Dear God, open a door for my message, so that I may proclaim the mystery of Christ. I pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:3-4

R4C

R4C
Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You.
Psalm 19:14, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

You are the Christ, the Son of the living God


Epistle: 2 Timothy 4:6-8,17-18
For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

@*@*@*@*@*@

Today in many churches of the East and West the Apostles Peter and Paul are commemorated. Both were martyred in Rome in the first century. They tirelessly worked for the spread of the gospel, not only to the people of Israel, but to all the nations as well. They risked their lives in the process and gladly poured out their blood in loyalty to their Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul so eloquently stated in his second epistle to Timothy, they courageously fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).

Who do you say I am? 
How firm is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? At an opportune time Jesus tested his disciples with a crucial question: Who do men say that I am and who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:13). Jesus was widely recognized in Israel as a mighty man of God, even being compared with the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah. Peter, always quick to respond, exclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Through the gift of faith Peter recognized that Jesus was the "anointed one" (in Hebrew and Greek the word is translated as Messiah and Christ), and the only begotten Son of God sent by the Father in heaven to redeem a fallen human race. No mortal being could have revealed this to Peter; but only God. Jesus then conferred on Peter authority to govern the church that Jesus would build, a church that no powers could overcome. Jesus played on Peter's name which is the same word for "rock" in both Aramaic and Greek.

Spiritual rock ad living stones 
To call someone a "rock" is one of the greatest of compliments. The ancient rabbis had a saying that when God saw Abraham, he exclaimed: "I have discovered a rock to found the world upon." Abraham put his trust in God and made God's word the foundation of his life and the bedrock of his faith. Through Abraham God established a nation for himself. Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was. He was the first apostle to proclaim that Jesus was truly the Anointed One (Messiah and Christ) and the only begotten Son of God.

The New Testament describes the church, the people of God, as a spiritual house and temple of the Holy Spirit with each member joined together as living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5). Faith in Jesus Christ makes us into rocks - spiritual stones. The Lord Jesus tests each of us personally with the same question: Who do you say that I am?

"Lord Jesus, I profess and believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. You are my Lord and my Savior who has set me free from sin and deception. Make my faith strong like the Apostles Peter and Paul and give me boldness to speak of you to others that they may come to know you as Lord and Savior."

source: Kairos-EME, Don's Daily Email

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Lay up treasure in heaven


What do you treasure and seek after the most? What do you value above all else? Jesus offers a treasure of incomparable value and worth, but we need healthy eyes - good spiritual vision - to recognize what is the greatest treasure we can possess. What Jesus said about seeking treasure made perfect sense to his audience: keep what lasts! Aren't we all trying to find something we treasure in this life in the hope that it will bring us happiness, peace, and security?

Jesus contrasts two very different kinds of wealth - material wealth and spiritual wealth. Jesus urges his disciples to get rich by investing in wealth and treasure which truly lasts - not just for a life-time - but for all eternity as well. Jesus offers heavenly treasures which cannot lose their value by changing circumstances, such as diminishing currency, damage or destruction, loss or theft. The treasure which Jesus offers is kept safe and uncorrupted by God himself.

What is this treasure which Jesus offers so freely and graciously? It is the treasure of God himself - the source and giver of every good gift and blessing in this life - and a kingdom that will endure forever. The treasure of God's kingdom produces unspeakable joy because it unites us with the source of all joy and blessings which is God himself. God offers us the treasure of unending joy and friendship with himself and with all who are united with him in his heavenly kingdom. In Jesus Christ we receive an inheritance which the Apostle Peter describes as imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us (1 Peter 1:4). Paul the Apostle describes it as a kingdom of everlasting peace, joy, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

How realistic and attainable is this heavenly treasure? Can we enjoy it now, or must we wait for it in the after-life? The treasure of God's kingdom is both a present and a future reality - like an investment which grows and matures, ever increasing and multiplying in value, and producing an endless supply of rich rewards and benefits.

Seekers of great treasure will go to any length to receive their reward. They direct all their energies and resources to obtain the treasure. We instinctively direct our energies and resources - an even our whole lives - towards that which we most value. To set one's heart on heavenly treasure is to enter into a deeper and richer life with God himself. It is only by letting go of false treasure that one can enter into the joy of a heavenly treasure that is immeasurable and worth more than we can give in exchange. Do you seek the treasure which lasts for eternity?

