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Daily Scripture reflections
by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing

Rev. Anthony Man-Son-Hing is a priest of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. Born in Georgetown, Guyana on 23 November 1965, Anthony moved to Canada along with his family in 1974.

He attended elementary and secondary schools in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and received a Bachelor of Arts at Wilfrid Laurier University (1988), He pursued Theology studies at Saint Augustine's Seminary in Toronto (1988-1993) and was ordained to the priesthood on May 14, 1993 for the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. Fr. Anthony is currently serving as Pastor of Saint Bernadette parish in Elliot Lake, Ontario.

— The following content is reproduced with permission of Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing

His Word Today: Saint Nicholas

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
6 December 2019, 7:05 am
Good morning everyone,

Saint Nicholas of Myra (traditionally 15 March 270 – 6 December 343) was also known as Nicholas of Bari.  He was an early Christian bishop of the ancient Greek maritime city of Myra in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey) during the time of the Roman Empire. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, prostitutes, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students in various cities and countries around Europe. His reputation evolved among the faithful and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus.

The gospel passage proposed for today recounts a moment when Jesus encountered two blind men who were calling out for help.  He truly wanted to help them - as he always wishes to help us too - but needed to test their sincerity so he asked them: Do you believe that I can do this? (Mt 9:28)  When they responded affirmatively, Jesus granted their request.

Like Saint Nicholas, we too are sometimes called upon to do good for others even at times in secret, yet we do good not for the sake of gaining any personal reward, but rather because at some point, we ourselves have heard the Lord ask us: Do you believe? ... and in return we have received good gifts that far outmeasure our own sense of entitlement.  Having received such goodness, we ourselves should always seek out others so that we can pay the blessings forward.  May Saint Nicholas help us to do this with great joy.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Foundation

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
5 December 2019, 7:26 am
Good morning everyone,

Sometimes it is possible to say lots of things with only a few words.  We see an example of this in today's gospel passage.  Jesus says to his disciples: Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven ... but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven (Mt 7:21).

What is Jesus saying?  It's not enough to call out to Jesus - or even to God - and to use the words Lord, Lord in doing so ... but this is already something of great importance.  The use of the word Lord is an admission of our recognition of the supremacy of our God, but even this is not enough for us to enter into heaven.  Jesus says that we must go further: we must strive to do the will of our Father in heaven.  And how do we do that?

Jesus says that we must not only listen to his words, but also, we must act on them.  In other words, it's not enough to hear the advice that Jesus offers us ... and then to let his advice get lost in the noise of all the noise that surrounds us.  Instead, we should work at listening attentively to the word of God so that we can discern the will of our Father.

Let us pray today for the grace to listen closely to the words that our heavenly Father offers to us, so that we will not forget the wisdom that he has to share with us, but rather that these words might begin to take root within our hearts.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Special

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
4 December 2019, 7:47 am
Good morning everyone,

Yesterday was the World Day of Persons with Disabilities.  To mark the occasion, Pope Francis issued a special Message in which he reminds us all to renew our gaze of faith, which sees in each brother and sister the presence of Christ Himself, Who considers every gesture of love towards one of His least brothers to have been made to Himself (cf Gospel of Matthew 25:40).

Have you ever considered the fact that great crowds came to Jesus, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others (Mt 15:30).  They had great faith in his abilities.  They trusted that he could and would look lovingly upon these brothers and sisters of theirs, who knew the pain and tribulations of being looked upon by others with judgement and help them to recognize their true value - not judged by any measure of physical beauty or usefulness, but rather on the mere fact that they are loved.

And what about us?  Do we always look at others with love and acceptance.  If not, perhaps we can pray today for the grace to gaze with faith upon those who cross our paths so that we can recognize all people our brothers and sisters and the reflections of Christ himself.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Saint Francis Xavier

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
3 December 2019, 7:58 am
Good morning everyone,

Today, the Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of Saint Francis Xavier (7 April 1506 - 3 December 1552), a Spanish missionary who co-founded the Society of Jesus, along with Saint Ignatius Loyola.  Saint Francis Xavier led an extensive mission which took him to modern-day India, Goa, Japan, Borneo and the Maluku Islands.  He was preparing to extend his missionary efforts into China when he died on Shangshuan Island.

