. But this way of thinking made ordinary people believe that wisdom was far above them and an inaccessible academic field - unless they learned the original language and dedicated the time to studying the Scriptures. But in today's Gospel, Jesus clarifies that we need not become scholars in order to know God: it is more important to become like children. So when Jesus walked on this earth, He drew in those on the margins of society: the poor, the sick, and the sinners. Because they were humble, they were able to listen to Jesus, whereas the educated only saw how different Jesus' message was from their complicated understanding of the Law and thus rejected Him. The yoke that Jesus gives us is light and easy because it gives us solace to face life's difficulties and allows us to experience the love of the Father. Jesus has always known the Father and by grace, we may be adopted as His sons and daughters and thus know the Father. Jesus wants us to learn His mercy and goodness and for this reason, He uses the analogy of the yoke. We cannot be lazy, just as farmers must still exert themselves while using a good yoke, but at least we need not waste ourselves to exhaustion.
Publish date: 2020 - 7 - 4


 
「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