Friday, 19 April 2019 : Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Isaiah 52 : 13 – Isaiah 53 : 12

It is now when My Servant will succeed; He will be exalted and highly praised. Just as many have been horrified at His disfigured appearance : “Is this a Man? He does not look like One.” So will nations be astounded, kings will stand speechless, for they will see something never told, they will witness something never heard of.

Who could believe what we have heard, and to whom has YHVH revealed His feat? Like a root out of dry ground, like a sapling He grew up before us, with nothing attractive in His appearance, no beauty, no majesty. He was despised and rejected, a Man of sorrows familiar with grief, a Man from Whom people hide their face, spurned and considered of no account.

Yet ours were the sorrows He bore, ours were the suffering He endured, although we considered Him as One punished by God, stricken and brought low. Destroyed because of our sins, He was crushed for our wickedness. Through His punishment we are made whole; by His wounds we are healed. Like sheep we had all gone astray, each following His own way; but YHVH laid upon Him all our guilt.

He was harshly treated, but unresisting and silent, He humbly submitted. Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearer He did not open His mouth. He was taken away to detention and judgment – what an unthinkable fate! He was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for His people’s sins. They made His tomb with the wicked, they put Him in the graveyard of the oppressors, though He had done no violence nor spoken in deceit.

Yet it was the will of YHVH to crush Him with grief. When He makes Himself an offering for sin, He will have a long life and see His descendants. Through Him the will of YHVH is done. For the anguish He suffered, He will see the light and obtain perfect knowledge. My just Servant will justify the multitude; He will bear and take away their guilt.

Therefore I will give Him His portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong. For He surrendered Himself to death and was even counted among the wicked, bearing the sins of the multitude and interceding for sinners.

Sunday, 15 January 2017 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
John 1 : 29-34

At that time, the next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! It is He of Whom I said : A Man comes after me, Who is already ahead of me, for He was before me. I myself did not know Him, but I came baptising to prepare for Him, so that He might be revealed in Israel.”

And John also gave this testimony, “I saw the Spirit coming down on Him like a dove from heaven, and resting on Him. I myself did not know Him, but God, Who sent me to baptise, told me, “You will see the Spirit coming down, and resting, on the One Who baptises with the Holy Spirit.’ Yes, I have seen! And I declare that this is the Chosen One of God!”

Sunday, 25 January 2015 : Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 14-20

At that time, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.”

As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fish for people.”

At once, they abandoned their nets and followed Him. Jesus went a little farther on and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee; they were in their boat mending their nets. Immediately Jesus called them and they followed Him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men.

Saturday, 29 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Revelations 22 : 1-7

Then the angel showed me the river of life, clear as crystal, gushing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of the city, on both sides of the river are the trees of life producing fruit twelve times, once each month, the leaves of which are for healing the nations.

No longer will there be a curse; the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the City and God’s servants will live in His presence. They will see His face and His Name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light or lamp or sun for God Himself will be their Light and they will reign forever.

Then the angel said to me, “These words are sure and true; the Lord God who inspires the prophets has sent His angel to show His servants what must happen soon.” He said, “I am coming soon! Happy are those who keep the prophetic words of this book.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/28/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Friday, 21 November 2014 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate together the feast of the presentation of the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is Mary, Theotokos or Mother of God. She was chosen by God from among many of the children of mankind, to be the one who was destined to be the vessel to bear the coming of the Saviour into this world, and in that, to bear the Lord and Master of all the creations Himself, when He was incarnate into flesh.

As our Lord is perfect and perfectly good, without sin and any taint of evil, thus His blessed mother, Mary, was also therefore conceived without the taint of sin, of the original sin of Adam and Eve, the first ancestors of mankind. She was conceived free from sin, immaculate and pure, worthy to be the Mother of our Lord and Saviour, as decreed by God. And today, we celebrate the memory of her presentation at the Temple of the Lord.

In the Jewish custom, as according to the Law of God revealed through Moses, the firstborns of Israel are dedicated to the Lord, through a presentation ceremony, as ceremonially belonging to the Lord. This is a strong reminder of what they had encountered in Egypt, during the time of their liberation from slavery. At that time, God sent ten great plagues to pressure the Pharaoh to liberate the people of Israel and allow them to go back to the land of their ancestors in freedom.

