Friday, 2 December 2016 : 1st Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are all reminded that everything we need will be provided to us by the Lord our God. He will provide for us and bless us, and relieve from us the oppression and pressure by those who have harassed and persecuted us. But we must stand firm by the Lord and put our complete faith in Him.

In this world today, there are many occasions where people no longer put their trust in God. They were drawn away by all the distractions and temptations that the devil laid on their paths, so that they lacked faith and trust in the Lord. These are those who have slipped away from the faith and from the Church. Many of them no longer regularly attended the Mass, and some of them even stopped going to church altogether.

This is a problem which all of us in the Church must realise and understand, so that we will not fall into that dangerous and slippery path, to lose our faith and commitment to God because of oppression that brought fear to us, of persuasions and temptations that pull us away through distraction, and for some others, because of laziness and inertia, the refusal to move away and wake up from our slumber to be true disciples of our Lord.

That is why this season of Advent, is a very important time for us, as a time to prepare and to get ready for what we know as going to be a challenging time and finally the moment of joy and relief when our Lord comes again to save and liberate His people from destruction. We must learn to have hope and trust in our Lord, despite all the challenges and other matters that tend to distract us.

We live in a time where people tend to seek convenience, the easy way out of their troubles. We live in a time when what matters to us is our own convenience, always looking to take care of our own needs first and to advance our cause first, fulfilling what we need and want before anything else. That is why many of us slip and fall into the temptation of the devil who seeks our downfall and destruction.

He is offering us many tempting and more convenient ways, those that are easier, less troublesome and more appealing for us. He offers us what seems to be a better path, because it seems to be less difficult, more appealing, and it seems to satisfy our wants and needs more. He is trying to play and make advantage of our weaknesses, as we crave for worldly things, and he therefore lures many to our downfall.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is important therefore, during this season of Advent, we should prepare ourselves carefully for the preparation of our interior outlook, that in our hearts and minds, and deep within our souls, we are drawing closer to the salvation of God by preparing ourselves spiritually through prayer and devotion.

Many of us slipped away from the faith and fell into temptation because we were unable to resist the devil and his many advances through the world. Many of us do not have a strong relationship with God because we do not pray and spend our time in contemplation with our Lord. Through prayer we are connected to our God in our hearts, and it is through prayer made with sincerity that we will be able to listen to the will of God, as He speaks in our hearts, and we also may speak to Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all spend this time of Advent meaningfully, and help one another to persevere the challenges of this world to our faith, so that not only we can be prepared and ready to celebrate Christmas meaningfully, but we may also get ready for the eventual coming of our Lord, and so that at the end of time, we will be judged to be worthy of God and His inheritance. May the Lord bless us and keep us in faith to Him. Amen.

Friday, 2 December 2016 : 1st Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Matthew 9 : 27-31

At that time, as Jesus moved on from the place where He resurrected the daughter of the official, two blind men followed Him, shouting, “Son of David, help us!” When He was about to enter the house, the blind men caught up with Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do what you want?” They answered, “Yes, Sir!”

Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “As you have believed, so let it be.” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus gave them a stern warning, “Be careful that no one knows about this.” But as soon as they went away, they spread the news about Him through the whole area.

Friday, 2 December 2016 : 1st Week of Advent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 13-14

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

One thing I ask of the Lord, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His sanctuary.

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Trust in the Lord, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in the Lord!

Friday, 2 December 2016 : 1st Week of Advent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Isaiah 29 : 17-24

In a very short time, Lebanon will become a fruitful field and the fruitful field will be as a forest. On that day the deaf will hear the words of the book, and out of the dark and obscurity the eyes of the blind will see. The meek will find joy and the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

For the tyrant will be no more and the scoffers gone forever, and all who plan to do evil will be cut down – those who by a word make you guilty, those who for a bribe can lay a snare and send home the just empty-handed.

Therefore YHVH, Abraham’s Redeemer, speaks concerning the people of Jacob : No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will his face grow pale. When he sees the work of My hands, his children again in his midst, they will sanctify My Name, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and stand in awe of the God of Israel. Those who err in spirit will understand; those who murmur will learn.