Wednesday, 4 January 2017 : Weekday of Christmas Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 1 : 35-42

On the following day John was standing there again with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and said, “There is the Lamb of God.” On hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. He turned and saw them following, and He said to them, “What are you looking for?”

They answered, “Rabbi (which means Master), where are You staying?” Jesus said, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where He stayed, and spent the rest of that day with Him. It was about four o’ clock in the afternoon.

Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard what John had said, and followed Jesus. Early the next morning he found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means the Christ), and he brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John, but you shall be called Cephas” (which means Rock).

Wednesday, 4 January 2017 : Weekday of Christmas Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 97 : 1, 7-8, 9

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

Let the sea resound and everything in it, the world and all its peoples. Let rivers clap their hands, hills and mountains sing with joy before the Lord.

For He comes to rule the earth. He will judge the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017 : Weekday of Christmas Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
1 John 3 : 7-10

My little children, do not be led astray; those who do what is right are upright, just as Jesus Christ is upright. But those who sin belong to the devil, for the devil sins from the beginning.

This is why the Son of God was shown to us, He was to undo the works of the devil. Those born of God do not sin, for the seed of God remains in them; they cannot sin because they are born of God. What is the way to recognise the children of God and those of the devil? The one who does not do what is right is not of God; so, too, the one who does not love his brother or sister.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast day of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, which we often have not used and mentioned properly. We have to remember first and foremost, the third commandment in the Ten Commandments which Moses had received from God Himself. It said, “Keep holy the Lord’s Name”.

In the prayer Pater Noster, or the Lord’s Prayer which our Lord Jesus Christ had taught us, we also heard the words, “Holy is Your Name”. Then we should ask ourselves, brothers and sisters in Christ, in our daily lives, in the days past, have we mentioned or uttered the Holy Name of the Lord without thinking and with abandon? Have we desecrated the Holy Name of God by what we have done? If we have done so, remember that it is a great sin to do so.

The Name of the Lord was so holy that in the past, it was considered a great sin, indeed a blasphemy to even say it out, even in private, and less properly even so in public. The Most Holy Name of God was supposed to be unutterable, the Name YHVH, which many of us nowadays also used with abandon in our praise songs and celebrations. And the Lord’s Name, the Name above every other names, Jesus Christ, has been revealed to us, and yet some even used it when they uttered vulgarities and wicked words. Do we even realise what a sin it is that we have done?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is sad and indeed lamentable how we mankind have misused and mistreated the Holy Name of our Lord, when the devil and all of his wicked allies fear His holy Name, running and scattering when they heard someone utter it with proper and devout faith. They feared the Holy Name just as much as the evil spirits feared very much when Jesus cast them out from the bodies of the people whom they had possessed if we read through the Gospels.

It is exactly just like when we call our friends’ names and our family members’ names. When we call their names, they know they have been called and they will come. In the same way therefore, when we call on the Holy Name of the Lord, He will come upon us, and no evil spirit, even Satan himself, will be able to bear to be in the Holy Presence of our God. They will all run away in fear and leave us alone, if we call on Him with faith.

It is sad also to note how the venerable practice of bowing at the Holy Name of Jesus, and indeed genuflecting or kneeling during certain times of the year, including that of today, when we hear the Name of Jesus mentioned, had vanished from many of our churches and parishes around the world. This has contributed to the decrease in our respect and appreciation of the Holy Name. And that is why we disrespect and misuse and think lightly of uttering our Lord’s Name without care.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all reflect on our own lives. Have we been truly worthy of the Lord to mention His holy Name? Are we all truly knowing of what we are doing in this world? Let us all contemplate on this as we embark through this new year. Shall we treat the Holy Name of God with respect, and indeed, utter it with pride and faith, knowing that all who hear it, will know that we belong to Him.

Let us all thank God for His love for us, He has willingly become Man for our sake, so that through Jesus Christ our Lord, we may receive salvation and the grace of eternal life from Him. Let us all give Him thanks and praise Him, bow down before Him and rejoice whenever we hear His holy and wonderful Name being mentioned. That is because His Name is not just like any other names, but through that Name, we have been saved.

May the Lord bless us all and keep us, and may He strengthen each and every one of us to become ever more devoted disciples and followers of His. Let us draw closer to Him and find our way to Him, and let us put our complete trust in Him from now on. May the Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us, and may He answer when we call on Him in our times of need, to defend us from evil and darkness. Amen.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 1 : 29-34

At that time, the next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! It is He of Whom I said : A Man comes after me, Who is already ahead of me, for He was before me. I myself did not know Him, but I came baptising to prepare for Him, so that He might be revealed in Israel.”

And John also gave this testimony, “I saw the Spirit coming down on Him like a dove from heaven, and resting on Him. I myself did not know Him, but God, Who sent me to baptise, told me, “You will see the Spirit coming down, and resting, on the One Who baptises with the Holy Spirit.’ Yes, I have seen! And I declare that this is the Chosen One of God!”

Tuesday, 3 January 2017 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 97 : 1, 3cd-4, 5-6

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you lands, make a joyful noise to the Lord, break into song and sing praise.

With melody of the lyre and with music of the harp. With trumpet blast and sound of the horn, rejoice before the King, the Lord!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
1 John 2 : 29 – 1 John 3 : 6

You know that He is the Just One : know then that anyone living justly is born of God. See what singular love the Father has for us : we are called children of God, and we really are. This is why the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Beloved, we are God’s children and what we shall be has not yet been shown. Yet when He appears in His glory, we know that we shall be like Him, for then we shall see Him as He is. All who have such a hope try to be pure as He is pure. Anyone who commits a sin acts as an enemy of the law of God; any sin acts wickedly, because all sin is wickedness.

You know that He came to take away our sins, and that there is no sin in Him. Whoever remains in Him has no sin, whoever sins has not seen or known Him.