In the gospel passage for today's Mass, Saint Luke presents Jesus as he is rejoicing in the Holy Spirit: I give you praise Father, Lord of heaven and earth (Lk 10:21).  Like all missionaries, Saint Francis continued his devoted work so that he could give praise to God the Father.

Since 1927, Saint Francis Xavier has been recognized as a co-patron of foreign missions, along with Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.  Let us ask Saint Francis to pray with us today, to awaken and to strengthen within us the desire to evangelize: to give praise to God our Father by sharing the good news of the gospel with others, wherever they are.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Faith

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
2 December 2019, 9:57 am
Good morning everyone,

As we begin the season of Advent, the scriptures provide us with an example of living faith today.  The gospel account speaks of a moment when Jesus entered Capernaum, a place that was very familiar to him.   A centurion approached and appealed to him, saying: 'Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully' (Mt 8:6).  The question is implicit: Please do something to help!

What is even more surprising is the fact that a centurion - one of the Roman guards - would come to him and ask for help.  The fact that this man approached shows that he (the centurion) had heard Jesus speak before.  Perhaps he had witnessed such miracles.  Perhaps beneath the rough exterior that most of the men of his rank were expected to portray, a seed of faith had begun to germinate in response to God's workings in his own heart.

Advent is a special time when God invites us to awaken the faith that lives within our own hearts.  Perhaps this gift has laid dormant.  Perhaps it is there but remains hidden.  Whatever the circumstances, the invitation is there to water our faith with evidence of God's goodness that is all around us.  Let us begin this journey together ... a journey that will lead us to celebrate the birthday of Jesus at Christmas.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Blossoms

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
29 November 2019, 7:58 am
Good morning everyone,

In the gospel passage for today's Mass, Jesus uses the image of blossoms to explain how we should open our eyes to see the coming of the kingdom.  He says: Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.  When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near (Lk 21:29-30).

How often do we consider the fact that we must train ourselves to look for similar signs that the kingdom of heaven is at hand?  Children who need our help to develop habits that will help them to develop to their full potential, teenagers who need our help to find their way in an often confusing world, young adults who need our help to remember the values of family and faith even though society insists on testing these basic building blocks, the sick and the elderly who need our help to give them a voice in situations where they might otherwise go un-noticed ... all of these and more are signs of the blossoms of God's kingdom - possibilities for us to be of service to others so that they in turn will understand that they are loved.

Be on the lookout today for the blossoms that foretell the coming of the kingdom.  None of them appear by mere happenstance; each of them is an invitation for us to rejoice because the kingdom of God is near at hand.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Near

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
28 November 2019, 4:58 am
Good morning everyone,

All though these final days of the liturgical year, the gospel passages paint stark images of the end times.  In today's passage, Jesus explains:There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Lk 21:25-26).

Yet, against these vibrant images, Jesus says that when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand (Lk 21:28).  While others may be scared about such images, we are called to remain calm and to trust that the Lord will never abandon us.  In fact, our heavenly Father is always close to us, loving us and instilling us with an idea of the depth to which he loves us.

If we dare to stand erect and to raise our heads because we are convinced about the fact that our redemption is close at hand, people will see in us the light of faith that is the gift of our heavenly Father to all his beloved children.  Let us choose today to believe that our God is near.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Persecuted

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
27 November 2019, 7:11 am
Good morning everyone,

Someone recently reminded me of the fact that missionaries - those who are sent to various places with a specific mission or task - are always persecuted.  This was true in the time of Jesus, when he took such great pain and effort to convince the first disciples of the love that our God has for each of us, and today as we are called and sent to continue sharing the good news of God's love with people of our time.