Jesus also used the image of eyesight or human vision to convey an important principle of God's kingdom. Blurred vision and bad eyesight serve as a metaphor for moral stupidity and spiritual blindness. (For examples, see Matthew 15:14, 23:16 ff.; John 9:39-41; Romans 2 2:19; 2 Peter 1:9; and Revelations 3:17.) The eye is the window of the heart, mind, and "inner being" of a person. How one views their life and reality reflects not only their personal vision - how they see themselves and the world around them, it also reflects their inner being and soul - the kind of moral person and character they choose for themselves. If the window through which we view life, truth, and reality is clouded, soiled, or marred in any way, then the light of God's truth will be deflected, diminished, and distorted.

Only Jesus Christ can free us from the spiritual darkness of sin, unbelief, and ignorance. That is why Jesus called himself the light of the world - the one true source of light that can overcome the darkness of sin and the lies and deception of Satan.

What can blind or distort our "vision" of what is true, good, lovely, pure, and eternal (Philippians 4:8)? Certainly prejudice, jealousy, and self-conceit can distort true and clear judgment of ourselves and others and lead to moral blindness. Prejudice and self-conceit also destroys good judgment and blinds us to the facts and to their significance for us. Jealousy and envy make us despise others and mistrust them as enemies rather than friends. We need to fearlessly examine ourselves to see if we are living according to right judgment and sound principles or if we might be misguided by blind prejudice or some other conceit. Love is not jealous ...but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6). Do you live your life in the light of God's truth?

"Lord Jesus, you have the words of everlasting life. May the light of your truth free me from the error of sin and deception. Take my heart and fill it with your love that I may desire you alone as my Treasure and my All."

source: Kairos-EME, Don's Daily Email

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Your Father knows what you need


Do you pray with joy and confidence? The Jews were noted for their devotion to prayer. Formal prayer was prescribed for three set times a day. And the rabbis had a prayer for every occasion. Jesus warns his disciples against formalism, making prayer something mechanical and devoid of meaning, with little thought for God. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he gave them the disciple’s prayer, what we call the Our Father or Lord’s Prayer. This prayer dares to call God "our Father" and boldly asks for the things we need to live as his sons and daughters.

It is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that we can know God personally and call him "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15). We can approach God our Father with confidence and boldness because Jesus Christ has opened the way to heaven for us through his death and resurrection. When we ask God for help, he fortunately does not give us what we deserve. Instead, he responds with grace and favor and mercy. It is his nature to love generously and to forgive mercifully. When he gives he gives more than we need so we will have something to share with others in their need as well.

God is kind and forgiving towards us and he expects us to treat our neighbor the same. Do you treat others as they deserve, or do you treat them as the Lord would treat you with his grace and favor and mercy? Jesus' prayer includes an injunction that we must ask God to forgive us in proportion as we forgive those who have wronged us. Ask the Lord to free your heart of any anger, bitterness, resentment, selfishness, indifference, or coldness towards others. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with the fire of his burning love and compassion and with the river of his overflowing mercy and kindness.

"Father in heaven, you have given me a mind to know you, a will to serve you, and a heart to love you. Give me today the grace and strength to embrace your holy will and fill my heart with your love that all my intentions and actions may be pleasing to you. Give me the grace to be charitable in thought, kind in deed, and loving in speech towards all." 

source: Kairos-EME, Don's Daily Email

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

When you pray, fast, and give alms


Why did Jesus single out prayer, fasting, and alms giving for his disciples? The Jews considered these three as the cardinal works of the religious life. These were seen as the key signs of a pious person, the three great pillars on which the good life was based. Jesus pointed to the heart of the matter. Why do you pray, fast, and give alms? To draw attention to yourself so that others may notice and think highly of you? Or to give glory to God?

The Lord warns his disciples of self-seeking glory - the preoccupation with looking good and seeking praise from others. True piety is something more than feeling good or looking holy. True piety is loving devotion to God. It is an attitude of awe, reverence, worship and obedience. It is a gift and working of the Holy Spirit that enables us to devote our lives to God with a holy desire to please him in all things (Isaiah 11:1-2).

