Wednesday, 10 August 2022 : Feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we gather together as the Church of God, we celebrate together the glorious memory of St. Lawrence, also known as St. Lawrence of Rome, one of the great saints of the Church. St. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons appointed for the Diocese of Rome in assisting the Pope in the governance and management of the Church. He was a truly courageous and faithful servant of God, and he dedicated himself to God even amidst the hardships and persecutions that he and the Church had to face back then.

St. Lawrence was born in Valencia, the province of Hispania in the Roman Empire, in what is the present day Spain. He encountered another saint of the Church, Pope St. Sixtus II, who happened to be in Hispania, and developed a good relationship that eventually went on to Rome, where Pope St. Sixtus II was eventually elected as Pope and successor of St. Peter, while the trusted St. Lawrence was appointed by the new Pope as the first of the seven deacons of the Diocese of Rome, that made him well known as the Archdeacon of Rome as one of his titles. He was entrusted with the treasuries of the Church and the care of the poor and the needy in Rome.

At that time, the Church especially in Rome was under great persecution and threat from the Roman government and state apparatus, as the Emperor Valerian declared the immediate persecution and execution of all Christian bishops, priests and deacons, who were arrested in great numbers, persecuted and martyred. Pope St. Sixtus II was among those who had been put to arrest and was eventually martyred, and soon enough, the state began to seek the riches and treasures of the Church, which was under the management of St. Lawrence as the Archdeacon of Rome.

Knowing that the authorities would soon look for him, arrest him and gain the treasury of the Church which had been meant for the poor and the needy, St. Lawrence quickly distributed the wealth and property of the Church to the poor and the needy in Rome to prevent the authorities from seizing those for their own selfish use. Hence, when the authorities came to force St. Lawrence to show them the treasures of the Church, he brought forth all the poor and the needy under the care of the Church, presenting them to the Roman prefect that those were the true treasures of the Church.

St. Lawrence was arrested and because the Roman prefect was also greatly angered by the snub which St. Lawrence delivered with the trick that he used to save the treasures of the Church from appropriation, the saint was made to suffer greatly from torture and was put on a hot gridiron, heated with a blazing furnace, on which he was martyred, defending his faith in the Lord with dedication right to the very end, showing us all what it truly means to be faithful to God and to love Him with all our heart and strength. The examples showed by St. Lawrence should serve to strengthen us in our own faith so that we may strive to live our lives ever more in tune with God and His will.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the examples shown and set by St. Lawrence should inspire us all to do more for the sake of our fellow brothers and sisters, as how the saint and martyr chose to suffer and to endure trials rather than to betray the works and responsibilities entrusted to him. St. Lawrence showed us that as Christians, each and every one of us have the calling and the mission to reach out to our brethren and to the world, to stand up for our faith and to be courageous in living our faith through our lives. Unless we do so, we cannot be truly considered as Christians.

Today, as we listened to these words from the Scriptures telling us to be generous in giving and committing our lives to God’s will, and reminded by the examples shown by St. Lawrence, holy martyr and deacon, let us all therefore discern how we can be better disciples of the Lord, in being more proactive in living our faith and in being more committed to the works of charity and the many other efforts and outreach of the Church to our community and to all around us who are in need and in which we are in the perfect position to help them. Let us all not ignore their plight and need, and let us be moved to action, and be committed to walk in the same path that the saints, particularly that of St. Lawrence, has shown us.

May the Lord be with us all, and may He continue to guide us on our journey of life. May God bless our every good works and endeavours so that we may always glorify Him by our every actions and that we may be inspiration for one another just as the saints like St. Lawrence had done for us. St. Lawrence, holy servant of God and courageous martyr of the Faith, pray for us all! Amen.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022 : Feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

John 12 : 24-26

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world save it even to everlasting life.”

“Whoever wants to serve Me, let him follow Me; and wherever I am, there shall My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him.”

Wednesday, 10 August 2022 : Feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 111 : 1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9

Alleluia! Blessed is the one who fears YHVH, who greatly delights in His commands. His children will be powerful on earth; the upright’s offspring will be blessed.

