Friday, 13 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are yet constantly being reminded of the salvation which has come to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Who has come into our midst bearing the truth and love of God. We are reminded of this fact as we continue to progress through the season of Easter because as Christians we cannot just remain idle in our faith. Instead, all of us are called to evangelise in our own ways and within the opportunities and capacities presented to us. All of us have to embrace this calling to be faithful witnesses of the Lord’s truth and love in our respective communities, in today’s world.

As we heard from our first reading today, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard of how St. Paul proclaimed all the works of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all, Who had come amidst the Jewish people and as one of their own, in proclaiming the Good News of salvation. St. Paul spoke of all the wonders and works the Lord had done, and how although many of the people had rejected Him and condemned Him to death, but the Lord had risen from the dead, and how the Apostles including St. Paul himself had been preaching of all these truth and witnesses they had to all the people, calling on them to have faith in the Lord and to believe in Him.

St. Paul and the many other disciples of the Lord faced all the dangers and challenges faithfully and with dedication, knowing that God is with them, and that they were not labouring in vain, as the Lord Who knew all of their actions, would bless them and remember them, and though they might suffer and perish, but they would not face defeat as the Lord would lead them into the ultimate victory in the end. The sufferings of the Apostles and the many other disciples, the saints and many of the martyrs all remind us of just how difficult it is to follow the Lord, and how complicated it may be for us to commit ourselves as Christians, even in our own day as well. And yet, we must not lose heart because the Lord has reassured us of His providence and love.

As we heard in our Gospel passage today, the Lord Himself spoke to His disciples, reassuring them of the bounty and true joy that each one of them would enjoy in the end, despite the challenges and trials that they might have to endure for the sake of the Lord. The Lord told all of them that He would go before them to a place where they could and would not yet be able to go, a revelation of what would happen to Him afterwards, when He would be arrested, accused of wrongdoing, and punished to die a most humiliating death, dying and eventually rose from the dead as how everything had happened back then. And then the Lord would ascend to Heaven, to prepare everything for His disciples and beloved ones, preparing the places for all of them.

The disciples who had listened to the Lord and then witnessed everything coming to fruition and having seen what had happened, the Lord’s death and resurrection, and His ascension into glory, they all believed in Him and His truth. And with the strength and courage bestowed on them through the Holy Spirit, the disciples and followers of the Lord like St. Paul committed their whole efforts and lives to serve the Lord and to proclaim this same truth and love to more and more people. They went up against all those who refused to believe in the Lord and all those who persecuted the Lord and His followers, the Jewish authorities and the Roman government among many others.

The Lord’s disciples did not fear those persecution, trials and challenges, because they trusted in the Lord, and they knew that in the end, as I mentioned, they would be triumphant with God. The Lord would lead them all to the ultimate victory, and this same assurance had been given to us all as well. We have to put our faith in God and devote ourselves to the Lord in our lives and in our every opportunities. All of us must follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and continue to follow the Lord, and to devote ourselves to the many works and efforts of the Church, which had been done for the salvation of many more souls.

Today, we also celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, commemorating the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, at Fatima in Portugal, where Mary appeared to the three little shepherd children, Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia. Over a hundred years ago, during the height of the First World War in Europe, and during a time of intense persecution against the Church in Portugal, and just before the ascent of Communism throughout Russia and Eastern Europe, the three young shepherd children saw Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, appearing to them and asking them to spread her messages, a reminder to the world and all of the children of God, that they ought to return to the Lord and offend the Lord no more by their sins.

That is why, she, Our Lady of Fatima made appearances to the three shepherd children, through whom her messages were made clear to all of us through the Church. Her call for us is a reminder that all of us have been called to follow the Lord faithfully and to do His will. We are reminded not to veer away from the path that God has shown us, and to repent from our many sins that had led us astray from God. As the Mother of God and our own mother, as we have been entrusted to her by the Lord Himself, naturally she would be concerned with us and our fate, and having seen how her Son, Our same Lord Jesus Christ, had suffered for our sake, for our salvation, she would not want any of us to suffer eternal damnation due to our actions.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures and are reminded of what Our Lady of Fatima had said to the three shepherd children of Fatima that day and in her various apparitions afterwards, each one of us are called and reminded to turn towards the Lord anew with faith, and to face the many challenges and trials with confidence and trust in God. We must not let our fears to overcome us or to hinder us in any way in our path towards serving the Lord and in fulfilling the mission entrusted to us. Let us do our best to commit ourselves to the Lord’s mission, and may all of us be encouraged and strengthened at all times, and may God bless each one of us in our every endeavours and good works, now and always. Blessed Mary, Mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us all sinners too. Amen.