The last of the ten plagues, and the most terrifying of them all, is the death of all the firstborns of the Egyptians, including the firstborn of the Pharaoh himself. No firstborn was spared, and the firstborn of humans and animals of the Egyptians alike were destroyed, for the sins of the Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The firstborn of the people of Israel however, were spared, because of the Lord’s promise to them, and His instruction, that they be presented and offered to Him, and they ever since belonged to the Lord who spared them from the power of the angel of death.

Thus, Mary, who was the firstborn of the couple, Joachim and Anne, whom we know now as St. Joachim and St. Anne, was offered at the Temple of God, according to the Law. Thus from that day of the presentation onwards, Mary was entrusted completely to God, and she remained pure and blameless, as God had intended her to be, as the new Ark of the new Covenant, which was made through Jesus her Son.

Jesus too was presented at the Temple when He was eight days old, in the same manner of His mother Mary, as her firstborn Son. And from this offering of the blameless and pure sacrifice, Christ, who is the Lamb of God, offered Himself to be the One to bear the burdens of the sins of the world, and thus purify us from our sins and allow us to escape the claws of death, which is caused by sin.

The festival of the Jewish Passover, which commemorated the ‘passing over’ of the angel of death over the faithful people of God, who sacrificed a lamb and shed its blood on their doors’ lintels and surfaces, is therefore completed in its perfection through Jesus, the One and True Lamb, whose Blood is shed over all mankind, and therefore those of us who believe and receive His Body and Blood had been marked to be saved, and to be passed over by death, which is the lot of those who are wicked and unfaithful.

Thus, this feast of the presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is a reminder for us all, that we who believe in Him and faithfully receive His Body and Blood, had also received grace and salvation through the death and resurrection of our Lord. However, this does not mean that this alone is enough for us to be saved.

When we present something to the Lord, certainly we do not offer something that is wicked, evil, tainted and filled with sin. We ought to offer something that is pure, filled with love and righteousness, with genuine faith and understanding of what that faith is about. Thus, let this day’s celebration be a wake-up call to all of us, so that we may look deep into ourselves and see where we have been faithful, and more importantly, where we have fallen short and where we have failed in our faith.

Let us all follow the example of Mary, the mother of our Lord, whose life is completely and totally devoted to the Lord and His ways, and in all that she did in her life, she did them with complete and full faith in God, knowing that God knows best for His servants and handmaids, and she also acted with love, justice and in accordance with all that the Lord had taught His people.

Mary is our role model, and we should follow her examples. Let us not wait any longer, lest the Lord comes again in surprise, and catch us unprepared. Remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, what is at stake, is the salvation of our souls, and whether, on the day of judgment, we will be ‘passed over’ by eternal death and then proceed into eternal life and bliss, or whether we will suffer the penalty of death for sins we have been unrepentant from.

Mary, mother of us all, pray for us all sinners, that we may learn to change our ways, to follow your examples, and therefore we will be able to offer ourselves anew and refreshed, pure and freed from the taints of sin. Pray for us that we may do our best to distance ourselves from sin and all things wicked in the sight of God. May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, bring us to eternal life. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/18/friday-21-november-2014-33rd-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-the-presentation-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/18/friday-21-november-2014-33rd-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-the-presentation-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/18/friday-21-november-2014-33rd-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-the-presentation-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-gospel-reading/

Thursday, 20 November 2014 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Revelations 5 : 1-10

Then I saw in the right hand of Him who was seated on the throne a scroll written on both sides, sealed with seven seals. A mighty angel exclaimed in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open this and break the seals?”

But no one in heaven or on earth or in the netherworld was found able to open the book and read it. I wept much when I saw that no one was found worthy to open the book and read it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Shoot of David, has conquered; He will open the book of the seven seals.”

And I saw next to the throne with its four living creatures and the twenty-four elders a Lamb standing, although it had been slain. I saw Him with seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out to all the earth. The Lamb moved forward and took the book from the right hand of Him who was seated on the throne.

When He took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders bowed before the Lamb. They all held in their hands harps and golden cups full of incense which are the prayers of the holy ones.

