(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Advent (I Classis) – Sunday, 27 November 2022 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet


Psalm 24 : 1-3 and 4

Ad Te levavi animam meam : Deus meus, in Te confido, non erubescam : neque irrideant me inimici mei : etenim universi, qui Te exspectant, non confundentur.

Vias Tuas, Domine, demonstra mihi : et semitas Tuas edoce me.

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

English translation

To You, o Lord, have I lifted up my soul : in You, o my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. Neither let my enemies laugh at me, for none of them who wait on You shall be confounded.

Show, o Lord, Your ways to me, and teach me Your paths.

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.


Excita, quaesumus, Domine, potentiam Tuam, et veni : ut ab imminentibus peccatorum nostrorum periculis, Te mereamur protegente eripi, Te liberante salvari. Qui Vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Bestir, o Lord, Your might, we pray to You, and come, that, defended by You, we may deserve rescue from approaching dangers brought on by our sins, and being set free by You, obtain our salvation. You Who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 : 4th Week of Advent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Brethren! Tomorrow is Christmas, when we will celebrate the first coming of our Lord in Jesus Christ His Son, the Word made flesh. And we should all rejoice, and break into songs of joy and praise, because our Lord and God was willing to come upon us and deliver us from sin and death. That was the promise He had made to our ancestors, ever since the day of Adam, and which He reiterated again to David, the king of Israel and His chosen one.

And in Christ and His arrival into the world, God’s promises to mankind was fulfilled. That was why Zechariah, the father of St. John the Baptist, was joyful and exuberant, singing what is now known as the Canticle of Zechariah, which is the Gospel reading today. Such is the joy that we all should have, that in the coming of the Lord, we are saved and have hope anew.

After waiting for four weeks and preparing for the day of glory and rejoicing, during the Advent season, we can now finally see the light, that is the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. We have long expected the coming of our Saviour, and here He is, at our doorposts, as the fulfillment of salvation promises long given by the Lord.

In Christ our Lord we rejoice, and that is the joy we experience at Christmas, the joy of seeing our Saviour among us, as God who dwells with His people, incarnate as one of us. Through Christ, God professed His eternal and undying love for all of us, willing to forgive our past trespasses, rebelliousness and disobedience, even to the point of taking the burden of our sins and die for our sake, that through His death, as a worthy sacrifice for our sins, we who believe may receive life eternal.

God came into the world not for some trivial things, and neither did He do this for leisurely purposes. He came to liberate us, from our bondage to sin, and to seek the lost ones among us, looking for them in the greatest depth of darkness, offering them the light, and a new opportunity to live in the Light. Yes, the light of God indeed, the true Light of the world.

Are we all ready to welcome the Lord when He comes again? Just as He had once came into the world? Remember that Jesus promised that He will come again at the end of time, at the end of everything, when God will raise up all those who remain faithful to Him, and reunited them all with Himself, and when all taints of sin and evil will be purified and cast out of the world forever.

When He first came into the world, Jesus was not welcomed, and He was rejected by the innkeepers who did not want to receive the poor family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They reasoned that the inns were full, and hence the king of kings and Lord of all creations have to spend His first night in this world in a humble and dirty stable fit only for animals.

And when He went forth to teach and reveal the nature of God and His coming kingdom to the people of God, He was not well-received either. While some listened to Him and followed Him, many rejected Him, booed Him, mocked Him, and even sought after His death. Chief among these were the Pharisees and the chief priests, who saw Him as a rival, and wanted to bring doom to Christ, by arrest or death.

They did not welcome Christ when He first came into the world. Instead of rejoicing, they condemned Him to death, and called Him a blasphemer and a false Messiah. They truly lacked faith in the Lord and His saving power. Their hubris and human flaws had prevented them from understanding the truth. However, how about us? Do we also welcome Christ when He comes? Or do we join the Pharisees in mocking and rejecting Christ and His love?

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, many of us professed our faith to the Lord, and we had proven it many times, and yet, are we able to truly call our lives as blessed by God? Are we able to realise that we have to put Christ in our Christmas and Christ in our lives as Christians? Christ must be the centre of our lives and He must be at the centre of our Christmas joy.

If we do not place Christ to be at the centre of everything, and especially in this Christmas, then we are just like those Pharisees and the chief priests who rejected Jesus. We often pay too much attention to the glamour of Christmas, that is the joy of exchanging gifts, the wonderful decorations and musics, as well as the secular and commercialised nature of Christmas, with the figure of father Christmas, better known as Santa Claus, to lure many away from God and from His ways.

