lunedì 31 dicembre 2007
LAST DAY OF THE YEAR:
First of all, let us whisper a prayer of thanks to God for the gift of the year that is ending today. From his loving hand we have received the hours, days and months of the year. During this year God has offered us many graces through the events of our lives and through the people we live with and the people we met. They are the ways in which God has dome to us ; it is they who have helped us to learn and to grow. So, as we offer our thanks to God our Father we can also express our gratitude to all the people who have been for us the presence and love of God in our lives.
As we leave this year and enter into the new one, we know that God is coming with us. As we have walked and worked with the Lord in the past, so shall we confidently take up the tasks of the coming year.
Lord Jesus, you are our light, love and our life. You have anointed us with your spirit of truth and courage, the spirit of perseverance and fortitude. As we take leave of the past year and commit it to the heart and mind of your Father and our Father, we request you that we become more conformed to your image, who became one os us.
domenica 30 dicembre 2007
Scripture: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
Joseph was given a unique task as the guardian and protector of Mary and of Jesus. What can we learn from the example and witness of Joseph? Joseph is a man of God, a man of unquestioning obedience and willing service. He is a man of prayer and a man of God's word. Through faith he recognized the hand of God in the mystery of the Incarnation — the Son of God taking flesh as the son of Mary. Joseph is a man of action, diligent in the care of his family and ready to do the Lord's bidding. Joseph fearlessly set aside his own plans when God called him to "take to the road" and to leave his familiar surroundings — his home, friends and relatives, and the security of his livelihood in order to pursue a hidden mission God entrusted to him as the guardian of the newborn King. God has a plan for each of us. With the plan God gives grace and the assurance of his guiding hand and care.
sabato 29 dicembre 2007
ORISSA Hindu extremists attacked Christians in the State of Orissa and they burnt the Capuchin Minor Seminary, Barakhama, and its chapel to the ground. The 32 students and four staff members at the Arunodaya Ashram and the minor seminary had to flee on foot for their safety.
These Hindu hardliners, known as the VHP (Vishva Hindu Parishad) and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), attacked and destroyed at least 12 Christian churches and institutions in Orissa, especially in Khandhamal District, which is part of the Archdiocese of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar from December 24th through December 26th. They also destroyed some Christian homes. They want the Christians to be out of Orissa. They accuse them of trying to convert the Hindus in the region. These Hindu fanatics seem to be targeting mostly the buildings of missionaries, of priests and religious.
Religion which is insensitive to human( life) ills and social crimes do not appeal to modern man. Religion is Realisation. Religions are having tremendous power in them, but often have done more injurey to the world than good, simply on account of their narrowness and limitations.
True Religion forbids man to hate anybody.Religion is not for separating people. It is to bind them. We chrisitians remain always in love , truth, tolerance and service to humanity.
Scripture: Luke 2:22-35
Simeon was a man who was just towards others and devout towards God.His whole life was in tune with the Holy Spirit. His was found daily in the temple in prayer and worship and in humble and faithful expectation for the day that the Lord would comfort his people. As the days and months grew into years he never lost hope. When Joseph and Mary presented the child Jesus in the temple, Simeon immediately recognized the Lord’s presence in his temple. Through eyes of faith he say the infant Jesus as the fulfillment of all the messianic prophecies, hopes, and prayers of the people of Israel. Inspired by the Holy Spirit he prophesied that Jesus was to be "a revealing light to the Gentiles". Jesus came not only as “light and salvation” for the people of Israel, but for all nations as well.Simeon blessed Mary and Joseph and he prophesied to Mary about the destiny of this child and the suffering she would undergo for his sake. There is a certain paradox for those blessed by the Lord. Mary was given the blessedness of being the mother of the Son of God. That blessedness also would become a sword which pierced her heart as her Son died upon the cross.
venerdì 28 dicembre 2007
Scripture: Matthew 2:13-18
Herod's massacre of children who gave their lives for a person and a truth they did not know seemed so useless and unjust. What a scandal and stumbling block for those who can't recognize God's redeeming love. Why couldn't God prevent this slaughter? Suffering is indeed a mystery. No explanation seems to satisfy our human craving to understand. What does Paul the Apostle mean when he says: We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called to his purpose (Romans 8:28)? These innocent children and their parents suffered for Christ. Suffering, persecution, and martyrdom are the lot of all who chose to follow Jesus Christ. There is no crown without the cross. It was through Jesus' suffering, humiliation, and death on a cross, that our salvation was won. His death won life – eternal life for us. And his blood which was shed for our sake obtained pardon and reconciliation with our heavenly Father.
giovedì 27 dicembre 2007
Scripture: John 20:2-8
John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, wrote his gospel as an eye-witness of the Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us, and who died and rose for our salvation.
