Sunday, 28 May 2017 : Seventh Sunday of Easter, World Communication Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Acts 1 : 12-14

Then the disciples of Jesus returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olives, which is a fifteen minute walk away. On entering the city they went to the room upstairs where they were staying.

Present there were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, son of Alpheus; Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James. All of these together gave themselves to constant prayer. With them there were some women and also Mary, the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.

Saturday, 27 May 2017 : 6th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Acts 18 : 23-28

After spending some time at Antioch, Paul left and travelled from place to place through Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening the disciples. A certain Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, arrived at Ephesus. He was an eloquent speaker and an authority on the Scriptures, and he had some knowledge of the way of the Lord.

With great enthusiasm he preached and taught correctly about Jesus, although he knew only of John’s baptism. As he began to speak boldly in the synagogue, Priscilla and Aquila heard him; so they took him home with them and explained to him the way more accurately.

As Apollos wished to go to Achaia, the believers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly strengthened those who, by God’s grace, had become believers, for he vigorously refuted the Jews, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah.

Saturday, 20 May 2017 : 5th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Bernardine of Siena, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Acts 16 : 1-10

Paul travelled on to Derbe and then to Lystra. A disciple named Timothy lived there, whose mother was a believer of Jewish origin but whose father was a Greek. As the believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him, Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him. So he took him and, because of the Jews of that place who all knew that his father was a Greek, he circumcised him.

As they travelled from town to town, they delivered the decisions of the Apostles and elders in Jerusalem, for the people to obey. Meanwhile, the churches grew stronger in faith and increased in number every day.

They travelled through Phrygia and Galatia, because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.

There one night Paul had a vision. A Macedonian stood before him and begged him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” When he awoke, he told us of this vision and we understood that the Lord was calling us to give the Good News to the Macedonian people.

Sunday, 14 May 2017 : Fifth Sunday of Easter, Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday, the fifth in the season of Easter, it happens that we also celebrate the feast of one of the Holy Apostles, that is St. Matthias the Apostle, who was not originally counted among the Twelve Apostles, but was added to their number in order to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus our Lord.

In the first reading today, we have also heard about the decision by the Apostles to choose from among the faithful, seven holy men, filled with the Holy Spirit, in order to serve as the new order of Christian Deacons, which was the moment of the foundation of the diaconate. The deacons were meant to serve the people of God, the community of the faithful, by complementing the works of the Apostles, who were indeed the priests newly appointed by God, given the authority to forgive sins, and to transform the bread and wine offered to the Lord into the very essence and reality of the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord Himself.

And in the second reading today, taken from the first Epistle written by St. Peter, the first Pope and leader of the Church, we heard about how all of us Christians have been called by God, to become living stones, meaning to become living temples of the Lord’s Most Holy Presence, for He has called us out of the darkness into the light, in order to become His disciples, and He has given us Himself, His own Body and Blood to be eaten and consumed, and thus, He Himself dwells in each and every one of us.

And He has revealed all about God’s love to us, how God has sent us His own beloved Son, Jesus Christ, that through Him, and by all those who believed in Him, all will be made worthy of the Lord, and be forgiven of all their sins, provided that they are willing to be forgiven. This is what the Lord intended for us mankind, His desire that all of us should be reconciled with Him, and saved from eternal damnation in hell, which was our fate.

Thus, after hearing all of these passages from the Scriptures, keeping in mind what the Apostles, the disciples of the Lord, the deacons had done for the sake of the Church, and what each of us as Christians had received from the Lord, it is time for us all to reflect on what being a Christian and being a member of the Church which Christ our Lord had established in this world mean for us.

What is the mission of the Church, and indeed what is our mission, our responsibility as part of God’s Church? What is it that we need to do so that we may be able to actively take part in the works of the Church? The primary mission of the Church is the salvation of all the souls of all mankind, that no one, not a single one of us mankind, children of God, should have to perish in hell because of our sins and wickedness.

