Sunday, January 26, 2014

Third Sunday after Epiphany 26th January 2014

Third Sunday After Epiphany
26 January 2014
“Be of one mind towards one another.”
 Rom. 12:16
Today’s readings show the radical
difference between the gospel message of Jesus and
the way in which the world lives. Jesus taught the
need for a life of charity and the practice of virtue
to all of his followers. In today’s Gospel (Mt. 8:1-
13), we see how Jesus Himself exemplifies His
great love for men by His compassion for the leper
and the centurion’s servant when He cured them of
their sickness. Likewise, in today’s Epistle to the
Romans (12:16-21), St. Paul emphasizes the need
for charity, especially towards our enemies. This
was unheard of in the ancient world, and it is still
not practiced in the world today: “Be of one mind
towards one another.” Rom. 12:16 We also see in
today’s readings, how much Jesus was pleased with
the faith and humility of the both the leper and the
centurion who believed that Jesus could aid them in
their request. For us, these readings are important
teachings because they remind us of the need for
charity toward one another and faith in Jesus who
alone can help us.
“Vengeance is mine...” Deut. 32:35
St. Paul reminds his followers of Jesus’ teaching of
the need to practice charity even to one’s enemies.
Jesus had said, “But I say to you, love your
enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray
for those who persecute and calumniate you...”
Mt. 5:44. St. Paul tells the Romans this same
message: “To no man render evil for evil, but
provide good things....Do not avenge yourselves,
but give place to the wrath, for it is
written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the
Lord.’” Rom. 12:17-9 This was a far cry from the
ancient traditions which said that one could return
what was given to you--- “An eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth...” Lev. 24:19. St. Paul is
reminding his followers that Christians who believe
in Jesus Christ must love their enemies and take no
revenge on anyone who opposes them. Revenge is
not for man to take! This is God’s domain as He
alone knows who is evil and who is good, and He
will ask all His creatures to render an account of
their works. If men do not repent of their evil, they
will have to endure the severe justice of God. This
can be seen in what Jesus said would happen to
In the Epistle to the Romans today,
anyone who causes one of His little ones to sin;
Jesus said, “But whoever causes one of these little
ones who believe in me to sin, it were better for
him to have a millstone hung around his neck,
and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Mt.
18:6 While God is all merciful, He is also all just,
and those who offend Him and do evil to their
fellow man will endure a most severe judgment.
This is why Jesus asks us to pray for those who
persecute us as they will have to endure the justice
of God for their deeds. If we would see how the
justice of God will punish those who do evil (to
us), then we must pray for them. Jesus also warns
us not to despise (hurt) them: Mt. 18:6 “See that
you do not despise one of these little ones; for I
tell you, their angels in heaven always behold the
face of my Father in heaven.” Mt. 18:6 What are
we doing to our little ones and those innocents in
the world; we are murdering our babies with
abortion, we are denying life for other brothers and
sisters to our children with contraception, we are
corrupting the morals of our youth with false
teachings and sex education, and we are denying
our children the faith in a good Catholic family by
not marrying and practicing the faith. The list
could go on and on! Has there ever been such a
sinful generation as ours is today? How severe will
be the vengeance of God on the Day of Judgment
on our generation for the scandal that we have
caused in “the little ones.”
“Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil
St. Paul takes the essential gospel teaching
of charity which Jesus had taught to its desired
end of loving even our enemies: “If thy enemy is
hungry, give him food; if he is thirsty, give him
drink; for by so doing thou wilt heap coals of fire
upon his head.” Rom 12:20 These “coals of fire”
are what St. Augustine explains as “the violence of
charity: Evil must be answered and conquered
by good. By gentleness Christians must disarm
anger, and by charity they must break down
hatred. Against the violence of charity,” says
St. Augustine, ”the world is powerless.” (Msgr.
Patrick Boylan, The Sunday Epistles and Gospels,”
p. 75.) These are the “coals of fire” which one’s
enemy will not be able to overcome. Fight hatred
with charity. It is the same lesson that Jesus taught
when He said, “But I say to you not to resist the
evildoer; on the contrary, if someone strikes thee
on the right cheek, turn to him the other also...”
Mt. 5: 39 Only those filled with the Spirit of Jesus
can understand such divine wisdom.
with good.” Rom. 12:21
“Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me
The leper in today’s gospel has the Spirit of
Jesus as he firmly believes that Jesus can cure him
of his leprosy. His faith and confidence in Jesus
are rewarded: “And stretching forth his hand
Jesus touched him, saying, ‘I will; be thou made
clean.’” Mt. 8:3 We can certainly admire the leper
who has trust in the goodness of Jesus by coming to
Him even though he knows that, as a leper, all are
advised to shun him as unclean. He goes to Jesus
with great hope and confidence that He can make
him clean if Jesus wills it. His trust in Jesus’
goodness is rewarded instantly!
“Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come
under my roof; but only say the word, and my
servant shall be healed.” Mt. 8: 8
great faith in Jesus. He also has great charity as he
is not asking for help for himself but for his servant
who is dying: “Lord, my servant is lying sick in
the house, paralyzed, and is grievously afflicted.”
Mt. 8:6 The centurion, even though he is a pagan,
is also aware Jesus should not enter his house. He
knows that Jesus, who is a prophet having great
power with God, does not need to come all the way
to his house and can cure him from where He is:
“Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come
under my roof; but only say the word, and my
servant shall be healed.” Mt. 8: 8 Jesus is amazed
at the centurion’s faith and says: “Amen I say to
you, I have not found such great faith in Israel.
And a I tell you that many will come from the east
and from the west, and will feast with Abraham
and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,
but the children of the kingdom will be put forth
into the darkness outside; there will be the
weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” Mt. 8:10-11.
By contrast, the faith of the children of Abraham,
who should know better, is so weak that they will
not feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in
the kingdom of heaven....” Mt. 8:11
“Go thy way; as thou hast believed, so be it
Although Jesus says these words to the
centurion, they also apply to the leper. Here we
see how important it is to have faith in Jesus.
Ironically, in today’s gospel the two men who have
faith in Jesus are despised in the Jewish society, a
leper and a pagan Roman soldier. There is a most
important lesson for all of us who have been called
to follow Christ. We need to practice the same
clean.” Mt. 8:2
Like the leper, the centurion also has
faith in God and charity to all or else, like the Jews,
we will be excluded from the kingdom and be in
the darkness outside “weeping and gnashing our
teeth.” Mt. 8:11
Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix
(MIM) 1 February 2014
On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our
monthly formation program for those who interested
in affiliating themselves with the Marian Spirituality
of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The day
begins at 9:30 AM and goes until 4 PM and includes
two conferences, Holy Mass, adoration and the rosary.
(see flyer on door)
 This spirituality is Marian and Franciscan and
includes the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, St.
Maximilian Kolbe and other Franciscan saints. “The
fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of
God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of
all souls through the maternal mediation of the
Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy
Trinity.” (Article 2: Statute)
It is most important at this time in our world
to come together and learn about Our Lady and her
messages especially Fatima. Pope John Paul II: On
November 9, 1976 said in the USA as Karol Cardinal
Wojtyla: “We are now standing in face of the
greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone
through. I do not think that the wide circles of
American society or the wide circles of the Christian
community realize this fully. We are now facing
the final confrontation between the Church and the
Anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-gospel.”
We hope that all of you will consider joining the
MIM and work for your own sanctification and the
sanctification of so many souls who are in danger of
being lost for all eternity in hell as Our Lady said at
Fatima.

The First Saturday: 4 January 2014
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I
promise to assist at the hour of death, with all
the graces necessary for salvation, all those who,
on the first Saturday of five consecutive months
go to confession and receive Holy Communion,
recite five decades of the Rosary and keep
me company for a quarter of an hour while
meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with
the intention of making reparation to me." If
only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would
be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises
us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we
keep The Five First Saturdays!
done to thee.” Mt. 8:13