It will be well with him who lends freely, who leads a life of justice and honesty. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered and loved forever.

He has no fear of evil news, for his heart is firm, trusting in YHVH. His heart is confident; he need not fear; he shall prevail over his foes at the end.

He gives generously to the poor; his merits will last forever; and his head will be raised in honour.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022 : Feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

2 Corinthians 9 : 6-10

Remember : the one who sows meagerly will reap meagerly, and there shall be generous harvests for the one who sows generously. Each of you should give as you decided personally, and not reluctantly, as if obliged. God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to fill you with every good thing, so that you have enough of everything, at all times, and may give abundantly for any good work.

Scripture says : He distributed, He gave to the poor, His good works last forever. God, Who provides the sower with seed, will also provide him with the bread he eats. He will multiply the seed for you and also increase the interest on your good works.

Saturday, 6 August 2022 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church celebrates one of the great Feasts of the Lord, namely that of the Transfiguration of the Lord, commemorating the moment when Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, Saviour of the world was unveiled in all of His unbridled glory before three of His disciples at the top of Mount Tabor, as He revealed the truth about Himself before the three disciples, of Who He truly is, and what His mission in this world was all about. And through the Transfiguration, each and every one of us as Christians are also called to reflect on our own lives, and how we have each been called to be transformed through our faith as well, in our lives.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Daniel, the revelation of truth from the ancient prophet, as he received the heavenly vision of God seated on His Throne in Heaven. Not only that, but peculiarly, the vision included the vision of One of Great Age and one Son of Man, which prefigured the relationship between the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity, as Daniel saw how the One of Great Age granted power, dominion and glory to the Son of Man, Whose kingdom and dominion will not end till the end of time and beyond. In essence, Daniel had seen Christ Himself, as a premonition of all the things that would come.

In our alternative first reading from the Epistle of St. Peter, we heard the account of the Transfiguration itself from St. Peter, which together with our Gospel passage today revealed to us what happened on that day at Mount Tabor. The Lord Jesus unveiled His hidden glory, power and majesty to His three disciples, St. Peter, St. James and St. John in order to show them a glimpse of the truth about Himself and His mission in this world. The Lord appeared to them in all of His glory, His raiments dazzling white and pure, while Moses and Elijah came to attend to Him, which in itself is a very symbolic occurrence.

For Moses and Elijah’s presence symbolised the Lord’s true nature and also His mission in this world, as Moses represented the Law of God and the commandments that He has spoken to him and passed through him to the Israelites, while Elijah represented all the prophets and messengers of God, through whom God had spoken many times, calling on all of them to repentance and to be reconciled to Him, as well as the prophecies they had delivered regarding the coming of a great Saviour, the Holy One of God Whom He had promised to all the people from the very beginning.

Therefore, Moses and Elijah represented how Christ came into this world, to be the manifestation of God’s Law and truth, His many prophecies and promises made to all of us mankind. He is the Son of Man that Daniel had seen in his heavenly vision, and He is also at the same time, the Divine Word Incarnate, the Son of God through Whom God had willed this world and all creation into being. He is truly the personification and perfect manifestation of the Law, through Whom God also made manifest His love for each and every one of us. Hence, the disciples who were there that day at Mount Tabor, saw the Lord Jesus as Who He truly was, not just merely a Man, but the Divine Son of God in the flesh.

That, brothers and sisters in Christ, is the first significance of Transfiguration of the Lord for all of us. Through that moment of Transfiguration, the world in darkness and sin have seen the great light of God, which was seen by the Apostles, who then passed on the testimony of that truth and revelation to all of us. Through the Transfiguration we realise that God Himself has come down to dwell among us, His Son in the flesh, revealed to us in all of His glory and majesty, and through Whom all of us receive the assurance of eternal life and salvation, if we have trust and faith in Him, and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour.

Then, the other significance of the Transfiguration of the Lord is, although more subtle, that the Lord is calling us to be ‘transfigured’ ourselves together with Him. Each and every one of us, the children of man had been made pure and perfect, blameless and spotless, meant for greatness and perfect joy with the Lord, as how God intended it all to be. Yet, by our sins and disobedience which brought about those sins, we and our ancestors from the beginning of time had sundered ourselves from that love and grace of God, all that should have been ours should we remain fully faithful to Him. Instead, we sought for worldly pleasures and joys rather than to trust in God.

