Wednesday, 13 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Hebrews 2 : 14-18

And because all those children share one same nature of flesh and blood, Jesus, likewise, had to share this nature. This is why His death destroyed the one holding the power of death, that is the devil, and freed those who remained in bondage all their lifetime, because of the fear of death.

Jesus came, to take by the hand, not the Angels but the human race. So, He had to be like His brothers and sisters, in every respect, in order to be the High Priest, faithful to God and merciful to them, a Priest, able to ask pardon, and atone for their sins. Having been tested through suffering, He is able to help those who are tested.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we are reminded through the readings of the Scripture of just how fortunate we are to have been beloved and chosen by God to be His people. The Lord has made His Son to be one of us, to be like the most beloved of His creation, to share with us our humanity and therefore, save us from our fated destruction and lead us back into reconciliation with Him.

In our first reading today from the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle mentioned how the Lord has given dominion over all things to man, and not to any of the Angels. As recorded in the Book of Genesis, all of these have been affirmed from the beginning as the Lord created man and woman, that mankind was to hold dominion over all of creation, and to rule over them. And the Son of Man, God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, was thus the Ruler over all things, over all beings physical and spiritual, over all the Angels and spirits.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard how the Lord Jesus as He was teaching in the synagogue was confronted by a man possessed by evil spirits, who spoke before the Lord saying that they knew Who He truly was, the Holy One of God, Son of God sent into this world. They were trying to disturb His works, as were everyone to hear that Jesus was acclaimed as the Son of God and Messiah, that would create chaos and conflict. But the Lord would have none of that, and sternly ordered the evil spirits to get out of the man.

Those evil spirits were malicious beings of the spiritual realm, that might be demons or fallen angels, all those who have followed Satan into his rebellion against God. The evil spirits might be mighty and powerful, as Satan was powerful and mighty, but in the end, none of them were able to rise up against God. For God alone is the source of all power and authority, and He is the Lord and Master of all. And by being born as a Man, the Lord wants to show us that He has given us all authority and power even over those spirits, through Him.

Those spirits had to obey the commands from the Lord, and through that, the Lord wanted us all to know that not even those spirits, and neither sin, can overcome the power of God and the love which He has for each and every one of us. It was this love that made Him to willingly take on the mission to save us, by descending into this world and assuming our human nature, and by His sacrifice on the Cross, His suffering and death, He brought us into freedom and the promise of eternal life and glory.

What is the significance of all these, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is a constant reminder for us that no matter what happens, God will triumph and we shall be victorious through Him and with Him. We should not be afraid of all those who are up against us, Satan and all of his forces of wicked and evil spirits, or any of the obstacles that they may put in our path going forward.

We should not be afraid of these, or be fearful at all. Instead, we need to be vigilant and watchful, and to be very careful not to be easily tempted and persuaded by the lies and the falsehoods that the devil and all of his allies may try to use against us. In the end, as long as we remain strong and steadfast in our faith in God, we will always persevere against all of them.

Remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we have been created as good and wonderful by God, most beloved of all of His creation. There is no other created beings whom God calls His own sons and daughters, which He had made concrete by sending His own Son to be dwelling among us and to be born into this world to be One like us, as the Son of Man. Through Him, all of us are united once again to God, reconciled to our most loving Father.

Let us all therefore turn towards the Lord with a heart filled with love and devotion for Him, and let us all reject all the temptations and pressures to sin and disobey against Him. Let us always trust in God, and put our faith in Him, entrusting that He will always lead us down the right path, no matter how challenging or difficult the path may seem to us. We must never lose faith, and we should not be afraid!

May God bless each and every one of us, and may He guide us all in our journey towards Him, that all of us may find true glory and happiness in Him, and be blessed forever as God’s beloved ones, now and always, forevermore, through His Son, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 21b-28

At that time, Jesus taught in the synagogue on the sabbath day. The people were astonished at the way He taught, for He spoke as One having authority and not like the teachers of the Law.

It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue, and he shouted, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know Who You are : You are the Holy One of God.”

Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent, and come out of this man!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him. All the people were astonished, and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority He preaches! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey Him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 8 : 2a and 5, 6-7, 8-9

O Lord, our Lord, how great is Your Name throughout the earth! What is man that You be mindful of him, the Son of Man, that You should care for Him?

Yet You made Him a little lower than the Angels; You crowned Him with glory and honour and gave Him the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet.

Sheep and oxen without number and even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and all that swim the paths of the ocean.