Friday, 13 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 14 : 1-6

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.”

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Fatima)

Luke 11 : 27-28

At that time, as Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to Him, “Blessed is the one who gave You birth and nursed You!”

Jesus replied, “Truly blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it as well.”

Friday, 13 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 2 : 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

“Behold the King I have installed, in Zion, upon My holy hill!” I will proclaim the decree of the Lord. He said to Me : “You are My Son. This day I have begotten You.”

“Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall rule them with iron sceptre and shatter them as a potter’s vase.”

Now therefore, learn wisdom, o kings; be warned, o rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and fall at His feet; lest He be angry and you perish when His anger suddenly flares. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Fatima)

Psalm 44 : 11-12, 14-15, 16-17

Listen, o daughter, pay attention; forget your father’s house and your nation, and your beauty will charm the King, for He is your Lord.

All glorious as she enters is the princess in her gold-woven robes. She is led in royal attire to the King, following behind is her train of virgins.

Amid cheers and general rejoicing, they enter the palace of the King. Forget your fathers and think of your sons, you will make them princes throughout the land.

Friday, 13 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 13 : 26-33

Paul said to the Jews in the synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia, “Brothers, children and descendants of Abraham, and you also who fear God, it is to you that this message of salvation has been sent. It is a fact that the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognise Jesus.”

“Yet in condemning Him, they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath but not understood. Even though they found no charge against Him that deserved death, they asked Pilate to have Him executed. And after they have carried out all that had been written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.”

But God raised Him from the dead, and for many days thereafter He showed Himself to those who had come up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They have now become His witnesses before the people. We ourselves announce to you this Good News : All that God promised our ancestors, He has fulfilled for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus, according to what is written in the second psalm : You are My Son, this day I have begotten You.”

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Fatima)

Isaiah 61 : 9-11

Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a race YHVH has blessed.

I rejoice greatly in YHVH, my soul exults for joy in my God, for He has clothed me in the garments of His salvation, He has covered me with the robe of His righteousness, like a bridegroom wearing a garland, like a bride adorned with jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its growth, and as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord YHVH make justice and praise spring up in the sight of all nations.

Saturday, 13 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, 100th Anniversary (Centenary) of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we as the whole Church are all celebrating a very special occasion and anniversary of one very significant event in our faith, one that happened not that long ago such that it was still relatively fresh in the living memory, that is about a century ago in Fatima, a small village in Portugal, in the year of our Lord 1917.

At that time, Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three young villagers, named Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia. She appeared to them bearing messages to the people of God, calling mankind to repentance, and to rediscover their faith in God. There are many messages which Our Lady’s apparition, later known as Our Lady of Fatima, passed on through the three children.

She came at the time in the world where there were so many great evils lurking around, in the midst of the first World War, then known as the Great War, where millions of people lost their lives over conflict of national interests and sovereignty, over human greed and pride, over all worldly concerns and other things. Millions more people had been displaced from their homes and their dwellings, and had become refugees in their own lands.

And the year 1917 was the beginning of the Communist movement gaining momentum and power throughout the world, beginning in Russia, when the Bolshevik Revolution succeeded in allowing the Communists to establish the world’s first Communist regime. And this in time would result in the extermination of countless faithful, both the laity and the priests alike, the closure of many churches and parishes, and the spread of atheism throughout not just Russia but also through many other parts of the world.

Our Lady of Fatima made her appearance to the three children of Fatima, two of whom are now Blessed and will soon be made as Saints, right at the anniversary today, because she is the mother of our Lord, whom the Lord Jesus Himself had entrusted to all of us as our own mother, by His entrusting of her to His disciple St. John as He hung from the cross. Therefore, at the same time, just as she is our mother, we have also all been adopted as her children.

After all, which mother does not love her children? If a mother refuses to love her children, or neglect those children she had, then even if the children were her own biological children, she should be ashamed of even calling or considering herself as a mother. But Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, is truly our mother, because not only that she is concerned for our well-being, but she also tries her best to help us as we journey through this journey of life towards the end, trying out to reach the Lord and His salvation.

She has made frequent apparitions, and in the recent years alone, the two most well known of those were made, namely at Lourdes and at Fatima, in order to remind us all, the children of God, whom God had made to be her children as well, that all of us mankind must turn away from our sinful ways, and begin to make our journey towards repentance and forgiveness from our sins.

Otherwise, much sufferings, sorrows and evils will come out of our human behaviours, as shown and proven right at the very moment Our Lady of Fatima chose to make her appearance. The Great War or the first World War was the product of human greed, of the desire for power, for wealth, for renown and many other things, first of which is human ego, which led to men killing one another and making sufferings to happen on each other because they could not restrain themselves from the temptations.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it may have been a century since the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, but the message she had spoken to us all through the three Fatima children remain true to this very day. It may seem that in our world today, things are now less chaotic and dangerous than it was a hundred years ago, and yet, if we pay a closer attention to what is happening around us, we will realise that mankind have not yet learnt from the lessons of their past.