That is why we have often ignored God’s love and compassion towards us. And that kept us defiled and corrupted, separated from the fullness of God’s love and grace. The Lord is calling on each and every one of us to follow Him and to be faithful to Him once again, breaking free from the chains of sin and evil that shackled us and kept us away from God. That will require each one of us to embrace God wholeheartedly and commit ourselves to a new life and existence in God, essentially transforming our lives from one that is sinful and worldly into lives that are worthy of God.

The Lord through His Transfiguration has shown us all what we mankind are called to be like, in our future state, to be good and perfect once again, and rid from the sins and wickedness that have once corrupted and enslaved us. The Lord has called on us to aspire to this state of life, free from the burdens of our past sins, but we do need to seek the Lord and allow Him to transform our lives, allowing Him to touch our hearts and minds and guiding us down the right path so that we may find our way to His loving presence and return to His embrace. Each one of us as Christians have been called to embrace the Transfiguration of Our Lord in anticipation of our own.

But that also requires us to embark on a journey of faith through life, which more often than not may lead us through challenges and trials, sufferings and persecutions. All those challenges may be difficult for us to endure, and we may be tempted to give up the struggle and return to our comfort zone. That was exactly what the Lord also showed us at the moment of His Transfiguration, that while He revealed the upcoming glory of His true nature, of the glory of our everlasting life with Him, but in order to achieve that, He had to go through intense sufferings and pains, as He went down Mount Tabor and told His disciples to follow Him, reinforced by the Father’s own words calling on them to obey the Son.

He went down the mountain and from there onwards, He would go on to His Passion, suffering and death on the Cross before He rose in glory at His Resurrection, and proved that all that He had revealed and foretold at His Transfiguration were all true. Are we willing and able to make the commitment to follow the Lord too, brothers and sisters in Christ, and even to suffer for His sake? Let us all commit ourselves to follow the path of our Transfigured Lord, Who has revealed before us the sure path to His salvation and grace. Let us all turn towards Him with hope and dedication, and do whatever we can to glorify Him by our lives, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 6 August 2022 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 9 : 28b-36

At that time, six days after Jesus predicted His own death, He took with Him Peter and James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. Jesus’ appearance was changed before them : His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became bright as light. Just then Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

Peter spoke and said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. If You wish, I will make three tents : one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Peter was still speaking, when a bright cloud covered them with its shadow, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, the Beloved, My Chosen One. Listen to Him.”

On hearing the voice, the disciples fell to the ground, full of fear. But Jesus came, touched them and said, “Stand up, do not be afraid.” When they raised their eyes, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus. And as they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had just seen, until the Son of Man be raised from the dead.

Saturday, 6 August 2022 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 96 : 1-2, 5-6, 9

YHVH reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the distant islands be glad. Clouds and darkness surround Him; justice and right, are His throne.

The mountains melt like wax before YHVH, the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim His justice, all peoples see His glory.

For You are the Master of the universe, exalted far above all gods.

Saturday, 6 August 2022 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Daniel 7 : 9-10, 13-14

I looked and saw the following : Some thrones were set in place and One of Great Age took His seat. His robe was white, as snow, His hair, white as washed wool. His throne was flames of fire with wheels of blazing fire. A river of fire sprang forth and flowed before Him. Thousands upon thousands served Him and a countless multitude stood before Him.

Those in the tribunal took their seats and opened the book. I continued watching the nocturnal vision : One like a Son of Man came on the clouds of heaven. He faced the One of Great Age and was brought into His presence. Dominion, honour and kingship were given Him, and all the peoples and nations of every language served Him. His dominion is eternal and shall never pass away; His kingdom will never be destroyed.

Alternative reading

2 Peter 1 : 16-19

Indeed, what we taught you about the power, and the return of Christ Jesus our Lord, was not drawn from myths or formulated theories. We, ourselves, were eyewitnesses of His majesty, when He received glory and honour from God, the Father, when, from the magnificent glory, this most extraordinary word came upon Him : “This is My beloved Son, this is My Chosen One.”

