Thursday, 31 December 2020 : Seventh Day within Octave of Christmas, Memorial of Pope St. Silvester I, Pope (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 95 : 1-2, 11-12a, 12b-13

Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless His Name. Proclaim His salvation day after day.

Let the heavens be glad, the earth rejoice; let the sea and all that fills it resound; let the fields exult and everything in them; let the forest, all the trees, sing for joy. Let them sing before the Lord.

He Who comes to judge the earth. He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.

Thursday, 31 December 2020 : Seventh Day within Octave of Christmas, Memorial of Pope St. Silvester I, Pope (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 2 : 18-21

My dear children, it is the last hour. You were told that an antichrist would come; but several antichrists have already come, by which we know that it is now the last hour.

They went out from us though they did not really belong to us. Had they belonged to us, they would have remained with us. So it became clear that not all of us were really ours. But you have the anointing from the Holy One, so that all of you have true wisdom.

I write to you, not because you lack knowledge of the truth, but because you already know it, and lies have nothing in common with the truth.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020 : Sixth Day within Octave of Christmas (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture we are all reminded yet again to remain faithful to the Lord and to be obedient to God in all of our actions in life. Through what we have heard we are reminded to listen and to obey the words, the Law and the commandments of Our Father in heaven, just as the Lord Jesus Himself obeyed His heavenly Father and how He also obeyed Mary and St. Joseph.

In our first reading today, St. John exhorted all the faithful through his Epistle, calling on all especially on the younger generation to seek the Lord wholeheartedly and reject the way of sin and evil. He exhorted them to resist and reject the temptations of the world, as well as resisting and persevering against all the pressure of the desires of their flesh, of their greed and ego.

St. John reminded them just as he is reminding us now that if we truly love God and are willing to follow Him, then we must be sincere in our devotion to Him, and we have to dedicate ourselves to His path at all times. There will surely be plenty of difficult choices, powerful temptations and allures trying to lead us astray, but if we remain faithful to God, there is nothing that is impossible for us, including surviving through those difficult challenges and reaching the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we are progressing through this season of Christmas and as we are still yet within the Christmas Octave, we are all invited to take a step back and reflect on our celebrations and on how we have lived our lives thus far. Have we focused our joy on Christ and celebrate all that He had done for us, which is the essence and true meaning of Christmas?

Have our celebrations and joy been shared with others, and with all those who are lacking with joy? If we have dwelled in our own self-satisfaction and in seeking our own personal happiness and fulfilling our own self-interest, then this is exactly what I meant by succumbing to the temptations of the world. Particularly these days as we are often surrounded by so many worldly temptations, indeed, it may be hard for us to overcome those temptations.

We must constantly remind ourselves that Christmas is ultimately not just about ourselves but more importantly, is about the love that God has shown us by sending us His Son, to be our Saviour and free us from the clutches of the evil one and from the chains and bondage to sin and death. Christmas is about the giving of love, from the Lord to us and then, from us to one another, especially to those who are in need of love.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all remind ourselves therefore to be truly committed and faithful at all times, and grow deeper and further in faith, hope and love. Let us all bear the love of God through our actions and share whatever joy and hope we have in us, especially as we are still enduring the terrible effects of the current troubles our world are facing. Let us face these together as a community, as a community of God’s faithful people.

May our joy be the inspiration and bring joy and hope to others, and may our love for God be inspiration and examples to each other, that we may grow to love God, our Lord and Saviour ever more, and that we may be ever closer to Him and be worthy of the eternal glory and new life that He has prepared for us, to enjoy forever the many bountiful wonders of His glory, forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020 : Sixth Day within Octave of Christmas (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 36-40

There was also a prophetess named Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. After leaving her father’s home, she had been seven years with her husband, and since then she had been continually about the Temple, serving God as a widow night and day in fasting and prayer. She was now eighty-four. Coming up at that time, she gave praise to God, and spoke of the Child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.

When the parents had fulfilled all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their town, Nazareth in Galilee. There the Child grew in stature and strength, and was filled with wisdom: the grace of God was upon Him.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020 : Sixth Day within Octave of Christmas (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 95 : 7-8a, 8b-9, 10

Give to YHVH, you families of nations, give to YHVH glory and strength. Give to YHVH the glory due His Name.

Bring gifts and enter His courts. Worship YHVH with holy celebrations; stand in awe of Him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “YHVH reigns!” He will judge the peoples with justice.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020 : Sixth Day within Octave of Christmas (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 2 : 12-17

My dear children, I write this to you : you have already received the forgiveness of your sins, through the Name of Jesus. Fathers, I write this to you : you know Him, Who is from the beginning. Young men, I write this to you : you have overcome the evil one. My dear children, I write to you, because you already know the Father.

Fathers, I write to you, because you know Him, Who is from the beginning. Young men, I write to you, because you are strong, and the Word of God lives in you, who have, indeed, overcome the evil one. Do not love the world, or what is in it. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the craving of the flesh, the greed of eyes and people boasting of their superiority – all this, belongs to the world, not to the Father.

The world passes away, with all its craving, but those who do the will of God remain for ever.