On the feast of the Epiphany, as we recall Jesus’ manifestation to humanity in the face of a Child, may we sense the Magi at our side, as wise companions on the way. Their example helps us to lift our gaze towards the star and to follow the great desires of our heart. They teach us not to be content with a life of mediocrity, of “playing it safe”, but to let ourselves be attracted always by what is good, true and beautiful… by God, who is all of this, and so much more! And they teach us not to be deceived by appearances, by what the world considers great, wise and powerful. We must not stop at that. It is necessary to guard the faith. Today this is of vital importance: to keep the faith. We must press on further, beyond the darkness, beyond the voices that raise alarm, beyond worldliness, beyond so many forms of modernity that exist today. We must press on towards Bethlehem, where, in the simplicity of a dwelling on the outskirts, beside a mother and father full of love and of faith, there shines forth the Sun from on high, the King of the universe. By the example of the Magi, with our little lights, may we seek the Light and keep the faith. May it be so.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homily of Pope Francis I, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
12 January 2013
The migrant workers are furious as they have not been paid for many months for work-done.
How about the migrant professionals? Did they settle the claims themselves?
“Long Delayed Payment” = “No Payment” eventually! The same applies for “non-migrants”; it could happen to anyone; anywhere around the world.
Did the Claims fail due to “lack of documentary proof or substantiation” ?
Let’s see what the Almighty God has to say (Sirach 34:16-26, Encouragements-4):
“16 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who love him, he is their powerful protection and their strong support, their screen from the desert wind, their shelter from the midday sun, a guard against stumbling, an assurance against a fall.
17 He revives the spirit and brightens the eyes, he gives health, life and blessing.
18 The sacrifice of an offering unjustly acquired is a mockery; the gifts of the impious are unacceptable.
19 The Most High takes no pleasure in offerings from the godless, multiplying sacrifices will not gain pardon for sin.
20 Offering sacrifice from the property of the poor is as bad as slaughtering a son before his father's eyes.
21 A meagre diet is the very life of the poor, to deprive them of it is to commit murder.
22 To take away a fellow-man's livelihood is to kill him, to deprive an employee of his wages is to shed blood.
23 If one person builds while another pulls down, what will they get out of it but trouble?
24 If one person prays and another calls down a curse, to which one's voice is the Master going to listen?
25 If someone washes after touching a corpse, and then touches it again, what is the good of his washing?
26 Just so with someone who fasts for sin, and then goes and commits it again. Who is going to hear that person's prayer? What is the good of the self-abasement?”
If you disagree, please proceed to challenge the Almighty! 8-(
Will the Rulers around the World cooperate with the Almighty to uphold justice? 8-)
Gospel Reading: Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus appeared: he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John.
John tried to dissuade him. ‘It is I who need baptism from you’ he said ‘and yet you come to me!’
But Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that righteousness demands.’
At this, John gave in to him.
As soon as Jesus was baptised he came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. And a voice spoke from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.’
It was the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on 12 January 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day are shown above.
We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
1. "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).
These solemn words resound on today's feast of the Baptism of Jesus. They invite us to relive the moment when Jesus, baptized by John, emerges from the waters of the River Jordan and God the Father presents him as his Only-begotten Son, the Lamb who takes upon himself the sin of the world. A voice is heard from the heavens, as the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove rests upon Jesus, who thus publicly begins his mission of salvation: the mission of a humble and meek servant, ready to share and give himself completely: "He will not cry or lift up his voice ... a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice" (Isaiah 42:2-3).
The liturgy lets us relive this moving Gospel scene: amidst the penitent crowd that approaches John the Baptist to receive baptism, Jesus is also present. See, the promise is about to be fulfilled and a new age begins for all mankind. This man, who in appearance is no different from others, is in fact God come among us to give power to those who receive him, "who believe in his name, ... to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13).
2. "This is my beloved Son, hear him" (Gospel acclamation).
Today this proclamation and invitation, full of hope for mankind, echo particularly for the children who, in a few moments, will become God's new creation through the sacrament of Baptism. Having become sharers in the mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, they will be enriched with the gift of faith and will be incorporated into the people of the new and definitive Covenant, which is the Church. The Father will make them his adopted children in Christ, revealing to them a unique way of life: to listen as disciples to his Son, to be called and to be really his children.
The Holy Spirit will come down upon each of them and, as happened for us on the day of our Baptism, they too will enjoy that life which the Father gives believers through Jesus, the Redeemer of man. This immense wealth of gifts will give them, like every baptized person, a sole task, which the Apostle Paul never tires of teaching the first Christians with the words: "Walk by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16), that is, always live and act in the love of God.
I hope that the Baptism received today by these little ones will make them courageous witnesses of the Gospel throughout their lives. This will be possible as a result of their constant effort. However, dear parents, as you thank God today for the extraordinary gifts that he gives your children, your educational work will also be necessary, as will the support of their godparents.
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