Jesus warned his disciples that this task would not be easy: They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name (Lk 21:12), but he also reassured them that they would never be alone: I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking (Lk 21:15).

Many of our fellow disciples have suffered in this way; many of them still suffer.  Let us remember and pray for all those who experience such persecution, and let us pray today for the grace we need so that we may always choose to follow Jesus and to find our joy in knowing him.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Portents

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
26 November 2019, 3:17 am
Good morning everyone,

In the gospel passage for today's Mass, Jesus paints a picture in rather detailed fashion.  In a time when there were few people who could read and write, he used images to convey his message.  Attempting to portray the end times - which no human being has ever encountered - he tells his disciples that nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be powerful earthquakes, famines and plagues ... and mighty signs will come from the sky (Lk 21:10-11).

There are some who would say that such a vision is being fulfilled in our times, however it is important to also hear another phrase that Jesus uses while he is describing this scene.  He reassures the disciples, saying: Do not be terrified (Lk 21:9) and he goes even further, saying: Do not be deceived (Lk 21:8).

Throughout the centuries that have come and gone, these words continue to echo in our ears and in our hearts.  They are addressed to us today.  Jesus knows that there are all kinds of signs and warnings that can and do create uncertainty and fear in human hearts, but he also knows that our God is forever faithful and will never forsake us.

Let us pray today for renewed trust and a new resolve to believe these words for ourselves.  When we are faced with difficult moments, let us look to Jesus and ask him to help us so that we are not deceived, discouraged or terrified but rather that we are made more deeply aware of his abiding presence as we continue the journey.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Saint Catherine of Alexandria

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
25 November 2019, 3:11 am
Good morning everyone,

Today, the Church celebrates and prays with Saint Catherine of Alexandria, who lived in the latter part of the third century and the first part of the fourth century A.D.  At a time when Christianity was not yet a recognized religion, she is reported to have received a vision of Mary and the baby Jesus which persuaded her to become a Christian.

When the persecutions began under Maxentius, being herself of noble birth, she went to the emperor and rebuked him for his cruelty. The emperor summoned 50 of the best pagan philosophers and orators to dispute with her, hoping that they would refute her pro-Christian arguments, but Catherine won the debate. Several of her adversaries, conquered by her eloquence, declared themselves Christians and were at once put to death.

She was then cruelly tortured and imprisoned, yet people continued to visit her.  As a result of her testimony, many of them converted to Christianity even though to do so meant their certain death.  Infuriated by her obstinacy, the Emperor ordered her to be put to death.  When he ordered her to be beheaded, she herself called for the execution to begin.

Saint Luke's gospel speaks today of the witness given by a widow who placed two small coins in the temple treasury (Lk 21:1-4).  Jesus saw her gesture and understood immediately that this poor widow has put in more than all the rest of the people who were passing by.  Let us ask Saint Catherine to pray for us today, that we too will put all that we are at the service of our God.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Saint Cecilia

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
22 November 2019, 11:37 am
Good afternoon everyone,

Today, the Church prays and celebrates with Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians.  In one of his discourses on the psalms, Saint Augustine says: Praise the Lord with the lyre and make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!  Sing to him an new song.  Rid yourself of what is old and worn out, for you know a new song (Psalm 32, Sermon 1).

Every day, the Lord continues to sing his song of love in our hearts.  He who makes the most beautiful music shares this gift with us.  He invites us to sing a song with our lives, by living as his disciples and by learning day after day how to be the best examples of faith that we can.  It is reassuring to know that He is constantly present to us, loving us and encouraging us to believe in ourselves.

Through the intercession of Saint Cecilia, may the Lord's song of love continue to resound in our hearts.  Day after day, may our words and deeds help to harmonize with the music that He is already making within us.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
21 November 2019, 7:13 am
Good morning everyone,

Today, we celebrate the liturgical Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is known in the Eastern Churches as the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos (Mother of God) into the Temple.  This feast is not associated with any events recounted in the gospels but rather with another text known as the Protoevangelium of James.