We have to reorientate our celebrations of Christmas, that it does not just revolve or focus around ourselves, our desires, wishes and needs. Instead, let us make Christmas truly a joyful one, not only for us, but also for everyone. Share the joy of Christmas with one another, especially with the poor around us, those who do not even have enough to celebrate Christmas on their own. It is sad that many too want to join in the festivities but they could not.

It is not wrong for us to enjoy Christmas, and to celebrate it with parties and revelries, but it should not be overdone, and indeed when we rejoice, we have to keep Christ at the centre of our joy, as the reason for our joy. Let us all therefore make this Christmas, and the next Christmas celebrations henceforth, a joyful one for everyone, a joy because Christ our Lord has come, to be one of us and dwell among us, that through Him we once again have hope of life eternal. God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 : 4th Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Luke 1 : 67-79

Zechariah, filled with Holy Spirit, sang this canticle, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has come and redeemed His people. In the house of David His servant, He has raised up for us a victorious Saviour; as He promised through His prophets of old, salvation from our enemies and from the hand of our foes.”

“He has shown mercy to our fathers; and remembered His holy covenant, the oath He swore to Abraham our father, to deliver us from the enemy, that we might serve Him fearlessly, as a holy and righteous people, all the days of our lives.”

“And you, my child, shall be called prophet of the Most High, for you shall go before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, and to enable His people to know of their salvation, when He comes to forgive their sins.”

“This is the work of the mercy of our God, who comes from on high as a rising sun, shining on those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, and guiding our feet into the way of peace.”

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 : 4th Week of Advent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 88 : 2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29

I will sing forever, o Lord, of Your love and proclaim Your faithfulness from age to age. I will declare how steadfast is Your love, how firm Your faithfulness.

You said, “I have made a covenant with David, My chosen one; I have made a pledge to My servant. I established His descendants forever; I build his throne for all generations.

He will call on Me, “You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.” I will keep My covenant firm forever, and My love for him will endure.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 : 4th Week of Advent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

2 Samuel 7 : 1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16

When the king had settled in his palace and YHVH had rid him of all his surrounding enemies, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Look, I live in a house of cedar but the Ark of God is housed in a tent.” Nathan replied, “Do as it seems fit to you for YHVH is with you.”

But that very night, YHVH’s word came to Nathan, “Go and tell My servant David, this is what YHVH says : Are you able to build a house for Me to live in? I took you from the pasture, from tending the sheep, to make you commander of My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, cutting down all your enemies before you.”

“Now I will make your name great as the name of the great ones on earth. I will provide a place for My people Israel and plant them that they may live there in peace. They shall no longer be harassed, nor shall wicked men oppress them as before.”

“From the time when I appointed judges over My people Israel it is only to you that I have given rest from all your enemies. YHVH also tells you that He will build you a house. When the time comes for you to rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your Son after you, the One born of you and I will make His reign secure.”

“I will be a Father to Him and He shall be My son. Your house and your reign shall last forever before Me, and your throne shall be forever firm.”

Monday, 23 December 2013 : 4th Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Priests)

Brethren, today we heard again about the one who was to prepare the way for the Lord’s coming, on the coming of St. John the Baptist, the messenger and proclaimer of the coming of God’s kingdom, as its herald. And as we approach Christmas, we come together again to remember what Christmas is truly about. Again I would like to reiterate that Christmas is really about Christ.

In Christmas we are all called to remember again what our faith is truly about, and what Christ had done for us, for the sake of all of us in this world, past, present, and the future. Christ the divine made Himself incarnate into humble man, and that was the true essence of Christmas and the true essence of our faith. For we are all Christians, and with Christ as part of our name, He is inseparable from all the aspects of our faith, as well as our lives.

St. John the Baptist, whose birth was told in the Gospel we read today, is the messenger of God proclaiming the coming of God’s salvation upon mankind. He proclaimed the coming of Jesus our Lord, who came as the Son of Man, born of the Virgin. Yet, despite his proclamations, his revelations, his hard and pious works, as well as the prophecies proclaimed by the numerous prophets of bygone ages, many refused to believe when the Lord came into this world in order to save it.

Just an example, when the Lord Himself was about to be born in Bethlehem, the City of David, how many inns must be there in that city, and yet none of them offered space for the Lord of all creations, who came in the form of the baby of a carpenter. Poor as he looked like, His was the kingdom of the entire universe, destined to be His, as the king of kings.

Yet, rejected Jesus was, and He had no other place to lay His head on, other than an animal’s stable, to be born among the animals in a small and dirty place not fit for human habitation. And yet, there He was born, and the Saviour of this world came. The prophecies of the past, and the calls of the prophets were fulfilled in perfection, and redemption finally came unto the world. And yet, He was rejected and cast out.

