4th Sunday A - Blessed are You

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading from Zephaniah speaks of the Day of Yahweh, when God will intervene directly in the life of Israel. Zephaniah advises the people to seek God in humility and lowliness. These are necessary conditions to find God for he rejects falsehood and the proud-hearted, who believe that they can manage on their own and don’t need him. The Israelite nation had suffered decades of oppression under the Assyrian rule, the prophet now announces the arrival of salvation and liberation of the little ones who have suffered under foreign rule. This ‘Day of Yahweh’ is a time of effective action by God on behalf of his people. God is close to those who are humble and depend on him.

3rd Sunday A - Be a Light in the Darkness

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

This passage from Isaiah was written to give hope to the Israelites in spite of the depressing situation that confronted them. The people were in bondage and Isaiah speaks of their release from bondage and the troubles that don’t seem to end. The surrounding kingdoms oppressed them but Isaiah assures them that deliverance is at hand.  They can rest assured of God’s help: the darkness in their lives will give way to light; pain to joy; and yokes and rods of slavery will be done away with.

2nd Sunday A - John The Baptist

Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading is part of the well-known Servant Songs. In it the servant himself speaks and tells of God’s message to him. Before his birth itself he was set apart and chosen by God to bring Israel, God’s people, back to him, to lead them from sin and infidelity to a life worthy of their vocation. But even this did not exhaust the Servant’s vocation. He was to bring the light of salvation to the pagans and bring redemption to all men, to the very ends of the earth. The exile of the Israelites among the pagans of Babylon brought the realization that God was not only for the Jews but also for all men.

Baptism of the Lord

From  Fr. Jude Botelho:

The people of Israel had shown signs of repentance for their sins, and received from God a promise of consolation: the glory of the Lord will be revealed. The passage from the first of the Servant songs refers to a servant figure who could point to the forthcoming messiah. In the liturgy today, this servant is identified with Jesus, who is manifested as such in his baptism. The latter part of the servant songs speaks of the task of the servant: to establish peace on earth, to be a covenant to Israel, a revelation to the gentiles, and to proclaim the liberation of captives. The description of the servant aptly fit Jesus and his future ministry.Moment of decisionA moment of decision can be thrust upon a person like a bolt out of the blue. This happened to the Dubliner, Matt Talbot. He was drinking himself to death. One day he was standing outside a pub, begging the price of a drink from people he considered his friends. But they passed him by. Suddenly the scales fell from his eyes. He saw that he was destroying himself, and he made a decision to give up drinks, and to try, with the help of God, to become a saint. Or this moment may come upon a person gradually, as happened to Mother Teresa. She was working for well-off girls in a Loreto convent school in Calcutta. But meanwhile she was becoming more and more uneasy about the fact that poor people were lying uncared for on the streets just outside the convent walls. One day she left her convent and went to work among the poor. Her name became a byword for devotion to the abandoned.

Epiphany 2020

From Fr. Tony Kadavil: 

1) Artaban the fourth of the magi: In 1895, Henry van Dyke wrote the "Story of the Other Wise Man," a fourth wise man called Artaban. Our hero is not mentioned in the Gospel because he missed the caravan. He got to Bethlehem too late to see the baby Jesus. But Artaban did make it in time to save one of the Holy Innocents by bribing a soldier. For 33 years Artaban searched for Jesus. He did not find him. But all the while the Fourth wise man fed the hungry, helped the poor.