(Usus Antiquior) Dedication of the Archbasilica of our Saviour, Feast of St. Theodore, Martyr (Double II Classis) – Wednesday, 9 November 2022 : Gradual and Alleluia 

Liturgical Colour : White

Tradition of the Faith and Psalm 137 : 2

Locus iste a Deo factus est, inaestimabile sacramentum, irreprehensibilis est.

Response : Deus, cui astat Angelorum chorus, exaudi preces servorum Tuorum.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Adorabo ad templum sanctum Tuum : et confitebor Nomini Tuo. Alleluja.

English translation

This place was made by God a priceless mystery, it is without reproof.

Response : O God, before whom stands the choir of angels, hear the prayers of Your servants.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : I will worship toward Your holy Temple, and I will give glory to Your Name. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Dedication of the Archbasilica of our Saviour, Feast of St. Theodore, Martyr (Double II Classis) – Wednesday, 9 November 2022 : Epistle 

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio libri Apocalypsis Beati Joannis Apostoli – Lesson from the Book of the Apocalypse of Blessed John the Apostle

Apocalypse 21 : 2-5

In diebus illis : Vidi sanctam civitatem Jerusalem novam descendentem de caelo a Deo, paratam sicut sponsam ornatam viro suo.

Et audivi vocem magnam de throno dicentem : Ecce tabernaculum Dei cum hominibus, et habitabit cum eis. Et ipsi populus ejus erunt, et ipse Deus cum eis erit eorum Deus : et absterget Deus omnem lacrimam ab oculis eorum : et mors ultra non erit, neque luctus neque clamor neque dolor erit ultra, quia prima abierunt.

Et dixit, qui sedebat in throno : Ecce, nova facio omnia.

English translation

In those days, I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven, from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God with men; and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself with them shall be their God, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.”

And He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

(Usus Antiquior) Dedication of the Archbasilica of our Saviour, Feast of St. Theodore, Martyr (Double II Classis) – Wednesday, 9 November 2022 : Introit and Collect 

Liturgical Colour : White


Genesis 28 : 17 and Psalm 83 : 2-3

Terribilis est locus iste : hic domus Dei est et porta caeli : et vocabitur aula Dei.

Response : Quam dilecta tabernacula Tua, Domine virtutum! Concupiscit, et deficit anima mea in atria Domini.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Terrible is this place : it is the house of God, and the gate of heaven; and shall be called the court of God.

Response : How lovely are Your tabernacles, o Lord of hosts! My soul longs and faints for the courts of the Lord.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Collect for the Dedication of Archbasilica of our Saviour

Deus, qui nobis per singulos annos hujus sancti templi tui consecrationis reparas diem, et sacris semper mysteriis representas incolumes : exaudi preces populi tui, ut praesta; ut, quisquis hoc templum beneficia petiturus ingreditur, cuncta se impetrasse laetetur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Dei, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

O God, who year by year renews the day of the consecration of this Your Holy Temple, and ever bring us again in safety to the holy mysteries, hear the prayers of Your people, and grant that whoever enters this temple to seek blessings may rejoice to obtain all that he seeks. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Collect for the commemoration of St. Theodore

Deus, qui nos beati Theodori Martyris tui confessione gloriosa circumdas et protegis : praesta nobis ex ejus imitatione proficere, et oratione fulciri. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Dei, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

O God, who encompasses and protects us with the glorious testimony of Blessed Theodore, Your martyr, grant us to profit by imitating him and to be supported by his prayers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, 8 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Lord through the passages of the Sacred Scriptures, we are all reminded of our Christian calling and mission to be faithful to God, true and obedient to His ways and to the path that He has shown and taught us to follow. Each and every one of us ought to obey the Lord and for all of His Law and commandments. Otherwise, if we do not do so or have not yet done so, we cannot really consider ourselves as Christians, as our faith is then no better than hypocrites and unbelievers. After all, how can we be faithful Christians if our actions, words and deeds are not in accordance to what we profess to believe in, or worse still, even contrary to what our faith is about?

In our first reading today, taken from the continuation of the Epistle of St. Paul to St. Titus, which we have begun yesterday with St. Paul communicating the criteria for the selection of worthy candidates for overseers or bishops to lead the Church, then today we heard the Apostle communicating to his protege and godson St. Titus, regarding the matter of reminding all the faithful in their various capacities and responsibilities, in their positions and places in the community to be faithful to God. St. Paul spoke of what each segments of the Christian community ought to be doing, so that they may be sources of inspiration and strength for one another, and that their actions do not lead to scandal to the Church, the faithful and God’s Holy Name.

This is also a reminder that it was not only just the leaders, elders and shepherds of the Church who are expected to be faithful to God. On the contrary, every single members of the Church, every single one of the Christian faithful, are expected to fulfil their part in obeying God, His Law and commandments. All of us as Christians are part of the same Church and our actions, words and deeds ought to reflect well our Christian faith and beliefs. If we do not live our faith as we should, and do things that contradicts our beliefs in God, then how can we account that to the Lord on the Day of Judgment? If by our actions and way of life we have turned people away from the Lord and salvation in Him, and caused dissension and divisions within the Church, then how can we be considered worthy of the Lord?