This is the new song they sang : “You are worthy to take the book and open its seals, for You were slain and by Your blood You purchased for God, people of every race, language and nation; and You made them a kingdom and priests for our God and they shall reign over the land.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/18/thursday-20-november-2014-33rd-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 2 November 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about how important it is for us to practice our faith with real commitment and zeal, and not just empty words and proclamations. And we cannot be hypocrites in our faith, like the example which our Lord Jesus gave us, in the wicked and unforgiving servant, who was forgiven in his own debts, but did not forgive the debts of others whose debts are even smaller then his own debt.

How is the parable of the wicked servant, as told by Jesus, relevant to us? It is indeed relevant, as the actions of the wicked servant and the other servants, are all in fact representative of our own actions, and our own dispositions in life. The wicked servant was in fact representative of the Pharisees and the chief priests, whom the Lord rebuked for their actions in life. But this could also easily mean the same for us, as it is easy for us to follow in their footsteps too.

How is this so? That is because we have to first realise the fact that we are all sinners, and sin is like a debt, a debt which we owe the Lord. Not that the Lord owns sins and neither it is that the Lord is the One who gave us sin. No, it is not. Sin is the disobedience of mankind against the will of God, and therefore, it directly and indirectly refers to the lack of love and honour which we should have given and presented to God.

Thus, when we sin before the Lord, we owe the Lord the love and honour, which we should have given to Him, which we instead gave to Satan, the father of sin and lies. And the more we sin, thus the greater is our debt of love towards God, and the more we have to pay back, just as the wicked servant owed the master a lot of money, to the point that he was unable to pay it back.

And this is why our Lord Jesus came in, for He is the Word incarnate into flesh, the Son of God who had been sent into the world by the Father, so that by what He had done, via His ultimate sacrifice of love on the cross, He offered Himself as a worthy Lamb of God, the ultimate price to be paid for our sins, the whole mountains of our sinfulness, indeed! For the sum of all of our sins are indeed so great, that it may seem to us at first that they are insurmountable.

But what is impossible for men, is indeed possible for God. Nothing is impossible, and just as the master forgave all the debts of the wicked servant, the Lord Jesus also absolved the sins of mankind when He sacrificed Himself on the cross, and gave justification and salvation to all mankind. But then, it cannot stop here, just as the parable has a continuation.

The wicked servant also had his fellow servants who owed him money, far smaller in amount than what the wicked servant had once owed his master. Yet, he did not emulate the example of his master, and persecuted his fellow servant just for the sake of that small debt, which he refused to forgive. This is a reality of our faith, and one which may easily occur to us as well.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, no matter how much and how often they have hated Jesus and tried to undermine His works, were also forgiven their sins by Jesus, who even forgave them again on the cross, when He asked the Father not to take into account their actions filled with sin. And yet, despite this, they persecuted their fellow men, for their little sins, which according to them, taints a person and makes him or her unworthy of salvation. They were unbending in their rules and persecuted and ostracised the people for even the smallest matters of the Law.

And how about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is the same. We have also been forgiven our sins, but we do not follow the example of Christ in many if not most situations. How often can we remember that we do not forgive or take great offence at one another, even our own close family members, even for the smallest of matter? How often is it that we refused to forgive our brethren just because he or she had wronged us, and we remained in our anger and vengeance?

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, the readings today from the Scripture made it very clear to us, how we have to take heed of the Lord Jesus’ actions and teachings, that is to wear all the aspects of our faith upon us, to guard over the possible temptations and advances of the devil. The breastplate of faith is the core of our faith in God, in the One who had forgiven us our debts, and give us a new chance in life, which however will not be complete, if it is not accompanied by action filled with justice, love and truth.

This means that our actions must emulate the actions of Christ, and we have to forgive one another the mistakes which we have committed to each other. We have to show justice in our actions to our fellow men, and if the Lord had forgiven us from such a great debt and sin, who are we not to follow His examples, and instead be like the wicked servant who persecuted his fellow servant for so small a debt?

Let us take heed of this, lest we suffer the same fate as the wicked servant, who was thrown into jail, into the darkness, having to pay every cent of his debt. And as mentioned, the great extent of our sins is immeasurable and insurmountable, by us. And therefore, the result of disobeying the Lord and following the path of the wicked servant is eternal suffering, or hell.

We certainly do not want this, and thus, let us change our ways, and become better children and servant of our God, that we may be worthy of life together with Him, in full bliss and happiness, forever. Amen.