Posts Tagged ‘Advent’

【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

Food for Thought Christmas Special: Burgundy Beef Aspic

The Third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday”. On this day churches will light a pink candle on the Advent Wreath, and priests will wear pink vestments when celebrating Mass. We add to the joy of this day with a French dish “Burgundy Beef Aspic.”
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 14

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

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

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

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

Food for Thought Christmas Special: Fabulous Four from Sabah

John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, preached repentance in the wilderness. He ate locusts and wild honey. Some Bible scholars think that “locusts” could also refer to some kind of bean. Adapting from a famous Malaysian dish, our version of the “Fabulous Four from Sabah” includes sweet peas as well as fried dried fish mixed with honey to imitate the feel of eating locusts.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 7

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

Apart from Jesus and Mary, Advent has a third important character: St. John the Baptist. In this Sunday's Gospel reading, the Gospel of Matthew 3:1-12, the Baptist proclaims the Kingdom of God is near and calls the people to repent. The term "Kingdom of God" is very important in Matthew's Gospel and appears 51 times. The Baptist wears a shirt of camel's hair and a leather belt, just like the Old Testament prophet Elijah. Apart from their similarity in clothing, the two men also opposed an evil king and were persecuted for it. They also prepared the way for another prophet: Elijah for Elisha, the Baptist for Jesus. And both Elisha and Jesus would heal lepers and raise the dead. Also, both men transmitted their missions at the Jordan River: Elijah was received into Heaven and passed his mission to Elisha; St. John baptized Jesus and made way for His greater mission. The baptism of John prepared the way for the baptism of Christ, which remits sins and makes people into temples of God and members of the Church.
Publish date: 2019 - 12 - 7

Food for Thought Christmas Special: Golden Spoon Stickers

Advent is the beginning of the Catholic Church's liturgical season. During Advent, not only do we prepare for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we should also be awake all the time, to wait for the second coming of Christ. Our "Food for Thought Christmas Special" starts with the delectable Golden Spoon Stickers.
Publish date: 2019 - 11 - 30

【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


As a Christian, what symbolic meanings does Advent give them and how this season changes their lives.
Publish date: 2018 - 12 - 22

“The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5)

Rejoice, be glad; be gentle and humble
Publish date: 2018 - 12 - 16

The End or the Beginning

Advent is indeed, a time of remembering, reflection, and transformation.
Publish date: 2018 - 12 - 2

The Jitters of the Last Day

Fear Not! Wherever the Head goes, His Body follows.
Publish date: 2017 - 12 - 3

Pope Francis: The world desperately needs hope, and we are the messengers

(CNA/EWTN News) Pope Francis Wednesday spoke about the hope that Child Jesus brings at Christmas time, saying it is our duty to be the messengers who bring his message to the world – a world that is thirsting for goodness. “The message of the Good News entrusted to us is urgent,” he said December 14. […]
Publish date: 2016 - 12 - 15

Advent and Handel’s Messiah

The author relates the Mass readings of the 3rd Sunday of Advent to the powerful experience of attending a TSO concert on Handel's Messiah.
Publish date: 2016 - 12 - 11

The Flooding Image of Noah

Our Gospel reading for this first Sunday of Advent might strike us as a bit odd. It does not mention about the coming of Christmas, nor the arrival of the child Jesus. Rather, it appears the Gospel reading for the first week of the church year is about a somewhat dark picture of the coming of the Son of Man.
Publish date: 2016 - 11 - 27

Spiritual Talk – Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year C)

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year C), Fr. Anthony Ho explains for us the story of Mary's Visitation to Elizabeth. Mary is our mother, and devotion to her can help us to receive great graces from God and allow us to escape from the clutches of sin and evil. Fr. Ho describes several stories of Mary's protection of the faithful, as well as the benefits of praying the Rosary.
Publish date: 2015 - 12 - 19

Spiritual Talk – Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)

On the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C), also known as Gaudete Sunday, Fr. Anthony Ho reminds us to be joyful in anticipation of Jesus' coming and the origin of the Sacrament of Baptism, bringing us eternal salvation. However, this does not mean that suffering will end on Earth, as only the Kingdom of Heaven will have perfect joy and peace. Lastly, Fr. Ho also speaks about Our Lady of Guadalupe and the events surrounding her apparition, as well as the fruits of faith that appeared as a result.
Publish date: 2015 - 12 - 12

Spiritual Talk – Second Sunday of Advent(Year C)

On the Second Sunday of Advent(Year C), Fr. Anthony Ho explains for us the story of St. Jon the Baptist's prophecy of the saviour's coming. He reminds us to find time for silence, to pray and reflect, to create room as we receive God into our hearts. Fr. Ho also speaks on the life of St. Nicholas and the stories surrounding his aid of the poor.
Publish date: 2015 - 12 - 5