Each and every one of us, be it as those who are young or old, powerful or weak, rich or poor, influential or nobody, whatever our background and origins are, as parts and members of the Church, each one of us have been made sharers in God’s one united Church, in His one community that is His Body. And we are all called and expected to be good, righteous and exemplary in our way of life just as the Lord our God, our Father and Master is perfect and all good. We must embody this faith we have in Him in our every actions and interactions with each other, so that by our lives, we may truly be living witnesses of what we believe in, that we do not just talk, but really are ‘walking the talk’. We have to inspire others to live in the same manner as well, to be obedient to God and to follow Him wholeheartedly.

In our Gospel passage today, we then heard of the Lord saying to His disciples regarding the matter of following God and obeying His commandments, and how we as His servants and followers should act and behave. The Lord said that as servants and followers of God, doing God’s will is what we are all expected to do, and we should not feel entitled to gain profits or benefits out of doing what has been expected to us. This is a reminder for all of us Christians that our faith is not one that is transactional or based on any rewards system. That is important because we will easily think that the more we do things for the Lord, in obeying His Law and commandments, then the more righteous and deserving of praise and glory we are.

All of that attitude will lead to selfish and arrogance which characterised some people the Lord criticised like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, many of whom had the elitist attitude in thinking that they alone were righteous and worthy of the Lord, while looking down on many others whom they deemed to be inferior or less than worthy than they were. The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law also made it difficult for others to come near to the Lord, particularly those who were in most need of them, as they made people like tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners to be ostracised and felt unwanted and unwelcome. Not only that, but in their attitude and haughtiness, they had not done what the Lord had expected them to do. Instead of being good and exemplary shepherds entrusted to guide the faithful towards the Lord, they closed the gates to salvation to many people.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we have been reminded today, let us all therefore reflect on what we have heard through the words of the Scriptures and what we have just discussed earlier on. As Christians, we should try our best to live our lives with virtue and true obedience to God, with love and dedication towards Him. Each one of us should strive to be role models for one another and to resist the temptations to sin. We have to show true Christian love and charity in our actions, in whatever we say and in how we interact with one another, both with those within the Church and our various communities, with our families, relatives and friends, and also even with strangers and all those whom we encounter each day. In whatever circumstances, we are reminded to do our best to be faithful to God and righteous in our dealings.

Let us all therefore be good disciples of the Lord, committing ourselves to a graceful existence in God, and showing care and concern for our fellow brothers and sisters, for even strangers whom we meet in life. We have to inspire others through our faith and actions, and let us ask the Lord to guide us and strengthen us in our journey. May the Lord be with us always and may He empower all of us to be good and dedicated disciples and missionaries of our faith wherever we are. May God bless us all in our every efforts and hard work, all for His greater glory. Amen.

Tuesday, 8 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 17 : 7-10

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Who among you would say to your servant, coming in from the fields after plowing or tending sheep, ‘Go ahead and have your dinner?’ No, you tell him, ‘Prepare my dinner. Put on your apron, and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink afterwards.'”

“Do you thank this servant for doing what you told him to do? I do not think so. And therefore, when you have done all that you have been told to do, you should say, ‘We are no more than servants; we have only done our duty.'”

Tuesday, 8 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 36 : 2, 18 and 23, 27 and 29

For they will fade as any green herb and soon be gone like withered grass.

The Lord watches over the lives of the upright; forever will their inheritance abide. The Lord is the One Who makes people stand, He gives firmness to those He likes.

Do good and shun evil, so that you will live secure forever. The righteous will possess the land; they will make it their home forever.

Tuesday, 8 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Titus 2 : 1-8, 11-14

Let your words strengthen sound doctrine. Tell the older men to be sober, serious, wise, sound in faith, love and perseverance. The older women in like manner must behave as befits holy women, not given to gossiping or drinking wine, but as good counsellors, able to teach younger women to love their husbands and children, to be judicious and chaste, to take care of their households, to be kind and submissive to their husbands, lest our faith be attacked.

Encourage the young men to be self-controlled. Set them an example by your own way of doing. Let your teaching be earnest and sincere, and your preaching beyond reproach. Then your opponents will feel ashamed and will have nothing to criticise.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, teaching us to reject an irreligious way of life and worldly greed, and to live in this world as responsible persons, upright and serving God, while we await our blessed hope – the glorious manifestation of our great God and Saviour Christ Jesus. He gave Himself for us, to redeem us from every evil and to purify a people He wanted to be His own and dedicated to what is good.

Monday, 7 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are presented with the important reminder that each and every one of us as Christians have to be really mindful of our actions and we have to be careful lest our way of life bring about scandal and disrepute to our Christian faith. That is why we have to reflect upon our way of life and actions so that we do not end up causing others to be scandalised by what we are doing, and by our lack of faith in God. The Lord has taught us and shown us what we are to do with our lives and how we should walk in the path He has set before us, but it is up to us to listen to Him and embrace His ways and path. If we do not do so and continue to walk our own path of disobedience and sin, then how can we truly call ourselves as Christians?

