Jan 1: Mary, Mother of God

 Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading from the book of Numbers strikes the right note. The New Year is a blessing from the Lord, one more year to live, one more year to grow, one more year to love! We are called to bless God, to praise Him and we in turn are blessed by God and reminded that we should bless one another. “This is how you are to bless the sons and daughters of Israel. You shall say to them: May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”

Christmas Stories 2019

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

In the first reading the prophet Isaiah prophesies that the northern kingdom of Israel, which had been destroyed would be liberated and its inhabitants would be set free when the Messiah comes. But their liberator would not be a mighty warrior but a little child. God’s ways are not our ways! This little child is God’s answer to man’s needs. A surprising answer but full of promise; this child has many titles foremost among them will be ‘Prince of Peace’.

Christmas Stories

From Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection

1) Christmas questions answered: A.) Is Christmas the greatest feast celebrated in the Church? The answer is no. Easter is feast #1, Pentecost is #2 and Christmas is #3. The Roman Church started celebrating Christmas only after Christianity was recognized as the state religion. B) Was Jesus born on December 25th? The answer is no. Many Fathers of the Church thought that Jesus was born on January 4th, in 4 B.C. before the death of King Herod the Great. Some Bible scholars fix Jesus’ birth in the month of September during the Feast of the Tabernacles when people travelled and when the sheep were in the field at night. December 25th was fixed by Pope Julius in A.D. 353 as a part of baptizing or Christianizing pagan feasts so that the converted pagans might celebrate the birthday of Jesus on Dec 25th instead of celebrating the birthday the Sun-god during winter solstice, while converted Roman soldiers might celebrate Christmas instead the birthday of Mitra, the Roman god-of-virility.

Advent 4th Sunday A - Joseph's Faithfulness

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

The time is the 8th Century BC and king Ahaz is worried whether the kingdom of Judah will be destroyed by his two powerful neighbours. King Ahaz waits for the attack of his neighbours with fear and helplessness and looks around for allies and help. He decides to go to Assyria, a superpower and ask for help to destroy his powerful neighbours. Isaiah is advisor to king Ahaz and is strongly against what the king is doing. He argues that the dynasty of David will not be preserved through playing power politics but only through trusting in God. The prophet gives the king a sign ‘the maiden is with child and will give birth to a son whom she will call Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God is with us’ This sign is given to the king to assure him that God is with Israel But Ahaz refuses to believe in the sign and trust in God.

Advent 3 Sunday A - Gaudate - Rejoice

Fr. Jude Botelho:

The Exodus was deeply engrained on the memory of Israel. The Israelites surrounded my misery and despair long for a new exodus. For Isaiah in particular, the judgement of God, the destruction of the wicked, and of joy for the afflicted, the sick and the poor ones, reveals itself as a new Exodus towards Zion. In the first reading the prophet Isaiah uses the image of a desert, made fertile by rain, to portray the confident hope that God would restore his people crushed by misfortune. The most crippling disabilities –blindness, deafness, and lameness –will be relieved when God sends salvation to his people. Isaiah appeals to the people: “Have courage! Do not be unafraid!”

Advent 2nd Sunday A - John The Baptist

1. Fr Jude Botelho:

In the first reading from the prophet Isaiah we hear about the coming of the Messiah and the kind of justice and peace he would bring. Isaiah foretells that even though the family tree of Jesse has been reduced to a mere stump, nevertheless from that stump will spring - a true king filled with the Spirit and endowed with all the virtues of his ancestors. The new king, the Messiah will be a champion of the poor and will restore justice and peace for all. The prophet has a marvelous vision of the kingdom of God in which all violence will be overcome and people will live in unity and harmony with nature and with one another.

Advent Stories

1. A donkey was tied to a tree. A demon came and released him. The donkey entered the field of a farmer and began to eat everything. The farmer’s wife saw the donkey and was afraid that he would destroy the farm, took the rifle and killed him.
The donkey’s owner saw the dead donkey, got angry and also took his rifle and fired at the woman, killing her. When the farmer got home and saw that his wife was dead, he killed the donkey's owner.
The donkey owner's sons seeing their dead father, burned the farmers field. The farmer in retaliation killed them.