According to the text, Mary's parents were childless but received a message from heaven announcing the coming of their child.  In thanksgiving for the birth of their daughter, while she was still very young, they brought her to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God.

The Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians says this: ... as long as a designated heir is not of age, his condition is no different from that of a slave, even though in name he is master of all his possessions; for he is under the supervision of guardians and administrators until the time set by his father.  In the same way, while we were not yet of age, we were like slaves subordinated to the elements of the world; but when the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman ... to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons (Gal 4:1-5).

As we celebrate Mary's feast today, let us ask her to intercede for us so that we may be re-awakened to the truth of our spiritual childhood.  We are heirs to a blessed promise that is yet to be fulfilled.

Have a great day.
Fr. Tony

His Word Today: Care

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
20 November 2019, 10:44 am
Good morning everyone,

In his encyclical entitled Laudato Si' (Blessed Be, 2015), the Holy Father, Pope Francis challenges all of us to be aware of our responsibility to care for creation.  Three years prior to this, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I had already spoken of the importance of caring for the environment.

These are not the first to have challenged us to be conscious of the blessing that has been afforded us.  In fact, Jesus himself spoke of this reality using the parable of the talents, which is recounted in today's gospel passage (Lk 19:11-28). 

Like them, we too have been entrusted with the riches bequeathed to us by our heavenly Father.  The parable of the talents encourages us to consider how we care for these gifts, and how we in turn will pass them on to those who come after us.

Have a great day.


His Word Today: Sight

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
18 November 2019, 7:57 am
Good morning everyone,

In today's gospel passage (Lk 18:35-43), Saint Luke tells the story of one of the people that Jesus met as he was approaching the city of Jericho.  A blind man was sitting by the roadside begging (Lk 18:35).  We are not told whether this man had been blind from birth or whether he had met with some catastrophic incident, because the important point was the meeting that this man had with Jesus.  Still, I cannot help wondering whether he had known life as a sighted person beforehand.  If so, as the modern-day saying goes, perhaps he knew what he was missing, being deprived of his sight.

Surely, his life would have carried its own challenges, and he needed help in order to rise above those obstacles, not unlike the poor who still struggle in our day.  Yesterday was the World Day of Prayer for the Poor.  In his homily for the occasion, Pope Francis spoke about the reasons why the Lord allows our human certitudes to collapse, even at times when we seem to have fewer and fewer of them.  The answer in short is so that we can learn to look to him, just as the blind man was made aware of Jesus who was passing by through the witness of others who were present along the path with him.

The words of the blind man's prayer are our words too: Lord, please let me see.  In so many different circumstances, we give life to this plea every day ... if we are struggling to find answers, if we are faced with complicated conundra, or at times when the day-to-day realities we deal with seem to be overwhelming.  Like the blind man, we too can be courageous in such moments; we too can raise our voices in prayer and supplication ... our God will always stop, look at us and respond to our prayer.

Have a great day.

True beauty

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
17 November 2019, 9:07 pm
The gospel passage we have heard today is set within the walls of the Temple in Jerusalem.  Jesus was there and heard some of the people who were there speaking about the physical beauty of the building: how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings (Lk 21:5).  The construction of the Temple had taken more than 25 years and was still not complete.  It had been built as a monument to the presence of God.  Seeing it's grandeur, people would admire its beautiful walls, it's magnificent lights, its décor ... not unlike the way that we might admire an imposing Basilica or Cathedral today.

As a kind of commentary about the remarks he was hearing, Jesus said to those around him: All that you see here - the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down (Lk 21:6).  Using the physical surroundings as a metaphor for his wisdom, Jesus wanted to caution his listeners against putting too much trust in visible and tangible objects of beauty.  He was not admonishing them for admiring the Temple's beauty, but rather trying to teach them that we should not allow such physical beauty to blind us to the presence of God who is the creator of all things, including the beautiful ones.

