Saturday, 11 May 2013 : 6th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

John 16 : 23b-28

The time is coming, when I shall no longer speak in veiled language, but will tell you plainly of the Father. When that day comes, you will ask in My Name; and it will not be for Me to ask the Father for you, for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and you believe that I came from the Father.

As I came from the Father, and have come into the world, so I am leaving the world, and going to the Father.

Saturday, 11 May 2013 : 6th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Psalm 46 : 2-3, 8-9, 10

Clap your hands, all you peoples; acclaim God with shouts of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared; He is a great King all over the earth.

God is king of all the earth; sing to Him a hymn of praise. For God now rules over the nations, God reigns from  His holy throne.

The leaders of the nations rally together with the people of God of Abraham. For in His hands are the great of the earth, God reigns far above.

Saturday, 11 May 2013 : 6th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Acts 18 : 23-28

After spending some time there, he left and travelled from place to place through Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening the disciples. A certain Jew named Apollos , a native of Alexandria, arrived at Ephesus. He was an eloquent speaker and an authority on the Scriptures, and he had some knowledge of the way of the Lord.

With great enthusiasm he preached and taught correctly about Jesus, although he knew only of John’s baptism. As he began to speak boldly in the synagogue, Priscilla and Aquila heard him; so they took him home with them and explained to him the way more accurately.

As Apollos wished to go to Achaia, the believers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him.  When he arrived, he greatly strengthened those who, by God’s grace, had become believers, for he vigorously refuted the Jews, proving from the Scripture that Jesus is the Messiah.

Archbishop William Goh, the new Archbishop of Singapore

http://www.catholicnews.sg/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8794%3Aholy-see-announces-new-archbishop-of-singapore-accepts-retirement-of-his-grace-most-rev-msgr-nicholas-chia&catid=265%3Aannouncements

As of today, Saturday, 18 May 2013, on the eve of the Pentecost Sunday, the Holy See and the Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Archbishop Nicholas Chia, who will immediately become the Archbishop Emeritus of Singapore. This is in fulfillment of the Code of the Canon Law Can. 401§1, that all bishops upon reaching the age of 75 must tender their resignation to the Holy See, and the See will be empty once the resignation is accepted.

Chia Photo0001

(Above : The now Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia of Singapore)

Archbishop William Goh, the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, therefore, being the coadjutor archbishop, has an immediate right of succession, and thus immediately become the new Archbishop of Singapore, and the proper Ordinary of the Archdiocese, according to the Code of the Canon Law, Can. 404§1, as of today, Saturday, 18 May 2013.

Although today’s (18 May 2013) Vatican bollettino has yet to include this announcement of appointment, but as this news comes from the Apostolic Nunciature to Singapore, it is expected that by Monday, the bollettino will reflect this new change in the Church.

elbishop

(Above : The new Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh)

The installation Mass of the new Archbishop of Singapore is expected to be soon, to be held at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, which will also be soon closed for major renovation.

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Friday, 10 May 2013 : 6th Week of Easter (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, praise the Lord Jesus Christ, our God, at all times, always! For He is our great King of glory, who was glorified by the Father in His resurrection, and then elevation to heaven in the Ascension. He is the only one worthy of praise, and worthy of worship, for through Him the world had seen its salvation and the hour is truly coming very close that Christ will come once again to justify those whom He had chosen, and those who had remained faithful to Him.

The world rejoices while the faithful in Christ are in sorrow, that is because the world does not belong to God, but instead belong to the evil one, from where all evils sprang from. The world therefore has hated those who are upright and righteous before God, since the beginning of creation, when men first fall into sin, and Satan first had his hold over mankind.

The faithful ones in Christ now is represented by the Church, the one and only Church of all the faithful ones in God, that is our One, Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. If you had heard many of the negative publications and bad news on the Church and portraying the Church in a bad light, that is exactly what Jesus meant with the world rejoicing while we are in mourning. Because the world will definitely try its best to denounce the Church and portray it as evil and irrelevant, exactly as what happened in our world today, in the direct and indirect persecution of the Church and the faithful ones in Christ, many of which are persecuted and ridiculed daily for their faith in God.

For, there are increasingly many who heed the call of Satan through the world and all its attractive seductions and temptations, either through false sense of happiness, joy, and through material goods and possessions, that often ensnared mankind into senseless greed for more and more material possessions, that they end up losing sight on the true goal of their life, that is to follow Christ, to remain faithful to Him, and become His disciples in spreading His Good News to all the peoples in all the nations.

The world today offers us much opportunities and goods that for many of us are simply too much to resist. Many also had fallen into the temptations and submitted to the devil, for temporary pleasures and false sense of joy, while straying from the path which Christ had shown to all of us. They had chosen evil over what is good, and abandoned the One who loves them so much that He gave up His life even for them.

