Sunday, 5 January 2020 : Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 60 : 1-6

Arise, shine, for your Light has come. The Glory of YHVH rises upon you. Night still covers the earth and gloomy clouds veil the peoples, but YHVH now rises and over you His glory appears. Nations will come to your Light and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes round about and see : they are all gathered and come to you, your sons from afar, your daughters tenderly carried. This sight will make your face radiant, your heart throbbing and full; the riches of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you.

A flood of camels will cover you, caravans from Midian and Ephah. Those from Sheba will come, bringing with them gold and incense, all singing in praise of YHVH.

Saturday, 4 January 2020 : Weekday of Christmas Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scriptures we are reminded of the One Whom we celebrate as we still progress through this season of Christmas, that is Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God proclaimed by St. John the Baptist in the Gospel passage today, as the one and only true Saviour of all. He came into this world to save us, and by His works, we have received the promise of God’s salvation.

In our first reading, taken from the Epistle of St. John, we heard of the truth about the works of the Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Who delivered us from the works of the evil one. It was mentioned how the Lord, the Messiah had undone what the devil had done from the beginning of time when he brought sin into the world and corrupted our first ancestors. By the Messiah, the New Adam, all of us mankind are freed from our bondage to sin.

And as we heard in our Gospel reading today from the Gospel of St. John, the disciples of St. John which included St. Andrew and others who followed the Lord, and calling their friends and relatives, including St. Peter, the brother of St. Andrew, the brothers St. James and St. John. They all followed Him and became His disciples, dedicating their lives to serve Him and to continue the works and missions which God has entrusted to them.

The significance of what each and every one of us have just heard through our Scripture passages today is that each and every one of us have been called by the Lord to follow Him and to become His disciples, to walk in His path and be inspired by the examples of those who have faithfully devoted themselves to God, as what we have heard just earlier. We have been called to be faithful disciples and to remain in the path that God has shown us all.

However, the reality of this world is such that many have fallen astray from the path towards God, and many of the people of God have been distracted and turned themselves away from the Lord. There are too many distractions and temptations within this world which prevent many among us from realising what a great and loving God we have by our side, and we spent much of our time and attention in trying to seek vainly for worldly glory, fame, satisfaction and happiness.

In the process many of us ended up being disappointed because we are not able to satisfy our desires and wants, as none of those things are truly able to give us lasting and wholesome satisfaction and joy. Christmas has reminded all of us that our true joy is in Christ, He Who is the only one capable of giving us true happiness and joy, by what He has done for our sake. But as mentioned, many of us have been misled and blinded by the false happiness found in this world.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Scripture readings serve as an important reminder for all of us to reflect on our lives and how we have lived them all these while. Have we been putting God at the centre and as the focus of our lives or have we instead been too busy and preoccupied chasing after false happiness and empty promises and pleasures of the world? These are things that we need to discern carefully as we continue to progress through life.

Let us all make good use of this opportunity as we continue to progress through the season of Christmas and find the strength and courage to remain true to our faith and to embrace the call of the Lord in order to follow Him and to serve Him by our exemplary lives and by our faithful actions. Let us be good witnesses of our faith in God and spread the Good News and truth of the Gospel by our lives, dedicated to God. May God bless us all and our good endeavours. Amen.

Saturday, 4 January 2020 : 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).

Saturday, 4 January 2020 : 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.

Saturday, 4 January 2020 : 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.