Friday, 25 December 2020 : Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Mass at Dawn (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 15-20

When the Angels had left the shepherds and gone back to heaven, they said to one another, “Let us go as far as Bethlehem, and see what the Lord has made known to us.”

So they came hurriedly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger. On seeing Him, they related what they had been told about the Child, and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds.

As for Mary, she treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds then returned, giving glory and praise to God for all they had heard and seen, just as the Angels had told them.

Friday, 25 December 2020 : Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Midnight Mass (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 1-14

At that time the Emperor issued a decree for a census of the whole Empire to be taken. This first census was taken when Quirinus was governor of Syria. Everyone had to be registered in his own town, so everyone set out for his own city. Joseph too set out from Nazareth of Galilee. As he belonged to the family of David, being a descendant of his, he went to Judea, to David’s town of Bethlehem, to be registered with Mary, his wife, who was with Child.

They were in Bethlehem when the time came for her to have her Child, and she gave birth to a Son, her Firstborn. She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in the manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. There were shepherds camping in the countryside, taking turns to watch over their flocks by night.

Suddenly an Angel of the Lord appeared to them, with the Glory of the Lord shining around them. As the were terrified, the Angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; I am here to give you Good News, great joy for all the people. Today a Saviour has been born to you in David’s town; He is the Messiah and the Lord. Let this be a sign to you : you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly the Angel was surrounded by many more heavenly spirits, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and Peace, on earth, to those whom God loves.”

Saturday, 8 September 2018 : Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Micah 5 : 1-4a

But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, so small that you are hardly named among the clans of Judah; from you shall I raise the One Who is to rule over Israel. For He comes forth from of old, from the ancient times.

YHVH, therefore, will abandon Israel until such time as she, who is to give birth, has given birth. Then the rest of His deported brothers will return to the people of Israel. He will stand, and shepherd His flock with the strength of YHVH, in the glorious Name of YHVH, His God.

They will live safely, while He wins renown to the ends of the earth. He shall be peace.

Alternative reading

Romans 8 : 28-30

We know that in everything, God works for the good of those who love Him, whom He has called, according to His plan. Those whom He knew beforehand, He has also predestined, to be like His Son, similar to Him, so, that, He may be the Firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

And so, those whom God predestined, He called, and those whom He called, He makes righteous, and to those whom He makes righteous, He will give His glory.

Sunday, 25 December 2016 : Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Day, Mass at Dawn (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Luke 2 : 15-20

When the Angels had left the shepherds and gone back to heaven, they said to one another, “Let us go as far as Bethlehem, and see what the Lord has made known to us.”

So they came hurriedly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger. On seeing Him, they related what they had been told about the Child, and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds.

As for Mary, she treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds then returned, giving glory and praise to God for all they had heard and seen, just as the Angels had told them.

Sunday, 25 December 2016 : Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Day, Midnight Mass (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Luke 2 : 1-14

At that time the Emperor issued a decree for a census of the whole Empire to be taken. This first census was taken when Quirinus was governor of Syria. Everyone had to be registered in his own town, so everyone set out for his own city. Joseph too set out from Nazareth of Galilee. As he belonged to the family of David, being a descendant of his, he went to Judea, to David’s town of Bethlehem, to be registered with Mary, his wife, who was with Child.

They were in Bethlehem when the time came for her to have her Child, and she gave birth to a Son, her Firstborn. She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in the manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. There were shepherds camping in the countryside, taking turns to watch over their flocks by night.

Suddenly an Angel of the Lord appeared to them, with the Glory of the Lord shining around them. As the were terrified, the Angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; I am here to give you Good News, great joy for all the people. Today a Saviour has been born to you in David’s town; He is the Messiah and the Lord. Let this be a sign to you : you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly the Angel was surrounded by many more heavenly spirits, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and Peace, on earth, to those whom God loves.”

Thursday, 25 December 2014 : Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Mass (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is the great day of great joy! The day when the Lord came into this world, assuming the form of a humble Man, born in a manger, to be the Saviour of the world, through whom this world would be delivered from its afflictions of sin and death. A Royal Child had been born for us and His Name is Jesus, the Emmanuel, which means God is with us.

Today is the culmination of the four weeks of preparation which we have begun since the first Sunday of Advent, and in this period of time, we have done our preparation for the coming of Christ, to rejoice greatly in His entry into the world. He is God, the Divine Word through which God willed the world and all of creations into being, but He did not hesitate to descend down upon us and assume our earthly identity as a Man, born of the Virgin, His mother Mary.

