Franco Grech osa

 

Reflections and Articles written by Fr Franco Grech osa

 


 

3rd Sunday of the year – Year B

Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 24; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

Read: “The time has been consummated, and God’s Kingdom has arrived; repent and believe in the Gospel”.

Reflect: In the beginning of his book, St. Mark presents Jesus as the messenger whose mission is to announce the Gospel, the good News, to the people. News which is so wonderful, that it awakens much joy in those who hear it.  There are two conditions necessary for those who hear the news to feel this joy; one needs to repent and believe. To repent does not mean having the determination to avoid sin but is, above everything else, a decision radically to change the way one looks at God, at our brethren, at the world and history. The news “God’s Kingdom has arrived”, is not a message that the time for expiation has arrived, but is good news of hope for everybody, even for the worst sinner, who God continues to consider as being like a son. To believe means that one starts seeing everything through the eyes of a God who loves, is patient, takes time to be angry, full of compassion and wishes well to all his creations. To believe means having trust in God; to have faith in His words and in His promises. God’s Kingdom has arrived; therefore, there is no time to waste: let us repent and believe in the Gospel!

Pray: Let us pray with the Psalmist: Lord, make me know your ways, teach me your paths. Make me walk in your truth, and teach me, for you are God, my Saviour.

 Act: “Time is short”. Let us use the time lent to us by God by looking for occasions when we can grow in love and our union with God and with our neighbour, whoever that may be.

 


2nd Sunday of the year – Year B

Sam. 3:3b-10, 19; Psalm 39; 1 Cor. 6:13c-15a, 17-20; Jn. 1:35-42

Read: The Lord came, stopped near him and, like other times, called: “Samuel! Samuel!”. And Samuel answered: “Speak, because your servant is listening”. One of the two who had heard what John had said and had followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. The first thing he did was to seek his brother Simon and told him: “We found the Messiah” – which means Christ. And he took him to Christ. Christ looked towards him and told him: “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” – or Peter.

Reflect: Nothing and nobody is anonymous before God who “counts the number of stars; he calls them all by name”. (Psalm 147:4) The name that God gives to every person indicates an identity, vocation, and mission. A vocation is no more than discerning that which we have been created to be, discerning our place on this earth and in God’s plan. This is not shown to us in dreams or visions. We discover this by recognising our inner feelings, where we hear the Lord’s word that is heard and is shown to us in our daily experiences, and through the “angels” who are close to us; those brethren who interpret for us His thoughts and what He wills for us. Saying “Here I am, I am coming to do Your will” means that you are being faithful to your identity, thus obtaining internal balance and joy. 

Pray: Lord tell me the name by which you called me before I was conceived in my mother’s womb. Here I am, I am coming to do Your will.

 Act: If you have found Christ in your life in such a way that you are ready to fall on his bosom like Andrew, take somebody else with you.


The Baptism of the Lord

Is. 55: 1-11; Psalm 12: 2-3, 4bcd, 5-6; 1 Jn. 5: 1-9; Mk. 1: 7-11

Read: John the Baptist is a prophet who reveals the presence of God amongst us, and what God expects from us human beings. John preached repentance. He recognises what is divine in Jesus, and on Jesus’ insistence, baptises him.

Reflect: Baptism makes us children of God. It confirms that we are loved by God. Those baptised should frequently reflect on whether they are living in accordance with Jesus’ teachings. Baptism confirms God’s love towards us and trusts us with the mission of loving others as we are loved by His son, Jesus.

Pray: Let us pray that we will have God’s love in Christ. Pray that we will have the courage to show our love towards others, especially to those who are most in need.

 Act: Think of somebody who wishes to share with others God’s love, but does not have the courage to do this. See what you can do to encourage that person.


Epiphany of the Lord

Is. 60: 1-6; Psalm 71; Eph. 3: 2-3a, 5-6; Mt. 2: 1-12

Read: “Wake up! So that the light will shine on your face! Your light has arrived! The Lord’s light will shine on you!” “The star that they had seen rising started moving until it stopped on the place where the child was. As soon as they saw the star they were filled with great joy. Then when they entered the inn and saw the child with his mother Mary they fell down on the ground adoring him.; they opened their treasures and offered him gold, incense and myrrh”.

