Catholic Christians: Daily Homily: Fr. Anthony Kadavil

Posted by: MBR on Mon Jan 25th, 2021 5:44 am

Homilies for the week of Jan 25-30 ....

http://frtonyshomilies.com/jan-25-30-weekday-homilies/

Posted by: MBR on Thu Jan 28th, 2021 5:15 am

Jan 28 Thursday (St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Doctor of the Church) https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-thomas-aquinas : Mt 23: 8-12: 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. 11 He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; 12 whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. USCCB video reflections http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfm;  https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: It was the third day of ‘Holy Week,’ in Jerusalem, a day of controversy and personal attacks. Jesus was under fire, and he lashed out at the religious leaders of Israel for rejecting Him as Messiah.

Three sins of the Scribes and Pharisees:  Jesus raises three objections to the Pharisees: they do not practice what they preach, they adopt a very narrow and burdensome interpretation of the Torah, and they seek public acknowledgment. “They do all their deeds to be seen by others” (23: 5). Jesus accuses the scribes and Pharisees of seeking the glory that rightly belongs to God. They express their love of honor in several ways, thereby converting Judaism into a religion of ostentation.  (i) “They make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long” (v. 5). (ii) They “love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues” (v. 6). (iii) They “love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to have people call them rabbi” (v. 7). 23: 9 “call no man your Father on earth” cannot be used as a text against calling priests ‘Father,’ because in I Corinthians 4:14-15 Paul says that he is a father to the Corinthians.

Life messages: 1) We need servant leaders in a serving community:  The Church is intended by Christ to be a servant community in which those who hunger are to be filled; the ignorant are to be taught; the homeless to receive shelter; the sick cared for; the distressed consoled; and the oppressed set free.  Hence, leaders should have a spirit of humble service in thought, word and deed. 2) We need to accept the responsibility which goes with our titles. Titles and polite forms exist to remind each of us of our specific responsibilities in society.  Hence, let us use everything we are and have in a way that brings glory to God and His family. Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Posted by: MBR on Fri Jan 29th, 2021 5:26 am

Jan 29 Friday: Mk 4:26-34: 26 Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed upon the ground, 27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” 30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” 33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything. USCCB video reflections http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfm;  https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: Using the mini parables of the growth of wheat seeds and mustard seeds in the field, Jesus explains the nature of the growth of the Kingdom of God or rule of God in human beings and human societies. In the case of both wheat and mustard seeds, the initial growth is slow and unnoticeable. But within days a leafy shoot will emerge, and within months a mature plant with numerous branches and leaves, flowers and fruits will be produced. The growth is silent and slow but steady, using power from the seed in the beginning and transforming absorbed water and minerals for energy in the later stages. Jesus explains that the Kingdom of God grows this way in human souls. The Kingdom of God is the growth of God’s rule in human hearts that occurs when man does the will of God and surrenders his life to God. It is slow and microscopic in the beginning. But it grows by using the power of the Holy Spirit, given to us through the Word of God, the Sacraments, and our prayers. Finally, God’s rule in the human heart transforms individuals and communities into God’s people, doing His will in His kingdom.

Life message 1) As we learn God’s will from His words and try to put these words into practice, we participate in the growth of God’s Kingdom on earth, a growth which will be completed in our Heavenly life. But we need the special anointing of the Holy Spirit to be doers of the word of God, so let us offer our lives before God every day, asking for this special anointing. Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Posted by: MBR on Sat Jan 30th, 2021 5:17 am

Jan 30 Saturday: Mark 4:35-41: 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.  38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” 41 And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” USCCB video reflections http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfm;  https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: Mark’s emphasis on Jesus’ wondrous works helps him to reveal Jesus’ true Messianic identity. The role of God in calming the storms of life is the central theme of today’s Gospel. By describing the miracle, Mark also gives the assurance to his first-century believers that nothing can harm the Church as long as the risen Lord is with them. The incident reminds us today to keep Jesus in our life’s boat and to seek God’s help in the storms of life.

The storm:  The Sea of Galilee is lake thirteen miles long from north to south and eight miles broad from east to west at its widest. It is notorious for its sudden storms.   When a cold wind blows from the west, the valleys and gullies and hills act like gigantic funnels, compressing the winds and letting them rush down to the lake to create storms with violent waves. Unable to control their fears in just such a storm, the disciples awaken Jesus, accusing him of disregarding their safety. Jesus’ response is immediate.  First, Jesus rebukes the winds and the sea, producing perfect calm, to the great astonishment of his disciples. Then only does he reproach them for their lack of Faith.

