6/16/2021

CALL HIM "FATHER"

A reading from the holy gospel according to Matthew (Mt 6:7-15)


Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”. This is the word of the Lord.    (
Listen here)

5/30/2021

FESTA TAT-TRINITÀ QADDISA

 

    Bil-festa tal-miġja tal-Ispirtu s-Santu fuq l-Appostli miġburin flimkien għalaqna ż-żmien li matulu ċċelebrajna l-misterju tar-Redenzjoni tagħna. Fih iffukajna l-aktar fuq Sidna Ġesù li ġie ppersegwitat b’diversi modi, ġie ttorturat u maqtul b’mewt krudila fuq salib. Imma hu qam rebbieħ fuq il-mewt, u fuq il-pjanijiet li l-għedewwa fasslu biex mingħalihom jeħilsu minnu. Din kienet ħidma tat-Trinità Qaddisa.

Meta rġajna bdejna ż-żmien liturġiku li nsejħulu ta’ Matul is-Sena, il-Knisja stednitna biex fl-ewwel Ħadd niċċelebraw il-festa tat-Trinità. Hekk infakkru lilna nfusna li s-salvazzjoni tagħna hi kollha kemm hi ħidma ta’ Alla l-Missier, u tal-Iben u tal-Ispirtu s-Santu, li għalkemm kull waħda minn dan il-Persuni hi Alla, m’humiex tliet Allat iżda Alla wieħed.

Dan hu l-misterju li qed niċċelebraw illum. Ma nifhmuhx, għax moħħna ma jwassalx daqshekk. Iżda l-intelliġenza tagħna tgħidilna li jekk ħaġa ma nifhmuhiex, nistgħu nemmnu lil dak li jgħidhielna, jekk jistħoqqlu l-fiduċja tagħna.

Fil-misterju tat-Trinità fil-fatt aħna niċċelebraw żewġ misterji.

L-ewwel wieħed hu l-misterju ta’ Alla wieħed. Minn fost il-popli li kienu jqimu ħafna allat, Alla l-imbierek għażel għalih poplu u għallmu li għandu jqim u jobdi lilu biss. Fl-ewwel qari smajna lil Mosè li, mibgħut minn Alla, qal lill-Lhud, poplu digà meħlus mill-jasar tal-Eġittu: “Mela, kun af illum, u żommha f’moħħok, li l-Mulej hu tassew Alla, kemm fl-għoli tas-sema kemm hawn isfel fuq l-art, u li ma hawnx ieħor għajru”.

Mose’ kien jistħoqqlu l-fiduċja tal-poplu? Dażgur, għax Alla wera li kien tassew miegħu permezz ta’ ħafna sinjali u għeġubijiet. Għalhekk il-poplu tal-Antik u tal-Ġdid Testment baqa’ sallum jgħożż f’moħħu l-kliem għażiż: “Isma', Iżrael: Wieħed hu l-Mulej, il-Mulej Alla tagħna. Ħobb, mela, lill-Mulej, Alla tiegħek, b'qalbek kollha, b'ruħek kollha u b'saħħtek kollha. Żomm f'qalbek dawn it-twissijiet li jiena qiegħed nagħtik illum; għallimhom lil uliedek u kellimhom fuqhom” (Dewt 6:4-7).

Għaliex għandna nħobbu lil Alla b’qalbna kollha? Għax għandna nobduh? Għaliex kif qalilna San Ġwann l-appostlu Alla huwa mħabba, u għalkemm jista’ kollox, fl-aħħar mill-aħħar ma’ jistax ħlief iħobb, u għalhekk jikkmandana li nħobbu lilu u lil xulxin, għax aħna xbiha tiegħu.

It-tieni misterju hu t-Trinità Qaddisa, jiġifieri li f’Alla hemm tlett persuni li aħna nafhuhom b’ismijiet umani. Allura ngħidu li l-Missier hu Alla, l-Iben hu Alla u l-Ispirtu hu Alla, iżda ma nqimux tliet Allat, imma Alla wieħed.

Kif nafuh dan? Għaliex Ġesù, l-Iben t’Alla li sar bniedem, għarrafulna. B’moħħna biss ma stajna qatt insiru nafuh dan il-misterju. Diversi drabi fl-evanġelji Ġesù tkellem dwar il-Missier u dwar l-Ispirtu u li huma ħaġa waħda. Fl-aħħar diskors tiegħu qabel il-passjoni Ġesù qal lill-appostli li kienu kielu l-Aħħar Ċena miegħu: “Jekk xi ħadd iħobbni, iħares kelmti, u Missieri jħobbu, u aħna niġu u ngħammru għandu. Din il-wegħda tinkludi wkoll lill-Ispirtu li Ġesù kien għadu kif wegħedhom li jibgħathilhom mingħand il-Missier. 