Completely united with God our Father
What is the sure reward which Jesus points out to his disciples? It is communion with God our Father. In him alone we find the fulness of life and happiness, truth and beauty, love and joy. Saint Augustine, the great fourth century bishop of Hippo, wrote the following prayer in his Confessions: When I am completely united to you, there will be no more sorrows or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete.

The Lord rewards those who seek him with humble and repentant hearts. He renews us each day and he gives us new hearts of love and compassion that we may serve him and our neighbor with glad and generous hearts. Do you want to grow in your love for God and for your neighbor? Seek him expectantly in prayer, with fasting, and in generous giving to those in need.

"Lord Jesus, give me a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, and a great love for you. Take from me all lukewarmness in meditating on your word, and dullness in prayer. Give me fervor and delight in thinking of you and your grace. Fill my heart with compassion for others, especially those in need, that I may respond with generosity."

source: Kairos-EME, Don's Daily Email

Monday, 13 June 2016

Saint Anne's Feast & Novena 2016, Church of Saint Anne, Bukit Mertajam

22 July 2016 ~ 31 July 2016
Theme : Merciful Like the Father (Lk 6:36)

Novena, Mass Schedule & Information:








St Anne's Church Bukit Mertajam
Address: Jalan Kulim, 
Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Phone: +60 4-538 6405

Love your enemies and pray for them


What makes the disciples of Jesus different from others and what makes Christianity distinct from any other religion? It is grace - treating others, not as they deserve, but as God wishes them to be treated - with loving-kindness, forbearance, and mercy. God is good to the unjust as well as the just. His love embraces saint and sinner alike. God seeks our highest good and teaches us to seek the greatest good of others, even those who hate and abuse us. Our love for others, even those who are ungrateful and selfish towards us, must be marked by the same kindness and mercy which God has shown to us. It is easier to show kindness and mercy when we can expect to benefit from doing so. How much harder when we can expect nothing in return. Our prayer for those who do us ill both breaks the power of revenge and releases the power of love to do good in the face of evil.


How can we possibly love those who cause us harm or ill-will? With God all things are possible. He gives power and grace to those who believe and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit. His love conquers all, even our hurts, fears, prejudices and griefs. Only the cross of Jesus Christ can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, and resentment and gives us the courage to return evil with good. Such love and grace has power to heal and to save from destruction. Do you know the power of Christ’s redeeming love and mercy?

Was Jesus exaggerating when he said we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect? The original meaning of "perfect" in Aramaic is "completeness" or "wholeness - not lacking in what is essential." God gives us every good gift in Jesus Christ so that we may not lack anything we need to do his will and to live as his sons and daughters (2 Peter 1:3). He knows our weakness and sinfulness better than we do. And he assures us of his love, mercy, and grace to follow in his ways. Do you want to grow in your love for God and for your neighbor? Ask the Holy Spirit to change and transform you in the image of the Father that you may walk in the joy and freedom of the Gospel.

"Lord Jesus, your love brings freedom and pardon. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and set my heart ablaze with your love that nothing may make me lose my temper, ruffle my peace, take away my joy, nor make me bitter towards anyone." 

source: Kairos-EME, Don's Daily Email

Which will love him more?


What fuels the love that surpasses all other loves? Unbounding gratitude for sure! No one who met Jesus could do so with indifference. They were either attracted to him or repelled by him. Why did a Pharisee invite Jesus to his house for dinner and then treat him discourteously by neglecting to give him the customary signs of respect and honour? [This account has some similarities to the account of Simon the leper in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3, as well as the account in John 12:1-8.] Simon was very likely a collector of celebrities. He patronized Jesus because of his popularity with the crowds. Why did he criticize Jesus' compassionate treatment of a woman of ill repute - most likely a prostitute? The Pharisees shunned the company of public sinners and in so doing they neglected to give them the help they needed to find healing and wholeness.