There are many people who continue, in the pursuit of their personal desires and wishes, to oppress other people and cause suffering upon other people, and there are also still the forces of those who refuse to believe in God, and impose their will on the faithful people of God, causing much harm and suffering on the people of God, much as how it had happened in the past.

Therefore, a century after the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to the three children at Fatima, delivering grim messages of destruction if mankind were to continue in their current path, and how we should act in order to avoid that fate, by bringing ourselves closer to God through the path that Our Lady had shown us, now the challenge is upon us, in order to listen again to what she had told Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia, and reflect on our own deeds in life, and think of what we can do, in order to be ever more faithful to God.

As Christians, all of us should do our best to help one another to live faithfully in accordance with the ways of the Lord, turning ourselves completely away from sin, and abandoning all sorts of wickedness and evil, and seek to serve the Lord with all of our might. Let us all listen to the messages of Our Lady of Fatima, and begin our way towards redemption, as we turn away from selfishness and worldly temptations, and renew our commitment to the Lord.

Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, should be our role model in life, as she is the paragon of virtue and obedience, as someone who had dedicated her entire life in the service of God, by obediently following her Son, Jesus our Lord, throughout His entire ministry in this world. She obeyed the Lord with faith, entrusting herself to God and His plans, and therefore, she became for all of us, an example in faith not surpassed by any other.

That is why we have such a deep devotion to Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, because we honour her great faith and commitment to live her life in accordance with the will of God. Let us all remember this, whenever we try to act selfishly and bring suffering on others, that our Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, had been ever so selfless in her life, that she gave her all to love her Son, Jesus, and always thinking of Him all the time, the perfect love shown by a mother to her Son.

Let us all remember that despite all the darkness present in our lives today, and despite all the evils and wickedness that we mankind commit in this world, all of us as Christians, as those who believe in the Lord, can follow in the footsteps of Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, whose faith in God and life was brilliantly bright, that we can become beacons of light, to bring light to those who are living in the darkness, and make our world a better place, and save more souls from the damnation to hell and the darkness.

O, Our Lady of Fatima, Most Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for all of us sinners who are still struggling with our lives in this world. Help us to persevere in faith as you have done, and pray for our sake before your Son, our Lord and God, and help us to say in sincerity the prayer which the Angel your Son had sent to the three children had taught us to pray, for the sake of our souls and their salvation from eternal death and damnation in hell.

Let us all pray together, brothers and sisters in Christ, with the words taught to us by the Angel at Fatima a hundred years ago, “O my Jesus. Forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of Your mercy.” Amen.

Saturday, 13 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, 100th Anniversary (Centenary) of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Luke 11 : 27-28

At that time, as Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to Him, “Blessed is the one who gave You birth and nursed You!”

Jesus replied, “Truly blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it as well.”

Saturday, 13 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, 100th Anniversary (Centenary) of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 44 : 11-12, 14-15, 16-17

Listen, o daughter, pay attention; forget your father’s house and your nation, and your beauty will charm the King, for He is your Lord.

All glorious as she enters is the princess in her gold-woven robes. She is led in royal attire to the King, following behind is her train of virgins.

Amid cheers and general rejoicing, they enter the palace of the King. Forget your fathers and think of your sons, you will make them princes throughout the land.

Saturday, 13 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, 100th Anniversary (Centenary) of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Isaiah 61 : 9-11

Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a race YHVH has blessed.

I rejoice greatly in YHVH, my soul exults for joy in my God, for He has clothed me in the garments of His salvation, He has covered me with the robe of His righteousness, like a bridegroom wearing a garland, like a bride adorned with jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its growth, and as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord YHVH make justice and praise spring up in the sight of all nations.

Monday, 13 October 2014 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Scriptures made a reference to the two sons of Abraham, who was each born of a different mother. Ishmael, the elder son, was born from the union between Abraham and her slave, Hagar, at the insistence of Sarah, his wife, who insisted to Abraham to bear a son with Hagar the slave, who will then legally be known as her own son.

It was common in the past, and even still until today, that a surrogate mother, usually a slave, to produce an heir to a wealthy and influential person, and whose heir will be adopted by the wife of the person, when the wife is unable to bear a child on her own. But in the case of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar the slave, Sarah was taking a shortcut to her problem of not being able to bear a child. God had promised Abraham that He would give him a son through Sarah, for it is nothing impossible for God, even for someone to bear a child at old age.