Tajjeb niftakru li meta Ġesu’ tkellem dwar il-persuni tat-Trinità, billi jaf li m’aħniex kapaċi nifhmu dan il-misterju, uża xbiha li aħna lkoll nifhmu u għandna l-esperjenza tagħha. Din ix-xbiha hi l-familja, li hi l-akbar għaqda ta’ mħabba li aħna, ta’ bnedmin li ahna, kapaċi nimmaġinaw. Billi l-familja hi magħmula minn bnedmin, allura mhix perfetta. Għalhekk San Pawl wissiena: ”Bħalissa naraw bħallikieku f’mera, imċajpar, imma mbagħad naraw wiċċ imb wiċċ (1 Kor 13,12). Għalissa ma nifhmux, iżda nistgħu nemmnu dak li għallimna Ġesu’.

Tajjeb li nżommu quddiem għajnejna dak li fakkarna l-evanġelju li qrajna llum : “Lili ngħatat kull setgħa fis-sema u fl-art. Morru, mela, agħmlu dixxipli mill-ġnus kollha, u għammduhom fl-isem tal-Missier u tal-Iben u tal-Ispirtu s-Santu, u għallmuhom iħarsu dak kollu li ordnajtilkom jien. U ara, jiena magħkom dejjem, sal-aħħar taż-żmien”. Dawn huma l-aħħar kelmiet ta’ Ġesù meta bagħat lill-appostli bħala missjunarji mad-dinja kollha.

L-aħħar ħaġa li rrid insemmi hi li quddiem il-misterju tat-Trinità jistgħu jiġuna xi dubji, mhux għax ma nemmnux kliem Kristu jew it-tagħlim tal-Appostli kif twassalulna l-Knisja llum, iżda għax aħna bnedmin u jekk jiġuna dubbji, nistaqsu, u jekk nistaqsu, nitgħallmu.

Fit-tieni qari San Pawl qallilna: ”Ħuti, dawk kollha li jmexxihom l-Ispirtu ta’ Alla huma wlied Alla. Għax intom ma rċevejtux l-ispirtu li jwassalkom għall-jasar biex terġgħu taqgħu fil-biża’, imma rċevejtu l-Ispirtu li jagħmel minnkom ulied adottivi; u li bih aħna nistgħu ngħajtu: “Abbà! Missier!”.

Mela, meta nimmeditaw il-misterju tat-Trinita’ ejjew nirringrazzjaw u nifirħu, għax għalkemm ma nifhmuhx, nemmnu li dħalna f’din il-Familja Qaddisa u li aħna wlied maħbuba ta’ Alla anke jekk xi drabi jew sikwit nidinbu. Jekk nitolbuh, jaħfrilna dejjem. Ma jistax jagħmel mod ieħor, għax Alla hu kollu kemm hu mħabba, imħabba perfetta u bla qjies.

 

2/16/2021

Dominican celebrations in Albania in honour of St.Dominic

           On January 17, a solemn Eucharistic celebration opened the jubilee year of St. Dominic at the Dominican Parish of "St. George Martyr" in Lagjja Mirdita, Durrës, in Albania. His Excellency Mgr. George Frendo OP, Metropolitan Archbishop of Tirana-Durres, presided and the parish priest Bro Geoffrey Bugeja OP concelebrated.

The celebration began with the rite of the Lucernaria, with readings and prayers, the blessing and lighting of candles outside the church precincts. The faithful then entered the church in procession singing the litanies of the saints of the Order. The idea behind this being that we frequently refer to St. Dominic as the ‘Lumen Ecclesiae’, a light of the Church. In his homily, the Archbishop, presented his reflections on the Gospel of the day, and referred to our Holy Father Dominic and the presence of the Dominicans in this country since the beginning of the Order. In fact, only a few years after the death of St. Dominic in 1221, the Dominicans were active in Albania. They arrived in 1240 and worked here until the end of the 15th century when they were banished by the Turks. They then returned in 1996 to the city of Durrës, from where they reach and serve several other villages that have a strong Catholic presence. In addition to our Dominican brothers and sisters, other religious sisters took part in the celebration together with the people of God who ask for the intercession of the Saint of Guzman. The singing of the antiphon ‘O Lumen’ and the lighting of the Jubilee candle marked the end of the celebration.