Evil sees truth in the Church, truth that is of the Lord, and truth that can save mankind from eternal damnation with evil itself. Unwilling to see mankind saved from their seemingly unavoidable destiny, that is to perish with Satan in the eternal hell, he uses all his might through the world to prevent mankind from being saved, one of which is through seducing susceptible mankind, which in fact includes everybody, to stray from God’s path, and the other is by attacking the Church, that font of truth, out of which comes the only possibility of salvation. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, there is no salvation outside the Church.

We will be persecuted, ridiculed against, and attacked, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, for holding fast to our faith in Christ crucified, in Christ resurrected, and in Christ the Son of God, the One triumphant against evil, sin, and all of evil’s insidious plans. But if we remain strong in our resolution and standing, and steadfast in our faith, we will not falter in our path, and despite all the hardships, the sorrows, and the sadness, we will eventually triumph with Christ.

Remember that with every cloud there is always a silver lining. Hope never dies, and hope will always be there, as long as we believe in it. In Christ lies our only hope, and in Him, salvation of the world can come. He had been triumphant, and we will be victorious with Him when He comes again to judge the world, and find us worthy, while those who rejected Him will end up in the eternal condemnation that is due for them and the devil and his fallen angels.

God be with us all, and remain within our hearts, forever. Amen.

Pope Francis’ Schedule of Celebrations and Events from May to July 2013 (After Pentecost to World Youth Day)

http://attualita.vatican.va/sala-stampa/bollettino/2013/05/17/news/31002.html

Pope Francis’ schedule for the months of May to July 2013 (After Pentecost Sunday to World Youth Day 2013)

 

May 2013

 

Thursday, 23 May 2013 at 6 pm in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Profession of faith with the bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI)

 

Sunday, 26 May 2013 at 9.30 am (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)

Visit to the Parish of St. Elizabeth and Zachary in the Diocese of Rome, followed by Holy Mass

 

Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 7 pm in the Lateran Square (in front of the Lateran Basilica)

Holy Mass of the Solemnity of the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord (Corpus Christi), followed by Eucharistic Adoration and Procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

 

June 2013

 

Sunday, 2 June 2013 (9th Ordinary Sunday) at 6 pm in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Eucharistic Adoration

 

Sunday, 16 June 2013 (11th Ordinary Sunday)at 10.30 am in the St. Peter’s Square, Vatican

Holy Mass to commemorate the Encyclical (by Blessed Pope John Paul II) Evangelium Vitae, on the Sanctity of Life (Literal : The Gospel of Life)

 

Saturday, 29 June 2013 at 9.30 am in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Holy Mass of the great Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, with the imposition of the pallium on the newly appointed Metropolitan Archbishops by the Pope

 

July 2013

 

Sunday, 7 July 2013 (14th Ordinary Sunday) at 9.30 am in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Holy Mass with seminarians and religious novices

 

Monday, 22 July 2013 – Monday, 29 July 2013

World Youth Day 2013 celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Friday, 10 May 2013 : 6th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

John 16 : 20-23a

Truly, I say to you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. A woman in childbirth is in distress because her time is at hand. But, after the child is born, she no longer remembers her suffering because of such great joy : a human being is born into the world.

You feel sorrowful now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice; and no one will take your joy from you. When that day comes you will not ask Me anything.

Friday, 10 May 2013 : 6th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Psalm 46 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7

Clap your hands, all you peoples; acclaim God with shouts of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared; He is a great King all over the earth.

He brings peoples under our dominion and puts nations under our feet. He chose our inheritance for us – the pride of Jacob whom He loves!

God ascends amid joyful shouts, the Lord amid trumpet blasts. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!

Friday, 10 May 2013 : 6th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Acts 18 : 9-18

One night, in a vision, the Lord said to Paul, “Do not be afraid, but continue speaking and do not be silent, for many people in this city are Mine. I am with you, so no one will harm you.” So Paul stayed a year and a half in that place, teaching the word of God among them.

When Gallio was governor of Achaia, the Jews made a united atack on Paul and brought him before the court. And they accused him, “This man tries to persuade us to worship God in ways that are against the Law.”

Paul was about to speak in his own defense when Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of a misdeed or vicious crime, I would have to consider your complaint. But since this is a quarrel about teachings and divine names that are proper to your own law; see to it yourselves; I refuse to judge such matters.” And he sent them out of the court.

Then the people seized Sosthenes, a leading man of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal; but Gallio paid no attention to it. Paul stayed on with the disciples in Corinth for many days; he then left them and sailed off with Priscilla and Aquila for Syria. And as he was no longer under a vow he had taken, he shaved his head before sailing from Cenchreae.

Thursday, 9 May 2013 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Scripture Reflection)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today is Ascension day, a very important day in our faith, because today we celebrate a central tenet of our faith. That is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is resurrected on the third day after dying on the cross for the salvation of all  mankind, but that today, most importantly, we celebrate the glorification of God, in which Christ, who had descended to this world as a humble man, returns to His glory in heaven as the divine God.

