Monday, 4 January 2021 : Monday after Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we continue to celebrate the season of Christmas, and we are all called to continue walking in the path that the Lord has shown us, to dedicate ourselves to the same truth that He has revealed and passed down to us. Are we able to commit ourselves to His truth and resist the temptations and falsehoods from all those who seek to subvert His message of truth?

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. John the Apostle, St. John is reminding all of us of the truth and commandments that the Lord Jesus Christ has revealed to all of us, and to stay steady in that faith that He has bestowed on us. We must be wary of the falsehoods and all the false leaders and false prophets who can end up leading us astray from the path of truth.

In this season and time of Christmas, all of us are reminded that the Lord has come into this world in order to save us, just as we have heard in our Gospel passage today of the Lord Who has come in the flesh in Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and Son of God Most High. The Gospel passage we heard today spoke of His works and ministry among the people, healing their sick and casting out evil spirits among others.

The Lord also proclaimed the message of repentance and change, calling on all the people to repent from their sins and to change their ways that they would no longer follow the path of the devil and his falsehoods and lies. He is calling on all of us to abandon these sins and wickedness in life, rejecting the false paths and distractions in this world and renew our dedication and commitment to God.

In this time of Christmas, we are called to refocus our attention on the Light of Christ and not in all the false ‘lights’ that merely serve as distractions and false leads that we may be trapped into following. We are all called especially at the start of this new year to reexamine our lives, how we have lived them and how we are going to proceed forward in our path of life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through these reminders that the Lord has given us, let us all do whatever we can in order to devote our efforts and attention to be witnesses to Him in wherever we are, in our families, among our friends and within our communities. We are all called to bear faithful witnesses to the Lord, by our every words, actions and deeds, through even our smallest and regular interactions with each other, with all those whom we encounter in our daily lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, our calling as Christians is to be the bearers of Christ’s light of hope, of strength and love in the midst of all these darkness. And we all clearly know just how darkened this world had been in the past year alone, and we are all in the position to make a difference in the lives of so many people. Let us all strive to be devoted Christians from now on, living our lives with faith, genuine faith from now on, and not just treat it as a mere formality.

Let us all stand fast to the truth and Light of Christ, and reveal Him to the world, that many more people may come to see His goodness and love, and be saved from the abyss of their despair, the darkness of this world and the corruption of their sins. May God be with us and may He guide us in all of our good efforts and endeavours, for His greater glory. Amen.

Monday, 4 January 2021 : Monday after Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 4 : 12-17, 23-25

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum, a town by the lake of Galilee, at the border of Zebulun and Naphtali.

In this way the word of the prophet Isaiah was fulfilled : Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, crossed by the Road of the Sea, and you who live beyond the Jordan, Galilee, land of pagans : The people who lived in darkness have seen a great Light; on those who live in the land of the shadow of death, a Light has shone.

From that time on, Jesus began to proclaim His message, “Change your ways : the kingdom of heaven is near.” Jesus went around all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and curing all kinds of sickness and disease among the people.

The news about Him spread through the whole of Syria, and the people brought all their sick to Him, and all those who suffered : the possessed, the deranged, the paralysed, and He healed them all. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Ten Cities, from Jerusalem, Judea and from across the Jordan.

Monday, 4 January 2021 : Monday after Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 2 : 7-8, 10-11

I will proclaim the decree of the Lord. He said to Me : “You are My Son. This day I have begotten You. Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, the ends of the earth for Your possession.”

Now therefore, learn wisdom, o kings; be warned, o rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and fall at His feet; lest He be angry and you perish when His anger suddenly flares. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Monday, 4 January 2021 : Monday after Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 3 : 22 – 1 John 4 : 6

Then whatever we ask we shall receive, since we keep His commands and do what pleases Him. His command is that we believe in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another, as He has commanded us. Whoever keeps His commands remains in God and God in him. It is by the Spirit God has given us that we know He lives in us.

My beloved, do not trust every inspiration. Test the spirits to see whether they come from God, because many false prophets are now in the world. How will you recognise the Spirit of God? Any spirit recognising Jesus as the Christ Who has taken our flesh is of God. But any spirit that does not recognise Jesus is not from God, it is the spirit of the antichrist. You have heard of his coming and even now he is in the world.

You, my dear children, are of God and you have already overcome these people, because the One Who is in you is more powerful than he who is in the world. They are of the world and the world inspires them and those of the world listen to them. We are of God and those who know God listen to us, but those who are not of God ignore us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error as well.