Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Maundy Thursday, Chrism Mass (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 4 : 16-21

At that time, when Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed Him the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”

Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He said to them, “Today these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.”

Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Maundy Thursday, Chrism Mass (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Revelations 1 : 5-8

And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has washed away our sins with His own Blood, making us a kingdom and priests for God His Father, to Him be the glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

See He comes with the clouds and everyone will see Him, even those who pierced Him; on His account all the nations of the earth will beat his breast. Yes, it will be so. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, He who is, who was, and who is to come : the Master of the universe.

Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Maundy Thursday, Chrism Mass (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 88 : 21-22, 25 and 27

I have found David My servant, and with My holy oil I have anointed him. My hand will be ever with him and My arm will sustain him.

My faithfulness and love will be with him, and by My help he will be strong. He will call on Me, “You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.”

Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Maundy Thursday, Chrism Mass (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 61 : 1-3a, 6a, 8b-9

The Spirit of the Lord YHVH is upon Me, because YHVH has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up broken hearts, to proclaim liberty to the captives, freedom to those languishing in prison; to announce the year of YHVH’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God; to give comfort to all who grieve; to comfort those who mourn in Zion and give them a garland instead of ashes.

But you will be named priests of YHVH, you will be called ministers of our God. YHVH said, “I will give them their due reward and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a race YHVH has blessed.”

Wednesday, 1 April 2015 : Wednesday of the Holy Week (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are presented with simple, clear and undeniable fact of how we are so weak so as to be corrupted by sin, to the point of even betraying our Lord, who had endeavoured to love us and to carry us out from the pit of darkness and back into the light. What Judas had done, is also what we have often done in our own lives, albeit one that is of lesser severity, but yet all the same in nature.

As we draw ever closer to the celebration of the Easter Triduum, of our Lord’s Passion and death, and also His resurrection from the dead, all of us should be jolted and be awakened from our slumber, from our apathy and ignorance. Many of us today live as if we do not care what has happened to us, and especially what our Lord had done for us two millennia ago.

It is the time now for us to realise that our Lord had done so much for us, for the simple reason that He does not wish for us to be lost forever in the darkness. He desires for all of us to receive His grace and goodness, and He wants us all to be changed for the better. Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is why Jesus came into the world, and why He came into our lives.

He did not come to gloat over our sins and our faults, and neither did He come to expect our praise and glorification. Instead, He came into this world, fully knowing that He would suffer and be rejected by the world and by His own people, betrayed by His own disciple, loathed and cursed by the same ones who adored and glorified Him when He entered into Jerusalem in triumph, and to be crucified like a sinner with thieves and criminals.

Such was the great price that our Lord has paid in order to deliver us from sin and from the domination of the evil one. In Him lies our salvation, and in Him lies our only hope. Without Him, then our lives would be meaningless, for no matter whatever we do in this life, we know that because of our sins, we are forever separated from God, as it had been in the days of Adam, when our first ancestors were cast out of Eden, out of God’s presence because of their sins.

Jesus had become our Bridge, the one and only bridge linking us back to God our Lord and Father. It is because of Him that we have hope once again, because He allowed us the chance to return to our Father, with repentance and humility, knowing that we are sinners and yet we have been given the great grace of God, forgiven from our sins and welcomed with open hands to return once again to His embrace.

What more can we ask from Him? He has given us so much, and yet it is so often that we do not show gratitude for the care and love which He had given us. We are often so indignant in our ways and ungrateful, that this is why we remain in sin. It is important that as we prepare to enter into the celebration of the most important aspect of our faith, we have to be ready for it.

What can we do? We can begin from small things and take small steps, from something as simple as changing our bad habits in life. If we once often loathed against our brethren and said bad things to them, or if we have done injustice to our brethren and slandered against them, then I say that we take the chance and put in a lot of effort to change our ways.

I am certain that if we do so, slowly we will grow stronger in God’s grace, and as long as we are sincere in our desire to serve the Lord and to walk in His ways, we will triumph. May Almighty God keep us in His ways, and may He enlighten us all and show us the path to redemption, so that we may no longer be lost in the darkness but return to the light. God bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015 : Wednesday of the Holy Week (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 26 : 14-25

At that time, one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “How much will you give me if I hand Him over to you?” They promised to give him thirty pieces of silver, and from then on, he kept looking for the best way to hand Jesus over to them.

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare the Passover meal for You?” Jesus answered, “Go into the city, to the house of a certain man, and tell him, ‘The Master says : My hour is near, and I will celebrate the Passover with My disciples in your house.”

The disciples did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening, Jesus sat at table with the Twelve. While they were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you : one of you will betray Me.” They were deeply distressed, and they asked Him, one after the other, “You do not mean me, do You, Lord?”

He answered, “The one who dips his bread with Me will betray me. The Son of Man is going as the Scriptures say He will. But alas for that one who betrays the Son of Man : better for him not to have been born.” Judas, who was betraying Him, also asked, “You do not mean me, Master, do You?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Wednesday, 1 April 2015 : Wednesday of the Holy Week (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 68 : 8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34

Since I am held in contempt for Your sake, and shame has covered My face. I have become a stranger to My kindred, an alien to My mother’s sons. Zeal for Your house consumes Me as fire and those who insult You insult Me as well.

Dishonour has driven Me to despair; I looked for sympathy and there was none, for comforters and there was none. They gave Me poison for food and vinegar to drink.

I will praise the Name of God in song; I will glorify Him with thanksgiving. Let the lowly witness this and be glad. You who seek God, may your hearts be revived. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise those in captivity.