The power of extravagant love and gratitude

Why did a woman with a bad reputation approach Jesus and anoint him with her tears and costly perfume at the risk of ridicule and abuse by others? The woman's action was motivated by one thing, and one thing only, namely, her love for Jesus - she loved greatly out of gratitude for the kindness and forgiveness she had received from Jesus. She did something a Jewish woman would never do in public. She loosened her hair and anointed Jesus with her tears. It was customary for a woman on her wedding day to bind her hair. For a married woman to loosen her hair in public was a sign of grave immodesty. This woman was oblivious to all around her, except for Jesus. 


Love gives all - the best we have

She also did something which only love can do. She took the most precious thing she had and spent it all on Jesus. Her love was not calculated but extravagant. In a spirit of humility and heart-felt repentance, she lavishly served the one who showed her the mercy and kindness of God. Jesus, in his customary fashion, never lost the opportunity to draw a lesson from such a deed.


The debt of gratitude for mercy and forgiveness

Why did Jesus put the parable of the two debtors before his learned host, a religious Jew who was well versed in the Jewish Scriptures and who would have rigorously followed the letter of the Law of Moses? This parable is similar to the parable of the unforgiving official (see Matthew 18:23-35) in which the man who was forgiven much showed himself merciless and unforgiving. Jesus makes clear that great love springs from a heart forgiven and cleansed. Peter the Apostle tells us that "love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8). It was love that motivated the Father in heaven to send his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus, to offer up his life on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. The woman's lavish expression of love was an offering of gratitude for the great forgiveness, kindness, and mercy Jesus had shown to her. 

The stark contrast of attitudes between Simon and the woman of ill-repute demonstrates how we can either accept or reject God's mercy and forgiveness. Simon, who regarded himself as an upright Pharisee, did not feel any particular need for pardon and mercy. His self-sufficiency kept him from acknowledging his need for God's grace - his gracious gift of favor, help, and mercy. Are you grateful for God's mercy and pardon?

"Lord Jesus, your grace is sufficient for me. Fill my heart with love and gratitude for the mercy you have shown to me and give me joy and freedom to love and serve others with kindness and respect." 

source: Kairos-EME, Don's Daily Email

Thursday, 9 June 2016

If your eye causes you to sin


What does Jesus mean when he says "pluck out your eye" or "cut off your hand and throw it away" if it leads you to sin? Is he exaggerating here? Jesus used forceful language to urge his disciples to choose for life - an enduring life of joy and happiness with God - rather than for death - an unending death and total separation from a community of love, peace, joy and friendship with God. Jesus set before his disciples the one goal in life that is worth any sacrifice and that goal is the conformity of our will with God and what he desires for our well-being and happiness with him. Just as a doctor might remove some part of the body, such as a diseased limb, in order to preserve the life of the whole body, so we must be ready to part with anything that causes us to sin and which inevitably leads to spiritual death.

The great stumbling block - bad example
Jesus warns us of the terrible responsibility that we must set no stumbling block in the way of another, that is, not give offense or bad example that might lead another to sin. The young in faith are especially vulnerable to the bad example of those who should be passing on the faith. Jesus teaches that righteousness involves responding to every situation in life in a way that fulfill's God's law, not just externally but internally as well. Jesus says that evil desires spring from the heart. That is why the sin of adultery must first be dealt with in the heart, the place not only of the emotions, but the mind, will, thought, and intentions as well.

God's intention from the beginning
God’s intention and ideal from the beginning was for man and woman to be indissolubly united in marriage as “one flesh” (see Genesis 2:23-24). That ideal is found in the unbreakable union of Adam and Eve. They were created for each other and for no one else. They are the pattern and symbol for all who were to come. Moses permitted divorce as a concession in view of a lost ideal (see Mark 10:2-9). Jesus sets the high ideal of the married state before those who are willing to accept his commands. Jesus gives the grace and power of his Holy Spirit to those who seek to follow his way of holiness in their state of life - whether married or single.

The power to live a holy life
If we want to live righteously as God desires for us, then we must know and understand the intention of God's commands for us, and decide in our heart to obey the Lord. Through the gift and working of the Holy Spirit, the Lord writes his law on our hearts and gives us his power to live his way of righteousness and holiness. Do you trust in God’s love and allow his Holy Spirit to fill you with a thirst for holiness and righteousness in every area of your life?

