Friday, 5 January 2018 : Weekday of Christmas Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 1 : 43-51

The next day, Jesus decided to set off for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the One that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well; He is Jesus, Son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”

Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, He said of him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.” Nathanael asked Him, “How do You know me?” And Jesus said to him, “Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree, and I saw you.”

Nathanael answered, “Master, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ But you will see greater things than that. Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and the Angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Friday, 5 January 2018 : Weekday of Christmas Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 99 : 2, 3, 4, 5

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God; He created us and we are His people, the sheep of His fold.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His Name.

For the Lord is good; His love lasts forever and His faithfulness through all generations.

Friday, 5 January 2018 : Weekday of Christmas Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 3 : 11-21

For this is the message taught to you from the beginning : we must love one another. Do not imitate Cain who killed his brother, for he belonged to the Evil One. Why did he kill him? Because he himself did evil and his brother did good.

So, be not surprised, brothers if the world hates us; we love our brothers and sisters, and with this we know that we have passed from death to life. The one who does not love remains in death. The one who hates his brother is a murderer, and, as you know, eternal life does not remain in the murderer.

This is how we have known what is love is : He gave His life for us. We, too, ought to give our life for our brothers and sisters. If anyone enjoys the riches of this world, but closes his heart when he sees his brother or sister in need, how will the love of God remain in him? My dear children, let us love not only with words and with our lips, but in truth and in deed.

Then we shall know that we are of the truth and we may calm our conscience in His presence. Every time it reproaches us, let us say : God is greater than our conscience, and He knows everything. When our conscience does not condemn us, dear friends, we may have complete confidence in God.

Thursday, 4 January 2018 : Weekday of Christmas Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Scripture readings have a very clear message to all of us. We are all called by the Lord to follow Him and to walk in His path, just as He has called His Apostles at that time. In the Gospel today, we heard the story of how Jesus called His first Apostles, at the shores of the river Jordan, calling simple fishermen who were there catching the fishes in the river.

All of those fishermen, the four of them had no idea that they were called to an entirely new life, a new existence and reality, in which they were transformed wholly from their humble origins, once doing a job that no one really wanted, fishers of fish and equally the same for the other Apostles, who were once thief, tax collector, or rebel, and many more. They became fishers of men, after accepting the Lord’s call.

They left behind their past lives and careers in order to become fully committed to the missions and the works God entrusted to them. They served the Lord faithfully in the missions they went through, declaring the glory of God and preaching His truth to the many nations. They had a great change in mind and attitude, as they allowed the Lord to inflame their hearts through the Holy Spirit He gave them.

Once, they were doubtful, not strong in their faith and afraid to do what the Lord had entrusted them to do. They hesitated and doubted, but the Lord strengthened them, and eventually, they were transformed into courageous and hardworking servants of God, who went about preaching the Good News tirelessly, and secured for countless souls they have touched, the promise of eternal life by their salvation in God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is time now for us to realise the significance and meaning of the Scripture passage which we have read in today’s first reading, taken from the Epistle of St. John. In that Scripture passage, we are reminded that each and every one of us have been made the children of God, as the adopted sons and daughters of God, Our Father in heaven. And therefore, as God’s own children, all of us should be walking in His path, as He has shown us, through none other than His Son, Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, many of us mankind acted in ways akin to being prodigal sons and daughters, preferring to walk in our own path and disobeying the Lord and His commandments. We gave in to our pride and hubris, and we did many things for our own personal gain and worldly glory, rather than to serve the Lord and to live faithfully in accordance with God’s ways.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God Himself has bestowed upon us the great gift of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who came into this world and dwelled among us, uniting our humanity to Himself, that we all become God’s own children through Him. If God has loved us so much and gave us so many opportunities and goodness, then should we not do the same to Him? Should we not devote ourselves out of pure love for Him?

Let us all seek to be better disciples of the Lord, imitating the courageous examples of the Holy Apostles. Let us all renew our faith and commitment to Him, that in all of our actions and deeds, we will draw ever closer to God, and be able to live faithfully all the days of our lives, and in the end, be justified by God and found worthy to receive the fullness of His eternal glory and inheritance He promised us all. May God bless us all. Amen.

Thursday, 4 January 2018 : 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).

Thursday, 4 January 2018 : 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.

Thursday, 4 January 2018 : 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.