Life messages: 1) We need to welcome Jesus into the boat of our life. All of us are making a journey across the sea of time to the shore of eternity, and it is natural that, occasionally in our lives, we all experience different types of violent storms: physical storms, emotional storms, and spiritual storms. We face storms of sorrow, doubts, anxiety, worries, temptations and passion. Only Jesus can give us real peace in the storm of sorrow or console us at the loss of our dear ones.

2) When the storms of doubt seek to uproot the very foundations of our Faith, Jesus is there to still that storm, revealing to us His Divinity and the authority behind the words of Holy Scripture. He gives us peace in the storms of anxiety and worries about ourselves, about the unknown future and about those we love. Jesus calms the storms of passion in people who have hot hearts and blazing tempers. Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Posted by: MBR on Mon Feb 1st, 2021 4:33 am

Feb 1 Monday: Mk 5: 1-20: 1 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of Gerasenes. 2 And when he had come out of the boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him anymore, even with a chain; 4 for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the fetters he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains, he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him; 7 and crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 And he begged him eagerly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; 12 and they begged him, “Send us to the swine, let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them leave. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea. 14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had the legion; and they were afraid. 16 …20.  USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfm; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: Today’s Gospel episode demonstrates Jesus’ power over the devil in a Gentile town of the Decapolis, east of the Jordan, called Gadara (Matthew), or Gerasa (Mark and Luke).  A demon-possessed man (two men in Matthew) came out of a tomb-filled desolate place. The demons, recognizing Jesus as the Son of God, begged Him to send them into a herd of swine. The possessed man’s demons named themselves Legion (ca 5000 men), indicating their number. Jesus did as the evil spirits requested, and the now-possessed swine ran down the slope and drowned in the sea. The frightened people of the city asked Jesus to leave their city. The people considered their swine more precious than the liberation given to the possessed man. If we have a selfish or materialistic outlook, we fail to appreciate the value of Divine things, and we push God out of our lives, begging Him to go away, as these people did.

Life messages: 1) We need to come out of our tombs: Jesus is calling us to come out of the tombs. Our tombs are the closed-in, sealed-off areas of our hearts where Life in the Spirit of God has died because we haven’t let Jesus minister to us through others. Such ungodly persons are lonely. They try to fill their inner emptiness by packing their lives with money, promiscuity, addictions or    workaholism, but nothing works.

2) Jesus the Liberator is ready to free us from the tombs of our evil addictions and habits If we will only let og of everything and give Jesus a chance , He can, and will, help us to experience the joy and freedom of the children of God. Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Posted by: MBR on Tue Feb 2nd, 2021 6:48 am

Feb 2 Tuesday (The Presentation of the Lord): ((https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/presentation-of-the-lord ) https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/ Lk 2:22-32: The context: Today’s Gospel presents the head of the Holy Family, Joseph, faithfully obeying God’s law given through Moses concerning the purification of the mother and the redeeming of the child by presenting Mary and the Baby Jesus in the Temple. The events recounted appear elsewhere in the liturgical year but are those we traditionally celebrate today, February 2nd, with the Feast of Presentation of Jesus.  This is a combined feastcommemorating the Jewish practice of the purification of the mother after childbirth and the presentation of the child in the Temple. It is known as the Hypanthe feast or Feast of the Purification of Mary (by the offering two pigeons in the Temple), the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (by prayers and the payment of “five shekels to a member of the priestly family” (Nm 3:47-48; NAB Note on Lk 2:22), to redeem or buy the firstborn male child back from the Lord’s service), and the Feast of Encounter (because the New Testament, represented by the Baby Jesus, encountered the Old Testament, represented by Simeon and Anna). On February 2nd, we celebrate these events as a formal ending of the Christmas season. The same day, we also celebrate the Feast of Candlemas (because candles are blessed then for liturgical and personal use).

Purification and redemption ceremonies: The Mosaic Law taught that, since every Jewish male child belonged to Yahweh, the parents had to “buy back” the child (“redeem” him), with the payment of “five shekels (by the rich) to a member of the priestly family” (Nm 3:47-48; NAB Note on Lk 2:22). In addition, (Nm 18:15) every mother had to be purified after childbirth by prayers and the sacrifice of a lamb (or two turtle doves for the poor) in the Temple. Joseph kept these laws as an act of obedience to God.

