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October 2014

Parable of the Vineyard,  Marten Valckenborch (1580)


Good Stewards

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 5 October 2014 
Matthew 21:33-43

The gospel today speaks to us about stewardship. We are all stewards who have been entrusted by God to cultivate and manage this gift of life. Yes, life is given to us in trust. We are called to take care of this life in such a way that it bears good fruit for God who is the owner of our lives.

God gives us this life for a purpose and he wants us to use it fully by living this one life we have to the maximum. This is what stewardship is all about, i.e., we are good stewards when we start living for God’s purposes, not merely for our own purposes.

Jesus used this parable to warn the Jewish people that they belonged to God and that they needed to live for God’s purposes. However, the people chose to live their lives according to their ways and thus, they chose to reject Jesus.

Today, Jesus invites us to be aware of the gift of our life and to start making choices that help us to live for God. To live for God is not something abstract but it means that we start serving and loving our brothers and sisters. Let us be good stewards through our words and actions today.

Questions for reflection:

Do I treasure this gift of life that I have in my hands each day?

How can I use my life - my health, strength, talents, etc - to live for God’s purposes by serving and loving those around me?
 

- Sr Sandra Seow, FMVD

BREAKING THE WORD
with Sr Sandra Seow, FMVD

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 12 October 2014
Matthew 22:1-14

'Come to the wedding!'

Come to the wedding!’ But the invited guests paid no attention to the King’s request. Instead, they went about doing their own business. Can we identify with these invited guests? God our King invites us daily to his Wedding Feast - to enter into this relationship with Him and to feast gladly on his love that gives us Life.

Many times, we pay no attention to his call and go about our own business or work, watching TV dramas, building castles in the air, surfing the net, etc. We sometimes think that we do not need God. Thus, we live our daily life by ourselves and revolve around our own business.

Today, can we listen to the invitation of God ‘Come to the wedding feast! Come and eat, drink for free! Why spend your money on what cannot satisfy? Come, listen and live!’ (C.f. Isaiah 55, 1-3)

When we enter into the wedding feast, we need to put on our wedding clothes, i.e. a heart ready to be loved and to love, a heart ready to listen and to be transformed. Our wedding garment is our heart ready for a total union with God. This is what will please our King, our Friend.

How ready is our heart to enter into the wedding feast of God?

In prayer, it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.’ (Ghandi)

Jesus, I want to live this day with you. I want my heart to be without words, but simply full of love for you!

Questions for reflection:

How do I live this day in communion with Jesus?

What must I do in order to always work for unity?


29th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 19 October 2014 
Matthew 22:15-21

Made in the image of God

Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’ What does this statement of Jesus mean to us today? First, let us ask ourselves, who do we belong to? To the ‘Caesar’ which represents money, power, status and worldly glory? Or do we belong to God?

Whose image - Caesar’s or God’s - have we been created in?

God has created us in his image of Love and he lovingly claimed his ownership with his Holy Spirit as the seal of his love. We belong to God. We are his sons and daughters whom he loves.

Each day, the greatest gift that God gives to us is the gift of Life. We give our life back to God when we truly live this life with purpose. A life with purpose is achieved when we live for others, and not just for self-gratification and ambition. It is not easy to live for others, yet we will never fail to be enriched by the experiences of loving, serving and helping others.

The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.’

(Albert Schweitzer)

Today, let us give to God what belongs to God by committing ourselves once again to live this gift of life with purpose.

Questions for reflection:

Who do I belong to? Who do I choose to serve today?

How can I live this day with the purpose of serving, loving and helping others?


30th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 26 October 2014 
Matthew 22:34-40

Relationships

What does it mean to be a Christian? It boils down to one word, i.e. Relationships.

To be a Christian is to be in close relationship with God as well as to be in loving relationship with one another. This was how Jesus lived his earthly life – he had passion for God and compassion for his brothers and sisters.