The Church is the manifestation of God’s love, which He had made evident and real to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord, by His suffering and death on the cross, and then by His glorious resurrection from the dead. It was His triumphant victory over death, over the chains of sin and evil that bound us mankind to suffering and death, which had become the foundation of the Church He established and entrusted on the Apostles He had called.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, God had entrusted to all of us in His Church, the mission to deliver the truth He had revealed to His Apostles, and thus to all of us, that if mankind are to believe in Him, have faith in Him, and put their trust in Him, then they shall not falter any more, and sin and evil will no longer have any dominion or power over them. For just as the Lord had conquered sin, evil and death, He will also liberate all those who have put themselves in Him from all these, and lead them into the eternal life and glory He had promised them.

But there are still many people out there who have not yet heard of God’s love and mercy, of His desire to forgive them from their sins and wickedness, and they continue to live in ignorance of God and His truth. They continue to live in a state of sin, and if nothing is done, the devil and his allies will then be victorious over them, as they will be successful in dragging these souls into hell, for their failure to repent from their sins.

And there are also many others who have drifted away from the Lord, even many of those who were once counted among the faithful ones. There are indeed in reality, many Christians who are no longer regularly attending the celebrations of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, coming to the church only in the festive moments of Christmas and Easter, or certain feast days, instead of regularly attending and participating in the Holy Mass as is necessary.

And there are even more of those who have stopped coming to the Holy Mass altogether, and those who have stopped believing in God. Thus, after coming to realisation of this reality, all of us must do our best to help these brethren of ours who are in need of our help. It is often that our actions in life are not representative of what we believe in Christians, and it is often this that had prevented many more people from coming to believe in God.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ. How are we supposed to make people believe in God and accept the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, if we ourselves as Christians fight among ourselves, and are involved in numerous immoral and unjust acts? How can people believe in what we preach to them, if we ourselves do not do as we have believed? Then we are no better than the Pharisees, whom the Lord Jesus Himself had criticised as those who preached well, but did not practice what they preached, and thus told the people to listen to them, but not follow their practices.

Let us all therefore, from now on, renew our commitment to the Lord, by putting our greatest effort to live faithfully as Christians, devoting our time and effort to serve Him with zeal, and by practicing love and grace in our daily actions. We must be true Christians through our actions, that we should show love to the unloved, to those who have been rejected by others, and show mercy to our enemies and those who have wronged us.

Let us all be exemplary in our actions, and do whatever we can as members and parts of the Church of God, devoting our time and effort, walking in the footsteps of the holy deacons, the Apostles, St. Matthias and his fellow disciples of the Lord, so that many more people may come to be saved through our efforts, and all of us may rejoice together as one people, in the loving presence of our God. Amen.

Sunday, 14 May 2017 : Fifth Sunday of Easter, Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 14 : 1-12

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Do not be troubled! Trust in God and trust in Me! In My Father’s house there are many rooms; otherwise, I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. After I have gone and prepared a place for you, I shall come again and take you to Me, so that where I am, you also may be. Yet you know the way where I am going.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you know Me, you will know the Father also; indeed you know Him, and you have seen Him.”

Philip asked Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough.” Jesus said to him, “What! I have been with you so long and you still do not know Me, Philip? Whoever sees Me sees the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me?”

“All that I say to you, I do not say of Myself. The Father Who dwells in Me is doing His own work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; at least believe it on the evidence of these works that I do. Truly, I say to you, the one who believes in Me will do the same works that I do; and he will even do greater than these, for I am going to the Father.”

Sunday, 14 May 2017 : Fifth Sunday of Easter, Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
1 Peter 2 : 4-9

He is the living Stone rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to Him; set yourselves close to Him so that you, too, become living stones built into a spiritual temple, a holy community of priests offering spiritual sacrifices that please God through Jesus Christ.

Scripture says : See, I lay in Zion a chosen and precious Cornerstone; whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed. This means honour for you who believed, but for unbelievers also the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone and it is a stone to stumble over, a rock which lays people low. They stumble over it in rejecting the Word, but the plan of God is fulfilled in this.

You are a chosen race, a community of priest-kings, a consecrated nation, a people God has made His own to proclaim His wonders. For He called you from your darkness to His own wonderful light.

Sunday, 14 May 2017 : Fifth Sunday of Easter, Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 32 : 1-2, 4-5, 18-19

Rejoice in the Lord, you who are just, praise is fitting for the upright. Give thanks to Him on the harp and lyre, making melody and chanting praises.

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

But the Lord’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving-kindness to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.