Thursday, 10 January 2019 : Thursday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 4 : 14-22a

At that time, Jesus acted with the power of the Spirit; and on His return to Galilee, the news about Him spread throughout all that territory. He began teaching in the synagogue of the Jews and everyone praised Him.

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.” All agreed with Him, and were lost in wonder, while He spoke of the grace of God.

Thursday, 10 January 2019 : Thursday after the Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 71 : 1-2, 14 and 15c, 17

God, endow the King with Your justice, the Royal Son with Your righteousness. May He rule Your people justly and defend the rights of the lowly.

He rescues them from oppression and strife, for their life is precious to Him. May people always pray for Him, and blessings be invoked for Him all day.

May His Name endure forever; may His Name be as lasting as the sun. All the races will boast about Him; and He will be praised by all nations.

Thursday, 10 January 2019 : Thursday after the Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 19 – 1 John 5 : 4

So let us love one another, since God loved us first. If you say, “I love God,” while you hate your brother or sister, you are a liar. How can you love God, Whom you do not see, if you do not love your brother, whom you see? We received from Him, this commandment : let those who love God also love their brothers.

All those, who believe that Jesus is the Anointed, are born of God; whoever loves the Father, loves the Son. How may we know, that we love the children of God? If we love God and fulfil His commands, for God’s love requires us to keep His commands. In fact, His commandments are not a burden because all those born of God overcome the world. And the victory, which overcomes the world, is our faith.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded yet again of the great blessing and grace we have received because of the love that God has for each and every one of us. God’s love has been manifested in the flesh, in the worldly appearance of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, He Who revealed Himself as we remember that revelation at the Solemnity of the Epiphany we have just celebrated.

And in the Gospel passage that we heard today, we heard about the assurance that God gave to His people, of His steadfast faith and loving commitment to us all, His beloved ones. He came to them in the midst of a great storm in the Lake of Galilee, and as the boat was rocked by heavy waves and strong wind, the Lord appeared to the frightened disciples and reassured them that there was nothing for them to fear, for He was with them.

Initially, the disciples did not believe that the One they had seen, was indeed the Lord. They were frightened even more, thinking that they had seen a ghost. But God reassured them and told them to have faith in Him. He stepped onto the boat, and almost immediately, the great storm, all of the wind and waves that battered the boat of the disciples were calmed, and the sea was still. And the disciples then knew that He was indeed the Lord.

The meaning of what we have heard in the Gospel passage today is very symbolic, and also a powerful reminder that God is always in our midst, loving us and caring for us. And all these He has done, despite our cynicism and lack of faith, our continued and stubborn refusal to listen to Him and our failure to recognise His presence and love in our midst. The disciples and the boat they were in are in fact representations of the Church, as the Church is often represented as a boat.

And all of us the people of God, are like the disciples who were in the boat, being rocked very strongly by the wind and the waves, fearing that the boat would be overturned and then sink. If that were to happen, many of the lives of the people on the boat would be lost. And that was why, the disciples were fearful, as they were afraid for their lives, and they thought that they had lost all hope. But the Lord proved them and all of us wrong.

All the waves and the storm represent the challenges, the difficulties and dangers that await us in this world, constantly and from time to time. There are many obstacles indeed in our worldly journey, and we can recognise the presence of all these harsh realities in our midst, daily. But we often fail to realise that through all these dangers and challenges, God never ceases to be with us, guiding us on our way and protecting us.

As He stepped onto the boat, Christ calmed the wind and the waves, and this showed us all, that truly, we have nothing to fear, as long as Christ is the focus and strong anchor of our lives. He is the Head of the Church, and through Him alone, we can find our way through the turbulent times and challenging moments of our earthly lives. But if we prefer to live our lives in our own way, then this is when we start to lose our grip and security, and begin to sink as our lives are battered by the many challenges found in life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, do we want to continue living in ignorance of the Lord’s loving presence in our midst? Do we want to continue to live our lives in our own way, and turning away from God’s path? Shall we instead learn to listen to the Lord, opening our hearts and minds to know what it is that God wants from us? He wants from us our love, just as He has loved us first, from the time when He created us from nothingness.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He empower us all to live faithfully in His presence from now on. Let us all turn towards Him with all of our strength and ability, each and every days of our life. Amen.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 6 : 45-52

At that time, immediately, Jesus obliged His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, toward Bethsaida, while He Himself sent the crowd away. And having sent the people off, He went by Himself to the hillside to pray.

When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, while He was alone on the land. Jesus saw His disciples straining at the oars, for the wind was against them; and before daybreak He came to them, walking on the lake, and He was going to pass them by. When they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified.

But, at once, He called to them, “Courage! It is I; do not be afraid!” Then Jesus got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely astonished, for they had not really grasped the fact of the loaves; their minds were dull.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 71 : 1-2, 10-11, 12-13

God, endow the King with Your justice, the Royal Son with Your righteousness. May He rule Your people justly and defend the rights of the lowly.

The kings of Tarshish and the islands render Him tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts, all kings bow down to Him, and all nations serve Him.

He delivers the needy who call on Him, the afflicted, with no one to help them. His mercy is upon the weak and the poor; He saves the lives of the poor.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 11-18

Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us. How may we know that we live in God and He in us? Because God has given us His Spirit.

We ourselves have seen, and declare, that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them, and they in God. We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is love. The one who lives in love, lives in God, and God in him.

When do we know, that we have reached a perfect love? When, in this world, we are like Him, in everything, and expect, with confidence, the Day of Judgment. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives away fear, for fear has to do with punishment; those who fear do not know perfect love.