• All
  • Spiritual Food

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear parishioners, In today’s gospel, we hear repeatedly the words “Happy are you…” Jesus tells his disciples how happy they are who are poor, who are hungry, who weep, and who are persecuted.  Our Lord seems to present to us a very special kind of happiness. Let’s admit it, all of us seek happiness. We do everything possible to have some kind of happiness: we make sure that we live well and provide what is necessary for our families; we make sure that we  have food on our tables; we love to be in an environment where there’s peace and harmony. But, we know by our experiences that, when we have nothing, when we’re hungry or grieving or insulted, by no means do we attain happiness.  Let us not forget that it is not because of our poverty, hunger, grief or persecution that we should be happy. When Our Lord tells us, his disciples, how happy we are, it is because of something greater: when we are poor, the Kingdom of God is ours; when we are hungry, we shall be satisfied; when we weep, we shall laugh; and when we are persecuted for the name of Christ, we shall have a great reward in heaven.  “A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord, with the Lord for his hope,” says Jeremiah the prophet in our First Reading. True happiness (or blessedness) consists then in putting our trust in the Lord, accepting that we are poor and that we need Him. God casts His gaze upon those who call upon Him with a child-like trust. This is what our patroness Saint Teresa teaches us: nothing but the Gospel.  May we always put our trust in God who is our Father, following the example of the Son, crying out “Abba, Father!” with the Holy Spirit. May our Blessed Mother, the One who is “Blessed among women” teach us the way to eternal happiness! Brother John-Van

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners The Gospel this Sunday has Peter and the others fishing.  They fish all night and they don’t catch a thing.  Jesus tells them to set out into the deep and cast their nets again.  They are professional fishermen, they know that there are no fish out there, but nevertheless they trust and hope.  They cast their net again and they catch too many fish for one boat to handle.  The Gospel ends with Jesus saying that He will make of them fishers of men.  There are a few points I want you to take from this Gospel.  First, fishing for souls is an essential part of the Church, of being Catholic. We call this evangelisation, and all too often we are  afraid of even showing that we believe, let alone leading others.  Nevertheless, if we have been touched by the Good News, and this ‘News’ is truly ‘Good’, than why would I not share it with others. Sometimes we don’t realise that it is perfectly normal for a Catholic to act Catholic. When we go out to eat at a restaurant, do we stop to make a sign of the Cross and say a prayer or are we afraid to show our faith in public. If we have had a good experience at Church can we share it with our family and friends? “Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 10:33). A mature faith is not just about having a deep prayer life, this prayer life must extend into action, it must radiate from our hearts, that is why we say that evangelisation is essential to being a Catholic.  Second, we may spend all night fishing for souls and catch nothing, but in the end it is Christ who will bring the fish. This is very consoling. It is our role to work for God, it is God’s role to bring the fish into net.  It is not for us to spend our days getting upset about the fact that we do not have enough people for this or for that.  It is our role to intelligently serve the Lord with all of our Heart. He is the master of hearts and desires. Often throughout history, it has seemed as if the Church was not catching anymore fish and then all of a sudden something happens and people come to God by the thousands or even millions and the tides turn again, like with Our lady of Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, Padre Pio, St. John Mary Vianney, St John Paul II, just to give a few examples. I will conclude with this third point; hope and trust are also absolutely necessary in order to live as a Catholic today. St. Peter had to hope and to trust to set out into the deep and cast his nets one more time. So do we have to hope and trust, and set out into the deep to cast the nets of the Gospel yet again.  It is Christ who asks this of us, it is Christ that will bring the fish to the nets.  It is our role to have the Courage, to love and set out into the deep.  Fr Michael Therese