Tuesday, 15 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are reminded of our Christian mission in life, that is to be ever more faithful and committed to God. We must always keep in mind that as Christians, we have been given the mission and responsibility to proclaim the Lord and His truth through our lives and actions, our every words and deeds. The salvation of God will come to all those who have worthily carried out these missions in the way they live their lives, with real and genuine faith and not just with empty gestures and meaningless actions merely to put up appearances, as hypocrites and unbelievers had done in the past. The Lord had told us to be truly faithful to Him, and not to just make empty promises to Him.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of Revelation of St. John the Apostle, we heard of the words of the Apostle to the Church in various places and communities established all across the region of Eastern Mediterranean Sea, which was at that time called the ‘Seven Churches of Asia’. The Apostle delivered what he witnessed and heard from the Lord through the visions he received, in which God was telling the Angels and spirits in charge of those seven Church communities, to remain steadfast in their faith and remain faithful to God, and not be easily swayed by the temptations present all around in the world. The Apostle spoke of the Lord’s reminders to His people to resist the temptations of the flesh, of pleasures and all things that will easily turn the faithful towards the wrong path towards damnation.

The Lord spoke to His people of what they ought to be doing as Christians, as those whom He had called and chosen from the world. They should live their lives righteously and with obedience to God’s will, His Law and commandments, and not to follow the wicked ways of this world. He reminded all of them that they should not be easily swayed or tempted by the allures of worldly pleasures, joys and comforts, as what many among the faithful had done at that time, in the various communities of the faithful then existing, and quite a few of those people did not stay and remain faithful to the Lord, but continuing to follow their own flawed ways and the ways of wickedness and evil. And their actions and deeds led to scandal within and outside the Church.

That is why the Lord warned them all through His Apostle, St. John, that they all ought to listen to Him and obey Him once more, and reject the wicked ways that they had been trodding along all those while. The Lord did not want them all to continue walking down that path to ruin and hence, He gave them a reminder and help, so that they might realise the errors of their ways, as He truly loved all of them, and wanted them all to be saved, by genuine and true reconciliation with Him, being forgiven from all of their sins, by the power and grace of His most compassionate mercy, and His enduring love and patience. Through the love that He has shown us, we have received once again the sure hope of life and freedom, of the promise of true happiness and joy that God alone can provide us.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the well-known story of the Lord Jesus and His encounter with Zaccheus the tax collector. Zaccheus was a notorious tax collector who had earned a lot from his trade, in gaining much wealth from the taxes he collected, and he was despised like the other tax collectors for that. At that time, tax collectors were often negatively viewed by the other people, especially so by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, namely all those religious and intellectual elites who considered themselves as being the righteous and worthy guardians of the people of God, and who zealously guarded their way of living the Law of God. They deemed the tax collectors as among the worst of sinners, unworthy of God and His salvation, because of their actions and wickedness in life.

They were considered and deemed as traitors to their country and people, as they and their actions were deemed as selfish and wicked, in persecuting and extorting the people for their own desires and wishes. They were therefore often ostracised and treated badly by the people, because of this prejudice which existed back then, and then continued to be repeated by the same people who sought to justify themselves for their righteousness and piety like those Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. Zaccheus was an embodiment of this so-called wicked man, unworthy and undeserving of God and His grace, His salvation and love. And yet, the same Zaccheus went all out in seeking the Lord and trying to reach out to Him. He climbed a tree just to see the Lord because of his short stature, and he risked his life and threw away all of his pride and ego in publicly declaring his faith in the Lord.

Not a lot of people can do what Zaccheus had done, in publicly admitting his mistakes and publicly promising to rectify the mistakes and wickedness he had committed. Zaccheus promised before all assembled that he would return and compensate all those whom he had extorted and gained from illicitly, not just by the same amount, but even thrice and four times more of what they had lost. Through that act, Zaccheus had shown his determination to abandon his past, wicked and unworthy way of life, and embracing God’s love, compassion and mercy, which the Lord gladly extended to him, Zaccheus was well on the way to redemption and therefore to enter into the glorious kingdom that God has promised to all those who are faithful to Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we heard these readings from the Scriptures, each one of us are therefore reminded that as Christians, all of us should embrace the Lord and His truth, and abandon our wicked way of life, listening to Him and following Him wholeheartedly in the same way that Zaccheus had done. We also have yet another example and inspiration whom we can follow in one of our holy predecessors, whose feast we are celebrating this day, namely that of St. Albert the Great, also known as St. Albertus Magnus, a great saint and servant of God, a great philosopher and Doctor of the Church, known for his immense contributions in Christian philosophy and theology, as well as various other aspects of the faith, in which he had inspired countless others to follow the Lord faithfully as he had.