The encounter with Simeon and Anna:  By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the old, pious, Spirit-filled Simeon and the very old widow, Anna, both of whom who had been waiting for the revelation of God’s salvation, were present in the Temple the day Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Present Him to the Father. Simeon recognized Jesus as the Lord’s Anointed One, and in his prayer of blessing, he prophesied that Jesus was meant to be the glory of Israel and a Light of revelation to the Gentiles. While he blessed Mary, Simeon warned that her child would be “set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign of contradiction” and that “a sword will pierce through your own soul. Simeon was prophesying both the universal salvation that would be proclaimed by Jesus and the necessity of suffering in the mission of the Messiah.

Life message: Every Holy Mass in which we participate is our presentation. Although we were officially presented to God on the day of our Baptism, we present ourselves and our dear ones on the altar before God our Father through our Savior Jesus Christ at every Holy Mass. Hence, we need to live our daily lives with the awareness both that we are dedicated people consecrated to God and that we are obliged to lead holy lives. Let us also remember and pray for our godparents who presented us to the Lord on the day of our Baptism Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Posted by: MBR on Thu Feb 4th, 2021 4:56 am

Feb 4 Thursday: Mk 6: 7-13: 7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them. USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfm; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: Today’s Gospel describes the commissioning of the twelve Apostles. They were sent out in pairs with power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. They were to preach to the people whom Jesus would visit the coming of the Kingdom of God, or God’s rule in their lives, and show them how to prepare their hearts for God’s rule by repenting of their sins and asking for God’s forgiveness and liberation from their evil habits. The Apostles were also expected to follow Jesus’ detailed action plan.

Jesus’ instructions and travel tips. From his instructions, it is clear that Jesus meant his disciples to take no supplies for the road. They were simply to trust that God, the Provider, would open the hearts of believers to take care of their needs. Jesus’ instructions also suggest that his disciples should not be like the acquisitive priests of the day, who were interested only in gaining riches.  His disciples should be walking examples of God’s love and providence. The Jews supported their rabbis and judged doing so a privilege as well as an obligation, because hospitality was an important religious tradition in Palestine. The Apostles should choose temporary accommodation in a reputable household, should bless the residents with God’s peace, should be satisfied with the food and accommodation they had received, and should not search for better ones. They were to preach “’the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,’ heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons.”

Life messages: 1) We all have a witnessing mission:   Each Christian is called, not only to be a disciple, but also to be an apostle, bearing witness to Christ. As apostles, we have to evangelize the world by sharing with others not just words, or ideas or doctrines, but our experience of God and His Son, Jesus. It is through our transparent Christian lives that we must show Jesus, whom we have experienced, to others as unconditional love, overflowing mercy, forgiveness, and concern for the people around us. 2) We also have a liberating mission. There are many demons which can control the lives of people around us making them helpless slaves —the demon of nicotine, the demon of alcohol or drugs, the demon of gambling, the demon of pornography and promiscuous sex, the demons of materialism, secularism, and consumerism. We need the help of Jesus to liberate ourselves and others from these demons. Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Posted by: MBR on Fri Feb 5th, 2021 5:47 am

Feb 5 Friday (St. Agatha, Virgin, Martyr): https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-agatha  Mk 6:14-29: 14 King Herod heard of it; for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why these  powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” 17 For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married  her. 18 For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he  heard him gladly. 21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee.  22 For when Herodias’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you  wish, and I will grant it.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her….29 USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfmhttps://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: Today’s Gospel presents the last scene of a tragic drama with three main characters, Herod, Herodias and John the Baptist. Herod was a jealous, weak, puppet-king with a guilty conscience. He feared the prophet John, because John had publicly scolded him for divorcing his legal wife without adequate cause and for marrying his sister-in-law Herodias, thus committing a double violation of Mosaic Law. Herodias was an immoral, greedy woman, stained by a triple guilt and publicly criticized by John. 1) She was an unfaithful woman of loose morals. 2) She was a greedy and vengeful woman. 3) She was an evil mother who used her teenage daughter for the evil purposes of murder and revenge by encouraging her to dance in public in the royal palace against the royal etiquette of the day. John the Baptist was a fiery preacher and the herald of the Promised Messiah. He was also a Spirit-filled prophet with the courage of his prophetic convictions who dared to criticize and scold an Oriental monarch and his proud wife in public.

God’s punishment: After the martyrdom of John, Herod was defeated by Aretas, the father of his first wife. Later, both Herod and Herodias were sent into exile by Caligula, the Roman emperor.

Life messages: 1) Our sins will haunt us, ruining our mental peace, as happened to Herod and Herodias. 2) Brutal sins against others will not go unpunished. 3) We need to stand up for truth and justice in the spirit of John the Baptist. Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21