Advent 1 Sunday C - Be Vigilant, Watch

Fr. Jude Botelho:

We ended the liturgical year listening to readings with an apocalyptic description of the end of the world. We begin the new season of Advent with similar apocalyptic warnings. Again the purpose is not to frighten us but to fill us with hope. The prophet Jeremiah starts with the reiteration of the proclamation of the promise of the Lord. "The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah." Faith means accepting what God speaks and offers, rather than what human beings like and choose. Hope means trusting and accepting what God promises in Jesus Christ. Hence conversion is integral to responding to the word of God.

Christ The King - 34th Sunday B

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading from the Book of Daniel continues to speak in apocalyptic terms like last Sunday’s reading. The prophet is speaking to the people who were disillusioned about the kings who ruled over them. They were despots and did not care for the people. To these people who were losing hope, the prophet says: Your God is coming to you, your King is coming to you. He will come to save you. Yes, He is Lord and King but different from earthly rulers. The point of the reading is that God is coming to his people. The Son of man will come to bring hope to his people, and his kingdom will never end, this hope no one can take away.

33 Sunday B - End Times

From Fr. Tony Kadavil:

 1) The end time phobia: French "prophet" and astrologer Nostradamus (1503-1566), foretold that the world would end when Easter fell on April 25.  This happened in 1666, 1734, 1886 and 1943; it will occur again in 2038.  In 1379, St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419), a Spanish Dominican monk, basing his prediction on the number of verses in the Book of Psalms (2,537 verses), predicted the demise of the world in AD 3936.  By the end of  1998, the Mount of Olives Hotel, run by Palestinian Muslims, wrote to 2,000 Protestant Christian groups in the U.S. asking "How would you like to be reserving your rooms at the Mount of Olives Hotel, to wait for  the ‘second coming’ of  Jesus on the first day of the new millennium,  2000 A.D.?"  Scientists, also, fueled public anxiety by citing a series of possible ways, including, nuclear war and collision with a comet, in which the world could come to an end.  A very popular book in 1989 was 89 Reasons Why the World will End in 1989.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses frightened gullible followers at least 3 times during the last century with their “end of the world” predictions in 1914, 1918 and 1974.  It is this paranoid fear that led people to die in the mass suicides organized by Heaven’s Gate and Jim Jones.  The film Omega Code, released in October, 1999, was an independent movie funded by the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the largest Evangelical Christian TV network in the U.S.  It was promoted by a team of 2,400 U.S. Evangelical pastors.  The plot involved a portrayal of the “rapture” at the imminent “Second coming” of Jesus , when “born again” and "saved" Christians, both alive and dead, are supposed to fly upward in the air to meet Jesus.  The film was rated in the top 10 grossing movies for October, 1999.  Over 17 million copies of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' novel Left Behind on the “Second coming,” were sold by July 27, 2000.  This is how modern man reacts to the reality of the coming of the end of the world.  Hence, today’s readings remind us that we should be well prepared and always ready to meet Jesus at any time, daily in our brothers and sisters and at the end of our lives or the end of the world, whichever comes first.

32nd Sunday B - Widow's Copper Coins

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

In the first reading from the book of Kings we hear the story of the widow, whom Elijah meets in the town of Sodom, which is experiencing a famine. Now the prophet requests her for a little water and a meal. The widow has only a little left for herself and her son. The widow does not first ask: "Will you ask God for a special blessing on me if I give you this meal?" She is just ready to give up everything and die! Her total generosity is blessed by God's equally generous gift: she will never more know need. We can never outdo our God in generosity. Everything we give comes back to us in double measure, though the motive of our giving should not be that we should receive with interest! That would be business!