The younger son, Isaac, born from Abraham and Sarah was the child promised by God, and the blessings which God had given to Abraham in His covenant, was passed on to Isaac and his descendants. Meanwhile, Ishmael, while still blessed by Abraham, he had no part in his inheritance, and both him and his mother Hagar the slave was sent away by Abraham from his house.

The idea here is to separate two occasions in our own lives, the children of God, the children of our father in faith, that is Abraham, the faithful servant of God. The elder son, Ishmael, born of Hagar the slave represented our old lives, the lives of slavery, when we are enslaved by the power of sin and Satan’s works, that we are chained to this world and all of its darkness.

If we think that we are not chained or enslaved, then think about this, how our ancestors were cast out of Eden, the gardens of God filled with all wonderful things and perfections, because they disobeyed the Lord and preferred to follow Satan and their own desires than to listen to God, who had told them and taught them what they need to follow and obey, as well as what they need to avoid.

God did not create us to enslave us, or to make us like His slaves. Rather, we were created in love, for love and for our own good. God who is perfect and complete in everything truly had no need for anyone or anything to satisfy Him, and He did not need anything to be happy or to be joyful, as He is perfect and self-sufficient in everything, in love and joy.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, He created all things, and last and greatest of all, mankind, so that He may share that love He has with all of us. And we were created in perfection, meant to enjoy all the things God had created. He even entrusted all creations on earth to us, that we were meant to be the stewards of all creations, to live our lives in bliss, joy and perfect harmony with God.

But alas, we choose our lot with the evil one, who tempted us, and by accepting his temptations and lies, from our ancestors on, until the coming of the Saviour, all mankind had been enslaved, that is enslaved and chained by sin, the sins of our actions which corrupted us and brought us away from the promise of eternal life and happiness which God freely gave us and intended for us.

And that brought us under the slavery of our sins, that we are no longer free but bound under the consequences of sin, which ultimately is death. Death is the punishment and consequence of disobedience, and that is why mankind suffered from death, which was once without hope, and we feared death. But all was not lost, for God gave His help to us all, through Jesus Christ His Son, who is our Lord and Saviour.

That through Christ, we may be made anew, and transformed from the child of the first generation, represented by Ishmael, the son of the slave woman, to be like the other child, that is Isaac, the son promised by God to Abraham, the son of the free woman, and hence is free. This represents how we mankind had been made free, and through the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ, this was made true by God.

But this freedom is given only to those who want to believe in Christ, and not to those who continue to stubbornly refuse His offers of freedom. Yes, there are many indeed today who continues to refuse to follow the Lord and listen to Him, and they prefer to continue to live under the slavery of sin, and keep their chains of sin, which continue to chain them to death and destruction.

This was exactly the same kind of attitude which Jesus encountered as He taught the people, who were stubborn and persistent in their rebelliousness. They doubted Jesus, even after seeing what He had done, and asking for even more signs and miracles. They were not able to look beyond the veil of their doubt and unfaithfulness, and instead, they languished in sin, refusing to see the light until the day when the judgment comes upon them.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as today we also celebrate the anniversary of the last of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, let us all look at the examples of the holy saints and martyrs, and chief of all, that of our Lady of Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And let us look at the examples of Abraham our father in faith, and finally the examples and the actions of our Lord Jesus Himself.

All of them followed the Lord, obeyed the Lord and listened to His will, as contrasted to Adam and Eve, our ancestors, and the people whom Jesus confronted in the Gospel today. We have a choice, brothers and sisters in Christ. We can choose to follow the Lord and obey all of His commands and will, and walk righteously in His path, or to choose to instead listen to Satan and his lies, and obey our own whim and our own desires. It is up to us to make a difference in our own lives.

Thus, do we all want to choose life or death? Do we all want to be free from sin and its slavery, or do we want to remain bound to sin and be enslaved? Thus, let us all take conscious actions, to show that we want to be indeed free from all forms of the bondage of sin, and rebuke Satan who had enslaved us with them. Let us say courageously to him, that we do not want to have any more part in this slavery of our body and soul, but rather that we may be free in the Lord.

May Almighty God be with us, guide us and bring us into the freedom from our slavery, the slavery of our body and soul to sin, so that we may truly be righteous and just, and be found worthy of His grace and inheritance. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 13 October 2014 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 11 : 29-32

At that time, as the crowd increased, Jesus began to speak in this way, “People of the present time are troubled people. They ask for a sign, but no sign will be given to them except the sign of Jonah. As Jonah became a sign for the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be a sign for this generation.”

“The Queen of the South will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and here there is greater than Solomon. The people of Nineveh will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for Jonah’s preaching made them turn from their sins, and here there is greater than Jonah.”