Saturday, 11 January 2020 : Saturday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 3 : 22-30

At that time, Jesus went into the territory of Judea with His disciples. He stayed there with them and baptised. John was also baptising in Aenon, near Salim, where water was plentiful; people came to him and were baptised. This happened before John was put in prison.

Now John’s disciples had been questioned by a Jew about spiritual cleansing, so they came to John and said, “Rabbi, the One Who was with you across the Jordan, and about Whom you spoke favourably, is now baptising, and all are going to Him.”

John answered, “No one can receive anything, except what has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before Him.’ Only the bridegroom has the bride; but the friend of the bridegroom stands by and listens, and rejoices to hear the bridegroom’s voice. My joy is now full. It is necessary that He increase, but that I decrease.”

Saturday, 11 January 2020 : Saturday after the Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 149 : 1-6, 9

Alleluia! Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise in the assembly of His saints. Let Israel rejoice in his Maker, let the people of Zion glory in their King!

Let them dance in praise of His Name and make music for Him with harp and timbrel. For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the lowly with victory.

The saints will exult in triumph; even at night on their couches. Let the praise of God be on their lips, this is the glory of all His saints. Alleluia!

Saturday, 11 January 2020 : Saturday after the Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 5 : 14-21

Through the Son of God we are fully confident that whatever we ask, according to His will, He will grant us. If we know that He hears us whenever we ask, we know that we already have what we asked of Him.

If you see your brother committing sin, a sin which does not lead to death, pray for him, and God will give life to your brother. I speak, of course, of the sin which does not lead to death. There is also a sin that leads to death; I do not speak of praying about this. Every kind of wrongdoing is sin, but not all sin leads to death.

We know, that those born of God do not sin, but the One Who was born of God, protects them, and the evil one does not touch them. We know, that we belong to God, while the whole world lies in evil. We know, that the Son of God has come and has given us power to know the truth. We are in Him Who is true, His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God, and eternal life. My dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

Friday, 10 January 2020 : Friday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we heard from the words of the Scriptures, we are reminded of the time when the Lord Jesus healed a person who suffered from leprosy, a disease that was truly feared at that time. For those who suffered from leprosy were treated with disdain and were rejected from the greater community, forced to live outside the boundaries of civilisation in the wilderness until they could prove that they had been completely healed from their leprosy.

Through what we have heard from our Gospel passage today, the Lord Jesus made a leper clean from all of his complaints and showed the leper that truly He was the Messiah, or the Saviour promised by God. The Lord Jesus showed the mercy and forgiveness of God to the leper, healing him from the disease and allowing him therefore to return to the society after being ostracised and excluded earlier on.

And this is what we have also heard from our first reading today, from the Epistle of St. John, in which we are reminded of the truth of God’s love, which He has shown us through Our Lord Jesus Christ, by which He has healed us from our sickness as well. Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, just as the leper was healed from his leprosy, all of us are also sick and in need of healing from God. I am referring to the sickness because of our sins.

Because of the sins we have committed, we have been separated from God, cast out from His presence and forced to wander in the ‘wilderness’ of this world. It is our sins that have made us to be like this, to be separated from God because no sin can ever stand in God’s presence, as God is all good and perfect, and sin is a corruption, dark and wicked thing which made us unworthy. But we must realise, brothers and sisters, that despite all these, God loves us all and wants us to be reconciled to Him.

That is why He gave us the best and most perfect gift of all when He gave us His own beloved Son to be our Saviour. And He showed us all these by the three testimonies that we have heard being mentioned by St. John the Apostle. The testimonies of the Spirit, blood and water are all that proved to us what the extent of God’s infinite love for us is like. It is through these manifestation of God’s love for us.

First of all, through the testimony of the Spirit, we have seen how the Lord Himself became tangible and visible to us. Remember that at the moment of the Incarnation, when the Word of God became Man, it was by the will of the Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, that the Son was conceived in the womb of Mary, His mother. And again, when the moment that Christ was baptised in the Jordan, the Spirit descended like a dove upon Him, proclaiming with the Father’s words, that He is truly the Son of God and Saviour promised to Israel and the world.

And through water and blood, the truth of God’s love was given to us. Let us all look at the moment of the crucifixion of the Lord, when He laid down His life for our sake. As He hang upon the Cross, and died for us, and when He was pierced, blood and water immediately rushed out from His heart. This showed us all Who He truly is, as the Blood represents His divinity while the water represents His humanity, showing how God’s Son endured all the sufferings and die through His sacrifice, the ultimate show and representation of His love for us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are called to reflect on our relationship with God. God has loved us very much and has done so much for our sake, willingly sending His Son to be with us, to suffer for us and to bear our heavy burdens, to die for us that all of us who believe in Him may have life through Him and that we may be reconciled with God. Yet, have we loved God in the same manner? Have we devoted ourselves just as He has devoted Himself to us?

Let us all spend our time in getting closer to God and in establishing a loving and meaningful relationship with Him. Let us seek the grace and love of God, reconciling ourselves with Him and accepting the loving hands of God’s mercy extended to us, asking Him to heal us from our brokenness and sins. May the Lord be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.