"Lord Jesus, begin a new work of love within me. Instill in me a greater love and respect for your commandments. Give me a burning desire to live a life of holiness and righteousness. Purify my thoughts, desires, and intentions that I may only desire what is pleasing to you and in accord with your will."

source: Kairos-EME, Don's Daily Email

Be reconciled to your brother


Are you ever driven by anger, rage, or revenge? The first person to hate his brother was Cain. God warned Cain: Why are you angry? ..Sin is couching at the door; it's desire is for you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:6-7). Sin doesn't just happen to us; it first grows as a tiny seed in our heart. Unless it is uprooted, by God's grace, it grows like a weed and chokes the vine and all its fruit. Jesus addressed the issue of keeping the commandments with his disciples. The scribes and Pharisees equated righteousness with satisfying the outward observance of the law. Jesus showed them how short they had come. Jesus points to the heart as the seat of desire and choice. Unless evil and forbidden desires are eradicated, the heart will be corrupted. Jesus points to forbidden anger with one's brother. This is a selfish anger that broods and is long-lived, that nurses a grudge and keeps wrath warm, and that refuses to die. Harboring anger in the heart as well as anger in speech and action are equally forbidden by God.

What is the antidote to anger and rage? Mercy, kindness, and forbearance spring from a heart full of love and forgiveness. God has forgiven us and he calls us to extend mercy and forgiveness towards those who cause us grief and harm. In the cross of Jesus we see the supreme example of love and forgiveness and the power of goodness for overcoming evil. Only God's love and grace can set our hearts and minds free from the tyranny of wounded pride and spiteful revenge. Do you harbor any anger towards another person? And are you quick to be reconciled when a rupture has been caused in your relationships? Ask God to set you free and to fill your heart and mind with his love and goodness. Paul the Apostle reminds us that "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (Romans 5:5). Through the grace and help of the Holy Spirit we can overcome malice with good, hatred with kindness, and injury with pardon.

"May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men's happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. May I never fail a friend who is in danger. When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances. May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps." (Prayer of Eusebius, 3rd century)

source: Kairos-EME, Don's Daily Email

The Wisdom and Power of the Holy Spirit

When we pray, we begin and end with the sign of the cross, praying in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For many of us, though, our daily prayers can tend to focus most on the Father and the Son. 

In this Faith Reflection, we remind ourselves of the inspiring grace and blessings the Holy Spirit holds for us.



"And as for me, this is my covenant, says the Lord; my spirit that is upon you . . . shall not depart . . . from now on and forever" ~ Isaiah 59:21

Throughout history, Holy Spirit has guided people on their faith journeys. The Old and the New Testaments give us rich examples of the impact of the Holy Spirit.

Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, God led Moses and the Israelites out of their captivity in Egypt. One of the very visible ways He stayed connected to them was through the Ark of the Covenant. The Holy Spirit inspired the people to build a perfect vessel to hold God’s glory and Spirit on earth. The Ark led the Israelites with a column of smoke during the day and a pillar of fire at night on their way to the Promised Land.

Always having the Ark at the front of their procession, they traveled under God’s protection. The Ark parted the Jordan River to allow a safe crossing into their new land. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Israelites moved further into the Promised Land to settle. The power of the Ark enabled them to defend their new civilization for generations.

 


Friday, 3 June 2016

Feast and Novena of Saint Anthony 2016 ~ Church of St.Anthony ~ Kuala Lumpur

On Friday, 10 June, 
we will begin the Feast of St. Anthony Novena. 
May the Lord give us a glorious feast of St. Anthony 



Theme: Discipleship: 
Jesus Christ Manifested in St. Anthony as the Merciful Saint

Friday, 10 June, 7:00pm: Hoisting of St. Anthony’s Flag Jesus Christ manifested in St. Anthony as a Model of Obedience.

Saturday, 11 June,
7:30pm: Jesus Christ manifested in St. Anthony as having Divine Knowledge and foresight.

Sunday, 12 June,
7:30am (Tamil) 9:30am (English) 12:15pm (BM) 6:00pm: Jesus Christ manifested in St. Anthony as the great Proclaimer of the Gospel for the spread of the faith.