John in his first epistle testifies: What we have seen, heard, and touched we proclaim as the word of life which existed "from the beginning" (1 John 1:1-4). John bears witness to what has existed from all eternity. This "word of life" is Jesus the word incarnate, but also Jesus as the word announced by the prophets and Jesus the word now preached throughout the Christian church for all ages to come.
sabato 22 dicembre 2007
My Dear loving Brothers and Sisters,
A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Your presence is a present to the world. You are unique and one of a kind.
Your life can be what you want it to be. Take the days just one at a time.
Count your blessings, not your troubles. You will make it through whatever comes along. Within you are so many answers. Understand, have courage, be strong. Do not put limits on yourself. So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
Decisions are too important to leave to chance. Reach of your peak, your goal, and your prize. Nothing wastes more energy than worrying. The longer one carries a problem the heavier it gets. Do not take things too seriously. Live a life of serenity,not a life of regrets.
Remember that a little love goes a long way. Remember that a lot goes forever. Remember that friendship is a wise investment. Life’s treasures are people… Together Realize that it is never too late. Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way. Have health and hope and happiness. Take the time to wish upon a star.
The king of kings is born to us. Rev. 16.19
The light of the world is born. John. 8.12
Where shall we seek for the newborn king today?
Not in the palaces, glittering dresses, sumptuous food
and colorful celebrations. Let us find among those foodless, destitute,lonely and the orphan children.
May this Christmas bring more happiness to your life and may the New Year
2008 bring YOU peace and prosperity!
May the blessing and love of the Christ child be with you now and throughout the year!! Again, my sincere love,gratitude and thank you for who you are. I continue to count on your prayers. With Loving regards
Your loving brother
General Spiritual Assistant
venerdì 21 dicembre 2007
Scripture: Luke 1:39-45
What is the significance of Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth before the birth of Jesus? When Elizabeth greeted Mary and recognized the Messiah in Mary's womb they were filled with the Holy Spirit and with a joyful anticipation of the fulfilment of God's promise to give a Savior. What a marvelous wonder for God to fill not only Elizabeth's heart with his Holy Spirit but the child in her womb as well. John the Baptist, even before the birth of the Messiah, pointed to his coming and leapt for joy in the womb of his mother as the Holy Spirit revealed to him the presence of the King to be born. The Holy Spirit is God's gift to us to enable us to know and experience the indwelling presence of God and the power of his kingdom. The Holy Spirit is the way in which God reigns within each of us.
giovedì 20 dicembre 2007
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38
God uses signs to communicate his purposes, his presence, his righteousness, his favor to his people (Psalm 86:17), and his assurance that he is speaking to them and that he will keep his promises. God also performed mighty signs to demonstrate his saving deeds when he delivered his people from bondage in Egypt (Psalm 78:43).
How does Mary respond to the word of God delivered by the angel Gabriel? She knows she is hearing something beyond human capability. It will surely take a miracle which surpasses all that God has done previously. Her question, “how shall this be, since I have no husband” is not prompted by doubt or skepticism, but by wonderment! She is a true hearer of the Word and she immediately responds with faith and trust. Mary's prompt response of "yes" to the divine message is a model of faith for all believers.Mary believed God's promises even when they seemed impossible. She was full of grace because she trusted that what God said was true and would be fulfilled.
mercoledì 19 dicembre 2007
Scripture: Luke 1:5-25
Advent is a time to renew our hope and confidence in God’s faithfulness to the covenant he made with his people. In preparing the way for a Savior, we see the wondrous miracle of two barren couples who conceive and bear sons – Samson in the Old Testament (Judges 13) and John the Baptist in the New Testament (Luke 1:5ff) – who are called by God to bring hope and deliverance at a time of spiritual darkness and difficulty for the people of God.