Many hardened their hearts against the Lord, just as their ancestors once hardened their hearts against Him during their journey in the desert. They constantly complained about the hardships they went through as they walked through the deserts of Sinai. The same too happened to them, and to us, brothers and sisters!

For this life, this life of ours as we journeyed through this world, is also a desert. And we are all walking this same journey, towards the Lord and His eternal glory, just as the people of Israel once marched through the desert towards the Promised Land of Canaan. Yet we, just like the Israelites, complained that life was easier back in the place of our slavery. The slavery of Israel in Egypt, and for us all, the slavery under sin and the power of death.

We may profess the Lord and profess our faith in Him, but in our dealings and our actions in this world, we actually prefer to deal with the forces of this world, with Satan! Yes, Satan instead of the Lord. We are often no different from those innkeepers who rejected the Lord in Bethlehem, and we are often like those Pharisees and Sadducees who mocked and ridiculed John the Baptist, as well as Lord Jesus Himself throughout their respective ministries.

Today, we celebrate the life of a saint, that is St. John of Kanty, who was a Polish priest living at the time of the early Renaissance Europe. St. John of Kanty was a devoted man, totally devoted to the Lord in great and deep humility and spirituality, and showing his dedication through his actions, by his teachings and his charitable works in the society where he worked at.

St. John of Kanty was also known for his great intellect and learning, and he established many works of faith in his writings, helping many to find their way to the Lord. He truly practiced his faith, and did not let the evils of this world to affect him. To him, only the Lord truly matters, and only the Lord deserved full and undivided attention.

It is often that we all are distracted by the numerous, and indeed, increasingly more and more numerous tempting offers from this world. Yes, all the goods and the amenities, the pleasures and joys that this world can give. What better example can be given than what we experience every Christmas? With evert gadgets and items, all the sales and discounted sales, all the advertisements and promotions. All these merely fuel our distractions, that indeed, Christmas is often no longer Christ-centred. And sadly, it is often that our lives too, as Christians, are also no longer Christ-centred.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we honour St. John of Kanty today, are we able to follow in his footsteps? In committing ourselves wholly and without reservations to the Lord? Are we able to say no to the distractions of this world, and stay truly faithful to God who came to us to save us? Remember that, He loved us so much that He gave us Jesus His own Son, that we may have life and new hope through Him.

May the Lord therefore renew and strengthen our faith, that we too may walk the same path and act in the same way as St. John of Kanty had done. May He guide us on our way, that we will be able to remain faithful to Him and stay on His paths. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 23 December 2013 : 4th Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Priests)

Luke 1 : 57-66

When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the merciful Lord had done a wonderful thing for her, and they rejoiced with her.

When, on the eighth day, they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” They said to her, “But no one in your family has that name!” and they asked the father, by means of signs, for the name he wanted to give him.

Zechariah asked for a writing tablet, and wrote on it, “His name is John,” and they were very surprised. Immediately Zechariah could speak again, and his first words were in praise of God.

A holy fear came on all in the neighbourhood, and throughout the hill country of Judea the people talked about these events. All who heard of it pondered in their minds, and wondered, “What will this child be?” For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.

Monday, 23 December 2013 : 4th Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Priests)

Psalm 24 : 4bc-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 14

O Lord, make known to me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and instruct me, for You are my God, my Saviour.

Good and upright, the Lord teaches sinners His way. He teaches the humble of heart and guides them in what is right.

The ways of the Lord are love and faithfulness for those who keep His covenant and precepts. The Lord gives advice to those who revere Him and makes His covenant known to them.

Monday, 23 December 2013 : 4th Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Priests)

Malachi 3 : 1-4, 23-24

Now I am sending My messenger ahead of Me to clear the way; then suddenly the Lord for whom you long will enter the sanctuary. The envoy of the covenant which you so greatly desire already comes, says YHVH of hosts. Who can bear the day of His coming and remain standing when He appears? For He will be like fire in the foundry and like the lye used for bleaching.

He will be as a refiner or a fuller. He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. So YHVH will have priests who will present the offering as it should be. Then YHVH will accept with pleasure the offering of Judah and Jerusalem, as in former days.

I am going to send you the prophet Elijah before the day of YHVH comes, for it will be a great and terrible day. He will reconcile parents with their children, and the children with their parents, so that I may not have to curse this land when I come.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 : 3rd Week of Advent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we approach closer and closer to Christmas. It is just another week before we once again celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was born in the city of David, in Bethlehem over two millenia ago. The coming of the Lord as the Messiah, or the Saviour of all had been foretold long before His birth, through the revelations made through the prophets and the numerous messengers sent by God to His people, to tell them of the great joy of that Good News.