In order to love like Jesus, we need to change our stony heart of self-centeredness, selfishness, indifference, etc to a heart of flesh that listens to the Voice of Love within us, which leads us to put others first before self.

This is what it means to be a Christian, and this is what it means to follow Jesus. Our Christian mission is about putting love into action. Love is more than a noun or a feeling. It is a verb and it is about loving, sharing, helping, forgiving, giving unlimited chances, welcoming, reaching out.

Sometimes, it is not easy to love people around us because we focus on their limitations, on what they said and did, on how irritating they are, etc. In moments like these, Jesus invites us to get our eyes off people and fix them on Him instead. He is the Voice of Love that will always guide us to have passion for God and compassion for others.

Questions for reflection:

Do I listen to this Voice of Love each day?

Am I trying to live my Christian mission which God has entrusted to me?



Hebrews 10:24-25
'We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.'


Online Catholic Resources 
 

Weekday Homilies of Fr Stephen Yim
http://frstephenyim-weekdays.blogspot.sg/

The Great Adventure Blog
http://biblestudyforcatholics.com/blog/

 



 

The Mass (Part 6)

Liturgy Of The Eucharist

After being nourished by the Word, we move into the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Eucharistic liturgy centers upon the Altar – both a place of sacrifice as well as the table from which as Christians, we are fed.

When we eat a meal with family or friends, we set the table, say grace and share a meal.

At Mass, the ritual actions are:

The Preparation of the Gifts - We Offer Bread and Wine

The Offertory Song is sung, as gifts of bread and wine and other gifts for the needs of the Church and for the poor are brought in procession. The Priest receives all the gifts in the community’s name.

The bread and wine are presented to God before they are consecrated. The Priest offers prayers of blessing at the altar.

The Priest washes his hands, asking God to wash away his sins. Altar servers assist the Priest by pouring water from the cruet over his hands. This gesture of washing hands is called Lavabo.

The Invitation to Prayer - We ask God to accept our sacrifice

Priest: “Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, The almighty Father.”

Congregation: “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of His name, for our good and the good of His Holy Church.”

In this prayer we unite the sacrifice of our ourselves with Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself to the Father, through the hands of the priest.

- Danial Teo


Know our Parishes
Church of St. Teresa

By mid 1920, the need was felt for a new church to be built near the port, in the South Western part of Singapore. Even though it was still a rural area, it had a growing population and there was a number of Hokkien speaking Catholics to be taken care of.

The prime mover of the project was Father E. Mariette, parish priest of Sts Peter & Paul in Queen Street. Father Stephen Lee eventually completed the building of the Church and had it blessed on 7 April 1929.

A convent was built in Bukit Teresa and eight Carmelites nuns from Bangkok arrived in May 1938 to start the Convent of Christ the King. Today sixteen nuns are leading a life of prayer and poverty at the convent.

Today, St Teresa has a Catholic population of around 2,500, including a few hundred Filipinos and Indian nurses.

[excerpt from Church of St Teresa website]
 
Click here for more information on the Church of St Teresa.
 

Catholic Organisations
+Catholics In Action+ 

CHARIS

Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives, Singapore (CHARIS) is the umbrella body for overseas humanitarian aid of the Archdiocese of Singapore. Humanitarian situations cover natural disasters and other adverse circumstances faced by the poor and needy, especially in developing countries in the region.

Aid provided by CHARIS includes funding, medical aid and volunteers for immediate relief as well as the long-term support of those displaced and in need.

CHARIS is a member of Caritas Singapore. It was launched on 20 August 2010 by His Grace, Archbishop Nicholas Chia.

Find out more about CHARIS at http://charis-singapore.org/

 
The MYSTAGOGIA is a monthly publication from the Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE) of the Archdiocese of Singapore.  Through this monthly publication, ONE aims to share the Word of God, Catholic traditions and practices and the work of the Church with Neophytes as we the Catholic community draw ever deeper meaning and sustenance from the Mysteries of our faith.   

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