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Scripture Reflections
Friday, 12 April 2013 13:08

Third Sunday of Easter

Fr-Asaeli-Raass-head-and-shoulders-150Happy Easter! The three-fold question of Jesus to Peter emphasizes the seriousness of Jesus’ inquiry. To love Jesus is not just a single response – it takes a lifetime of service.

When I was discerning this path to become a religious missionary, my initial response was a very casual “yes”. I was not sure of what it would entail until I reached the continent of Africa. There I was challenged to the very core of my being of what it means to say “yes” to Jesus’ question.

Saturday, 06 April 2013 10:49

Second Sunday of Easter

A nominal Catholic came up to the priest after a mass. He complained, “Father, your homily is boring. Every time I go to church it is always the same. It is always about the birth of Christ.” The priest replied, “My son, it is always the birth of Christ because you only come to church during Christmas.”

frtimnortonsvd 150Some years ago I was ministering in a large and densely populated Catholic community in the south of Mexico City. One Easter Saturday evening saw me celebrating the Easter vigil with four newly formed and robust communities, one after the other across the parish.

Thursday, 28 March 2013 17:45

Living Holy Week

"To live Holy Week following Jesus means learning to come out of ourselves ... to reach out to others, to go to the outskirts of existence, ourselves taking the first step towards our brothers and sisters, especially those farthest away, those who are forgotten, those most in need of understanding, consolation, help.

Friday, 22 March 2013 10:32

Passion Sunday

Most of us have seen this scene in a movie: there’s a person who is strapped on an electric chair about to die. The police are just waiting for 3:00pm on the clock before pulling down the lever to deliver thousand of volts of electricity so that the prisoner who is condemned to die will be killed. And with just a few seconds before 3pm, the phone rings. The President just called up and ordered the police to give the prisoner a reprieve.

Friends, how wonderful this weekend, that all of our readings look forward and speak of fresh beginnings - about not becoming imprisoned in our past, but what we could all become under God’s influence. I am sure all of us have been so moved by the simplicity and pastoral outlook of our new Pope. Friends, we have a God who makes all things new and in that we find hope.

Let’s face it. 
We’re all prodigal children. For me the real hero of the story is the compassionate Elder. Elders are teachers of true values and philosophies that last forever. They touch the hearts of the younger generation with their symbolic connection to the past and knowledge of cultural and spiritual leadership.

In today's Gospel we hear a story that all of us are familiar with. It's the parable of the 
Prodigal Son. It's a beautiful reflection on the love of a father for his son, which Jesus related in order to describe God's love for us. However, when hearing this story, one could rightly ask, "Where was the son's mother?"

“Unless you repent, you will likewise perish.” This is not a threat, but an invitation to lead a more fulfilled Christian life. During the 40 days of Lent we’ll be constantly reminded to repent, to have a change of heart for our own good; to change our evil ways and follow the way of the Lord, who is the only ‘way, truth and life.’ (Jn. 14:6).

Whenever I have the chance, I watch a movie every now and then. Sometimes there is something at the movies that catches my attention and if I have the time, I’ll go and watch it as my form of stress-reducing recreation.

Almost every time before the movie proper, there are always film clips on what kind of movies that would be coming up in the next week or so. It’s like a sneak peek of what’s next. Not giving away everything but somehow enticing us to come back to the movie house because they have something nice to offer.

Friday, 15 February 2013 14:52

First Sunday of Lent – Year C

Friends, we are now in this great holy season of Lent and the church invites us to attend to one of the most powerful passages in the Gospel, Luke’s account of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. I often say, that Jesus is not meant to be admired, Jesus is meant to be followed or better even participated in. St. Paul says, it’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The gospel invites us to participate in Jesus. We see Jesus at a moment of weakness facing temptations as we all do. Jesus wanted to experience human life to the full, with the exception of sin.  Facing temptations and how we respond to them are integral parts of our lives; Jesus experienced them too. God never tempts people beyond their strength. But He permits us to be tempted. Therefore, we learn from Jesus what it’s like to face temptations and how to face them. Therefore, I wish to reflect with you today on the great Lenten theme of The Desert Experience …

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