Zechariah was a godly man who was tuned to God’s voice.When God draws us into his presence, he wants us to be still and quiet before him so we can listen to his voice as he speaks to our hearts and reveals his mind to us.
martedì 18 dicembre 2007
During our Tempo forte we 4 General spiritual assistants could participate in the profession of SFO members. The National Spiritual Assistant Fr.Godfrey OFMCap , the National Minister Godwin and other members of the SFO were present. It was meaningful celebration with Eucharist and after eucharist we congratulated the professed members and had small get together of Fraternal love.
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-24
The prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah spoke words of hope in a hopeless situation for Israel.
The prophets trusted that God could somehow “raise up a righteous shoot” from the stump of Jesse (Isaiah 2:11). Like the prophets we are called “in hope to believe against hope” (Romans 4:18) that God can and will fulfill all his promises.God has not left us alone, but has brought us his only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us celebrate Christmas, the feast of the Incarnation, with joyful hearts and let us renew our faith and hope in God and in his redeeming work
lunedì 17 dicembre 2007
We 4 General spiritual Assitents had our annual meeting in Malta at Porziuncola Retreat House, Bahar ic-Caghag NXR 08. The meeting was from 3 - 8 december 2008. We had discussions, decisions , sharing and pryer. It is beautiful small island but the sea makes you to feel the immensity of God. We also met the Provincial of OFMCap, and Provincial of OFMConv and other spiritual assitents requested them to assist and animate SFO in their country. The encounter was fraternal, amicable and all of them felt the need of assisting the SFO. God bless them all.
Scripture: Matthew 1:1-17
They give us our roots and help us to understand our heritage. Matthew's genealogy of Jesus traces his lineage from Abraham, the father of God's chosen people, through the line of David, King of Israel. Jesus the Messiah is the direct descent of Abraham and David, and the rightful heir to David's throne. God in his mercy fulfilled his promises to Abraham and to David that he would send a Savior and a King to rule over the house of Israel and to deliver them from their enemies. When Jacob blessed his sons he foretold that Judah would receive the promise of royalty which we see fulfilled in David (Genesis 49:10). We can also see in this blessing a foreshadowing of God's fulfillment in raising up his annointed King, Jesus the Messiah. Jesus is the fulfillment of all God's promises. He is the hope not only for the people of the Old Covenant but for all nations as well. He is the Savior of the world who redeems us from slavery to sin and Satan and makes us citizens of the kingdom of God.
lunedì 3 dicembre 2007
We four General Spiritual Assistants today go to Malta to have our TEMPO FORTE. We will have our meeting withregard to our next year plan, discussion on the decision of Presidency and other matters concerning SFO. We also have group prayers and meditations. Please do pray for us.
Scripture: Matthew 8:5-11
The centurion who approached Jesus was not only courageous, but faith-filled as well. He risked the ridicule of his cronies as well as mockery from the Jews by seeking help from an itinerant preacher from Galilee. Nonetheless, the centurion approached Jesus with great confidence and humility. He was an extraordinary man because he loved his slave. In the Roman world slaves were treated like animals – something to be used for work and pleasure and for bartering and trade. This centurion was a man of great compassion and extraordinary faith. He wanted Jesus to heal his beloved slave. Jesus commends him for his faith and immediately grants him his request.
The season of Advent reminds us that the Lord wants us to actively seek him and the coming of his kingdom in our lives. The Lord will surely reward those who seek his will for their lives. We can approach the Lord Jesus with expectant faith, like the centurion in today's gospel reading, knowing that he will show us his mercy and give us his help.
domenica 2 dicembre 2007
hope and joy.
The Lord Jesus expects us to watch in great anticipation for the most important event of all -- his return in glory at the end of time! The prophets foretold the coming of the Lord when he shall judge between the nations and decide for many peoples (Isaiah 2:5). The Advent season reminds us that we are living in the end times. The end times begins with the first coming of Christ (his Incarnation which we celebrate at Christmas) and culminates in his final return on the Day of Judgment. Jesus spoke of his return in glory at the end of time as a for certain fact. Jesus' audience understood the title, Son of Man, as referring to the Messianic prophecy of the Annointed King who comes to establish an everlasting kingdom over the earth (see Daniel 7:13). While the second coming is for certain, the time is unknown. The Lord's judgment comes swiftly and often unexpectedly. Jesus warns his listeners to not be caught off guard when that day arrives. It will surely come in God's good time!