Such warnings were not new, even in the time of Jesus.  Many years prior, the prophet Malachai had warned: the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble (Mal 3:19).  In today's language, he was warning his listeners not to rely on things that they could see and touch, because all physical things can be destroyed, and no amount of physical possessions can ever truly respond to the desires of the human heart.

This wisdom that has been repeated by both the prophet and Jesus has continued to echo throughout the centuries.  It is just as valid today as it was then, yet we can still find ourselves falling victim to the temptations to become mesmerized by physical beauty, even to the point where we are blinded to the true beauty of love.

Saint Paul offers the example of his own life as a way that we can work at modelling our lives after the true beauty that God has to offer.  He says: in toil and drudgery, we worked, so as not to burden any of you ... so that we could present ourselves as a model for you (2 Thes 3:8-9).  Like Paul, we should endeavour to work constantly at building the temple of God's people, a temple that defines its beauty not in stones, mortar and jewels but rather in identifying the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of our age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, so that we can in turn make these same joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties our own (cf Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et Spes, 1).  By drawing close to God's people, we in turn will discover more profoundly the true beauty of being called his disciples.

His Word Today: Be Attentive

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
15 November 2019, 7:16 am
Good morning everyone,

Sometimes we can get so accustomed to our daily routines that we are unaware of things that are happening right under our noses.  Jesus warns against this danger in today's gospel passage.  He uses the example of some of the figures from our past to make his point.

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating an drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all (Lk 17:26-27).  This happened because many people refused to pay any heed to the warnings that Noah had heard.  The call for repentance fell on deaf ears.

These words are a gentle reminder to us today that we should always be attentive.  Our God wants nothing but our good, and He is always willing to help us simply because he loves us so deeply.  All He asks is that we listen to Him.  It's not difficult to spend a few moments each day in prayer, but we must be intentional about setting aside time to be present to God.  That's all He asks.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Look

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
14 November 2019, 7:38 am
Good morning everyone,

As a toddler, and even as a child, each one of us had to learn how to get along in the world.  We had to learn how to recognize signs of welcome, signs of danger, how to react to anxious situations and how to know when we could relax and just have fun.  For most of us, by the time we get to adulthood, these learned behaviours are second nature.  We act and react without any thought being expended.

When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come (cf Lk 17:20), he took the opportunity to teach them how to read the signs.  It was as though he was teaching them to look beyond the visible world and to learn a new way of inter-relating: The kingdom of God is already among you (Lk 17:21).

Today, let us ask the Lord to teach us how to look at life through the eyes of faith so that we can learn to see in a different way, so that we can begin to look for the signs of God's presence all around us.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Transformed

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
13 November 2019, 9:05 am
Good morning everyone,

The episode that is recounted in today's gospel passage reminds us of the transforming experience that always awaits when we encounter Jesus.  While travelling through Samaria and Galilee on his way to Jerusalem, ten lepers met him on the outskirts of one of the villages (cf Lk 17:11-12).  Did these lepers know that Jesus was going to pass by?  Saint Luke makes it seem as though this encounter was unplanned.  Like them, we also encounter Jesus at moments and in circumstances that we cannot predict or plan.

When they met him, the lepers called out for help: Jesus!  Master!  Have pity on us! (Lk 17:13).  The lepers were not afraid to call out for help, and they were specific about their request.  At the time, not only was leprosy a disease that would physically destroy the human body, it also meant that the one who had been diagnosed would be ostracized.  Do we bring our troubles and worries to the Lord in such a plain and vulnerable way?  Do we trust that he is capable of helping us?

One of the lepers, realizing that he had been healed, returned glorifying God with a loud voice (Lk 17:15-16).  It is only natural that we would be overjoyed if we were in the place of the leper.  Are we aware of the gift of God's joy in our own lives?  Are we ready to share this joy with others and to trust that God will always welcome our attempts at promoting joy and mutual respect?