For Christ, our Messiah and our Lord, is both fully man and fully divine at the same time, with both of His human and divine nature united indivisibly in a mysterious and holy link that is beyond our best understanding. In Christ, who had been made incarnate to be a lowly human like us through His birth in Mary, His mother, lies our salvation, and our only hope.

Because, Christ, who is the Lamb of God, gave up Himself to be the sacrifice for the sake of our sins, just as God instructed the people of Israel to sacrifice unblemished lambs to erase their sins and their unworthiness before God. Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God is not merely unblemished, but also perfect, and as the only perfect and worthy sacrifice to take away all the sins of the world, once and for all, through the sacrifice He made on Calvary.

We celebrate this every time we celebrate the Mass, in which the bread and the wine that we offer are truly turned into the Precious Body and the Precious Blood of the Lamb, which He Himself had offered to His disciples at His last supper, so that He will continue to live in them, and therefore remain within us, that He will be within us, and therefore belong to Him and the Father. We have all been mark as His own, and we will not be lost, as long as we keep Him ever in our hearts, and invoke Him in all our actions.

He may be no longer with us in physical form, because He was indeed taken up to heaven with His glorious Ascension, when He parted ways from His disciples and left physically this world, but He actually remains with us, within all of us, that we are empowered with His presence. He granted us the Holy Spirit, the Helper, which came to the Apostles at Pentecost, and from them, the Holy Spirit is passed down to us, with the Sacrament of Baptism and strengthened at Confirmation, the fire of the spirit is burning with us, the living symbol of Christ’s presence within each one of us.

This Spirit that we have within each of us will stay dormant if we do not do anything to make use of the gifts that the Spirit had granted within each of us. Yes, all of us have the power and ability to make the difference, in our own lives, and in the lives of many of those who are around us. The Spirit has planted within us the seeds of faith and love, and these seeds will not sprout unless we provide them with ever greater faith and love, that can only be provided through solid and true actions made in the name of the Lord, and reflecting that we truly are God’s children.

If we allow the Holy Spirit to grow within us and use our beings to bring about love and peace in both ourselves and those around us, it will allow us to grow and bear much fruit, fruits of love and blessings, the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Christ who was taken up on Ascension will come again as He promised all of us, in His Second Coming, which is coming soon. When He comes again, He will see if we, the plants that He, the seed spreader, had grown to the results that He wants.

If we do not bear any fruit, like that of the barren tree, He would destroy us and curse us, because we have not bear any fruit, despite having been planted with seeds of faith. Just like those who had been given money by the master to be invested, but wasted the money in idleness, and did not invest it to let the value of the money to grow for profits. In this, the love that God had given us had become useless, because love cannot just remain within ourselves, because love is between us and another party, and remember that the Lord Himself had commanded us to love both Himself, and our fellow brethren.

The Lord Himself has told us that to love the least and weakest of our brethren, we have loved Him. That is why to just love the Lord alone, is in fact not sufficient, because this love that we have is not perfect, and can only be made perfect by us also loving our fellow brethren, particularly those who lacks, and those who are weakest and persecuted. Therefore, only in living our faith, and using the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed in us that we can truly bear fruit and be found worthy when Christ once again comes into this world to judge it.

He will welcome and congratulate us, if we had done what we can to fulfill His wishes and His commandments. He will say to us, “Well done, My faithful servants. Come and take your rightful place at My Kingdom.” But if we do not make use of the chance we have now, and waste it on idleness, or worse, that is to spurn God’s love and Spirit, and indulge instead in the worldly temptations and pleasures and the world of hatred, we would be banished by the Lord from His presence, because we will be found unworthy of Him.

The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ therefore, serves also as a reminder. Indeed, we rejoice in His glorification and ascension in heaven, to take up His rightful place at the right hand of the Father, but as the angels had said to the disciples on that day, that Christ will come again and that time when He comes again, He will judge the world and gather His faithful ones to Himself while banishing those who strayed from His way, together with Satan and his fallen angels, into the eternal damnation that awaits them.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today, let us not be complacent, and let us strive to be always ready for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, which indeed will come soon, and will come at a time when many are at their most unprepared moments. Do not be caught unprepared, and let us make sure that all of us, from now on, put Christ at the very centre of our lives, and reflect Christ in all our thoughts, our words, and our actions, that we show that we belong to Christ and to Him alone.

Love one another and love God with all our hearts, our minds, and our beings. Put our trust completely in Him, and let Him transform us with His Holy Spirit, and bear much fruit in us, the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Remember that Christ ascended to heaven, is always within all of us, with all of us serving as the Holy Temples of His Divine Presence. May God be with all of us, always, till the end of time. Amen.