Spiritual Talk – First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

On the First Sunday of Advent (Year C), Fr. Anthony Ho explains for us the story of Jesus' prophecy of the second coming. At the beginning of the Advent season, we should also prepare ourselves as we await His return. His arrival will bring about the last judgement, the destruction of sin and eternal life. Fr. Ho also shares with us the story of the apostle Andrew from his following of Jesus to his missionary work after Jesus' death until his own martyrdom. St. Francis Xavier is another missionary who glorified Jesus with his life, relying on God to spread the Good News to Asia. His life is another witness for us to learn from and honor.
Publish date: 2015 - 11 - 22

Spiritual Talk 4th Sunday of Advent (Year B)

On the 4th Sunday of Advent, Fr. Anthony Ho explains to us the the story of the Annunciation in the Gospel of Luke. Like Mary, every one of us have a calling from God, a mission given to us by Him. We must understand his will in order to find our purpose and direction in life. We need to always ask God with a humble heart: "Lord, what would you have me do?"
Publish date: 2014 - 12 - 20

Spiritual Talk 3rd Sunday of Advent (Year B)

On the 3rd Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday, Fr. Anthony Ho explains to us the significance of joy to Christians everywhere. We must be as St. Paul the Apostle exhorts us: to be joyful always and pray constantly, to pass God's love to those around us. Through various sacrifices and the Sacrament of Confession, we can remove ourselves from sin, walking towards God with the hope Christ gave us.
Publish date: 2014 - 12 - 13

Spiritual Talk 2nd Sunday of Advent (Year B)

On the 2nd Sunday of Advent (Year B), Fr. Anthony Ho discusses the role of John the Baptist in the Gospel of Mark. Fr. Anthony reminds us that we must be attentive and listen to God's will to fulfil our mission in life. We need to remain humble at all times so that through our witness, we can bring those around us closer to Jesus Christ.
Publish date: 2014 - 12 - 6

Spiritual Talk 1st Sunday of Advent (Year B)

On the 1st Sunday of Advent (Year B), Fr. Anthony Ho explains to us the Parable of the Watchmen in the Gospel of Mark. Fr. Anthony reminds us that we must need to be alert at all times, to prepare hearts for the impending arrival of Jesus Christ. We must be careful of sins such as Greed, Lust, Sloth and Pride by examining our lives, and he suggests that we take this time of Advent to go to confession and repair our relationship with God.
Publish date: 2014 - 11 - 29

Emmanuel: God with Us

將臨期第四主日甲年讀經 將臨期第四主日的到來,意味着耶穌誕生的日子已經非常接近,而主日讀經也以這即將誕生的嬰孩為中心。教會安排了我們在這個主日聆聽瑪竇福音叙述「耶穌奧秘的身份來源」。 在福音中,若瑟接納到天使的訊息,顯示瑪利亞的兒子是天主子。耶穌受孕及出生的經過超凡神妙,正好為衪的身份及傳教工作做了詳盡的註解。保祿也論及耶穌的人性和事工:耶穌既是天主又是人,衪的降生和在世的生活顯示衪的人性;衪藉聖神的力量復活則顯示衪的天主性。總括來說,今天的讀經都指出耶穌的身份:衪是天主臨在子民中間的標記、是真天主又是真人、是來到世上救贖我們的天主子。 這些記載以雙重的方式講解這個嬰孩在世上誕生的意義。首先,天使指示若瑟給嬰孩取名為「耶穌」,並且解釋這個名字的意思就是「上主救援」,意味著這嬰孩將會是普世「萬民的拯救者」。其次,耶穌的誕生應驗了依撒意亞先知的預言:「看,一位貞女將懷孕生子,人將稱他的名字為厄瑪奴耳(意思是:天主與我們同在)。」 這個嬰孩的別名「厄瑪奴耳」尤其重要,因為整部福音的主旨就是:天主在耶穌內無時無刻地陪伴著祂的子民,拯救、幫助、和保護他們。福音的結尾更清楚地預言耶穌將會與他們「天天在一起,直到世界的終結。」(瑪28:20) 這篇默想是以 Foundations in Faith – Catechist Catechumenate Manual 為根據,並獲得版權持有人 RCL Benziger, LLC 批准使用。 Fourth Sunday of Advent (Liturgical Year A) The Fourth Sunday of Advent brings us closer to the coming birth of our Lord. Reflected in this Sunday’s readings is the passage from the Gospel of Matthew that revealed […]
Publish date: 2013 - 12 - 22