God is faithful to His promises and sought their fulfillment in the coming of the Messiah, born of the family of David, as a fulfillment of His promise to Israel, to those who had remained faithful to Him. He promised David, that his descendant will rule forever in a kingdom that is without end, and the same He had promised to Abraham, that his descendants would be innumerable and great. And not least of all, God promised even our first ancestors, from the very beginning, that He would not abandon them to the works of the evil one.

Mankind had indeed erred ever since the beginning, when they first tasted the fruits of sin, in contempt of the love of God for them, trusting more in the sweet but poisonous words of Satan rather than the loving words of God. Adam and Eve were lured into the trap of the devil, who promised them knowledge, greatness, and glory, by disobeying God. Indeed, the Lord loved them and gave them all the blessings He had intended for them, but He also set specific rules for them, to keep them away from sinfulness and thus, destruction.

Mankind were created pure, without knowing even an ounce of sin and evil. Evil was unknown to them, and all creations were created good and perfect. Yet, you may indeed ask then, why did God even plant such a dangerous tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so that our ancestors might eat from them? Would it not be better for that tree to be not present at all?

Well, brethren, indeed, although all creations were created good and perfect, it was the devil himself who first ruined the order of the universe, through his own pride, jealousy, and vanity, desiring none other than the throne of God and to supersede God in his pride. Evil therefore was made to exist in the world, and that was why, God contained that evil and prevented our ancestors from knowing them, that they would not be corrupted as the devil had been.

After mankind fell to the temptations of the evil one, God could easily have obliterated them and destroyed them, for they have followed in the path of rebellion of Satan. Yet, He did not do so, and although He punished them for their disobedience, banishing them from the bliss and joy of Eden, to labour and work hard on barren earth, but deep inside, the Lord loved us still, and loved us deeply He did.

We have known good and evil, and therefore, we have the capacity for good or for evil. And that was exactly what mankind had done all these while. We had done much good, but also much evil. And evil and sin are the thongs that prevented us from reuniting ourselves with God, for God is good and perfect, and sin has no place before Him. As long as we remained sinful and rebellious, we cannot be with God.

That was why, for a long while, ever since the beginning, God had prepared a comprehensive plan of salvation. One that He first told our ancestors and the devil himself, as a premonition of what will happen. He chose those who were righteous and just, who disdained sin and rejected the sinful temptations of the devil, beginning with Noah, whom He called and rescued from among all mankind and their wickedness in the Ark, and then to Abraham and his descendants, the chosen ones of God.

And He chose David, a faithful servant, through whom the long planned salvation plan would continue, and although both his ancestors and descendants did not remain faithful to Him, sometimes even committing things very evil in the eyes of God, the Lord continued on, as He certainly knew what will eventually happen. And He revealed part by part His plan to the numerous prophets and messengers He had sent to His people, to call them to repent from their sinfulness.

And while some did heed His call, many continued to defy Him and turned deaf ears against His words delivered through the prophets. In fact, they persecuted and rejected these prophets and messengers, and even slaughtering them. Even John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the coming of Christ, they rejected, ridiculed, and eventually brought to death.

After a long while, in Jesus, the salvation itself finally arrived. God Himself incarnate into man, to be one of us. He did this for no other reason than that first He might reveal to His beloved children, of what He had intended for them, in all its fullness, and most importantly, to be a sacrificial victim, a worthy sin offering to take away from us, all the taints of sin that separated us from God. He became the way, and the only way between us and God our Father.

After hearing what the Lord had done and what He had planned, and what He had done through Jesus, as we all know from the Holy Scriptures, now it is our time to think, and to reflect on our own actions, and on the reality of our own sinfulness.

Yes, brethren, we have received the word of God and His revelations, as part of our faith, and we have indeed accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But have we truly lived in the way that Christ had taught us? Have we all remained faithful to His laws and commandments of love? Just as it was in the past, our world and our surroundings presented to us many tempting challenges and offers, those that many of us and those before us had taken up.

We professed our faith in God, and yet many of our actions still did not reflect this faith we have in Him. We are no better than those Pharisees and the chief priests who outwardly professed their faith and yet had no love for the Lord in them.

As we approach ever closer to the celebration of Christmas, let us all renew and strengthen our love for God, that we will be able to commit fully to the Lord and walk faithfully in His path. Let us all renew our faith in Him and profess it through not just our words, but also our actions. Let us all be courageous to proclaim our faith in God, that we truly believe in our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the long awaited Messiah.

May this Advent season be a fruitful one for all of us, that we make best use of the time to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Christ’s coming into this world. Let us all prepare ourselves, that we rid ourselves of sin and wickedness, that we all be pure and ready to welcome our Saviour, that when He comes again, we will be found worthy for the eternal joy and rewards He had promised us. God bless us all. Amen.