Tuesday, 28 April 2015 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr, and St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

John 10 : 22-30

At that time, the time came for the feast of the Dedication. It was winter, and Jesus walked back and forth in the portico of Solomon. The Jews then gathered around Him and said to Him, “How long will You keep us in doubt? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered, “I have already told you, but you do not believe. The works I do in My Father’s Name proclaim who I am, but you do not believe because, as I said, you are not My sheep. My sheep hear My voice and I know them; they follow Me and I give them eternal life. They shall never perish, and no one will ever steal them from Me.”

“What the Father has given Me is above everything else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.”

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr, and St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

Psalm 86 : 1-3, 4-5, 6-7

He Himself has built it in His holy mountain; the Lord prefers the gates of Zion to all of Jacob’s towns. Great things have been foretold of You, o city of God.

Between friends we speak of Egypt and Babylon; and also Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia : “Here so-and-so was born.” But of Zion it shall be said, “More and more are being born in her.” For the Most High Himself has founded her.

And the Lord notes in the people’s register : “All these were also born in Zion.” And all will dance and sing joyfully for You.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr, and St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

Acts 11 : 19-26

Those who had been scattered because of the persecution over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message, but only to the Jews. But there were some natives of Cyprus and Cyrene among them who, on coming into Antioch, spoke also to the Greeks, giving them the Good News of the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them so that a great number believed and turned to the Lord.

News of this reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the manifest signs of God’s favour, he rejoiced and urged them all to remain firmly faithful to the Lord; for he himself was a good man filled with Holy Spirit and faith. Thus large crowds came to know the Lord.

Then Barnabas went off to Tarsus to look for Saul and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they had meetings with the Church and instructed many people. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.

Monday, 27 April 2015 : 4th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we continue on the theme of our Lord as our Good Shepherd, the One who truly knows us in and out, and He is truly the only One who really cares about us and loves us all with all of His heart. And it is only through Him that salvation and life can be attained, and nowhere else. And that is why, He said that He is the gate, and all of His sheep pass through that gate.

And He does not discriminate between peoples, or have favourites on certain races and groups. All are equally loved by Him and all stands equal in His presence. What matters to God is not our background, our birth and our status in this world, but rather, how much we love Him and devote our attention and love for Him. This is what God wants from us, and thus it is indeed what truly matters.

As the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles showed us, some of the disciples of Jesus criticised Peter, and later on also the other Apostles like St. Paul, for having worked among the non-Jews or the Gentiles, and dwelled with them, ate with them and doing things with them. For the Jews, brought up in their rigid faith system since the days of Moses, this was anathema and forbidden.

The Jews took great pride in their ‘privileged’ status as the chosen people and the chosen race of God, being the direct descendants of Jacob, and the children of Abraham. They often looked down on the pagans and other races, those considered as not belonging to the Jewish race and faith, and they prized their status more than anything else. This is the background for understanding why some of the Jewish disciples acted the way they did.

But God, who is our Shepherd, does not care about that. He gave His salvation and the life He had brought us to everyone. He did not die for a particular group of people, but for everyone. What matters is for us to walk in His path and follow Him. If we do not do as He had instructed us to do, and if chose to follow our own whim and desires, then we can have no part with Him.

It is just like sheep following the shepherd, and if the sheep does not follow the shepherd, that sheep will be lost and will likely meet a cruel and painful end, at the hands of the wolves and other calamities may befall it. The sheep cannot be far from its shepherd, and neither can it survive without the shepherd. The shepherd gives the sheep his love, care and attention, and the sheep cherish them all.

Thus, let us all reflect on this fact, that our Lord is our Shepherd, the Way, the Truth and the Life, as He Himself had said. If we follow Him with all of our heart, then we have life in us, and if we do not do so, then we also do not take part in the salvation which He had given us and offered us freely. Thus, this is indeed the time for us to see into our own lives, if we had indeed been faithful to our Lord and Shepherd, who tirelessly put His effort to bring us all back into perfect unity with Him.

May Almighty God bless all of us, forgive us all our sins, and guide us in this life, as our Lord and Shepherd, that in the end, all of us may find our way to Him and be saved. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 27 April 2015 : 4th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 10 : 1-10

At that time, Jesus said to the Jews, “Truly, I say to you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. But the shepherd of the sheep enters by the gate. The keeper opens the gate to him and the sheep hear his voice; he calls each of his sheep by name and leads them out.”

“When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but rather they will run away from him, because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.”

Jesus used this comparison, but they did not understand what He was saying to them. So Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, I am the gate of the sheep. All who came were thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not hear them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through Me will be saved; he will go in and out freely and find food.”

“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life, life in all its fullness.”

Monday, 27 April 2015 : 4th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 41 : 2-3 and Psalm 42 : 3, 4

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for You, o God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I go and see the face of God?

Send forth Your light and Your truth; let them be my guide, let them take me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You reside.

Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my gladness and delight. I will praise You with the lyre and harp, o God, my God.

Monday, 27 April 2015 : 4th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 11 : 1-8

News came to the Apostles and the brothers and sisters in Judea that even foreigners had received the Word of God. So, when Peter went up to Jerusalem, these Jewish believers began to argue with him, “You went to the home of uncircumcised people and ate with them!”

So Peter began to give them the facts as they had happened, “I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when, in a trance, I saw a vision. Something like a large sheet came down from the sky and drew near to me, landing on the ground by its four corners. As I stared at it, I saw four-legged creatures of the earth, wild beasts and reptiles, and birds of the sky.”

“Then I heard a voice saying to me : ‘Get up, Peter, kill and eat!’ I replied, ‘Certainly not, Lord! No common or unclean creature has ever entered my mouth.'”