Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Sixth Sunday of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday all of us are called and reminded to live our lives worthily of the Lord as Christians, whom God had called and chosen from this world. Through our shared Christian baptism, all of us have become parts and members of the Church of God, the one Body of Christ where all those who profess to be faithful in Christ are part of this Communion of unity, united as one people, living a new and blessed life with the grace of God as a community. All of us have been reminded of the life of the early Christian communities so that we may be inspired to pursue the same life filled with holiness and devotion to God, and that we may no longer be obsessed with all sorts of worldly temptations and evils, desires and attachments.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Acts of the Apostles, the account of how the Apostles worked to proclaim the Good News and the words of the Lord, His salvation and grace to all the people in various places. St. Philip the Apostle went to the region of Samaria, proclaiming the word of God likely to the Samaritans who lived in that area, who had earlier on responded favourably to the Lord and his teachings and truth. There were many great signs and wonders that happened, as the Apostle carried out his ministry, performing miracles and wonders, and many among the people listened attentively to the words of truth as proclaimed by St. Philip. And then we heard how St. Peter and St. John came to the Samaritans, who had been baptised, and sent the Holy Spirit to come down upon them as well.

Historically, there had been a rather tense and hostile relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans due to conflicting claims on the heritage of the people of Israel, and for their differing viewpoints with regards to faith practices and customs, with each side often blaming the other side for having become wayward in their way of living their faith, and each one of them claimed that their way was the right one while the other one was wrong and heretical. The Jewish people, particularly the Pharisees back then took great pride on their status as God’s people, inheriting the claim of the Israelites as God’s first called and chosen people. However, the problem was that this ended up with them being condescending, elitist and uncharitable in their attitudes and interactions with others, as exemplified by how the Pharisees considered that all those who did not follow their ways and beliefs would be doomed and damned.

This is in tandem with what we have heard from the readings we have listened to in the past few weekdays, which focused on the divisions and disagreements within the early Church where those who belonged to the group of the hardline Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were against those who sought to help and make it easier for the non-Jewish people or the Gentiles to become a member of the Church. The former demanded that all of the faithful people of God must embrace and obey the full entire range of extensive rules, laws, precepts, practices and customs of the Jewish Law, which the Jewish people themselves had found it hard to be followed and obeyed, which would have pushed many of the non-Jewish people away from the Church and the Christian faith, should they have succeeded in having their way done.

Instead, the Lord guided His Church through the hands of the Apostles and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in moderating the extreme demands of those who had their preconceived ideals and thoughts that were incompatible with what the Lord had taught us all. He has shown them what His disciples and followers should all do, and how His Church should be like. The Church is One and Universal, as contained within its character as the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Therefore, as one community of the faithful people of God, all called to a holy life and existence, just as our Lord and God is Holy, there cannot be prejudices, bias and all other things that bring about division and disunity within the community of the faithful, and that is why the Church is Catholic, which means Universal in nature. There is no favouritism or preference for a certain custom or practice within the Church, as everyone is truly equal before the Lord.

Then, we must also remember that the Church is also Apostolic in nature, which is reflected in the works and mission of the Apostles and the other missionaries of the faith. The word ‘Apostle’ itself came from the Ancient Greek word ‘Apostolos’ which means the ‘one who is sent off’, highlighting that the Church is also missionary in nature, all of us are sent out to proclaim the truth and Good News to more and more people out there who have not yet known about the Lord yet. The actions of the Apostles St. Philip, St. Peter and St. John who went to the Samaritans to work amongst them, proclaiming the Good News and giving them the gift of the Holy Spirit were just some of the examples of how our Church is truly Apostolic or missionary in nature. The Church always extends it hands to reach out to more and more of the people, not enclosing ourselves within a bubble of self-righteousness and intolerance of differences.

Now, today, we also happen to celebrate the Feast of St. Matthias the Apostle, one of the Twelve Apostles, whose life and actions, inspirations and examples should be able to inspire us to follow in his examples and works, and that of the other Apostles and innumerable saints out there as well. St. Matthias was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot, the traitor who had betrayed the Lord Jesus, as one of the Twelve Apostles. And as a member of the Twelve, St. Matthias was extensively involved in the missionary efforts of the Church like that of the other Apostles, in them going forth from place to place, proclaiming the Good News and truth of God to more and more people, and converting many more to the Lord and His cause. According to the Apostolic traditions, St. Matthias went to the regions of Cappadocia in Asia Minor, parts of the Caspian Sea coast region, and even as far as Ethiopia, gaining much success while also facing hardships and persecutions. Eventually, he was martyred for his faith, and died faithfully defending his commitment to God.

