Wednesday, 29 June 2022 : Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 16 : 13-19

At that time, Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They said, “For some of them, You are John the Baptist; for others Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

Jesus asked them, “But you, who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “It is well for you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven.”

“And now I say to you : You are Peter; and on this Rock I will build My Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven : whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven.”

Wednesday, 29 June 2022 : Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

2 Timothy 4 : 6-8, 17-18

As for me, I am already poured out as a libation, and the moment of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, with which the Lord, the just Judge, will reward me, on that day, and not only me, but all those who have longed for His glorious coming.

But the Lord was at my side, giving me strength, to proclaim the Word fully, and let all the pagans hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will save me from all evil, bringing me to His heavenly kingdom. Glory to Him forever and ever. Amen!

Wednesday, 29 June 2022 : Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 33 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

I will praise YHVH all my days; His praise will be ever on my lips. My soul makes its boast in YHVH; let the lowly hear and rejoice.

Oh, let us magnify YHVH; together, let us glorify His Name! I sought YHVH, and He answered me; from all my fears He delivered me.

They who look to Him are radiant with joy, their faces never clouded with shame. When the poor cry out, YHVH hears and saves them from distress.

YHVH’s Angel encamps and patrols, to keep safe those who fear Him. Oh, see and taste the goodness of YHVH! Blessed is the one who finds shelter in Him!

Wednesday, 29 June 2022 : Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Acts 12 : 1-11

About that time king Herod decided to persecute some members of the Church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword, and when he saw how it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.

This happened during the Festival of the Unleavened Bread. Herod had him seized and thrown into prison with four squads, each of four soldiers, to guard him. He wanted to bring him to trial before the people after the Passover feast, but while Peter was kept in prison, the whole Church prayed earnestly for him.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound by a double chain, while guards kept watch at the gate of the prison. Suddenly, an Angel of the Lord stood there and a light shone in the prison cell. The Angel tapped Peter on the side and woke him saying, “Get up quickly!”

At once, the chains fell from Peter’s wrists. The Angel said, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” Peter did so; and the Angel added, “Now, put on your cloak and follow me.” Peter followed him out; yet he did not realise that what was happening with the Angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision.

They passed the first guard, and then the second, and they came to the iron door leading out to the city, which opened by itself for them. They went out and made their way down a narrow alley, when suddenly the Angel left him. Then Peter recovered his senses and said, “Now I know that the Lord has sent His Angel and has rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from all that the Jews had in store for me.”

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

John 21 : 15-19

At that time, after Jesus and His disciples had finished breakfast, He said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these do?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” And Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.”

A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Look after My sheep.” And a third time He said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.” Jesus then said, “Feed My sheep! Truly, I say to you, when you were young, you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will put a belt around you, and lead you where you do not wish to go.”

Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And He added, “Follow Me!”

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Galatians 1 : 11-20

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, that the Gospel we preached to you is not a human message, nor did I receive it from anyone, I was not taught of it; but it came to me, as a revelation from Christ Jesus. You have heard of my previous activity in the Jewish community; I furiously persecuted the Church of God and tried to destroy it. For I was more devoted to the Jewish religion than many fellow Jews of my age, and I defended the traditions of my ancestors more fanatically.

But one day, God called me, out of His great love, He, Who had chosen me from my mother’s womb; and he was pleased to reveal, in me, His Son, that I might make Him known among the pagan nations. Then, I did not seek human advice nor did I go up to Jerusalem, to those who were Apostles before me. I immediately went to Arabia, and from there, I returned, again, to Damascus.

Later, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to meet Cephas, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. But I did not see any other Apostle except James, the Lord’s brother. On writing this to you, I affirm before God that I am not lying.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 18 : 2-3, 4-5

The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the work of His hands. Day talks it over with day; night hands on the knowledge to night.

No speech, no words, no voice is heard – but the call goes on, throughout the universe, the message is felt to the ends of the earth.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Acts 3 : 1-10

Once when Peter and John were going up to the Temple at three in the afternoon, the hour for prayer, a man crippled from birth was being carried in. Every day they would bring him and put him at the Temple gate called “Beautiful”; there he begged from those who entered the Temple.

When he saw Peter and John on their way into the Temple, he asked for alms. Then Peter with John at his side looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” So he looked at them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have I give you : In the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, walk!”