Monday, 13 June,
11:00am: Anointing of the Sick (Feast of St. Anthony) 7:30pm: Jesus Christ manifested in St. Anthony as enduring persecution for Christ’s sake.

Tuesday, 14 June,
7:30pm: Jesus Christ manifested in St. Anthony as by anointed Preaching and example.

Wednesday, 15 June,
7:30pm: Jesus Christ manifested in St. Anthony as by His prayers and perseverance.

Thursday, 16 June,
7:30pm: Jesus Christ manifested in St. Anthony as the Lily of purity.

Friday, 17 June,
7:30pm: Jesus Christ manifested in St. Anthony as a worker of miracles Chosen to Glorify God.

Saturday, 18 June,
10.00am: St. Anthony as faithfully representing Christ in all things 5.30pm: Feast Celebration Mass & Candlelight Procession.

Sunday, 19 June,
7.30am (Tamil) 9.30am (English) 12.15pm (BM) (Lowering of St. Anthony’s Flag) St. Anthony as faithfully representing Christ in all things.

Note:
 
  • No 6.45am Mass during this period.
  • Novena / prayers to St. Anthony begins 15 minutes before Mass
  • Mass intentions can be made 30 minutes before Mass at the entrance of the Church.
  • Those who wish to donate: - Food / buns / flowers please contact Jasmine (017-3159366). 
  • All donations by cheques should be made payable to Gereja St Anthony.
  • For further information, please contact the Parish Office at 03-21414172

CHURCH OF ST. ANTHONY 
Jalan Robertson, 
Off Jalan Pudu, 
50150 Kuala Lumpur 
Tel./Fax: 03-21414172 
Parish Priest: Rev. Fr. James Gabriel 
Res. Priest: Rev. Fr. William Michael 
Parish Office Hours: Sundays: 8.30 a.m. – 1.30 p.m. Tuesdays – Saturdays: 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

source: Church of St.Anthony ~ Kuala Lumpur bulletin

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist ~ 24 June 2016


In this solemnity, we celebrate the Nativity, the birth, of St. John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist was a unique man. He is rightly called the last of the Old Testament prophets. He is the last one to preach the Gospel before the Saviour came. John is also the first of the New Testament preachers. His calling was to point out Christ for the world and to identify, for the people, the man who is God in the Flesh, Jesus, the Son of God, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John came into this world for this purpose: to point to Christ. To call God's people away from their sins in repentance and to faith in the One to whom he pointed. John baptised in the Jordan River for the forgiveness of sins and to bring sinners to faith in Christ, the Son of God. John wasn't there to bring attention to himself but to Christ. His finger was aimed always at Jesus: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

The feasts of saints are usually celebrated on the day of their death, which is their birth into eternal life. In the calendar of the Catholic Church, there are only three feasts of birthdays: Christmas (the birth of Jesus Christ), September 8 (the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and June 24 (the birth of St. John the Baptist). All other saints were stained with original sin at birth, preventing a liturgical celebration of their birth. St. John the Baptist was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother, jumping for joy at the greeting of Mary to Elizabeth during her visitation (the second Luminous Mystery of the Holy Rosary)..This clearly illustrates the great importance and vital role of John the Baptist in God’s plan of salvation. Jesus affirms this when he praised him: “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John” (Luke 7:28). St John the Baptist is patron saint of interior change, of conversion. His message can be summed up in his own statement, “I must decrease, but he (Christ) must increase.” God invites us all to holiness and greatness.. Like St. John the Baptist, let us become the voice in this modern wilderness proclaiming the message of conversion and hope: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!”

"For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honoured. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace." ~ Saint Augustine

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your family may walk in the way of salvation and, attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged, may come safely to the One he foretold, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Reading 1
Isaiah 49:1-6
Hear me, O coastlands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.


Reading 2
Acts 13:22-26
In those days, Paul said:
“God raised up David as king;
of him God testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.
From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’

“My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.”


Alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia.
You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel
Luke 1:57-66, 80
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?”
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church ~ 13 June 2016

Saint Anthony of Padua was born on 15 August, 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal and given the name of Fernando at Baptism. He was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He died at the 36 years old on 13 June, 1231 in Padua, Italy and was canonized saint less than one year later by Pope Gregory IX. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946.