St. Albert the Great spent a lot of time and effort in doing the will of God, in his role as a great philosopher and teacher of the faith, inspiring many younger generations of the servants and followers of God to gain more knowledge and understanding of His truth and love, which he passionately carried out, through his many writings and teachings, his efforts, as a servant of the Church, in carrying out the missions entrusted to him by the Pope. As the Bishop of Regensburg, he was known for his great humility and piety, and his great love for his flock, dedicating his time and effort for the salvation of souls. He did not seek worldly glory or ambition, and did all he could to glorify God by his every actions, deeds and his way of life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all be inspired to follow the Lord in the manner that these faithful and dedicated predecessors of ours had done, and let us all renew our commitment to God, to live our lives ever more worthily from now on. May the Lord be with us always and may He strengthen our resolve and courage to continue living our lives virtuously and worthily in accordance with what He has taught us to do. May God bless us always, now and forevermore, and may He bless our every good works, efforts and endeavours, for His greater glory. Amen.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Luke 19 : 1-10

At that time, when Jesus entered Jericho and passed through the city, a man named Zaccheus lived there. He was a tax collector and a wealthy man. He wanted to see what Jesus was like, but he was a short man and could not see Him because of the crowd.

So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree. From there he would be able to see Jesus, Who was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, Zaccheus, come down quickly, for I must stay at your house today.” So Zaccheus climbed down and received Him joyfully.

All the people who saw it began to grumble, and said, “He has gone as a guest to the house of a sinner.” But Zaccheus spoke to Jesus, “Half of what I own, Lord, I will give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.”

Looking at him Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house today, for he is also a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Psalm 14 : 2-3ab, 3cd-4ab, 5

Those who walk blamelessly and do what is right, who speak truth from their heart and control their words.

Those who do no harm to their neighbours and cast no discredit on their companions, who look down on evildoers but highly esteem God’s servants.

Those who do not lend money at interest and refuse a bribe against the innocent. Do this, and you will soon be shaken.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Revelations 3 : 1-6, 14-22

Write this to the Angel of the Church in Sardis, “Thus says He Who holds the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars : ‘I know your worth : you think you live but you are dead. Wake up and strengthen that which is not already dead. For I have found your works to be imperfect in the sight of My God.”

“‘Remember what you were taught; keep it and change your ways. If you do not repent I will come upon you like a thief at an hour you least expect. Yet, there are some left in Sardis who have not soiled their robes; these will come with Me, dressed in white, since they deserve it. The victor will be dressed in white and I will never erase his name from the book of life; instead, I will acknowledge it before My Father and His Angels.'”

“‘Let anyone who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.'”

Write this to the Angel of the Church in Laodicea, “Thus says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation : ‘I know your works : you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! You are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold so I will spit you out of My mouth.'”

“‘You think you are rich and have piled up so much that you need nothing, but you do not realise that you are wretched and to be pitied, poor, blind and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold that has been tested by fire, so that you may be rich, and white clothes to wear so that your nakedness may not shame you, and ointment for your eyes that you may see. I reprimand and correct all those I love. Be earnest and change your ways.'”

“‘Look, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My call and open the door, I will come in to you and have supper with you, and you with Me. I will let the victor sit with Me on My throne just as I was victorious and took My place with My Father on His throne. Let anyone who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.'”

Thursday, 10 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the Scriptures, we are all presented with the matter of the coming of the kingdom of God into this world, and how it is actually already happening to us all even as we have experienced it all these time, all these while. We must not see God’s kingdom as something that is disconnected from the present life we have today, as it is definitely very tempting for us to think of that God’s kingdom has yet to come to us, while the truth is that the kingdom of God has actually been amongst us all these times. Yes, brothers and sisters, the fact is that we are already part of this blessed kingdom of God, in the Church and our Christian communities.