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Saint Josaphat

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
12 November 2019, 7:36 am
Good morning everyone,

Today, the Church celebrates the liturgical Memorial of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych, OSBM (1580-1623), a Polish-Lithuanian monk who served as an Archeparch (Archbishop) of the Ruthenian Catholic Church.  On 12 November 1623, he was killed by an angry mob in Vitebsk, located in modern-day Belarus.

At a time when there were many conflicts in the Church, Saint Josaphat was enacting the prayer that Jesus offered in the gospel for today's liturgy.  Speaking in prayer, Jesus asked: Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us (Jn 17:20-21).

Unity between people is a precious but very fragile gift.  It should always be protected, and strengthened by the assurance of prayer so that it can be divinely inspired.  We can be assured of Jesus' continual prayer for all of us: that we too may be united and learn to appreciate and value the gifts that each of our brothers and sisters has to offer.

Have a great day.


His Word Today: Saint Martin of Tours

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
11 November 2019, 6:46 am
Good morning everyone,

Today, the Church celebrates the liturgical Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, the third Bishop of Tours (France).  Martin was born in Panonnia (current day western Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, northwestern Serbia, northern Slovenia and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina).  As a young man, he served for a time in the Roman cavalry but left military service in 361 and converted to Christianity.  Martin lived a monastic life and is credited as the founder of the Benedictine monastery of Ligugé (France).  In 371, he was consecrated Bishop of Caesarodunum (Tours).

Saint Martin's shrine in Tours has long been a celebrated stopping point for pilgrims who travel the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  As such, his presence continues to inspire modern-day disciples to heed the words of Jesus, for strangers who have passed by are always welcomed, the hungry are fed, the thirsty find drink and the ill are cared for (cf Mt 25:35-36).

Today, we also commemorate Remembrance Day.  Remembering all those who have suffered and died in various wars and conflicts in the past century, let us ask Saint Martin to intercede for us so that we too may seek out those who are in need.  May we always have the courage to respond in faith and to share the good news of the gospel with those we meet.

Have a great day.

The bigger picture

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
10 November 2019, 8:12 am
The gospel passage places us today with Jesus at a moment when he was talking with some Sadducees, a group of people who did not believe in the resurrection from the dead (cf Lk 20:27).  We profess our faith in the resurrection of the dead every time we gather for Mass on the Lord's Day (cf Apostles' Creed), but we don't often take the time to ponder what it will be like to live in eternity.

Jesus gives a glimpse into what life in heaven will be like, but he escapes the boundaries of anything the Sadducees had ever heard before.  In fact, the language he uses also leaves us wondering because the concepts he describes are far beyond the scope of anything we have ever experienced.  He describes the resurrection as a call to a bigger life, a wider scope of existence.  To live in God is more than a mortal existence: it is an active participation in God's work of salvation.  Resurrection, understood as life in God, is a renewed relationship to God, a new way of living in relationship with others and a fresh way of understanding our relationships with ourselves.

Our hope in God is not like other human experiences of hope: in something that may or may not come to pass, nor is it an experience of looking forward to something based on a previous experience.  Christian hope is based in a relationship that continues to transform us every day.

This weekend, Canadians are approaching the commemorations that we refer to as Remembrance Day.  On Monday morning, many of us will gather to remember the sacrifices of all those who have fought in the World Wars, in the Korean War and in other conflicts.  We will also remember all those who have played various peace keeping rolls in various parts of the world.  Peace is a gift that we receive from our God, yet it cannot exist when there is conflict: in our lives, in our own hearts or in our world.

Let us remember and give thanks for all those heroes who have laid down their lives.  Perhaps without even realizing it, they have done so out of love for us.  May they be rewarded for their bravery and for their selfless desire to help establish peace so that we can enjoy the freedoms we now have ... and let us ask the Lord to grant us the grace to see the bigger picture today.  When we are tempted to get caught up in our own petty worries, let us ask for the courage to broaden our horizons so that we can see others not as enemies but as brothers and sisters.  We are all on a journey.  This journey will ultimately lead us to heaven, a place where none of us who is present here today has ever been, but a place where we will live with God forever, a place where we will get a much broader understanding of all we are meant to be.

