Friday, 10 January 2020 : Friday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 5 : 12-16

At that time, one day, in another town, a man came to Jesus covered with leprosy. On seeing Jesus, the man bowed down to the ground, and said, “Lord, if You want to, You can make me clean.”

Stretching out His hand, Jesus touched the man and said, “Yes, I want to. Be clean.” In an instant, the leprosy left him. Then Jesus instructed him, “Tell this to no one. But go, and show yourself to the priest. Make an offering for your healing, as Moses prescribed; that will serve as evidence for them.”

But the news about Jesus spread all the more; and large crowds came to Him, to listen and to be healed of their sickness. As for Jesus, He would often withdraw to solitary places and pray.

Friday, 10 January 2020 : Friday after the Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 147 : 12-13, 14-15, 19-20

Exalt YHVH, o Jerusalem; praise your God, o Zion! For He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your children within you.

He grants peace on your borders and feeds you with the finest grain. He sends His command to the earth and swiftly runs His word.

It is He, Who tells Jacob His words; His laws and decrees, to Israel. This, He has not done for other nations, so His laws remain unknown to them. Alleluia!

Friday, 10 January 2020 : Friday after the Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 5 : 5-13

Who has overcome the world? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus Christ was acknowledged through water, but also through Blood. Not only water but water and Blood. And the Spirit, too, witnesses to Him for the Spirit is truth.

There are then three testimonies : the Spirit, the water and the Blood, and these three witnesses agree. If we accept human testimony, with greater reason must we accept that of God, given in favour of His Son. If you believe in the Son of God, you have God’s testimony in you.

But those who do not believe make God a liar, since they do not believe His words when He witnesses to His Son. What has God said? That He has granted us eternal life and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has life, the one who do not have the Son of God do not have life.

I write you, then, all these things that you may know that you have eternal life, all you who believe in the Name of the Son of God.

Thursday, 9 January 2020 : Thursday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture in which we are reminded first of all that God has always loved us, and because of that, He fulfilled His promises to us, as we heard of the Lord Himself speaking and declaring the coming of His salvation, as He proclaimed publicly that all the things which have been prophesied about Him had been fulfilled because He has revealed Himself at last.

And what we have heard in God’s proclamation is how He loves us by caring for us, freeing us from the burdens of our sickness and shortcomings, healing the blind and the paralytic, helping those who have been assailed and troubled by other things, and proclaiming the coming of God’s kingdom on earth, as the fulfilment of His long awaited promises to us.

But many of us remained ignorant of this fact and many of us failed to recognise God and His love being present in our midst because we are too preoccupied with ourselves and too busy worrying about our own worldly desires and needs. That is why many among us, even the believers and members of the Church are not true disciples of the Lord as our faith are only a formality, empty and without real, living faith. We caused others to suffer and to endure bitterness because of our own selfishness.

This is what St. John spoke about in his Epistle, which was read as our first reading passage today. St. John spoke of the hypocrisy of many among the people of God who claimed to have faith in God and love Him and yet, they did not have real faith, as they did not truly appreciate and understand what it means to love God and to have faith in Him. If they are truly faithful to God, then they should follow what He has done and do what He has taught us.

Many of us claimed to be faithful to God, and yet in our daily living, the way we act and work, the way we interact with each other, God is not present at all. Instead, what we have certainly often seen and witnessed, is the pervasion of selfishness, ego, human pride, greed and all sorts of things that caused us to fall into sin and into the temptations of the devil. More often than not, we acted in ways that were contrary to our Christian faith.

And this makes us all hypocrites in faith as we live our lives in ways that are contrary to our beliefs and we are those whom St. John called in his Epistle today as ‘liars’. For as long as we do not live our lives according to God’s ways, we do not truly belong to Him and we do not really have faith as how we should have it. The Lord through His Apostle St. John therefore reminds us that if we consider ourselves as Christians then we must love in the manner God has loved us all.

This means that if we want to be true and genuine Christians, we must love one another and show care and concern to all those who are around us. We must be less selfish, less egoistic and less affected by the desires and pride in our hearts and minds. Just as God has loved us all that He sent us His own Son to be Our Saviour, then we too must share that same love we have been given with each other. It is only by doing this that we truly become His disciples and followers, and we will no longer be hypocrites.

It will not be easy for us to walk down this path though, as we probably should already know just how difficult it is for us to resist the many temptations of the devil who is constantly trying to drag us into sin, by persuading us to give in to our selfish inner desires, our preoccupation with worldly things and concerns that distract us from being able to recognise God’s love and our responsibility to share the same love with our brethren. We will encounter much trials and struggles along our journey.

But as long as we put our trust in God and in His love, we should not be afraid of anything. We must trust in God’s love and providence, and because He has done so much for us, we too must love just as He has loved us. Let us all thus heed His words and His calling for us to be loving to our fellow men, and practice this each and every days of lives from now on. May God bless us all, in our every good deeds and endeavours. Amen.