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The Bible Diary is an attractive publication that contains the scripture readings for the Daily and Sunday celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

 Each page contains a reflection and space for the reader to add his or her own thoughts. A real spiritual treasure.

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每日聖言 (Traditional Chinese)

每日聖言 (Traditional Chinese) (331)


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每日圣言 (Simplified Chinese) (335)



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Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:16

August 21, 2017

A GospelGospel: Mt 19:16-22 -
          It was then, that a young man approached him and asked, “Master, what good work must I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One, only, is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments.” The young man said, “Which commandments?” Jesus replied, “Do not kill; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother. And love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him, “I have kept all these commandments. What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell all that you possess, and give the money to the poor; and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.”
On hearing this, the young man went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

On the one hand, money, material wealth or riches are truly blessings from God. On the other hand, they likewise have the potential of becoming the greatest obstacles to entry into the kingdom of God. Experience has shown that more people are sidetracked from the goal of Christian perfection by materialism than by anything else. When Jesus is our Master and Lord, money serves us. But if money is our master, we become its slave.
Having money or wealth is, to be sure, not a sin. But failing to use it according to the purpose for which God gave it to us, is. It is not an end in itself, rather it is simply a means toward an end namely, salvation or the kingdom of God. Hence, how we manage and use money or material wealth affects our chances in entering the kingdom. “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? ….You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:11-13).
The Biblical concept of stewardship is quite helpful when talking about the issue of money or material wealth. We are not owners of the money or wealth that we have, we are merely stewards. It is God who owns it all. In the Bible a steward was a servant entrusted to manage an estate. He was expected to be trustworthy in managing it, using it according to the will of the owner or master.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:15

August 20, 2017

A GospelGospel: Mt 15:21-28 -
          Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from the area, came and cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not answer her, not even a word. So his disciples approached him and said, “Send her away! See how she is shouting after us.”
Then Jesus said to her, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel.”
But the woman was already kneeling before Jesus, and said, “Sir, help me!” Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the bread from the children and throw it to puppies.” The woman replied, “That is true, sir, but even puppies eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said, “Woman, how great is your faith! Let it be as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Read: God’s house is a house of prayer for all peoples, irrespective of their race, religion, color, or nationality. Jesus affirms this reality by healing the daughter of the Canaanite woman. Paul reiterates this fact by declaring that the call of God is for all peoples, and cannot be nullified.
Reflect: We live in paradoxical times: Amidst the growing globalization, we also face the reality of growing narrow-mindedness, ethnocentrism, and tribalism. Religious fundamentalism, cultural intolerance, and national jingoism are on the rise. In such scenario, how open and receptive are you in seeing the face of Christ in the other who is different in religion, race, culture, and color?
Pray: Let us pray for the gift of dynamic tolerance that can help us embrace the other as brother/sister.
Act: Have a dialogue with a person of another faith, with the intention of listening and understanding him/her without prejudgment.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:11

August 19, 2017

A GospelGospel: Mt 19:13-15 -
          Then little children were brought to Jesus, that he might lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded those who brought them. Jesus then said, “Let the children be! Don’t hinder them from coming to me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are humble, like these children.” Jesus laid his hands on them and went away.

There is something unusual here in Jesus’ teaching and action. He invites to himself the little children who were of least consequence and with no powerful standing in society, proposes them as models for human behavior especially in receiving the Kingdom of God. We are aware that in the Jewish culture during the time of Jesus, children were not taken seriously. They were not given the respect and esteem that they deserved. By presenting them as exemplars for how to receive the kingdom, Jesus was in effect recognizing the positive qualities or virtues exhibited by young children such as humility, docility, transparency/honesty and obedience – among others.
Jesus’ teaching and action favoring innocent children serves as an encouragement for most of us. Even though we might feel inferior to everyone else, Jesus tells us we are worth a billion in God’s sight. That should give enough self-esteem and self-confidence. We are loved and “small people” like us have a place in the kingdom of heaven. At the same time, the respect for children and their ability to symbolize the proper approach to the kingdom of God seems particularly important in view of recent revelations about child abuse. Abuse of children is rooted in a lack of respect and appreciation of their worth. It might help to keep in mind always that there is so much that innocent little children can teach us.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:06