Saint Anthony of Padua is patron saint of lost and stolen articles, was a powerful Franciscan preacher and teacher. He is beloved throughout the world and is responsive to all people and all needs. His intercessory powers before our God are awesome.



Almighty ever-living God, who gave Saint Anthony of Padua to your people as an outstanding preacher and an intercessor in their need, grant that, with his assistance, as we follow the teachings of the Christian life, we may know your help in every trial. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Reading 1
1 Kings 21:1-16
Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel
next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria.
Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden,
since it is close by, next to my house.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or,
if you prefer, I will give you its value in money.”
Naboth answered him, “The LORD forbid
that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”
Ahab went home disturbed and angry at the answer
Naboth the Jezreelite had made to him:
“I will not give you my ancestral heritage.”
Lying down on his bed, he turned away from food and would not eat.

His wife Jezebel came to him and said to him,
“Why are you so angry that you will not eat?”
He answered her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite
and said to him, ‘Sell me your vineyard, or,
if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in exchange.’
But he refused to let me have his vineyard.”
His wife Jezebel said to him,
“A fine ruler over Israel you are indeed!
Get up.
Eat and be cheerful.
I will obtain the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and,
having sealed them with his seal,
sent them to the elders and to the nobles
who lived in the same city with Naboth.
This is what she wrote in the letters:
“Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
Next, get two scoundrels to face him
and accuse him of having cursed God and king.
Then take him out and stone him to death.”
His fellow citizens—the elders and nobles who dwelt in his city—
did as Jezebel had ordered them in writing,
through the letters she had sent them.
They proclaimed a fast and placed Naboth at the head of the people.
Two scoundrels came in and confronted him with the accusation,
“Naboth has cursed God and king.”
And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death.
Then they sent the information to Jezebel
that Naboth had been stoned to death.

When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death,
she said to Ahab,
“Go on, take possession of the vineyard
of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you,
because Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way
down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite,
to take possession of it.


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 5:2-3ab, 4b-6a, 6b-7
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
Hearken to my words, O LORD,
attend to my sighing.
Heed my call for help,
my king and my God!
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
You hate all evildoers.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.


Alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel
Matthew 5:38-42
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”

Rejoice, I have found my sheep which was lost


Jesus' heart of love and compassion is most clearly revealed in the way he sought out sinners and outcasts of society. No one was excluded from his gracious presence unless they chose to stay away out of jealousy or mistrust. The scribes and Pharisees took great offence at Jesus because he freely associated with sinners and treated them graciously. The Pharisees had strict regulations about how they were to keep away from sinners, lest they incur defilement. They were not to entrust money to them or have any business dealings with them, nor trust them with a secret, nor entrust orphans to their care, nor accompany them on a journey, nor give their daughter in marriage to any of their sons, nor invite them as guests or be their guests. They were shocked with the way in which Jesus freely received sinners and ate with them. Sinners, nonetheless, were drawn to Jesus to hear him speak about the mercy of God. Jesus characteristically answered the Pharisees' charge with a parable or lesson drawn from everyday life.

What does Jesus' story about a lost sheep tell us about God and his kingdom? Shepherds normally counted their sheep at the end of the day to make sure all were accounted for. Since sheep by their very nature are very social, an isolated sheep can quickly become bewildered and even neurotic. The shepherd's grief and anxiety is turned to joy when he finds the lost sheep and restores it to the fold. The shepherd searches until what he has lost is found. His persistence pays off. He instinctively shares his joy with the whole community. The poor are particularly good at sharing in one another's sorrows and joys. What was new in Jesus' teaching was the insistence that sinners must be sought out and not merely mourned for. God does not rejoice in the loss of anyone, but desires that all be saved and restored to fellowship with him. That is why the whole community of heaven rejoices when one sinner is found and restored to fellowship with God. Seekers of the lost are much needed today. Do you persistently pray and seek after those you know who have lost their way to God?