Pray: “All those who seek you will be happy and joyous; those who love Your salvation will always say ‘Great is the Lord’ “(Psalm 40,17).

Reflect: At Christmas the Son of God came to meet us. At the Epiphany it is us that should take action to seek him. The Magi sought and found him. Jesus changed them ….. they went to him as pagans and left as Christians. The same He will do to us.  He does not expect from us gifts of gold, incense and myrrh, but to give Him our mind so as to start thinking as He does by, when making decisions, we act as if He is the one taking these. And when we give Him our mind, He gives us His heart …. to love, to sympathize, to serve, to forgive with His heart. If we make just one pace forward towards Him, He will start changing us. That day will be the Lord’s Epiphany for us.

 Act: At the beginning of a new year let us commit ourselves that, with God’s help, everything that we do is done according to the Gospels. Like the Magi let us realise that the person with real wisdom does not remain closed within himself, but is open to God.


Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Gen. 15: 1-6, 21: 1-3; Psalm 104; Heb. 11: 8, 11-12, 17-19; Luke 2: 22-40

Read: The aged Simeon said: “Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace just as you promised, because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel”. The Prophetess Anna “began to give praise to God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem”.

Pray: Whilst we are patient when under trial and certain of the Lord’s promises that we are to expect with vivid hope for His help in this life and glory in eternal life.

Reflect: During this time when the elderly are suffering because of the pandemic, Gods’ Word gives us the opportunity to give them what they deserve. Simeon and the Prophetess Anna, regarding whom we read in today’s Gospel, are two models of a well-balanced old age. Simeon is described as being “an upright and good man, who was looking forward to Israel’s comforting “, shows us how we should age. He recalls God’s promises and waits with the utmost hope for these to be carried out. He feels his diminishing abilities, but still remains capable of hope. He lives in the light of God’s Word, and for this reason, although conscious that his days are nearing the end, he is not afraid of death. He is happy and prays to God that He will welcome him in His peaceful environment. Simeon rejoices when he sees and takes in his arms the Messiah. He offers Him to all the people. This moving scenario shows us the mission that all aged persons should pass on to their children and to their children’s offspring, so that this faith becomes for them the light that makes sense of everything that they encounter in life. Anna never stayed away from the temple. She knew that every day was precious and thus should be spent intimately with God and to serve the community. The aged never feel that their life is senseless if they learn to live waiting for the coming of God. They can always offer their humble services, that have value and bring happiness to others. Above everything, like Anna the Prophetess, they have a mission to talk about Jesus with those who are seeking life’s way. This is the precious legacy that they will leave for future generations.

 Act: Take heed of what the aged say! That is what the Holy Family did when they met the aged Simeon and with the aged Anna. If there is an aged person in your family, do likewise.


4th Sunday of Advent Year (B)

2 Sam. 7: 1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Psalm 88; 1 Rom. 16: 25-27; Luke 1: 26-38

Read: “Go and tell my servant David: ‘When your time has ended and u are resting with your fathers, I will raise descendants after you, a race descended from your bosom. Your family and your kingdom will remain intact for ever before Me’ ”. “ Do not be afraid Mary, because you have found grace before God. See, you will give birth and will have a son whom you will name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called Son of the most high, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father”.

Pray: Pray with Mary pray to God that His word will be done.

Reflect: Like Mary, we too found grace in God. He had faith in Mary and, through her, He wanted to come amongst us as our Saviour. Perhaps God’s plan for us is not that great, however God still wishes to make Himself present in us and in others through us. We, like Mary, are a ring in the chain of God’s plan. See, until the arrival of the Saviour through Mary, how many persons formed part of God’s plan: “The Lord God will give him David’s throne; and will reign over the house of Jacob for ever”.   

 Act: Every human being is called to give birth to God. Ask yourself “How can I give birth to Jesus in my life and in the life of others?”

ħaddieħor?”


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