And in this, Christ is the culmination and perfect fulfillment of all the prophecies which prophets and messengers of God throughout the ages had prophesied about Him. They all talked of the day when the Lord would come and save His people, Israel, and this Saviour is none other than the Lord, just as king David and many prophets saw, the One who is to come to bring salvation to the world. He was also to be born of the House of David, as the Heir of David, the fulfillment of yet another of God’s promise, that He made to David, ‘Your descendants will sit on your throne forever.’

St. John the Evangelist spoke of Him in the Gospel he wrote, that He is Word, and He is eternal with God, not created but begotten from the Father, as One of the Holy Trinity, perfectly united to each other through love. And it is so wonderful that He has decided to come to us, to dwell among us and to be present among us, as the Lord who cares and loves for His people. He would not want them to be lost to the darkness.

The prophet Isaiah mentioned how a people in the darkness had seen a great Light. This Light is the Christ our Saviour, who brought His Light to lighten our path. We mankind have lived long in the darkness, caused by our sin and disobedience against God. We have for long lost our way and do not know where we ought to go in life, ever since we detached ourselves from the Lord’s guidance.

Disobedience of men against God brought us from the lives lived in full trust of the Lord, into a life filled with selfish desires and the desires to preserve ourselves, to gain more for ourselves, in possessions, wealth, for more worldly fame and praise, and to trust more in ourselves rather than to put our trust in the Lord. Temptations after temptations come our way, and we tend to lose our path, as we follow the false leads of temptation, greed, desire and many others.

We have deserved damnation and death for the paths of sin we had taken in life. But our Lord who loves us very much is willing to give us another chance, to change our ways and to be reoriented in our lives, so that while once we followed our own human desires, now we should trust rather in the Light which Christ had brought into the world, for He is the True Light that dispels all forms of lies and tricks that Satan and the evil one had brought unto us.

If I would give an analogy, the coming of Christ into the world is like ships being lost in the darkness of the sea, with no land in sight, and with dangerous rocks and waves threatening to sink the ships. We are the ships that travel through that sea filled with storms and rocks, which represent the challenges and temptations that we face in this life. Then, the coming of the Lord is like a great Light, which disperses the darkness, and gives hope to all those in the ship, because as all sailors knew, a light is a sign for land, like the light of a lighthouse.

That light shows the path the ships should take, to avoid the rocks and dangers that are scattered throughout the sea, that is our life journey. And this light to us, the Light of salvation, is our Lord Jesus Christ, born to us in Bethlehem on this day, over two millennia ago, as the manifestation of God’s desire to bring us back to Himself, and to bring a new hope of life to us.

To this extent, God who does not wish us to be lost to Him, chose to assume the humility of a servant, born as a Man, and not just any man. He is King of all kings, the Lord of all lords, and the Master of all the universe, and yet, this King was born in a manger within a stable suitable only for animals and not for human use. His Kingship is not one of power and greed, as the kingdoms and nations of this world are, but one that is based on love.

He laid down His life for us, by dying on the cross, so that through His death, we may be free from our sins and our sins He bore with Him as He climbed that hill of Calvary, out of that same love. By His obedience to the Father He had brought us from our state of sin and darkness into the new light of hope.

And why do we ponder this on this day of great joy? That is because Christmas cannot be separated from the Passion of the Lord, His death and resurrection, or otherwise, Christmas will be meaningless. Christmas is part of that grand celebration of God’s love, through which He made Himself Man, that He might carry out to perfection what the Lord had intended for us, that is to be liberated from our slavery and bondage to sin, and to bring us back to Himself.

His care and concern for us is great, and He is a true King who cares for all of His people. He did not come into this world to boast of Himself, His power or His might, but He came to serve His people with love, teaching them the way how they ought to live their lives that they may avoid those that bring about harm to them. Remember what I have just told you about the light of the lighthouse and the ship lost in the darkness?

The light of Christ is that light, and His teachings are the light that leads the people, the ships, to Himself, avoiding the dangers and the darkness that threaten to destroy us and harm us. He offers us this freely, and if only that we would follow Him, then we are sure to be safe and protected from any harm that may threaten us. Not the kind of threat that harms our body, but instead those threats that can harm our eternal soul, such as sin.

If we look at the story of Christmas, we can see clearly how most of us have the attitudes that do not allow us to welcome Christ into our lives. He has offered us salvation and grace in Him, but are we willing to accept Him and all that He offered us? The temptations and allures of this world, of many kinds of possessions, material goods, even sexual vices and pleasures of the flesh surely seem more enticing to us than to follow Christ and His ways.

