AD SENSE

31st Sunday C - Zacchaeus

Fr. Jude Botelho:

Today’s first reading, from the Book of Wisdom, written a century before Christ points out that salvation doesn’t necessarily come primarily only to those who are focused against sin, which is negative, but to those who are open to God’s love, which is positive. It puts everything into proper perspective. Before the Lord the whole universe is as a grain on a scale, very small and insignificant, or as the morning dew. On the other hand, God is almighty and all powerful. Yet this mighty God cares and is concerned not only about the universe but also about each and every one of us and is merciful towards us. He gently corrects us and leads us from evil back to him. How do we respond to this great love? In the words of the psalmist we say: ‘I will bless your name forever more.’

Nov 2: All Souls' Day

Testimony by Fr. Paddy: When I was young, the devotion to the Holy Souls was very popular. People offered Masses for the Holy Souls. On All Souls Day each Priest offered three Masses, people came in great numbers for the Masses and they visited the Church often during the day to gain indulgences by their prayers. Even today relatives have Mass offered for their loved ones on their anniversary, birthday, Christmas and Easter. Sadly, however, prayer for the Holy Souls is not as popular as in times past. If I were to ask what is the best thing you can do for a loved one who has died what would you say? A funeral to talk about them? A nice grave and headstone? A tree, plant or a beautiful flower? Have a wonderful reception?  Yes all those things are nice. But the best gift is prayer because that is the only thing that can help them on their journey to the Lord. I have put at the end of my will, “Please don’t spend time talking about me, spend time praying for me.” For it is a holy and wholesome thing to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sin. (Oct 30, 2009) (sacredheartparish@xtra.co.nz) 
*********

Nov 1 - All Saints day

 From Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection:

1). A pumpkin story: "What is it like to be a Christian saint?" "It is like being a Halloween pumpkin. God picks you from the field, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off you. Then he cuts off the top and scoops out the yucky stuff. He removes the pulp of impurity and injustice and seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light of holiness inside you to shine for the entire world to see." This is the Christian idea behind the carved pumpkins during the Halloween season.

30th Sunday C - Pharisee and Tax Collector

Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading from Sirach describes God as partial to the weak, listening to the cry of the oppressed, especially the powerless orphans and widows. God always listens to the poor and has a favourable sentence on the one who does not boast of their merits and has only poverty and mercy to rely on. God will vindicate the rights of the wronged.

Stewardship Sunday

1: “The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness” (Ps 24: 1): On one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the world stands the Royal Exchange in London’s financial district. Carved across the top of the Royal Exchange are the words, “The Earth is the Lord’s.” This is, or should be, a constant reminder to those who are caught up in that financial world that they are merely stewards. How wonderful it would be if, over the Royal Exchange of my heart and yours, we could always see those words and remember that God is the owner; we are the stewards.

Mission Sunday - Oct 20

When Hudson Taylor was director of the China Inland Mission, he often interviewed candidates for the mission field. On one occasion, he met with a group of applicants to determine their motivations for service. "And why do you wish to go as a foreign missionary?" he asked one. "I want to go because Christ has commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature," was the reply. Another said, "I want to go because millions are perishing without Christ." Others gave different answers. Then Hudson Taylor said, "All of these motives, however good, will fail you in times of testings, trials, tribulations, and possible death. There is but one motive that will sustain you in trial and testing; namely, the love of Christ".
Source Unknown.

29th Sunday C - Persistent Widow

Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading speaks of the power of prayer and a concrete example of this is seen in the case of Moses praying on the mountain for victory of his people. While Joshua and the army battle the Amalekites, Moses stands interceding with God and keeps on praying till the battle is won. More and more Moses was called to play the role of prophetic intercession for his people. His arms outstretched in prayer have remained a traditional symbol of prayer. Much more than our efforts is the power that is available to us when we call on God and avail of his power in our daily life.

28th Sunday C - Ten Lepers


From Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading is from a collection of stories about the prophet Elisha. In today’s reading Naaman, a army general of Syria, who had a skin disease, hears of Elisha’s fame and comes to Israel to be cured by him. Naaman had high expectations of Elisha but he was disappointed. Elisha did not even come out to welcome him and made, what appeared to Naaman to be a silly recommendation, – to bathe in the Jordan seven times. Initially Namaan hesitated but conforming to the pleas of his servants, performed the commanded ritual and was made clean. Today’s reading takes up the story. After his cure Naaman immediately did two things. He acknowledges that the God of Israel is the only God. Secondly, he is full of gratitude and wants to give Elisha a fitting reward, which Elisha refuses. When Elisha declines Naaman asked for some Israelite earth to carry home, on which holy ground he could stand before an altar for continual praise of Israel’s God.