In our first reading today, we heard the account from the Epistle of St. Paul to the other disciple of the Lord named Philemon. In that account, we heard St. Paul telling Philemon that he was sending him one of his godsons, Onesimus, to accompany him and the other faithful, in the ministry and mission entrusted to them all in the Church of God. At that time, St. Paul himself was likely suffering in prison after he was arrested due to the many challenges and trials that he had to undergo throughout his ministry and missionary journeys. Yet, St. Paul faced it all with faith and devotion in God, entrusting himself completely in the hands of the Lord, and not fearing the sufferings, consequences and hardships that he had to endure, because he truly cared for the needs of his fellow brethren, to whom God had sent him to as a minister of His Good News and truth.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the encounter between the Lord and some Pharisees who questioned Him regarding when the kingdom of God would come. And we must understand that at the time, the most popular idea and expectation among the people about the coming of the Messiah and God’s salvation was that they expected that the Messiah or the Saviour would be the Son and Heir of David, to restore the old glory of the kingdom of Israel, of the days of David and Solomon, the greatest kings of Israel and those moments when all the people of Israel were still united as one kingdom and one people, and before they were torn apart by internal strife and conflicts that eventually brought down the kingdom of Israel.

Hence, back then, the common interpretation and understanding of the nature of the coming of the Messiah was that this Messiah would lead the people of God in liberating their homeland from the rule by the Romans and other foreigners who had then imposed their rule, power and sovereignty over the Jewish people. Hence, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who disagreed with the Lord and saw His actions as against what they believed in, their ideals of what the Messiah would do and who this Messiah would be. To them, the Lord Jesus could not have been the Messiah because He did not fit their ideal and stereotype of the Messiah of the people of God. Yet, in their pride and ego, they had failed to realise that it was their arrogance, presumptions and mistaken ideals that had become serious obstacles preventing them from finding their way towards God’s truth.

The Lord has shown them and all of us that the kingdom of God was not what the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and the other people often thought it would be. Instead, the kingdom of God does not equate the monarchy of the Israelites of the old days, or anything like that. Instead, the kingdom of God is the establishment of God’s reign on this world, which has actually happened when the Lord Jesus came to this world and established His Church. Through the Church, the Lord made His kingdom tangible in this world, in our own communities and societies, wherever we are. By His New Covenant, sealed through His suffering and death on the Cross, He broke the barriers separating us from God, and hence brought us much closer to His heavenly glory and joy.

The kingdom of God therefore has existed in our midst, within the Church and our own various groups and communities. What we must then realise is how we manifest this kingdom of God in our own families, in our circle of friends and relatives, loved ones and others, even in our workplaces and elsewhere. It is here then that as Christians, each one of us are charged and entrusted with the task of making the kingdom of God being fully present and tangible in our world today, wherever we are and in whatever we are doing in life. And we have to be genuine in living our lives with faith, as members of God’s Church and as parts of His living and present Kingdom here in this world, already manifested and tangible in our midst, one where all the faithful people of God are filled with love for both God and for one another.

Today, we celebrate the feast of Pope St. Leo the Great, one of the great saints of the Church, whose life, works and inspirations can be sources of good inspiration for ourselves in how we ought to live up to our faith in our daily living, to be truly worthy parts of God’s everlasting and glorious kingdom. Pope St. Leo the Great led the Church during a tumultuous time both in the secular world and also within the Church, and yet, he committed himself to lead the Church through those difficult moments, showing his leadership for his flock through the most challenging times. Pope St. Leo the Great was well-known for his stand-off with the powerful Attila the Hun, king of the rampaging Huns who were then invading the Roman Empire and was about to come to Rome. Pope St. Leo the Great stood at the gates of Rome and managed to convince the Hunnic king to turn away and return to his homeland, sparing his flock much destructions and death.

Not only that, Pope St. Leo the Great was also actively involved in missionary works throughout Christendom, sending missionaries and guides to far-off places to spread the Word of God ever further, and establish the Church communities in more and more places. He was also involved in combatting heresies that had sprung up in various places over different ideas and topics, and maintained the true teachings and the orthodoxy of the Christian faith and its deposit of faith and truth. He was an active participant in the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon and sent his representatives to take part in the proceedings of the Ecumenical Council, which strengthened the truth and the orthodoxy of the Church against the heresies, affirming what the Church has always held since the days and times of the Apostles.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we have seen from the life and works of Pope St. Leo the Great, and also the presence and lives of so many other saints, we can see that the kingdom of Heaven, the kingdom of God is already here in this world, in our midst. What we experience now is the precursor of the true Kingdom that we will be in, for all those who are worthy, for all eternity with God, after we have passed on from this world and is judged worthy at the particular and the last judgments. Let us all therefore be inspired by the examples set by our holy predecessors, Pope St. Leo the Great and the innumerable other saints and holy men and women of God, that we truly may embody God’s kingdom on Earth, showing all the people of God what the kingdom of God is like through us all and the Church.