Mary and Joseph were not able to find any place in any of the inns and houses of Bethlehem, and therefore they had no choice but to find a stable instead. No one has a place available for the Lord, whose coming was imminent then. Mary was about to give birth, and all those inns lost out on the opportunity to be the place where the Lord and Saviour was to be born, and instead, a humble stable and the animals became the witness of the Good News that had come to its full truth and fulfillment with the birth of Jesus.

Therefore, let us ask ourselves. Have we opened the door wide for Christ when He comes to us, or did we instead close the door in front of Him or did not even bother to open it to Him? If the latter is the case, more often than not, we are too full of ourselves, so that we are unable to open our heart to Christ. It is in our nature to think first about ourselves, our pride and selfishness, our desire for more goods and things of this world.

Thus, this Christmas, let us all realise that God wants to be with us, and He wants to come into our lives, and when He knocks at the door, do not let Him pass us by because we are too full of ourselves and therefore unable to accept Him into us. Let us all be humble and lower ourselves, sinners as we are, and yet God is willing to forgive us and accept us back into His loving embrace.

But we have one last thing to consider. The Lord who was born as a Child, Emmanuel, which means God is with us, is not just a symbolic meaning, but it is truly real. God is truly with us, and He is with us still, within us who are faithful to Him, and who have been accepted as the members of His Church. We believe in His Real Presence in the Eucharist, and whenever we receive the Most Holy Eucharist, God Himself came into us and dwell within us.

Therefore, even as we rejoice in this great celebration of Christmas, let us also be aware that all of us are the dwellings of the Lord Most High God, Jesus Christ our King. Yes, the very same One who was born in a manger on this Christmas day. He had dwelled in us and will never leave us, ever since He gave Himself up as a worthy sacrifice for our sins, giving us His Body and Blood, His very Presence and Essence for us, that all of us who have share in Him, will never fall and die, but will enjoy the fruits of eternal life.

Nonetheless, we have to heed what St. Paul had written in his letter to the Corinthians, when he reminded them about them, the faithful, as the Temple of God, the places where the Lord Himself resides in. We are the Temple and the House of God, and God dwells in us. Therefore, it is only fitting that this Temple be kept pure and holy at all times, and thus, this Christmas, let us all be renewed with a new resolve in our lives, so that we will be ever more faithful disciples of the Lord, appreciating and accepting His love, and practicing what He had taught us, in our own actions in life.

The Lord will one day come again, and this Christmas should be a season to celebrate and rejoice the love of God, but also for self-introspection and rediscovery of our faith. Do not wait until it is too late, lest we be caught unready and unprepared. Do not be like the inns and the houses of Bethlehem which were full, and were not able to receive the Lord into their places, and thus we should not close ourselves or isolate ourselves from the love of God made evident and real through Jesus.

May the joy of Christmas be with us all, not the false joy of parties and drunken revelries, not in the shopping and the goods, not in the bright lights and decorations, but the true Joy of knowing and having the Love of God made manifest and dwelling among us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Royal Child born on this day in Bethlehem, over two millennia ago, the proof of God’s love for us. May He find us ready and alert when He comes again, all of us filled with the true joy of Christmas and sharing the love He had given us, with one another. God bless us all. Amen.

Merry Christmas! Buon Natale! May the peace and love of Christ be with all of us!

 

First Reading (Christmas Vigil Mass) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/wednesday-24-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-vigil-mass-first-reading/

 

Psalm (Christmas Vigil Mass) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/wednesday-24-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-vigil-mass-psalm/

 

Second Reading (Christmas Vigil Mass) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/wednesday-24-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-vigil-mass-second-reading/

 

Gospel Reading (Christmas Vigil Mass) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/wednesday-24-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-vigil-mass-gospel-reading/

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/23/thursday-25-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-mass-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/23/thursday-25-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-mass-psalm/

 

Second Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/23/thursday-25-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-mass-second-reading/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/23/thursday-25-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-mass-gospel-reading/

 

Epistle (Usus Antiquior) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/usus-antiquior-feast-of-the-nativity-of-our-lord-christmas-day-i-classis-thursday-25-december-2014-epistle/

 

Gospel (Usus Antiquior) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/usus-antiquior-feast-of-the-nativity-of-our-lord-christmas-day-i-classis-thursday-25-december-2014-holy-gospel/

Thursday, 25 December 2014 : Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Mass (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Reading for the Midnight Mass

Luke 2 : 1-14

At that time the Emperor issued a decree for a census of the whole empire to be taken. This first census was taken when Quirinus was governor of Syria. Everyone had to be registered in his own town. Joseph too set out from Nazareth of Galilee. As he belonged to the family of David, being a descendant of his, he went to Judea, to David’s town of Bethlehem, to be registered with Mary, His wife, who was with Child.

