Monthly Archives: June, 2019

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

First Reading
1 Kings 19:16b,19-21
Elijah anoints Elisha as his successor.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-11
I set the Lord ever before me.

Second Reading
Galatians 5:1,13-18
Christ has set us free.

Gospel Reading
Luke 9:51-62
Jesus resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today’s Gospel reading begins a long section unique to Luke’s Gospel. Jesus begins his journey to Jerusalem, which will end with his ministry in Jerusalem. We read that Jesus’ days for being “taken up” were fulfilled. The Greek word that Luke uses for “taken up” is the same word he uses to describe the Ascension. We also read that Jesus is determined to journey to Jerusalem. For Luke, Jesus ministry begins in Galilee and then is one long journey to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem he will meet his death but also enter into his glory. Only in Luke does Jesus then spend 40 days in Jerusalem instructing his disciples. It is in Jerusalem that his disciples wait after his Ascension to be sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. And it is from Jerusalem, in Luke’s second volume, the Acts of the Apostles, that the Good News is spread to Rome and the ends of the earth.

Immediately Jesus is met with rejection, as a Samaritan village will not receive him because he is going to Jerusalem. There was animosity between Samaritans who worshiped on Mount Gerazim and Jews who worshiped in Jerusalem. Jesus was also rejected as he began his ministry in Galilee in Chapter 4. And he will be rejected for the last time when he reaches Jerusalem. James and John want to call down fire from heaven to destroy the people in the village, but Jesus rebukes them and moves on. There is often the temptation to use violence to achieve right. Jesus has come to break this temptation. He is aware that he must undergo violence himself before he can enter his glory.

The rest of today’s reading is about the radical demands of discipleship. The three people who volunteer to become disciples on this journey show that they do not understand the demands Jesus will make of them. Neither care of self, care for the dead, nor care of one’s family (as required by the Fourth Commandment) can come before the demands of discipleship. Jesus reminds the first volunteer, who would go wherever Jesus goes, that animals in the wild have more security than do Jesus and his followers. The second, who wants to bury a parent, is reminded that the demands of proclaiming the Kingdom of God take precedence. And the third, who wants to say farewell to his family, is reminded that once you put your hand to the plow you cannot look back or the furrow will be crooked. Such a person is not ready for the Kingdom of God.

Jesus seems harsh here, but he is only asking of his disciples what he asks of himself. Jesus’ unconditional commitment to God’s saving work will demand of him his life. He knows this, but the disciples do not understand. Jesus does not want anyone to rush into discipleship, because the demands of discipleship require everyone considering it to be aware of the cost, make Jesus and his mission central to his life, and then go forward without looking back.-loyolapress.com

Bishop Sim on devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus


Bishop Cornelius Sim (3rd left) after his final talk on June 26, 2019, is seen renewing friendship with some young parishioners of SHC whom he had met during his previous visits to the parish, together with Fr Paul Lo ((2nd right), the parish priest.

KOTA KINABALU: Parishioners of Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) here were given an opportunity to know and understand the deeper meaning and purpose of their devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in preparation for their parish feast day celebration on June 27.

This came in the form of a series of three talks presented by Bishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei, on three consecutive nights prior to the feast day at the Cathedral attended by a steady crowd of around 300 each night.

He told Catholics at the SHC on the final night of the talk (June 26) that he was very impressed by their presence in following the talks and expressed the hope that by doing so they had gained an experience of the love of God and a deeper desire to love him in return.

The talks were conducted after a Gospel reading in the midst of a Holy Hour each night, with adoration of the Holy Sacrament and Benediction. They were richly interlaced with biblical and magisterium quotations and teachings.

At the end of the final day of the SHC Triduum, Fr Paul Lo, the parish priest, expressed his thanks and appreciation to Bishop Sim for his talks which he said were very enlightening.

Bishop Sim told the Sacred Heart devotees said the human heart is the most powerful sign of the love of God shown to us through human communication.

“The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the centre of who he is and reveals who God is. The heart of Jesus is the heart of God.”

Throughout his talks, Bishop Sim made references to the experience St Margaret Mary Alacoque of Burgundy, France, who over one-and-a-half years starting from Dec 27, 1673 had visions of Christ and his Sacred Heart.

Jesus Christ had chosen her as an instrument to spread the devotion of his Sacred Heart and (through her) had asked that the feast of the Sacred Heart be established.

In his first talk, Bishop Sim spoke of how the heart of Jesus reaches out to us, has a deep desire to draw us nearer to God and is attracting us towards him.

He explained in his second talk the deeper meaning of the four signs appearing in the image of the Sacred Heart as seen by St Margaret Mary (see picture) – the flame, the wound, the thorns around the heart and the cross above it.

He said the flame represents the warmth, strong power and energy of Christ in attracting his disciples, like the experience of the apostles on Pentecost day when tongues of fire appeared on their heads.

The wound was caused on Jesus on the Cross by the lance pierced by the soldier through his heart bringing out blood and water, symbols of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist.

Touching on the devotion of the Sacred Heart, Bishop Sim said Jesus had come to the world as one who comes wounded and in pain.

As for the thorns around the image of the heart, he said these depict our sins. “Each time we sin, we push the thorns deeper into the Heart of Jesus.”