May the Lord continue to guide us through our journey of faith in life and may He empower and strengthen each one of us with the resolve and strength, perseverance and commitment to follow Him ever more faithfully from now on. May God bless us all in our every actions and works, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 10 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the Scriptures, we are all presented with the matter of the coming of the kingdom of God into this world, and how it is actually already happening to us all even as we have experienced it all these time, all these while. We must not see God’s kingdom as something that is disconnected from the present life we have today, as it is definitely very tempting for us to think of that God’s kingdom has yet to come to us, while the truth is that the kingdom of God has actually been amongst us all these times. Yes, brothers and sisters, the fact is that we are already part of this blessed kingdom of God, in the Church and our Christian communities.

In our first reading today, we heard the account from the Epistle of St. Paul to the other disciple of the Lord named Philemon. In that account, we heard St. Paul telling Philemon that he was sending him one of his godsons, Onesimus, to accompany him and the other faithful, in the ministry and mission entrusted to them all in the Church of God. At that time, St. Paul himself was likely suffering in prison after he was arrested due to the many challenges and trials that he had to undergo throughout his ministry and missionary journeys. Yet, St. Paul faced it all with faith and devotion in God, entrusting himself completely in the hands of the Lord, and not fearing the sufferings, consequences and hardships that he had to endure, because he truly cared for the needs of his fellow brethren, to whom God had sent him to as a minister of His Good News and truth.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the encounter between the Lord and some Pharisees who questioned Him regarding when the kingdom of God would come. And we must understand that at the time, the most popular idea and expectation among the people about the coming of the Messiah and God’s salvation was that they expected that the Messiah or the Saviour would be the Son and Heir of David, to restore the old glory of the kingdom of Israel, of the days of David and Solomon, the greatest kings of Israel and those moments when all the people of Israel were still united as one kingdom and one people, and before they were torn apart by internal strife and conflicts that eventually brought down the kingdom of Israel.

Hence, back then, the common interpretation and understanding of the nature of the coming of the Messiah was that this Messiah would lead the people of God in liberating their homeland from the rule by the Romans and other foreigners who had then imposed their rule, power and sovereignty over the Jewish people. Hence, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who disagreed with the Lord and saw His actions as against what they believed in, their ideals of what the Messiah would do and who this Messiah would be. To them, the Lord Jesus could not have been the Messiah because He did not fit their ideal and stereotype of the Messiah of the people of God. Yet, in their pride and ego, they had failed to realise that it was their arrogance, presumptions and mistaken ideals that had become serious obstacles preventing them from finding their way towards God’s truth.

The Lord has shown them and all of us that the kingdom of God was not what the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and the other people often thought it would be. Instead, the kingdom of God does not equate the monarchy of the Israelites of the old days, or anything like that. Instead, the kingdom of God is the establishment of God’s reign on this world, which has actually happened when the Lord Jesus came to this world and established His Church. Through the Church, the Lord made His kingdom tangible in this world, in our own communities and societies, wherever we are. By His New Covenant, sealed through His suffering and death on the Cross, He broke the barriers separating us from God, and hence brought us much closer to His heavenly glory and joy.

The kingdom of God therefore has existed in our midst, within the Church and our own various groups and communities. What we must then realise is how we manifest this kingdom of God in our own families, in our circle of friends and relatives, loved ones and others, even in our workplaces and elsewhere. It is here then that as Christians, each one of us are charged and entrusted with the task of making the kingdom of God being fully present and tangible in our world today, wherever we are and in whatever we are doing in life. And we have to be genuine in living our lives with faith, as members of God’s Church and as parts of His living and present Kingdom here in this world, already manifested and tangible in our midst, one where all the faithful people of God are filled with love for both God and for one another.

Today, we celebrate the feast of Pope St. Leo the Great, one of the great saints of the Church, whose life, works and inspirations can be sources of good inspiration for ourselves in how we ought to live up to our faith in our daily living, to be truly worthy parts of God’s everlasting and glorious kingdom. Pope St. Leo the Great led the Church during a tumultuous time both in the secular world and also within the Church, and yet, he committed himself to lead the Church through those difficult moments, showing his leadership for his flock through the most challenging times. Pope St. Leo the Great was well-known for his stand-off with the powerful Attila the Hun, king of the rampaging Huns who were then invading the Roman Empire and was about to come to Rome. Pope St. Leo the Great stood at the gates of Rome and managed to convince the Hunnic king to turn away and return to his homeland, sparing his flock much destructions and death.