"Lord Jesus, let your light dispel the darkness that what is lost may be found and restored. Let your light shine through me that others may see your truth and love and find hope and peace in you. May I never doubt your love nor take for granted the mercy you have shown to me. Fill me with your transforming love that I may be merciful as you are merciful." 

source: Kairos-EME, Don's Daily Email

Prayer of Confidence to the Sacred Heart of Jesus


Oh Lord Jesus Christ, 
to Your most Sacred Heart 
I confide this intention 
{name petition}.

Only look upon me, 
then do what Your love inspires. 
Let Your Sacred Heart decide. 
I count on You. I trust in You. 
I throw myself on Your mercy. 
Lord Jesus, You will not fail me.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
I trust in You.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
I believe in Your love for me.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
Your kingdom come.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
I have asked You for many favours, 
but I earnestly implore this one. 
Take it, place it in Your open Heart. 
When the Eternal Father looks upon it, 
He will see it covered with Your Precious Blood. 
It will be no longer my prayer, but Yours, 
Jesus. Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
I place all my trust in You. 
Let me not be disappointed. 
Amen.

The most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of The Blessed Virgin Mary


Blessed forever be 
the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus 
and 
Immaculate Heart of Mary!



Prayer to the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary
O Heart of Jesus pierced for our sins and giving us your Mother on Calvary! O Heart of Mary pierced by sorrow and sharing in the sufferings of your divine Son for our redemption! O sacred union of these Two Hearts! Praised be the God of Love who united them together!

May we unite our hearts and every heart so that all hearts may live in unity in imitation of that sacred unity which exists in these Two Hearts. Triumph, O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary! Reign, O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! – in our hearts, in our homes and families, in the hearts of those who as yet do not know you, and in all nations of the world. Establish in the hearts of all mankind the sovereign triumph and reign of your Two Hearts so that the earth may resound from pole to pole with one cry: Blessed forever be the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary!

Obtain for me a greater purity of heart and a fervent love of the spiritual life. May all my actions be done for the greater glory of God in unions with the divine heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Hear and answer our prayers and intentions (mention your petition) according to your most merciful will. Amen.


Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary ~ 4 June 2016

A day after the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, today we celebrated the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary’s Immaculate Heart is essentially concerned with the love that her heart has for Jesus, our God and Saviour, and is to be a model for the way we should love God. Mary is the only human person who is able to fully and really love God in the way that He should be loved since her heart is immaculate (free from original sin). 

Honouring Mary’s Immaculate Heart is our way of honouring her as being chosen to be the Mother of God, recognizing her extraordinary holiness, called to share in and co-operate in His redemptive sufferings, and the immense love she bestowed on Jesus as His mother. Let us ponder her heart and her consecration to her Son’s Sacred Humanity and Mercy, seek not only to admire her, not only to imitate her, but to enter into her loving relationship with her Son.

Pope Pius XII instituted today's feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the whole Church, so as to obtain by her intercession "peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue" (Decree of May 4, 1944).

Saint Augustine once said Mary was more blessed for having conceived Christ in her heart, than having conceived him in the flesh. By striving to love Christ above all else, our hearts can be purified like Mary’s, so that we might truly say to our Lord: “I love you with all my heart.”


Grant, Lord God, that we, your servants, may rejoice in unfailing health of mind and body, and, through the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever-Virgin, may we be set free from present sorrow and come to enjoy eternal happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Reading 1
2 Timothy 4:1-8
Beloved:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and by his appearing and his kingly power:
proclaim the word;
be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.
For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine
but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity,
will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth
and will be diverted to myths.
But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances;
put up with hardship;
perform the work of an evangelist;
fulfill your ministry.

For I am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well;
I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 71:8-9, 14-15ab, 16-17, 22
R. I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall be filled with your praise,
with your glory day by day.
Cast me not off in my old age;
as my strength fails, forsake me not.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
But I will always hope
and praise you ever more and more.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
I will treat of the mighty works of the Lord;
O GOD, I will tell of your singular justice.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
So will I give you thanks with music on the lyre,
for your faithfulness, O my God!
I will sing your praises with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel!
R. I will sing of your salvation.


Alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is the Virgin Mary who kept the word of God
and pondered it in her heart.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel
Luke 2:41-51
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.