He said that in the visions experienced by St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus had emphasised on sins and the sin of ingratitude, which we never thought was a sin.

“Every sin is a sign of our disobedience, our rejection of God’s plan for us. Conversion of sinners and by staying more and more away from sin, the Heart of Jesus shall experience a lessening of the pain.”

He appealed to Catholics to be actively engaged in calling sinners back to the Lord thus removing the thorns from the Sacred Heart. He called on them to firstly be committed in an on-going way.

This could be done through prayer and study that are necessary for growth.

The Bishop of Brunei also reminded them of the call of Jesus to his followers to carry their personal cross daily.

He said the way to consecreation to the Sacred Heart is by committing ourselves, to let the Lord be the king of our life and to see and obey his will.

Bishop Sim, in his final talk, offered four “prayerful practices” that would help SHC parishioners commit themselves to the Sacred Heart: frequently receive the Holy Communion; attend Mass for nine consecutive First Fridays; attend Holy Hour on Thursday nights for the devotion of the Sacred Heart; and create the liturgical feast of the Sacred Heart.

He said the liturgical Feast of the Sacred Heart was established by Pope Pius IX in 1856 as obligatory for the whole Church, so today as Catholics we can observe it with special reverence.

He also spoke about the need for an exchange of heart with Christ, saying that Jesus yearns to give us his heart and by doing so, bringing us back to God, for, we all belong to him. – Joe Leong

Malaysian novices make first religious professions

malaysian novices make first professions

LIPA, Philippines – Malaysian Novices Aemy Soo, 29, of Sabah and Laurin Kowal, 28, of  Perak made their first religious professions in the presence of Sr. Delia Abian, Provincial Superior of the Daughters of St Paul, during the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr Rollin Flores, Provincial Superior of the Society of St Paul with several concelebrating priests from the Society of St Paul, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, and the Oblates of St Joseph on 24 June 2019, Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist at the novitiate chapel here.

Among those present to witness the event were the neo-professed’s family members, relatives, friends and fellow Daughters of St. Paul.  The Mass servers were seminarians from the Oblates of St Joseph Lipa.

This is the second time the congregation witnessed the joint first profession of novices from both East and West Malaysia, 19 years after that of Novices Jennifer Han (Sabah) and Elizabeth (Perak) in 2000.

Simple lunch was served after the Eucharistic celebration.

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Cycle C

First Reading
Genesis 14:18-20
Melchizedek, king of Salem, blessed Abram.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 110:1-4
You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Gospel Reading
Luke 9:11b-17
They all ate and were satisfied.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today, the second Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate a second solemnity, which marks our return to Ordinary Time. Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. At one time, this day was called Corpus Christi, Latin for “the Body of Christ.” In the most recent revision of the liturgy, the name for this day is expanded to be a more complete reflection of our Eucharistic theology.

The feeding of the 5,000 is the only one of Jesus’ miracles to appear in all four Gospels. Luke places it between Herod’s question, “Who is this about whom I hear such things?” and Peter’s response to Jesus’ question about who he thought Jesus was: “You are the Messiah of God.” In Luke the feeding is not the result of Jesus’ compassion for the crowd but is instigated by the disciples. They wanted Jesus to send the crowd away to town. Instead Jesus tells the disciples to give them some food on their own.

The passage is meant to remind us of two feedings in the Old Testament: the feeding of the Israelites in the desert and Elisha’s feeding of 100 people with 20 loaves in 2 Kings 4:42-44. It is also connected to the institution of the Eucharist. As in the Last Supper accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and in Paul’s account in 1 Corinthians 11:23-24, Jesus takes bread, looks up to heaven, blesses the bread, breaks it, and then gives it to the disciples. In using this exact language, Luke is reminding his readers that in this miracle Jesus is doing more than feeding hungry people as God did for the Israelites and the prophet Elisha did as well. The bread he gives is his body, which he will continue to give as often as the community breaks bread in remembrance of him in the Eucharist.- loyolapress.com

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Cycle C

First Reading
Proverbs 8:22-31
Wisdom was born before the earth was made.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 8:4-9
O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

Second Reading
Romans 5:1-5
We boast of our afflictions.

Gospel Reading
John 16:12-15
Whatever the Father has is mine. The Spirit of truth will guide us.

Background on the Gospel Reading

This week we return to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. This Sunday and next Sunday, however, are designated as solemnities, special days that call our attention to central mysteries of our faith. Today, on the first Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. This feast invites us to consider what we believe about God, who has revealed himself to us in the Trinity—one God in three persons.

The verses of today’s Gospel come near the end of Jesus’ long discourse at the Last Supper. In the early part of this discourse, as we saw last week on Pentecost, Jesus offers assurances to the disciples. Even though he must leave the disciples, he tells them that they will have a future because of the help he will send them in the Holy Spirit. In this section he focuses more on the shape of the future, which will include Jesus’ victory over the world that they will share in. The disciples of Jesus cannot know the future. They can only know that, whatever shape the future takes, they will not have to face it alone. They have the Spirit of Truth, who will continue to provide the teaching of Jesus in the future.

Reading this passage on Trinity Sunday reinforces our understanding of the unity shared by the members of the Trinity. Although the idea of one God in three persons remains a mystery, we have the assurance that, as Jesus and the Father share all, Jesus and the Spirit share all.– loyolapress.com

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