They were in Bethlehem when the time came for her to have her Child, and she gave birth to a Son, her Firstborn. She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in the manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

There were shepherds camping in the countryside, taking turns to watch over their flocks by night. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to them, with the Glory of the Lord shining around them.

As they were terrified, the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; I am here to give you Good News, great joy for all the people. Today a Saviour has been born to you in David’s town; He is the Messiah and the Lord. Let this be a sign to you : you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly the angel was surrounded by many more heavenly spirits, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and Peace, on earth, to those whom God loves.”

 

Reading for the Mass at Dawn

Luke 2 : 15-20

When the angels had left them and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go as far as Bethlehem, and see what the Lord has made known to us.” So they came hurriedly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger.

On seeing Him they related what they had been told about the Child, and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds. As for Mary, she treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds then returned, giving glory and praise to God for all they had heard and seen, just as the angels had told them.

 

Reading for the Mass at Day

John 1 : 1-18

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God; He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing came to be. Whatever has come to be, found life in Him; Life, which for human beings, was also Light, Light that shines in darkness, Light that darkness could not overcome.

A man came, sent by God; his name was John. He came to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but a witness to introduce the Light; for the Light was coming into the world, the true Light that enlightens everyone.

He was in the world, and through Him the world was made, the very world that did not know Him. He came to His own, yet His own people did not receive Him; but to all who received Him, He empowers to become children of God, for they believe in His Name.

These are born, but not by seed, or carnal desire, nor by the will of man : they are born of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen His glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father : fullness of truth and loving kindness.

John bore witness to Him openly, saying, “This is the One who comes after me, but He is already ahead of me, for He was before me.” From His fullness we have all received, favour upon favour. For God had given us the Law through Moses, but Truth and Loving Kindness came through Jesus Christ.

No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son made Him known : the One, who is in and with the Father.

 

Alternative reading (shorter version)

John 1 : 1-5, 9-14

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God; He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing came to be. Whatever has come to be, found life in Him; Life, which for human beings, was also Light, Light that shines in darkness, Light that darkness could not overcome.

For the Light was coming into the world, the true Light that enlightens everyone. He was in the world, and through Him the world was made, the very world that did not know Him. He came to His own, yet His own people did not receive Him; but to all who received Him, He empowers to become children of God, for they believe in His Name.

These are born, but not by seed, or carnal desire, nor by the will of man : they are born of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen His glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father : fullness of truth and loving kindness.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/23/thursday-25-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-mass-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Official Schedule of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to the Holy Land (24-26 May 2014)

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-holy-land-pilgrimage-schedule-release

Here is the official schedule of Pope Francis’ planned visit to the Holy Land, which will take place from Saturday, 24 May 2014 to Monday, 26 May 2014.

 

Saturday, 24 May 2014
08:15 Departure from Rome Fiumicino Airport for Amman
13:00 Arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman
13:45 Arrival ceremony and welcome for Pope Francis in the al-Husseini Royal Palace in Amman. Pope Francis will also pay a courtesy visit to the King and Queen of Jordan in the Royal Palace.
14:20 Pope Francis is scheduled to meet the officials and authorities of the Kingdom of Jordan.
16:00 Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Mass at the International Stadium in Amman.
19:00 Pope Francis will pay a visit to the Baptismal Site at Bethany beyond the Jordan
19:15 Pope Francis will meet with refugees and disabled youths in the Latin church at Bethany beyond the Jordan.

Sunday, 25 May 2014
8:15 Pope Francis departs from Jordan at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, heading towards Bethlehem
8:30 Departure by helicopter from the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman for Bethlehem
9:20 Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive at the helicopter port of Bethlehem
9:30 Arrival ceremony and welcome for Pope Francis at the Presidential Palace in Bethlehem. Pope Francis will pay a courtesy visit to the President of the State of Palestine.
10:00 Pope Francis is scheduled to meet with the officials and authorities of the State of Palestine.
11:00 Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem. This will be followed by Regina Caeli/Coeli.
13:30 Pope Francis will host a lunch with Palestinian families in the Franciscan convent of Casa Nova in Bethlehem
15:00 Pope Francis will pay a private visit to the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
15:20 Pope Francis will greet children from the Deheisheh, Aida and Beit Jibrin refugee camps at the Phoenix Center of the Deheisheh Refugee Camp
15:45 Pope Francis will depart from the State of Palestine at the helicopter port of Bethlehem
16:00 Departure by helicopter from the helicopter port of Bethlehem for Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv
16:30 Arrival ceremony and welcome for Pope Francis at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
17:15 Transfer by helicopter to Jerusalem
17:45 Arrival at the helicopter port of Jerusalem on Mount Scopus
18:15 Pope Francis will have a private meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem. They will sign of a joint declaration together.
19.00 Ecumenical Meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
20:15 Dinner with the Patriarchs and Bishops and the Papal suite at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem

Monday, 26 May 2014
8:15 Pope Francis will visit the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the building of the Great Council on the Esplanade of the Mosques.
9:10 Pope Francis is scheduled to pay a visit t0 the Western Wall in Jerusalem
9:45 Pope Francis will lay a wreath at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem
10.00 Pope Francis will visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
10:45 Pope Francis will pay a courtesy visit to two chief rabbi at Heichal Shlomo Center in Jerusalem, next to the Jerusalem Great Synagogue.
11:45 Pope Francis will pay a courtesy visit to the President of Israel at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem.
13:00 Pope Francis will have a private audience with the Prime Minister of Israel at Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem.
13:30 Lunch with the Papal suite at Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem
15:30 Pope Francis will have a private visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople at the building next to the Orthodox church of Viri Galileai on the Mount of Olives
16:00 Pope Francis will meet with priests, religious brothers and sisters and also seminarians in the church of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives.
17:20 Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Mass with the ordinaries (Patriarchs and bishops) of the Holy Land and the Papal Suite (Papal entourage) in the room of the Cenacle in Jerusalem.
19:30 Transfer by helicopter from the helicopter port on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv
20:00 Farewell and departure from Israel at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
20:15 Departure from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv for Ciampino Airport in Rome.
23:00 Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive back at Ciampino Airport in Rome.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)

1 Samuel 16 : 1-13

YHVH asked Samuel, “How long will you be grieving over Saul whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way to Jesse the Bethlehemite for I have chosen My king from among his sons.”

Samuel asked, “How can I go? If Saul hears of this, he will kill me!” YHVH replied, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to YHVH.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice and I will let you know what to do next. You shall anoint for Me the one I point out to you.”

Samuel did what YHVH commanded and left for Bethlehem. When he appeared, the elders of the city came to him asking, fearfully, “Do you bring us peace?” Samuel replied, “I come in peace; I am here to sacrifice to YHVH. Cleanse yourselves and join me in the sacrifice.” He also had Jesse and his sons cleansed and invited them to the sacrifice.

As they came, Samuel looked at Eliab the older and thought, “This must be YHVH’s anointed.” But YHVH told Samuel, “Do not judge by his looks or his stature for I have rejected him. YHVH does not judge as man judges; humans see with the eyes; YHVH sees the heart.”

Jesse called his son Abinadab and presented him to Samuel who said, “YHVH has not chosen this one either.”

Jesse presented Shammah and Samuel said, “Nor has YHVH chosen this one.”

Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel who said, “YHVH has chosen none of them. But are all your sons here?”

Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, tending the flock just now.” Samuel said to him, “Send for him and bring him to me; we shall not sit down to eat until he arrives.”

So Jesse sent for his youngest son and brought him to Samuel. He was a handsome lad with ruddy complexion and beautiful eyes. And YHVH spoke, “Go, anoint him for he is the one.”

Samuel then took the horn of oil and anointed him in his brother’s presence. From that day onwards, YHVH’s Spirit took hold of David. Then Samuel left for Ramah.

Sunday, 5 January 2014 : Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 2 : 1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, during the days of king Herod, wise men from the East arrived in Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw the rising of His star in the East and have come to honour Him.”

When Herod heard this he was greatly disturbed, and with him all Jerusalem. He immediately called a meeting of all high-ranking priests and scribes, and asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,” they told him, “for this is what the prophet wrote : ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are by no means the least among the clans of Judah, for from you will come a Leader, the One who is to shepherd My people Israel.'”

Then Herod secretly called the wise men and asked them the precise time the star appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem with the instruction, “Go and get accurate information about the Child. As soon as you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may go and honour Him.”

After the meeting with the king, they set out. The star that they had seen in the East went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. The wise men were overjoyed on seeing the star again. They went into the house, and when they saw the Child with Mary His mother, they knelt and worshipped Him. They opened their bags and offered Him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.

In a dream they were warned not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their home country by another way.