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to St. Titus, we heard the Apostle communicating with his protege, St. Titus, one of the chief supporters of the Apostles, who would become one of the earliest bishops of the Church. St. Paul told St. Titus to help him assist in maintaining the Church in Crete in how to appoint faithful, good and responsible elders of the Church, who were without defect or scandal, and those considered for the position ought to be free of worldly attachments, corruption of sin and other things that can become serious barriers and things that invalidate their selection as the overseers or elders of the Christian community and Church. This is in fact how the Church was governed and managed in its very earliest days.

At that time, when the Apostles and the other missionaries were going all around preaching the Good News, baptising many people who became believers and all, they began establishing the foundations of the local Church and the communities of the faithful. Back then, there was no hierarchy or solid leadership among the whole Church yet unlike what exists today. However, the whole Church was united by their union in faith and Communion with each other, and with the Apostles as the pillars and the foundations that held the entire Church together. St. Peter led all the Apostles, the disciples and hence the whole entire Church, as the first Vicar of Christ and the first Pope, as appointed by the Lord Himself, to be the leader over all of the whole flock of His faithful.

Then for the various Church communities spread throughout the regions visited by the Apostles and the missionaries, the Apostles and the other disciples of the Lord appointed shepherds to guide and look after the Lord’s flock, called overseers or elders in the earliest days, as the precursors of the bishops of the Church. St. Paul therefore highlighted to St. Titus the criteria and the expectations that were made of the candidates for the leaders of the faithful, as even as early as back then, divisions had begun to affect the early Church communities, firstly because of the lack of leaders, and the communities of the faithful ended up bickering on the background of their past allegiances or beliefs, like between the Jews and Gentiles, and between different supporters of various missionaries. All these were hurting the unity of the Church and its missions.

Not only that, but some of the faithful had been drawn to false teachings and ideas by those who sought to subvert the Church teachings for their own gain and to support their own personal beliefs. Some of those leaders of the faithful had not been truly faithful to God, were scandal filled and tainted in their ways, and hence, it caused further divisions within the Church, and led many to heretical teachings and ways. Hence, St. Paul wanted to remind all of the faithful to elect only those candidates who were truly worthy to be the elders and leaders of the people. That was important as only good and faithful leaders could have guided the Church through its difficult early days, and not fall into the temptations of sin and selfishness, of wanting personal glory and ambition instead of the well-being of the people of God.

Then, in our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples about exactly the same thing as well. The Lord told His disciples that they had to be vigilant and not become a source of scandal for all the other faithful, and that they should not cause others among the faithful to fall into sin as well, or else, they would be held accountable for whatever wrongdoings and failures that they had committed. The actions of those who have been entrusted with the care of the faithful are very important, and they must not take it lightly that God had entrusted them with the very crucial task of evangelising to those who have not yet known God and His truth. Unfortunately, we also have to realise that our own actions and way of life are also part of that evangelisation and missionary efforts.

After all, if we do not truly believe in the Lord and our actions contradict what we believe, then who will end up believing in us? And if our own faith is shaky and unsteady, will that not lead others who are under our care and responsibility astray even further away from God? That is why, it is important that each one of us as Christians have to have that genuine and strong faith in God, and not only that, but each and every one of us must truly embody our faith in our every actions, works and deeds. We must put the sincere and genuine effort to cultivate our faith, as highlighted by the Lord in His answer to the Apostles who asked Him to increase their faith. He told them that if they had even faith of the size of a mustard seed, everything is possible as long as they nurture their faith.

This ought to be linked to another parable that the Lord mentioned on the kingdom of God, in which He also used the mustard seeds as comparison with the kingdom of God. The mustard seed may be a very small seed, and yet, once grown into a fully grown plant, it is actually a rather large tree with wide branches and enough shelter for many animals to make their house upon its branches. In this same analogy therefore, although our faith in the beginning may seem to be rather small and insignificant, but in time, as we nurture that faith continuously and with devotion to God, I can guarantee that we will soon realise how that faith can become so strong and powerful, capable of inspiring many others and calling on many more people to become believers in Our Lord and Saviour as well.

Let us hence keep this in mind today as we reflect further upon our way of life and whether we have been truly faithful to God in all of our ways, or whether we have allowed the many temptations present in this world to distract us and to keep us away from God and His salvation. Let us discern carefully whether our way of life, our actions, words and deeds have been in accordance to what the Lord has shown and taught us to do, or whether they had been wayward thus far. Each and every one of us as Christians have important parts to play in the mission of the Church, and all of us should be source of inspiration for each other in faith, and also for those who have not yet known or believed in God yet. We must not be the source of scandal or falsehoods for others, and we have this important responsibility that we must remember and uphold always.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, may the Lord continue to guide us in our journey of faith henceforth, that our lives may be transformed to be the ones that proclaim the truth and love of God by every single words, actions and deeds we do. May the Lord continue to be with us and strengthen us each day that our lives may ever be more bountiful and filled with God’s most amazing love. May God bless us in our every good works, efforts and endeavours. Amen.