Not only that, Pope St. Leo the Great was also actively involved in missionary works throughout Christendom, sending missionaries and guides to far-off places to spread the Word of God ever further, and establish the Church communities in more and more places. He was also involved in combatting heresies that had sprung up in various places over different ideas and topics, and maintained the true teachings and the orthodoxy of the Christian faith and its deposit of faith and truth. He was an active participant in the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon and sent his representatives to take part in the proceedings of the Ecumenical Council, which strengthened the truth and the orthodoxy of the Church against the heresies, affirming what the Church has always held since the days and times of the Apostles.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we have seen from the life and works of Pope St. Leo the Great, and also the presence and lives of so many other saints, we can see that the kingdom of Heaven, the kingdom of God is already here in this world, in our midst. What we experience now is the precursor of the true Kingdom that we will be in, for all those who are worthy, for all eternity with God, after we have passed on from this world and is judged worthy at the particular and the last judgments. Let us all therefore be inspired by the examples set by our holy predecessors, Pope St. Leo the Great and the innumerable other saints and holy men and women of God, that we truly may embody God’s kingdom on Earth, showing all the people of God what the kingdom of God is like through us all and the Church.

May the Lord continue to guide us through our journey of faith in life and may He empower and strengthen each one of us with the resolve and strength, perseverance and commitment to follow Him ever more faithfully from now on. May God bless us all in our every actions and works, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 10 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the Scriptures, we are all presented with the matter of the coming of the kingdom of God into this world, and how it is actually already happening to us all even as we have experienced it all these time, all these while. We must not see God’s kingdom as something that is disconnected from the present life we have today, as it is definitely very tempting for us to think of that God’s kingdom has yet to come to us, while the truth is that the kingdom of God has actually been amongst us all these times. Yes, brothers and sisters, the fact is that we are already part of this blessed kingdom of God, in the Church and our Christian communities.

In our first reading today, we heard the account from the Epistle of St. Paul to the other disciple of the Lord named Philemon. In that account, we heard St. Paul telling Philemon that he was sending him one of his godsons, Onesimus, to accompany him and the other faithful, in the ministry and mission entrusted to them all in the Church of God. At that time, St. Paul himself was likely suffering in prison after he was arrested due to the many challenges and trials that he had to undergo throughout his ministry and missionary journeys. Yet, St. Paul faced it all with faith and devotion in God, entrusting himself completely in the hands of the Lord, and not fearing the sufferings, consequences and hardships that he had to endure, because he truly cared for the needs of his fellow brethren, to whom God had sent him to as a minister of His Good News and truth.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the encounter between the Lord and some Pharisees who questioned Him regarding when the kingdom of God would come. And we must understand that at the time, the most popular idea and expectation among the people about the coming of the Messiah and God’s salvation was that they expected that the Messiah or the Saviour would be the Son and Heir of David, to restore the old glory of the kingdom of Israel, of the days of David and Solomon, the greatest kings of Israel and those moments when all the people of Israel were still united as one kingdom and one people, and before they were torn apart by internal strife and conflicts that eventually brought down the kingdom of Israel.

Hence, back then, the common interpretation and understanding of the nature of the coming of the Messiah was that this Messiah would lead the people of God in liberating their homeland from the rule by the Romans and other foreigners who had then imposed their rule, power and sovereignty over the Jewish people. Hence, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who disagreed with the Lord and saw His actions as against what they believed in, their ideals of what the Messiah would do and who this Messiah would be. To them, the Lord Jesus could not have been the Messiah because He did not fit their ideal and stereotype of the Messiah of the people of God. Yet, in their pride and ego, they had failed to realise that it was their arrogance, presumptions and mistaken ideals that had become serious obstacles preventing them from finding their way towards God’s truth.

The Lord has shown them and all of us that the kingdom of God was not what the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and the other people often thought it would be. Instead, the kingdom of God does not equate the monarchy of the Israelites of the old days, or anything like that. Instead, the kingdom of God is the establishment of God’s reign on this world, which has actually happened when the Lord Jesus came to this world and established His Church. Through the Church, the Lord made His kingdom tangible in this world, in our own communities and societies, wherever we are. By His New Covenant, sealed through His suffering and death on the Cross, He broke the barriers separating us from God, and hence brought us much closer to His heavenly glory and joy.