The Apostles had carried out what the Lord had told them all to do, as we heard it ourselves from our Gospel passage today. The Lord told them all that all those who loved Him would do the commandments and obey the Law of God, and that is what He has called them all to do, the commandments that the Lord Himself has summarised into two main key points, that is the Law that leads us all to a new, loving existence, with God at the centre of our lives and with us dedicating ourselves wholeheartedly and thoroughly to Him, and then at the same time, also being filled with the same love and compassion for one another, for our fellow brothers and sisters. That is our Christian calling and mission, and all of us are expected to live our lives worthily and faithfully as Christians at all times, to be good examples, inspirations and role model for others.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, hopefully all these serve to remind us all of our important calling and mission as Christians, for each and every one of us to do our part in living our lives faithfully and worthily as Christians at all times. Unless we carry out what the Lord had told us to do, and practice our faith with genuine and sincere desire to love Him and to walk in His path, doing what is right and just according to His Law and commandments, how can we convince others to believe in God as well? If our own actions contradict our faith and beliefs, then are we not just like hypocrites and unbelievers? If our actions, works and deeds, our words and interactions contradict what we believe in, then we may even end up driving others further from the faith, and causing divisions within the Church like how some of our predecessors had done.

Therefore, let us all discern carefully our path as we reflect upon the words of the Scriptures this Sunday, so that we may be inspired to live our lives more worthily and be able to commit ourselves more to the path that the Lord has shown us. Let us all continue to do our best, to live our lives to the best we can, so that our every actions, our every words and deeds, our interactions may be the best means through which we may introduce the Lord, His truth and Good News to all the people all around us. May the Holy Apostles, especially St. Matthias, pray and intercede for us all, and may the Lord continue to guide us all and His Church, and bless our good works and labours for His greater glory, now and always. Amen.

Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Sixth Sunday of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 14 : 15-21

Jesus said to His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments; and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper to be with you forever, that Spirit of truth Whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He is with you and will be in you.”

“I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you. A little while and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me, because I live and you will also live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. Whoever keeps My commandments is the one who loves Me. If he loves Me, he will also be loved by My Father; I too shall love him and show Myself clearly to him.”

Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Sixth Sunday of Easter (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Peter 3 : 15-18

But bless the Lord Christ in your hearts. Always have an answer ready when you are called upon to account for your hope, but give it simply and with respect. Keep your conscience clear so that those who slander you may be put to shame by your upright, Christian living. Better to suffer for doing good, if it is God’s will, than for doing wrong.

Remember how Christ died, once and for all, for our sins. He, the Just One, died for the unjust in order to lead us to God. In the Body He was put to death, in the Spirit He was raised to life.

Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Sixth Sunday of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 65 : 1-3a, 4-5, 6-7a, 16 and 20

Shout with joy to God, all you on earth; sing to the glory to His Name; proclaim His glorious praise. Say to God, “How great are Your deeds!”

All the earth bows down to You, making music in praise of You, singing in honour of Your Name. Come and see God’s wonders, His deeds awesome for humans.

He has turned the sea into dry land, and the river was crossed on foot. Let us, therefore, rejoice in Him. He rules by His might forever.

All you who fear God, come and listen; let me tell you what He has done. May God be blessed! He has not rejected my prayer; nor withheld His love from me.

Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Sixth Sunday of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 8 : 5-8, 14-17

Philip went down to a town of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. All the people paid close attention to what Philip said as they listened to him and saw the miraculous signs that he did. For in cases of possession, the unclean spirits came out shrieking loudly. Many people who were paralysed or crippled were healed. So there was a great joy in that town.

Now, when the Apostles in Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. They went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for He had not as yet come down upon any of them since they had only been baptised in the Name of the Lord Jesus. So Peter and John laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White


Psalm 65 : 8-9, 26

Benedicite, gentes, Dominum, Deum nostrum, et obaudite vocem laudis ejus : qui posuit animam meam ad vitam, et non dedit commoveri pedes meos : benedictus Dominus, qui non amovit deprecationem meam et misericordiam suam a me, Alleluja.

English translation

O bless the Lord our God, you Gentiles, and make the voice of His praise to be heard, who had set my soul to live, and had not suffered my feet to be moved. Blessed be the Lord, who had not turned away my prayer, and His mercy from me, Alleluia.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Suscipe, Domine, fidelium preces cum oblationibus hostiarum : ut, per haec piae devotionis officia, ad caelestem gloriam transeamus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Receive, o Lord, the prayers of the faithful, with offerings of sacrifices, that through these offices of pious devotion we may pass to heavenly glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.