His Word Today: Honesty

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
8 November 2019, 6:44 am
Good morning everyone,

Beginning on the day of our Baptism, when we become part of God's family, our loving God invites us to grow ever closer to Him, day by day.  This invitation presumes honesty on our part and promises enduring faithfulness on God's part.

God invites us to aim for enduring faithfulness in our own lives, but He is also aware of the fact that because of our own humanity, we will fall short in our ability to fulfill the desire to be faithful to Him at all times.  Luckily for us, our God has an infinite capacity for love, and is always willing to give us another chance.

Jesus teaches this lesson about faithfulness and honesty in today's gospel.  As was his custom, he always used stories in order to explain his lessons.  In this case, he told the story of a steward who was reported for squandering his master's property (cf Lk 16:1).  As expected, the master threatened to terminate the steward's employment, but the point of the story was the steward's change of heart.  Faced with the dire possibility of losing his position, he chose honesty instead of continuing what was most probably a life of cheating others out of their money so that he himself could grow more affluent (cf Lk 16:3-8).

As we grow closer to the Lord, and seek to follow in His footsteps, he will always call us to be honest with ourselves and with Him ... and in response to our honesty, He will reward us with his enduring faithfulness.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Find

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
7 November 2019, 7:02 am
Good morning everyone,

The parables told in today's gospel passage show us the lengths to which our God is willing to go in order to seek us out and to bring us back whenever we get lost.  Even if we have experienced the joy of being present with Jesus, even if we might resolve to always remain close to Him, it seems that we are constantly battling the temptation to distance ourselves from the grace of love itself.

How reassuring it is to know that our loving God is willing to leave every other treasure behind - like the shepherd in the parable who leaves the ninety-nine other sheep (Lk 15:4-7) - in order to come in search of us whenever we are lost.

Even if we ourselves may find it difficult to understand or to believe that our God loves us so deeply, He will never stop searching until He finds us, like the woman who searches her house untiringly until she finds her lost coin (cf Lk 15:8-10).

Today, let our prayer be simply the experience of resting in the presence of the One who loves us so deeply.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Commitment

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
6 November 2019, 7:24 am
Good morning everyone,

Today, Jesus uses a very strange turn of phrase to explain the need for us to be committed to the task of being his disciples.  Speaking to the crowds, he says: If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple (Lk 14:26).

In other words, Jesus is saying that even if we should want to be his disciples, we can be distracted by attachments to other earthly realities, but Jesus wants us to be committed to the journey of following him.  Being a disciple, learning from him and modeling our lives after his life, we need to focus on him every day.  We need to listen for his voice every day.  We need to rely on him to help us not to be distracted in our commitment.

Let us pray today for the grace to say yes to Jesus.  He can help us to remain focused on our resolve to model our lives on his life, and to always stay close to him.

Have a great day.

His Word Today: Excuses

by Fr. Anthony Man-Son-Hing
5 November 2019, 6:40 am
Good morning everyone,

The gospel passage for today's Mass gives us a glimpse into the generous heart of our God.  Jesus was sitting at table with others and enjoying a meal.  During that meal, one of them said to Jesus: Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God (Lk 14:15).  I can imagine that this man was impressed with the meal he was sharing, and since Jesus was perhaps speaking about the Kingdom of God, the man who heard such words, impressed those he was, was trying to picture what this Kingdom could be.

Jesus went on to explain - through the use of a parable - that many are invited to enter the Kingdom, like the many who might be invited to sit at a banquet table, but that many of them tend to come up with all kinds of excuses (cf Lk 14:18-20).

Like the invitees in Jesus' story, we too are invited to the banquet table of the Lord.  There, we have the privilege of partaking in the gifts and blessings that the Lord offers, yet many times we too find excuses to distance ourselves from the relationship that the Lord invites us to enjoy.  Thankfully, our loving God never stops looking for us, seeking us out and inviting us to come to the banquet.

Have a great day.

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