August 18, 2017

Gospel: Mt 19:3-12 -
Some Pharisees approached him. They wanted to test him and asked, “Is a man allowed to divorce his wife for any reason he wants?”
Jesus replied, “Have you not read, that, in the beginning, the Creator made them male and female? And the Creator said: Therefore, a man shall leave father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one body. So, they are no longer two, but one body. Let no one separate what God has joined.”
They asked him, “Then why did Moses command us to write a bill of dismissal in order to divorce?” Jesus replied, “Moses knew the hardness of your hearts, so he allowed you to divorce your wives; but it was not so in the beginning. Therefore, I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, unless it be for immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
The disciples said, “If that is the condition of a married man, it is better not to marry.” Jesus said to them, “Not everybody can accept what you have just said, but only those who have received this gift. There are eunuchs born so, from their mother’s womb. Some have been made that way by others. But there are some who have given up the possibility of marriage, for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who can accept it, accept it.”

In today’s Gospel text Jesus affirms this original vision and regardless of the seeming impossibility of marital fidelity, he puts the highest priority on preserving the covenantal bond between husband and wife more than the comfort of the spouses or the pragmatism of divorce. Jesus’ priority must also be ours.
To the modern mind it might be considered “politically incorrect” to hold the conviction that God never intended divorce or same-sex marriage. But what the Church teaches is simply an echo of what the Lord Jesus teaches. Nothing more, nothing less. Marriage is no mere human institution. God himself seals the covenant made by the husband and wife. Monogamy was God’s will from the beginning. Divorce was only a concession. The Lord says, it was allowed by Moses because of people’s “stubbornness” or “sinfulness.” The right thing to do is to return to God’s original plan: “Let no man separate what God has joined” (v. 6).
Celibacy, though not meant for all, is a praiseworthy state especially when it is undertaken for the sake of the kingdom of God. It is a striking challenge to the materialism and secularistic values of the modern world.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:05

August 17, 2017

Gospel: Mt 18:21—19:1 -
Then Peter asked him, “Lord, how many times must I forgive the offenses of my brother or sister? Seven times?” Jesus answered, “No, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
This story throws light on the kingdom of Heaven: A king decided to settle accounts with his servants. Among the first of them was one who owed him ten thousand pieces of gold. As the man could not repay the debt, the king commanded that he be sold as a slave with his wife, his children and all his goods, as repayment.
The servant threw himself at the feet of the king and said, ‘Give me time, and I will pay you back everything.’ The king took pity on him, and not only set him free, but even cancelled his debt.
When this servant left the king’s presence, he met one of his fellow servants, who owed him a hundred pieces of silver. He grabbed him by the throat and almost choked him, shouting, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ His fellow servant threw himself at his feet and begged him, ‘Give me time, and I will pay everything.’ But the other did not agree, and sent him to prison until he had paid all his debt.
Now the servants of the king saw what had happened. They were extremely upset, and so they went and reported everything to their lord. Then the lord summoned his servant and said, ‘Wicked servant, I forgave you all that you owed me when you begged me to do so. Weren’t you bound to have pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ The lord was now angry. He handed the wicked servant over to be punished, until he had paid the whole debt.”
Jesus added, “So will my heavenly Father do with you, unless you sincerely forgive your brothers and sisters.”
When Jesus had finished these sayings, he left Galilee and arrived at the border of Judea, on the other side of the Jordan River.

