Franco Grech osa

 

Reflections and Articles written by Fr Franco Grech osa

 


 

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?”


3rd Sunday of Advent Year (B)

Isa. 61: 1-2a; 10-11; Lq. 1: 46-50, 53-54; 1 Tess. 5: 16-24; John 1: 6-8, 19-28

Read: “I rejoice and rejoice even more with the Lord, my soul leaps with joy through my God”. “My spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour”. “Be always joyful, pray without stopping, praise God in everything”. There was a man sent by God, named John. He came as a witness, so as to be witness to the light, so that all would believe. He was not the light, but to be witness to the light”.

Pray: Let us pray that Jesus will come, to renew our heart, to make our heart full of joy, because His joy is our strength.

Reflect: During this time of the pandemic, it is possible that one does not wish to hear of joy. In this darkness, Jesus still wishes to be the light that lightens our life so that we will experience joy. St. John the Baptist said: “I am the voice of one shouting in the desert. Pave the way for the Lord”. So as to recognise Christ as the Light, a witness like John the Baptist is necessary; he was capable of recognising his own identity of being simply the voice that was to convey the message that the Lord was coming. Those who do not recognise who he is ….who do not recognise that every good thing that he has comes from God, and remains placing his hope on his own efforts, instead on the goodness and fidelity of God, cannot welcome Jesus who is coming, shedding his joy, and giving his own evidence.

 Act: Where there is a lack of good heartedness let us be a witness of the joy of the Gospel brought to us by Jesus.

 

 


2nd Sunday of Advent Year (B)

Isa. 40: 1-5; 9-11; Psalm 84; 2 Ptr. 3: 8-14; Mark 1: 1-8

Read: “Prepare a way for the Lord; make a straight pathway for Him”.

Pray: At times we have put God aside and kept Him away from our life, from the surroundings where we live, work, study, recreate ourselves. During this advent let us ask God to come back to us because we need Him more than ever before.

Reflect: The call being made to us during this Advent: “Prepare a way for the Lord; make a straight pathway for him” means that God is expecting us to open wide our heart to Him. Preparing a way for the Lord means the need to prepare oneself for a meeting with love. The call to prepare a way for the Lord is not the way that enables one to take oneself to the Lord, but one that opens the way to God to come again to that person.

 Act: God is meeting us so as to redeem us. In His name let us hasten to bring more justice and an improvement in all aspects of our life.

 


1st Sunday of Advent Year (B)

Isa. 63: 16b-17; 19b; 64: 1-7; Psalm 79; 1 Cor. 1: 3-9; Mark 13: 33-37

Read: O Lord, if only you would tear apart the heavens and come down from there! Be prepared, because you do not know when your house owner will return. God keeps His word!

Pray: Pray that never will it happen to you that God is amongst us and you do not recognise Him, that He knocks on your door and you do not hear Him.

Reflect: During this Advent time, the Church reminds us that our Lord did not appear only in a cave in Bethlehem, that He will not only come in glory at the end of time, but that He wishes to be amongst us also now. He wishes to be with us by way of the many experiences and happenings through which our life is built. He can talk to us by way of the least of the happenings around us, through life experiences of a minor nature, through the most simple person whom we may encounter. It is essential that we realise when our Lord is close by during our lifetime and speaks to us. It is important that we are on our guard!

 Act: During this time of Advent let us seek moments of silence so as to reflect in a spirit of faith, of prayer and with an open heart, so as to recognise our Lord’s invitation through our lifetime experiences and concrete circumstances.


The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - Year (A)

Ez. 34: 11-12, 15-17; Psalm 22; 1 Cor. 15: 20-26; Mt. 25: 31-46

Read: The Gospel depicts the Universal Judgment where Christ, as Judge, reveals to us our soul. Christ the King finally gives us the Father’s Kingdom, after He conquered death for ever. St. Mathew shows us the criteria required to enter eternal life; this is the manner in which we will have treated others.

Reflect: What thoughts and emotions are stirred up in us by the thought that the Lord Jesus will eventually come in glory to judge us? Can we live with a certain amount of apathy and indifference towards Christ’s Word and towards the needs of our brethren? Our own judgment on ourselves is done by us according to the manner in which we will have welcomed or ignored Christ in our neighbour. When Christ is shown in His glory, we are enlightened by Him, and are then able to see the choice we will have made.

Pray: Pray that, with the power of the Holy Spirit, you will recognise those persons who are in need.

Act: Seek opportunities that will enable you to attain Jesus’ expectations in your daily life.


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