We, ourselves, heard this voice from heaven, when we were with Him on the holy mountain. Therefore, we believe most firmly in the message of the prophets, which you should consider rightly, as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the break of day, when the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

(Usus Antiquior) Transfiguration of our Lord (Double II Classis) – Saturday, 6 August 2022 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White


Psalm 111 : 3

Gloria et divitiae in domo Ejus : et justitia Ejus manet in saeculum saeculi. Alleluja.

English translation

Glory and wealth are in His house, and His justice remains forever and ever. Alleluia.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Oblata, quaesumus, Domine, munera gloriosi Unigeniti Tui Transfiguratione sanctifica : nosque a peccatorum maculis, splendoribus ipsius illustrationis emunda. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Sanctify, we beseech You, o Lord, the gifts offered on the glorious Transfiguration of Your only begotten Son, and by the splendours of that very illumination cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Alternative Secret Prayer of the Priest (Commemoration of the Holy Martyrs)

Munera Tibi, Domine, nostrae devotionis offerimus : quae et pro Tuorum tibi gratia sint honore justorum, et nobis salutaria, Te miserante, reddantur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

We offer You, o Lord, the gifts of our devotion. May they be rendered both pleasing unto You, for the honour of Your just ones, and to us through Your mercy, helpful to salvation. 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.


Matthew 17 : 9

Visionem, quam vidistis, nemini dixeritis, donec a mortuis resurgat Filius hominis.

English translation

Tell the vision you have seen to no man, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.

Post-Communion Prayer

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus : ut sacrosancta Filii Tui Transfigurationis mysteria, quae sollemni celebramus officio, purificata mentis intellegentia consequamur. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Grant, we beseech You, o Almighty God, that with the understanding of a purified mind we may follow those sacred mysteries of Your Son’s Transfiguration which we celebrate with our solemn office. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Alternative Post-Communion Prayer (Commemoration of the Holy Martyrs)

Praesta nobis, quaesumus, Domine : intercedentibus sanctis Martyribus Tuis Xysto, Felicissimo et Agapito; ut, quod ore contingimus, pura mente capiamus. 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 us, we beseech You, o Lord, by the intercession of Your holy Martyrs, Sixtus, Felicissimus and Agapitus, that what we touch with our lips we may receive with a pure heart. 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) Transfiguration of our Lord (Double II Classis) – Saturday, 6 August 2022 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 17 : 1-9

In illo tempore : Assumpsit Jesus Petrum, et Jacobum, et Joannem fratrem ejus, et duxit illos in montem excelsum seorsum : et transfiguratus est ante eos. Et resplenduit facies Ejus sicut sol : vestimenta autem Ejus facta sunt alba sicut nix.

Et ecce, apparuerunt illis Moyses et Elias cum Eo loquentes. Respondens autem Petrus, dixit ad Jesum : Domine, bonum est nos hic esse : si vis, faciamus hic tria tabernacula, Tibi unum, Moysi unum et Eliae unum.

Adhuc eo loquente, ecce, nubes lucida obumbravit eos. Et ecce vox de nube, dicens : Hic est Filius Meus dilectus, in quo Mihi bene complacui : ipsum audite. Et audientes discipuli, ceciderunt in faciem suam, et timuerunt valde.

Et accesit Jesus, et tetigit eos, dixitque eis : Surgite, et nolite timere. Levantes autem oculos suos, neminem viderunt nisi solum Jesum. Et descendentibus illis de monte, praecepit eis Jesus, dicens : Nemini dixeritis visionem, donec Filius hominis a mortuis resurgat.

English translation

At that time, Jesus took Peter, James and John, his brother, and bringing them up into a high mountain apart, and He was transfigured before them. And His facecdod shine as the sun, and His garments became white as snow.

And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with Him. And Peter answering, said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here, if You will, let us make here three tents, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud saying, “This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.” And the disciples hearing this, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid.

And Jesus came and touched them, and said to them, “Arise, and do not fear.” And they lifting up their eyes saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, “Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”