As the Lord's community of disciples faithfully following his way of generous love and selfless service, we are called to be reconcilers. We are thus called to be generous with forgiveness. We are not to put a limit to our capacity to forgive. “Not seven times but seventy times seven times.”
All of us are sinners, and the only way we can get to heaven is through the mercy of God. Our hope is that when God will judge us, He will show us his mercy and grant us forgiveness. Receiving God’s mercy, however, hinges on our readiness to show mercy to others. “Blessed are the merciful. God will be merciful to them” (Matthew 5:7).
Jesus’ statement, “I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you,” suggests that we cannot expect to receive something that we are unwilling to share.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:03

August 16, 2017

A GospelGospel: Mt 18:15-20 - 
          If your brother has sinned against you, go and point out the fault to him, when the two of you are alone; and if he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he doesn’t listen to you, take with you one or two others, so that the case may be decided by the evidence of two or three witnesses. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembled Church. But if he does not listen to the Church, then regard him as a pagan, or a tax collector. I say to you: whatever you bind on earth, heaven will keep bound; and whatever you unbind on earth, heaven will keep unbound. In like manner, I say to you, if, on earth, two of you agree in asking for anything, it will be granted to you by my heavenly Father for where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there, among them.”

In the community of believers we are not to tolerate divisions or discords because it is a contradiction to the nature of being Church, that is, communion. The healing process is of vital importance and should never be deferred or delayed. Excommunication or expulsion should be a last resort.
A very useful and practical way to preserve harmony within the Christian community is fraternal correction. In reality, however, this is easier said than done. Because we are afraid that it will worsen the situation we choose to talk about it with other people. Other times our pride holds us back from reconciling with our enemies. Jesus teaches us how to restore harmony in the community. The offended party has to take the initiative to go privately to the offender and discuss the matter. Only if the first step fails that a third party is consulted – first another person, then the Church community.
This gospel text about the process of reconciliation that Jesus suggests to be adopted by every Christian community is reflective of the practice of the Early Church. This is a structured way of dealing with conflicts and controversies. It represents the Early Christians’ interpretation of Jesus’ teaching on the readiness to forgive and testify to the God of mercy and compassion.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:01

August 15, 2017

A GospelGospel: Lk 1:39-56 -
          Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women; and blessed is the fruit of your womb! How is it, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you, who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”
And Mary said,
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God, my savior!
He has looked upon his servant, in her lowliness, and people, forever, will call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is his Name!
From age to age, his mercy extends to those who live in his presence.
He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.
He held out his hand to Israel, his servant, for he remembered his mercy, even as he promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.

Because the Gospels do not contain an account of the Assumption of our Lady we have the texts about her visit to Elizabeth and her great hymn of thanksgiving, the Magnificat. It reminds us that all the honor we give to Mary redounds to God, who has done marvelous things for her.
This feast celebrates Mary's going up to the heavens. The doctrine tells us that it was only fitting that the Mother of our Lord, "when the course of her earthly life was finished, [should be] taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven." This teaching invites us to nurture in our hearts a deep hope of heaven. We must look at Mary, not as someone totally different from us and far above us, but as one of us who has succeeded and now shows us the way. This feast is not meant to frustrate us by making heaven feel remote, but to encourage us to see it as really possible, even probable (with God’s help). Sanctity or holiness is for everyone and heaven is meant to begin now. Mary did not become a saint on the day God took her to heaven. She became a saint when she said yes to God through an angel; when she visited the pregnant Elizabeth in her home; when she did the household chores and took care of her family’s needs; when she stood by her dying Son at the foot of the Cross. We can easily identify with Mary in these things. We hope and pray that we may grow in her likeness.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:00

August 14, 2017

A GospelGospel: Mt 17:22-27 -
While Jesus was in Galilee with the Twelve, he said to them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. But he will rise on the third day.” The Twelve were deeply grieved.
When they returned to Capernaum, the temple tax collectors came to Peter and asked him, “Does your master pay the temple tax?” He answered, “Yes.”
Peter then entered the house; and immediately, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Simon? Who pay taxes or tribute to the kings of the earth: their sons or strangers and aliens?” Peter replied, “Strangers and aliens.” And Jesus told him, “The sons, then, are tax-free. But, so as not to offend these people, go to the sea, throw in a hook, and open the mouth of the first fish you catch. You will find a coin in it. Take the coin and give it to them for you and for me.”

