Franco Grech osa

 

Reflections and Articles written by Fr Franco Grech osa

 


 

All Saints Day

Apok. 7: 2-4; 9-14; Psalm 23; 1 John 3: 1-3; Mt. 5: 1-12a

Read: The sermon from the mount (the Beatitudes). People who are content. Jesus brings together in this short sermon the message he wishes to convey to us, and declares who are those who are indeed happy. A saintly life is to be found in one who lives the spirit of this message.

Reflect: The liturgy of this feast invites us to reflect on the propositions of the blessings emanating from God. These are propositions which the saints in heaven lived, and which the saints on earth, following their example, are encouraged to live.

Pray: Not so much as implying a real mountain, the “mountain” in the Bible refers to the space and time which we devote ourselves so as to meet up with God, and to accept His Word. Let us find this space and time, this our “mountain”, so as to meet up with God, and to let him show us that we are all called to be saints. “These are the descendants of those who seek your face, o God”.

Act: Pope Francis envisages one thousand paces towards the sainthood that each and every one of us can make during an ordinary day: “A woman goes out shopping, meets her neighbour and they start chatting. The talk is centred on others. However, this woman says in her heart: ‘No I do not wish to speak badly about anyone’. This is a step towards sainthood, Later, when she is back home, her son wishes to open his heart to her regarding his hopes and dreams for the future, and even if she feels tired, she sits down and listens patiently and with all her love. This sacrifice draws her nearer to sainthood. Later she experiences some anxiety, but she remembers the love of the Virgin Mary, picks up her Rosary beads and prays with faith. Another step towards sainthood. Then she goes out again and comes across a poor man; she stops expressing a word of courage. Another step towards sainthood.”


30th Sunday of the Year (A)

Ex. 22: 20-26; Psalm 17; 1 Tess. 1: 5c-10; Mt. 22: 34-40

Read: The religious authorities in Jesus’ time used to try their utmost to lay a trap  for Jesus so as to get rid of him. This time they asked him a religious question concerning the law but with political implications which they could then use against him. But his answer was valid both from a religious point of view as also from a civil one. The law of love is based on both divine as also human legislation.

Reflect: Jesus maintains the truth at all costs. Truth may well offend religious as well as civil authorities, but is subject to all forms of scrutiny. The more that those who were against him tried to trap him, the more Jesus showed up their hypocrisy with the truth that he used to expound. It is not surprising that they killed him. In this world, the truth remains for ever alone.

Pray: Love and justice should be the hallmark of all our actions. Let us pray for wisdom and prudence so that we maintain a balance between both.

Act: To be fearful and indifferent means that you are living a senseless life. Let us today choose to maintain the truth, and to live in accordance with the truth. Let us commit ourselves to stand up to the least of injustices that are suffered by others.


29th Sunday of the Year (A)

Is. 45: 1, 4-6; Psalm 95; 1 Tess. 1: 1-5b; Mt. 22: 15-21

Read: The hostility between Jesus and the religious authorities was growing day by day. Because of this, the Pharisees worked out between them and the Herodians how to trap Jesus and get rid of him. They tried to corner him with a question that would implicate either a question of religion or a political one. Jesus releases himself from the trap very wisely.

Reflect: If one had to answer the question: to whom does one’s life appertain, all one has to do is to look at the image engraved in his/her heart. Whose image is this? That of Caesar or of God who made us, knows us and called us even before we were born? Therefore, let us give to God what is His – our life.

Pray: Let us pray that justice prevails in our land by starting to sow this wherever we may be. Let us also pray for a sense of belonging to God and to his Kingdom.

Act: To be just, we need to practice justice. Let us ourselves work towards justice and not just talk about it.


28th Sunday of the Year (A)

Is. 25: 6-10a; Psalm 22; Fil. 4: 12-14, 19-20; Mt. 22: 1-14

Read: Jesus presents salvation in the form of a wedding feast. Those invited to this wedding did not attend this feast and preferred to carry on with their life. Some even acted violently against the servants sent by the king and even killed them. In a rage the king sent his soldiers, who exterminated those killers, and again sent his servants to invite all those interested in attending the wedding feast. However, anybody attending was bound to wear a wedding garment, because if not, such persons risked being sent out of the wedding hall.

Pray: Today could be an opportune day for us to say a prayer of thanksgiving to God who wishes to befriend us. Let us also pray for all the people of the world that they accept the invitation to His Kingdom.

Reflect: The invitation to the Kingdom’s meal is offered for free to everybody. All are invited but not everybody accepts. Those who accept are bound to follow the rules of the Kingdom. This is why the one who was not wearing a wedding garment was sent away from the wedding hall. Sometime we misinterpret God’s mercy – we think that God forgives everything and thus for Him all is acceptable. However, in reality this is not so!

Act: What qualities should we nurture so as to be more effective in the mission entrusted to us? Today let us do something good to somebody else as an act of gratitude to God.

 


27th Sunday of the Year (A)

Is. 5: 1-7; Psalm 79; Fil. 4,6-9; Mt. 21: 33-43

Read: “There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants”. God says: “What else was there for me to attend to my vineyard which I did not do?”

Reflect: You and I are one of those vines. God planted us in his vineyard, the Church, on the day of our baptism. With the Eucharist he nourished us. On the day of our Confirmation he strengthened us. Every confession resembles the pruning of vines. The fruits of the Holy Spirit, according to St. Paul, are: happiness; patience; righteousness; faithfulness; and control. Jesus expects these fruits from me and you. If Jesus, the son of the owner of the vineyard, had to come now seeking these fruits, what will he find?

Pray: Forgive me God and, in your mercy, forget my guilt. “Come again, God Almighty; look down from heaven, and visit this vineyard. Take care of what was sown by your right hand, the sapling that you grew for yourself”.  

Act: What you sow you will reap! Do your utmost to live according to God’s Spirit, and let His will be done! In God’s hands everything blossoms.


26th Sunday of the Year (A)

Ez. 18: 25-28; Psalm 24; Fil. 2,1-11; Mt. 21: 28-32

Read: What do you think? – Jesus asked – Which of the two carried out God’s will? The son who told his father that he was going to work in the vineyards and did not go, or the other son who told him that he did not want to go, but then relented and went.

Reflect: The publicans and prostitutes can more readily – you members of the Church! – accept God in their life. Thus, they are likely to arrive before you in God’s Kingdom. It is only those who recognise themselves as sinners, and who accept that they need help, that will experience the joy of being saved.

Pray: Let us pray to God that we do not fall into the temptation of judging others and that we recognise that every person is greater than his/her shortcomings.

Act: In the quiet of your heart, accept that you are a sinner and that you need God’s mercy as much as, if not more, than those who, in your opinion, appear to be ‘bad’.

 


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