The kingdom of God therefore has existed in our midst, within the Church and our own various groups and communities. What we must then realise is how we manifest this kingdom of God in our own families, in our circle of friends and relatives, loved ones and others, even in our workplaces and elsewhere. It is here then that as Christians, each one of us are charged and entrusted with the task of making the kingdom of God being fully present and tangible in our world today, wherever we are and in whatever we are doing in life. And we have to be genuine in living our lives with faith, as members of God’s Church and as parts of His living and present Kingdom here in this world, already manifested and tangible in our midst, one where all the faithful people of God are filled with love for both God and for one another.

Today, we celebrate the feast of Pope St. Leo the Great, one of the great saints of the Church, whose life, works and inspirations can be sources of good inspiration for ourselves in how we ought to live up to our faith in our daily living, to be truly worthy parts of God’s everlasting and glorious kingdom. Pope St. Leo the Great led the Church during a tumultuous time both in the secular world and also within the Church, and yet, he committed himself to lead the Church through those difficult moments, showing his leadership for his flock through the most challenging times. Pope St. Leo the Great was well-known for his stand-off with the powerful Attila the Hun, king of the rampaging Huns who were then invading the Roman Empire and was about to come to Rome. Pope St. Leo the Great stood at the gates of Rome and managed to convince the Hunnic king to turn away and return to his homeland, sparing his flock much destructions and death.

Not only that, Pope St. Leo the Great was also actively involved in missionary works throughout Christendom, sending missionaries and guides to far-off places to spread the Word of God ever further, and establish the Church communities in more and more places. He was also involved in combatting heresies that had sprung up in various places over different ideas and topics, and maintained the true teachings and the orthodoxy of the Christian faith and its deposit of faith and truth. He was an active participant in the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon and sent his representatives to take part in the proceedings of the Ecumenical Council, which strengthened the truth and the orthodoxy of the Church against the heresies, affirming what the Church has always held since the days and times of the Apostles.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we have seen from the life and works of Pope St. Leo the Great, and also the presence and lives of so many other saints, we can see that the kingdom of Heaven, the kingdom of God is already here in this world, in our midst. What we experience now is the precursor of the true Kingdom that we will be in, for all those who are worthy, for all eternity with God, after we have passed on from this world and is judged worthy at the particular and the last judgments. Let us all therefore be inspired by the examples set by our holy predecessors, Pope St. Leo the Great and the innumerable other saints and holy men and women of God, that we truly may embody God’s kingdom on Earth, showing all the people of God what the kingdom of God is like through us all and the Church.

May the Lord continue to guide us through our journey of faith in life and may He empower and strengthen each one of us with the resolve and strength, perseverance and commitment to follow Him ever more faithfully from now on. May God bless us all in our every actions and works, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 10 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 17 : 20-25

At that time, the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was to come. He answered, “The kingdom of God is not like something you can observe, and say of it, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘See, there it is!’ for the kingdom of God is within you.”

And Jesus said to His disciples, “The time is at hand, when you will long to see one of the glorious days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Then people will tell you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go with them, do not follow them. As lightning flashes from one end of the sky to the other, so will it be with the Son of Man; but first He must suffer many things, and be rejected by this generation.”

Thursday, 10 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 145 : 6c-7, 8-9a, 9bc-10

The Lord is forever faithful; He gives justice to the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free.

The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord straightens the bent. The Lord loves the virtuous, but He brings to ruin the way of the wicked. The Lord protects the stranger.

The Lord sustains the widow and the orphan. The Lord will reign forever, your God, o Zion, from generation to generation. Alleluia!

Thursday, 10 November 2022 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Philemon 7-20

I had great satisfaction and comfort on hearing of your charity, because the hearts of the saints have been cheered by you, brother. Because of this, although in Christ I have the freedom to command what you should do, yet I prefer to request you in love. The one talking is Paul, the old man, now prisoner for Christ. And my request is on behalf of Onesimus, whose father I have become while I was in prison.

This Onesimus has not been helpful to you, but now he will be helpful both to you and to me. In returning him to you, I am sending you my own heart. I would have liked to keep him at my side, to serve me on your behalf while I am in prison for the Gospel, but I did not want to do anything without your agreement, nor impose a good deed upon you without your free consent.

Perhaps Onesimus has been parted from you for a while so that you may have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but better than a slave. For he is very dear brother to me, and he will be even dearer to you. And so, because of our friendship, receive him as if he were I myself.

And if he has caused any harm, or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul, write this and sign it with my own hand : I will pay it…. without further mention of your debt to me, which is you yourself. So, my brother, please do me this favour for the Lord’s sake. Give me this comfort in Christ.