Sunday, 7th February, the parish of St. Dominic in Durrës, Albania, celebrated its patron saint,
on the occasion of the beginning of the jubilee year for the eighth centenary of our saint’s birth to heaven. The celebration was organized by the parish priest, Bro Bernard Caruana OP and his team.

It started with the blessing of a new icon of St. Dominic painted by an Othodox iconographer guided by Bro Bernard. The auxiliary bishop of our diocese, Mgr. Arjan Dodaj FDC presided over the celebration and Bro Constantine Mamo OP concelebrated. The “Vox Iuvenum” choir from Tirana accompanied with their beautiful voices.

Three persons read a short presentation of the saint followed by singing by the choir. A selection from the ‘Libellus’ about the beginning of the Order of Preachers by Bro Jordan of Saxony, first successor of St. Dominic as Master of the Order, was read. Those present in the congregation prayed an Albanian translation of the responsory ‘O Spem Miram’ followed by other prayers of the faithful. The bishop blessed the Icon and lighted a Jubilee candle prepared for the occasion and the choir sang the Latin version of the ‘O Spem Miram’ to the melody written by Charles Gounod.

Celebration of the Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time followed. During the homily Mgr. Arjan spoke beautifully of our Father Dominic presenting him as a true preacher of truth that shone in the Church, and who only spoke to God in prayer and about God in his preaching. He stressed the fact that according to his early biographers Dominic was always transmitting the joy of being faithful to the Lord. He pointed to Dominic’s many saintly sons and daughters who were his true disciples. He reminded those present that Dominican Friars came to Albania in the early years of the Dominican adventure as an Order of Preachers. After a period of absence from the country they returned to Albania and are present in our Diocese in the person of our Archbishop Mgr. George Frendo and the brothers responsible for the running of two parishes in the city of Durrës.

After the solemn blessing at the end of the Mass two men carried the Icon of Dominic in procession to the side chapel where it is offered for the veneration of the faithful. Other activities are being organized in honour of our father Dominic throughout this Jubilee Year.

9/13/2020

Ghaliex Alla ma jwaqqafx il-Covid?

 Il-bierah smajt lil min staqsa: ‘Ghaliex Alla li hu setaghni ma jwaqqfux il-Covid-19 b’kelma wahda tieghu?’ Hemm min ghax Alla ma jaghmilx dak li jidhirlu hu, jghid li Alla ma jezistix jew li ma jimpurtahx minna. Ma jiftakarx li Alla l-kelma tieghu setaghna qalha. Izda kemm semghuha? Ma tkellimx hu b’xi vuci tremenda, li tbezaghna. Tkellem u ghadu jitkellem permezz ta’ bnedmin bhalna.

Fil-kaz tal-Covid-19, kemm ilu jitkellem permezz tal-awtoritajiet tas-sahha, ta’ dawk li jahdmu biex jikkontrollaw din il-pandemija! Kemm smajna minnhom? Meta hafna semghu minnhom il-Covid-19 gie kkontrollat hafna. Dehrilna li rbahnielu, u hafna ma tawx aktar kaz li jkomplu jsegwu lil min iridilna l-gid, u l-Covid-19 rega’ gholla rasu.

Dan tort ta’ Alla, li ma ghamel xejn? Jew hu tort taghna li rridu naraw mirakli u ma rridux naghtu sehemna? Ghax il-maskla ddejjaqna, ghax irridu nixxalaw, jghidu, per ezempju... Alla qal lill-Poplu tieghu: “La ġġarrbux lill-Mulej, Alla tagħkom” (Dewt 6, 16). Lill-Korintin San Pawl qalilhom: “Anqas ma għandna nġarrbu l-Mulej, kif xi wħud minnhom ġarrbuh, u qerduhom is-sriep” (1 Kor 10, 9).

Ejja ma nkunux boloh, u nrabbu l-ghaqal. Alla halaqna ntelligenti u liberi. Jistedinna nahdmu id f’id mieghu. Jekk ma nisimghux minnu ghalxejn nistennew mirakli. Alla mhux seftur taghna, u ma jmurx kontra r-rieda hielsa taghna. Din il-pandemija mhix kastig tieghu. Hi xoghol il-bniedem li jahseb li hu alla u, wara li jghaffeg u jfarrak, jistenna li Alla jsewwi kollha f’hakka t’ghajn.

Alla jistenna li nisimghu minnu ghall-gid taghna.