It might help to recall that neither the king’s family nor Roman citizens pay Roman taxes. But citizens of nations subject to Rome had to pay Roman taxes. Jewish converts to Christianity were faced with a dilemma – were they obliged to pay the Temple tax? They have joined a new faith community although they still continued to meet and pray in the Temple. This Gospel story provides some answer or clarification to the dilemma. Jesus himself paid the Temple tax, although he was the Son of God and was exempt. Christians are encouraged to pay as Jesus did so as not to cause scandal. By doing so they would be giving a good example for other people to follow. Although they no longer have a moral obligation to pay Christians should be aware of the sensitivities of others. Paying the temple tax would likewise manifest respect for their ancestral heritage.
This serves to remind us that our criteria for doing something good should not be whether we have a moral obligation or not. It should be what love or charity asks of us. In making a decision a good Christian does not ask, what is the most practical or most convenient thing to do? Rather he/she asks, what is the most loving thing to do in this situation?

Thursday, 12 January 2017 09:56

August 13, 2017

Gospel: Mt 14:22-33 - 
Immediately, Jesus obliged his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the crowd away.
And having sent the people away, he went up the mountain by himself, to pray. At nightfall, he was there alone. Meanwhile, the boat was very far from land, dangerously rocked by the waves, for the wind was against it.
At daybreak, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. When they saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, thinking that it was a ghost. And they cried out in fear. But at once, Jesus said to them, “Courage! Don’t be afraid. It’s me!” Peter answered, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus said to him, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water to go to Jesus. But seeing the strong wind, he was afraid, and began to sink; and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and took hold of him, saying, “Man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
As they got into the boat, the wind dropped. Then those in the boat bowed down before Jesus, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God!”

Read: Elijah receives a theophany different from what Moses had received. Paul expresses his deep missionary desire for his people to embrace the person of Christ. Jesus reaches out to the disciples in trouble, walking up to them on the water.
Reflect: We are confronted with two existential questions in today’s readings. In the first, Yahweh asks Elijah: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” In the Gospel, Jesus asks Peter: “Why did you doubt?” Elijah seemingly expected a grand theophany and a revelatory message from God; but God leads him to an examination of conscience by giving him an unexpected theophany and a probing question on his intentions. Jesus challenges the sudden loss of faith of Peter in the midst of turbulence. What would be God asking us when we meet Him face to face?
Pray: Let us ask God to probe our innermost being and lead us to conversion.
Act: Spend some 30 minutes in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 09:54

August 12, 2017

A GospelGospel: Mt 17:14-20 - 
          When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus, knelt before him and said, “Sir, have pity on my son, who is an epileptic and suffers terribly. He has often fallen into the fire, and at other times into the water. I brought him to your disciples but they could not heal him.”
Jesus replied, “O you people, faithless and misled! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus commanded the evil spirit to leave the boy, and the boy was immediately healed.
Later, the disciples approached Jesus and asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive out the spirit?” Jesus said to them, “Because you have little faith. I say to you: if only you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could tell that mountain to move from here to there, and the mountain would obey. Nothing would be impossible for you.

It is quite clear in the ministry of Jesus that faith is a necessary condition for a miraculous healing. Genuine and strong faith must be manifested by the healer and the one being healed, or at least by the one asking for a miracle. In today’s Gospel story the disciples did not seem to have the kind of deep-hearted faith that would give them the power to drive out the evil spirit which possessed the boy. Jesus was somewhat disappointed by the disciples’ lack of genuine faith in God and in what they were capable of doing in his name.
If they were to continue the ministry of Jesus to heal and exorcise evil spirits, he speaks of the need for the disciples to have a faith that can move mountains. Faith is more than an intellectual assent to ideas, concepts or teachings. It is a relationship with God based on trust. This is accompanied by a confidence filled with certainty that “God will always give us what we need, protect us from evil and lead us to life everlasting.” The presence of a profound faith in God will enable the believer to do even the humanly impossible including “moving mountains.”

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