Saturday, 9 January 2021 : Saturday after 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, 9 January 2021 : Saturday after Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 149 : 1-2, 3-4, 5 and 6a and 9b

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, 9 January 2021 : Saturday after 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, 8 January 2021 : Friday after Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded that through Christ, all of us have been saved and rescued from our great predicament of sin, that we all have been healed and made whole once again through His loving sacrifice on the Cross. He did all of these by the outpouring of His own Blood, the Most Precious Blood by which He has absolved all of us from our sins.

In our Gospel passage today we heard of the Lord Jesus and His action in healing a leper who sought healing from Him. The man asked the Lord to make him clean from his leprosy, a terrible condition that had sundered and separated him from the community for according to the Law, those who had been afflicted by leprosy had to leave the community and wander off in the wilderness in order to prevent its spread.

Then the Lord reached out to the leper and said that He wanted to heal him. He healed him immediately from his leprosy and he was whole once again. By this He has restored the link that the leper had once had with his community and returned him to a new life free from the terror of the leprosy. And this is in fact symbolic of what the Lord Himself had done to us.

What I mean is that, all of us, while we were still in the state of sin, corrupted and darkened by all the terrible evils in this world, then the Lord has also reached out to us and touched us by His generous love. He has healed us from our sins, which have no other cure besides the forgiveness from God. Through those sins, we have been separated from God just as how the leper had been separated and cast out from the society. But thanks to God, that is not our end fate.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are all called to remember this amazing love that God has shown us, His mercy, compassion and forgiveness. All of us have received healing from the Lord and if we are faithful, we shall receive the fullness of His eternal glory, grace and love. This is what St. John in our first reading today has emphasised, reminding us of the love of God.

The Lord has shown us His love, by the testimonies of water, Spirit and Blood. In two days’ time, we are going to celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, marking the end of the liturgical season of Christmas, and reminding us that through the Lord Jesus and His Baptism at the Jordan, and the Holy Spirit descending on Him, God revealed to all that this was truly His Son, the Beloved One sent into the world in order to save it.

And as I mentioned earlier, by the outpouring of His Blood from the Cross, the love of God has been bared to us in its fullness. By His Precious Blood we have been cleansed and we have received the assurance of grace and salvation. However, many of us are still ignorant and in denial of God’s generous love, compassion and kindness. The Lord has called us and is reaching out to us, but many of us have not yet responded to Him or even shut Him out of our lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us reflect on our lives and consider carefully how we are to proceed in life. Let us all turn towards the Lord and remind ourselves of just how great the love that He has shown us, and how He had suffered grievously, endured the worst punishments and humiliations, and died on the Cross for our sake. Let us all therefore seek Him and entrust ourselves to Him and His love with ever greater devotion from now on.

May the Lord be with us always and may He bless us all in all of our efforts and good endeavours from now on. May God be our Guide and strength in this journey of life. May the Lord’s love be with us and within us always. Amen.

Friday, 8 January 2021 : Friday after 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.