Wednesday, 30 March 2022 : 4th Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

John 5 : 17-30

At that time, Jesus replied to the Jews, “My Father goes on working and so do I.” And the Jews tried all the harder to kill Him, for Jesus not only broke the Sabbath observance, but also made Himself equal with God, calling God His own Father.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, I assure you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself, but only what He sees the Father do. And whatever He does, the Son also does. The Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He does; and He will show Him even greater things than these, so that you will be amazed.”

“As the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to whom He wills. In the same way the Father judges no one, for He has entrusted all judgment to the Son, and He wants all to honour the Son as they honour the Father. Whoever ignores the Son, ignores as well the Father Who sent Him.”

“Truly, I say to you, anyone who hears My word and believes Him Who sent Me, has eternal life; and there is no judgment for him, because he has passed from death to life. Truly, the hour is coming and has indeed come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and, on hearing it, will live. For the Father has life in Himself, and He has given to the Son also to have life in Himself. And He has empowered Him as well to carry out Judgment, for He is Son of Man.”

“Do not be surprised at this : the hour is coming when all those lying in tombs will hear My voice and come out; those who have done good shall rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. I can do nothing of Myself, and I need to hear Another One to judge; and My judgment is just, because I seek not My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me.”

Wednesday, 30 March 2022 : 4th Week of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 144 : 8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18

Compassionate and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in love. The Lord is good to everyone; His mercy embraces all His creation.

The Lord is true to His promises and lets His mercy show in all He does. The Lord lifts up those who are falling and raises those who are beaten down.

Righteous is the Lord in all His ways, His mercy shows in all His deeds. He is near those who call on Him, who call trustfully upon His Name.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022 : 4th Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Isaiah 49 : 8-15

This is what YHVH says : “At a favourable time I have answered you, on the day of salvation I have been your help; I have formed you and made you to be My covenant with the people. You will restore the land, and allot its abandoned farms. You will say to the captives : Come out; and to those in darkness : Show yourselves.”

“They will feed along the road; they will find pasture on barren hills. They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the scorching wind or the sun beat upon them; for He Who has mercy on them will guide them and lead them to springs of water. I will turn all My mountains into roads and raise up My highways. See, they come from afar, some from the north and west, others from the land of Sinim.”

Sing, o heavens and rejoice, o earth; break forth into song, o mountains : for YHVH has comforted His people and taken pity on those who are afflicted. But Zion said : “YHVH has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child of her womb? Yet though she forget, I will never forget you.

Tuesday, 29 March 2022 : 4th Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of the Lord speaking to us through the passages of the Scriptures reminding us that in Him alone lies true healing, happiness and joy. For in the Lord is our true hope and liberation, our path out of the darkness, the light that dispels the despair and the troubles facing us. If only that we have enough faith in Him and are willing to turn towards Him with renewed conviction and commitment, we shall surely be blessed and be truly happy.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel in which the vision of Ezekiel of the heavenly Temple of God is told to us. The prophet Ezekiel saw the vision of the great heavenly Temple and sanctuary in which God Himself resides, and saw great rushing of water that came from the Temple. That water is a life-giving water that bursts forth from God’s presence, a great purifying stream that purifies all things. The water makes everything wholesome again, purifying the sea of foul water and giving life wherever it went, and all these are symbolic reminders from the Lord of all that He would do for us.

Through Him, we have received the promise of healing and purification, the cleansing of our corruption and sins, the healing from our sickness and troubles. Through our Lord, we have received the guarantee and sure hope of everlasting life, by the coming of His Son in our midst, Our Lord and Saviour, through Whom the love of God has been made manifest. Through Him, the Lord has renewed the Covenant and promise He had made with us from time immemorial, reminding us yet again and again of His ever enduring love and kindness.

Then, we heard of how the Lord Jesus healed the man who had been sick and was likely paralysed and unable to move for a whole period of thirty-eight years. He had pity on that man who had been waiting forever to have a chance to be healed by the miraculous waters of the Pool of Bethzatha. No one had helped him to come near the water whenever the Angel of God came to touch the water and caused the people who came to it first to be healed. The Lord has shown Him the love that He has again and again showed us, and He became that life-giving water, renewing the life and hope in the sick man.

Thus, the Lord helped and made the sick man whole once again, allowing him to walk once again. He healed him from his troubles and gave him strength. This happened after all those thirty-eight years long suffering he had endured. In the end, he was satisfied and redeemed by the Lord, Who by His great power liberated him from the clutches of his disease and disability. Thus, we heard how God rescued us in our time of greatest trials and troubles, which He did for all of us through the offering and sacrifice He made on the Cross, by which the atonement of our sins had been done and completed.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to these readings from the Scriptures, we are all reminded that in this season of Lent, we ought to redirect our attention towards the Lord once again. We are all called to follow Him and to return to Him with faith. Are we willing and able to do so? Are we willing to turn away from our sinful path and our wickedness, and embrace our Lord again with genuine and true love and devotion? These are the questions that we should ask ourselves as we continue to journey through this season of Lent ever closer to Holy Week and Easter.

We have long been dominated and taken control over by sin, which corrupted us and made us weak, sick and diseased, for sin is indeed the corruption of our soul caused by our disobedience against God and refusal to listen to His words, commandments and will. And there is no cure for sin save for the forgiveness, grace and mercy from God. However, we often refuse to allow God’s mercy and love to works wonders with us because we are simply to proud to admit that we could have been wrong or mistaken in our way of life. We refuse to admit that we are sinners and are sickened by those sins, in need of help and healing from God.

Are we willing to humble ourselves and ask the Lord to heal us from those malignant sins within us? Are we willing to make the effort to walk with the Lord and to follow Him wholeheartedly from now on? We are all called to drink from the fountain of God’s mercy, and to receive from Him the life-giving water, the spring of life coming from God Himself. Let us all seek Him and turn ourselves towards Him, looking at His mercy, kindness and love, and entrust ourselves to Him from now on. May our Lenten observances be fruitful and help us to get ever closer to God. May God bless us and our actions, our efforts to walk ever more faithfully in His path, now and always. Amen.