Psalm 95 : 2

Cantate Domino, Alleluja : Cantate Domino et benedicite Nomen Ejus : bene nuntiate de die in diem salutare Ejus, Alleluja, Alleluja.

English translation

Sing all of you to the Lord, Alleluia. Sing all of you to the Lord, and bless His Name. Show forth His salvation from day to day, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Post-Communion Prayer

Tribue nobis, Domine, caelestis mensae virtute satiatis : et desiderare, quae recta sunt, et desiderata percipere. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Grant, o Lord, unto us, who have been regaled with the virtue of the heavenly table, both to desire what is right and to obtain what we desire. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 16 : 23-30

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis suis : Amen, amen, dico vobis : si quid petieritis Patrem in Nomine Meo, dabit vobis. Usque modo non petistis quidquam in Nomine Meo : Petite, et accipietis, ut gaudium vestrum sit plenum.

Haec in proverbiis locutus sum vobis. Venit hora, cum jam non in proverbiis loquar vobis, sed palam de Patre annuntiabo vobis. In illo die in Nomine Meo petetis : et non dico vobis, quia ego rogabo Patrem de vobis : ipse enim Pater amat vos, quia vos me amastis, et credidistis quia ego a Deo exivi.

Exivi a Patre et veni in mundum : iterum relinquo mundum et vado ad Patrem. Dicunt ei discipuli ejus : Ecce, nunc palam loqueris et proverbium nullum dicis. Nunc scimus, quia scis omnia et non opus est tibi, ut quis te interroget : in hoc credimus, quia a Deo existi.

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it to you. Hitherto you have not asked anything in My Name, ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

“These things I have spoken to you in proverbs, the hour comes when I will no longer speak to you in proverbs, but will show you plainly of the Father. In that day, you shall ask in My Name; and I do not say that I will ask the Father for you, for the Father Himself loved you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God.”

“I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world, and again I leave the world, and go to the Father.” His disciples said to Him, “Behold, now You speak plainly, and does not speak in proverbs. Now we know that You know all things, and You do not need that any man should ask You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.”

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Tradition of the Faith and John 16 : 28

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Surrexit Christus, et illuxit nobis, quos redemit sanguine suo.


Response : Exivi a Patre, et veni in mundum : iterum relinquo mundum, et vado ad Patrem. Alleluja.

English translation

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Christ is risen, and had shone His light upon us whom He had redeemed with His blood.


Response : I went out from the Father and came into the world; again, I leave the world and go to the Father. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Epistolae Beati Jacobi Apostoli – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed James the Apostle

James 1 : 22-27

Carissimi : Estote factores verbi, et non auditores tantum : fallentes vosmetipsos. Quia si quis auditor est verbi et non factor : hic comparabitur viro consideranti vultum nativitatis suae in speculo : consideravit enim se et abiit, et statim oblitus est, qualis fuerit.

Qui autem perspexerit in legem perfectam libertatis et permanserit in ea, non auditor obliviosus factus, sed factor operis : hic beatus in facto suo erit. Si quis autem putat se religiosum esse, non refrenans linguam suam, sed seducens cor suum, hujus vana est religio.

Religio munda et immaculata apud Deum et Patrem haec est : Visitare pupillos et viduas in tribulatione eorum, et immaculatum se custodire ab hoc saeculo.

English translation

Dearly beloved, all of you must do the word, and not as hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if a man be a hearer of the word, and does not do it, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass. For he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was.

But he who had looked into the perfect law of liberty and had continued therein, and not becoming a forgetful hearer, but does the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father is this : to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation, and to keep one’s self unspotted from this world.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Easter (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 May 2023 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White


Isaiah 48 : 20 and Psalm 65 : 1-2

Vocem jucunditatis annuntiate, et audiatur, Alleluja : annuntiate usque ad extremum terrae : liberavit Dominus populum suum, Alleluja, Alleluja.

Jubilate Deo, omnis terra, psalmum dicite Nomini Ejus : date gloriam laudi ejus.

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

English translation

Declare the voice of joy, and let it be heard, Alleluia : declare it even unto the ends of the earth; the Lord had delivered His people, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Shout with a joy to God all the earth : sing all of you a psalm to His Name, give glory to His praise.

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.


Deus, a quo bona cuncta procedunt, largire supplicibus Tuis : ut cogitemus, Te inspirante, quae recta sunt; et, Te gubernante, eadam faciamus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

O God, from whom all good things come, generously grant to us who beseech You that we may, by Your inspiration, think those things which are right and, that we perform them under Your guidance. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.