Then he took the beggar by his right hand and helped him up. At once his feet and ankles became firm, and jumping up he stood on his feet and began to walk. And he went with them into the Temple walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God; they recognised him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were all astonished and amazed at what had happened to him.

Saturday, 11 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we mark the occasion of the Feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle, one of the Holy Apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the companion of St. Paul the Apostle, another great Apostle and missionary of the faith. St. Barnabas has dedicated much of his life for the evangelisation of the people in all the communities and places that he has visited, both in his missionary journeys with St. Paul and in his own missionary works and other engagements. As we listened to more of his works and ministry, his dedication and commitment to God, we are reminded that we ourselves have been called to the same mission by the Lord as well.

St. Barnabas according to Apostolic traditions was a Jew who lived and hailed from Cyprus, one of the Jews living in the diaspora, who came to believe in Christ and became one of the earliest disciple and follower of Christ after His Resurrection, and who gave himself for the service of the Lord and His Church, in which he and St. Paul managed to convert many of the Gentiles during the course of his work, and his successes in Antioch and the region as mentioned in our first reading passage today led to him and St. Paul being sent to evangelise and minister to the faithful in many parts across the Mediterranean region. The Apostles prayed over them and sent them to the people in their mission areas to bring the truth of God to them.

St. Barnabas and St. Paul went through many things together, facing obstacles and challenges, having to endure persecutions and rejections just as they managed to gain a lot of success in some places as well. He helped to champion the cause of the Gentiles or the non-Jewish people who converted to the faith, that they should not need to obey and follow the entire extent of the Jewish customs and practices, contrary to what some among the Christian converts, especially from among the Pharisees, had pressured the Church to do. St. Barnabas also did many other things for the benefit of the faithful and the larger Christian community.

St. Barnabas continued to carry on the mission of evangelising to many people and establishing the Christian faith and its foothold in various places and communities. He continued to do his works even after he had parted ways with St. Paul and continued to evangelise to the people with the help of some other helpers, serving the Lord to the best of his ability. He helped many people to know God and to turn away from their sinful ways. St. Barnabas helped to establish many new Church communities and helped them all in remaining faithful to God. Eventually, he was also martyred for his faith in God.

In our Gospel reading today, we then heard of the words of the Lord Jesus to His disciples, as He sent them out, in pairs, two by two, to go before Him and to do the works that He had sent them to do. He told them to go from place to place, preaching the words of His truth and love, calling on everyone to turn back towards the Lord and to follow Him. He told them to do all the wonders and works which He would guide them all to do. He told them to live among the people they had been sent to, and God would provide for them wherever they were welcomed, accepted and successful.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, each and every one of us as Christians are also sharing in the same mission that God has entrusted to His disciples back then. The works and the mission of the Church are still far from being completed, and we have to realise that we are part of the works and efforts of the Church to continue this mission that the Lord still expects of us to complete. We have to active ministers of the Lord’s works and answer His call towards us, as He called us to be His missionaries, the witnesses of His light, truth and love, His hope and mercy in the midst of our respective communities, many of whom are still living in ignorance of God and His truth.

That is why, each and every one of us should be inspired by the examples set by St. Barnabas and the many other Apostles, disciples, all the saints and martyrs who had dedicated themselves and their lives to love and serve the Lord wholeheartedly. We are all called to live our lives to the fullest and to live them as faithful Christians, such that in our every words, actions and deeds, we will always bring glory to God and that everyone who hears us, sees us and witnesses our works, will come to know that we are truly God’s beloved people, and will come to know God and His truth through us and our lives, and not only just through our words but also through our actions as well.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore heed the Lord’s call and our mission, and be good and faithful Christians at all times. Let us follow in the footsteps of St. Barnabas and the many other saints of God, our holy predecessors, and let us seek to glorify God by our lives and by our every actions. May the Lord continue to guide us and to strengthen us in our resolve to follow Him and to serve Him at all times. May He empower each and every one of us and may He encourage us all with His power and Holy Spirit, that we may continue to be beacons of His light, truth and love at all times. May the Lord bless us all, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 11 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 10 : 7-13

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Go, and proclaim this message : The kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. Freely have you received, freely give. Do not carry any gold or silver or money in your purses. Do not take a travelling bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or a walking stick : workers deserve to be compensated.”

“When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person, and stay there until you leave. When you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people are worthy people, your peace will rest on them; if they are not worthy people, your blessing will come back to you.”